Recent blog posts

Introduction

Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com & Sofema Online www.sofemaonline.com takes a look at what the forthcoming EASA changes to Part 145 will look like and what they could mean for Quality, Safety & Management Personnel. 

Name Change QM/QAM to CM 

In keeping with “Management System” understanding from Regulation 965/2012, the previous role title of Quality Manager or Quality Assurance Manager is essentially dropped with the focus again on Compliance Management. So again we will see either Compliance Manager or Quality Manager responsible for Compliance. 

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Practical Base Maintenance Audits - Advanced Techniques for Auditing Workshops

A SofemaOnline Review (www.sofemaonline.com)

Auditing workshops

What is Unique within the Workshop Environment is that there is no Workshop Licence – So, for this reason, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the competence of the workshop certification personnel.

A typical workshop audit would start with the Organisations Quality System and ask the questions:

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A SofemaOnline Review (www.sofemaonline.com)

Introduction

Compliance Auditing looks at the effective management of the organisational controls to ensure continuous delivery of the Quality Control driven process. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that at all times the organisation should endeavour to comply with best practice and industry standards.

Being able to support an in-depth understanding of non-conformities in your organisation is part of the mission.

Being able to clearly explain the exposure to your organisations business area owners and post holders is an essential attribute of an effective Quality Assurance Auditor.

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at the challenges of using Compliance Audit Techniques to determine the effectiveness of a “supplier”

What do we Mean by Third Party when we talk about auditing?

Means that the organisation is “Stand Alone” or “Stand Apart”. So effectively we are connected to the Organisation for business purposes, however, we cannot exert direct control.

This is an important consideration because in some cases the where the relationship is sub-contractual the “Contracting Organisation” is held accountable for the diligence and acceptable delivery including standards, management oversight and the effective control of competence.

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A SofemaOnline Review (www.sofemaonline.com)

Compliance Auditing – Understanding the Process

Compliance Auditing is typically charged with meeting the challenge of ensuring that the organisation always remains fully compliant with both internal and external obligations.

In the complex environment delivered by EASA & GCAA, it is necessary to have a proactive approach to maintaining a full understanding of all regulatory obligations.

Compliance Auditing brings with it the daily challenge of ensuring that the organisation remains at all times fully compliant with both internal and external obligations.

It is essential to ensure robust and continuous oversight of all internal processes, and procedures. The various departments must continue to meet all applicable internal and EASA driven regulatory requirements.

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Considering the Role & Purpose of the Configuration Maintenance and Procedures Document (CMP)

Introduction by www.Sofemaonline.com

About the CMP

The CMP document is approved by the Primary Certifying Authority and contains the particular airplane configuration minimum requirements, including any special inspection, hardware life limits, master minimum equipment list (MMEL) constraints and maintenance practices found necessary related to the performance of ETOPS – Extended Diversion Time Operation (EDTO) Flights.

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Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema lifts the lid on how to understand the options to drive improvements in your organisations production process

Introduction

From time to time we are asked questions regarding the content of our training program for example:

1. How to make a work package
2. How to do Aircraft Scheduling
3. Man Hour Estimation and Manpower Planning
4. Special Tools Purchasing
5. Billing and Tool Charging for outside parties
6. CAR M and CAR 145 Related to Production Planning

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

Introduction to Work Logging and Recording 

Maybe the description belies the importance of the subject however the reality is that correctly recording work, which has been carried out, as well as how we document and hand over any outstanding tasks is of significant importance and creates multiple human factor exposures.

Inadequate recording of work carried out has been cited as a contributing factor in several incidents.

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Presented by Steven Bentley CEO of Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com. Steve commenced his auditing activities in 1989 more than 30 years ago and shares his learning experiences related to effective auditing.

Introduction

This paper is intended to make you a better auditor – to understand how to determine in the most effective way the system deficiencies and to present these “findings” in the correct way.

There are several home truths and some quite surprising traps that otherwise experienced people fall into. Many people who perform audits look without seeing. Fortunately, it is not so difficult to deliver effective audit if you pay attention to several straight forward indicators.

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Every Picture Tells a Story!

Sure, but sometimes there is a story behind the story.

Turns out the Captain had a very hairy landing (maybe wake turbulence from a departing aircraft) but in any event, he believed it was normal. 

Basically the Cowl of this huge 55,000 pounds thrust engine “kissed” the ground.

Unfortunately, the Engineer missed this during his walk around!

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

What do we Mean by Complex Systems?

Essentially all large modern aircraft can be described as complex systems. But this is just the beginning because integrated organisations are also in themselves complicated systems and the combination of both together creates multiple exposures within the realm of Human Factor related errors, incidents & accidents.

Engaging with Complex Systems

Within the aircraft environment, a simple system should cause no problems in itself, with engineers being trained and possessing the appropriate competence to fully engage with the challenge of addressing the various problems.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

What are Repetitive Tasks?

When we talk about “repetitive tasks”, we mean tasks which are performed several times during a shift (Daily check or Transit Check for example). There are more mundane tasks, for example, checking aircraft life jackets. What happens physiologically is that as a person becomes complacent his alertness decreases along with his performance.

Repetitive tasks are essential tasks which require a low level of mental acuity. Such tasks can quickly become tedious and therefore induce a low level of arousal within the worker.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

Any pressure we feel can lead to stress and stress can lead to human error. Current minimum turn-around times place additional pressure on maintenance staff and create a challenge for any defects which are found and the steps which need to be taken.

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Considerations related to an AOC (EASA) introduction by www.sofemaonline.com

Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 10 Air Legislation compliant training for third country workshop personnel.

An Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is a European Required certificate that allows an operator to perform specific operations of commercial air transport.

The Air Operator Certificate certifies that the operator has both ability and the necessary organization to guarantee the conditions required for safe aircraft operations in respect of the activities described in the certificate. 

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 10 Air Legislation compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Who is EASA?

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency or EASA is an Agency of the European Union with primary responsibility for Civil Aviation Safety.

EASA carries out certification, regulation, and standardisation, and also performs investigation and monitoring.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

Stress is often associated with anxiety, fear, fatigue, and hostility. It can also arise as a result of feelings of inadequacy, where we may feel we don't have the appropriate experience, knowledge, or capability to complete our allocated tasks.

All these feelings can have a direct and negative impact on performance. In fact, our performance will generally improve with the onset of stress however it will then peak and begin to degrade rapidly as stress levels exceed our abilities to handle the situation.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

Fitness and Health

Aircraft maintenance certifying staff and technicians often undertake work which is physically demanding as well as being called on to work in multiple environments include cold and heat, wind and rain.

Fitness and health can have a significant effect upon job performance (both physical and cognitive). Day to day fitness can be reduced through illness (physical or mental) or injury.

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If you are asking the question - How Can I become an EASA Part 147 Instructor - You are in the right place! 

SofemaOnline takes a look at how to achieve your goal of becoming an Aviation Instructor! 

What Does EASA Say about becoming an EASA aircraft maintenance instructor?

Part 147-A.105 (f), state that the experience and qualifications of instructors, knowledge examiners, and practical assessors shall be established in accordance with criteria published or in accordance with a procedure and to a standard agreed by the competent authority. 

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Maintenance Management Focus

Supervisors and Managers have an important role to ensuring that safety and safe working practices is a top down leadership “led” objective which is instilled in mechanics and certifying staff and visible throughout the business.

Considering Supervisors

The supervisor’s role is somewhat different to the manager role as the supervisor position requires a more “hands on” approach, to the potential for errors to be made by technicians and certifying staff.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

What do we mean by Team?

When we’re in the presence of others, people are more physiologically aroused and energized, and dominant behaviours are strengthened. This phenomenon is called social facilitation. 

Within the maintenance Environment we need to work together as a team to enable the accomplishment of complex tasks – however there is a difference between working as a team and working as individuals within a team.

Complex systems need ‘teams’ to get task done - Teams have to be conceived, planned and implemented with care.

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