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Please consider that just because a product meets for example compliance with ISO 9001-2015 objectives does not automatically mean it is safe. (Just as not having an accident can be taken as meaning that we will not have an accident in the future.)

In reality the key aspect becomes our ability to measure risk and exposure. Quality systems audits consider gaps related to compliance with both external regulations and internal organisational process and procedures.

Quality Assurance and Risk Assessment

The first point to make is that the term “risk” subjective whereas the role of an EASA regulatory driven audit is to assess compliance with a standard not an opinion so this creates a challenge.

So when a discrepancy is identified it creates a number of questions

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Why should we wish to measure the performance of our Compliance Audit Process?

Essentially for 2 reasons

1/ The first is that we have an organisational obligation to ensure both regulatory and organisation compliance and of course there is a cost for this – so the question becomes is the organisation receiving value for money?

2/ The second is because there is a cost associated lets call it a return on investment – if we invest more will we return more- without a measure we will not be able to understand this.

The Internal Audit function was predominantly existing as a mandatory process to ensure and demonstrate compliance is also able to focus on improving business performance and add value by supporting strategic business objectives.

Management communication of the various shortfalls related to the audit findings should be strong and consistent and to be demonstrated to have a contributory impact on a culture of compliance within an organization

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With the exception of EASA Part 21 Subpart J "Design Organisation Approval" which as will be aware is managed directly by EASA the process for all other approvals (Air Carrier – Part 145 / Part M / Part 147 / Part 21 Subpart G POE / ATO) essentially works as follows

Achieving Regulatory Approval (Simplified)

1/ The organisation demonstrates to the Competent Authority (CA) that they satisfy the pre-requisites to be granted the requested approval

Documentation / Facilities / Manpower / Competence / Finance / Oversight

2/ The Accountable Manager of the Approved Organisation signs a statement to confirm his or her responsibility related to ensure sufficient finance is available to maintain full compliance

3/ The Organisation must set up a process (Independent Quality Assurance) to ensure continuous compliance

4/ The CA periodically assess the organisation for continuous compliance and raises findings for any non – compliance (Level 1 or 2 as appropriate)

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Analytical Techniques (RCA Tools)

“Five Whys” Approach

The “five whys” approach. By using this approach, root cause contributors can be identified along with the antecedent events, and potential mitigation or prevention strategies can be suggested on the basis of the answers.

Once the initiating problem is specified, a consecutive series of “why” questions are asked, with each answer becoming the subject of the next question.

Note that with each response, not only does a deeper investigational dive occur, but opportunities for implementing mitigation strategies are highlighted.

Ishikawa Fishbone Diagrams

A fishbone diagram, which is essentially a cause and effect diagram provides for a graphic representation which categorises the potential causes related to a problem in order to identify the root causes.

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The process to understand the causal elements including the various Root Causes is a subjective process – means it can be influenced by personal behaviour. 

It is important for the reason that we should take careful steps to ensure the we have the necessary skill level and competence in the persons or teams who are responsible for the evaluation process. 

Team Composition

Any team which is assembled to consider Root Cause must have the Appropriate skill set and knowledge of Investigative Methodology. Background Knowledge and understanding related to Parts, Materials, Processes & Human Performance as required should be present as required.

Note the importance of ensuring Management Commitment to be successful in any given investigation the lead investigator and team members should be given

management backing to pursue the root cause in the most effective way

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Within our Aviation system both Quality and Safety Management systems have shared common values. To be effective they both have to be planned and managed and provided with appropriate resources. In addition both aim to involve every relevant functional element within the organization and indeed, both processes strive for continuous improvement. 

Root Cause is Root Cause you may correctly say! So how can there be a difference between Quality Management Systems (QMS) Root Cause and Safety Management Systems (SMS) Root Cause.

Lets first consider the Different roles of Quality & Safety.

Quality is looking at Compliance (It has happened!).

Quality systems tend not to consider the role of risk whereas of course this is a fundamental tenant of the SMS system.

The Quality Management System (QMS) remains however the primary means of ensuring that the organization is meeting requirements (Ensuring Regulatory Compliance) and continuously improving its processes.

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To be effective in reducing negative events we need to understand how we can use various analytical techniques to first understand and then to mitigate the actual as well as potential exposure.

The root cause analysis (RCA) method uses a cause and effect approach by asking (For example) multiple "why" questions as an effective way to identify one or more low level elements which contributed in some way to a subsequent failure.

With sufficient information available we are able to develop a number of corrective actions which should directly impact the exposure and which if taken correctly should prevent failure in the future.

Direct cause is defined as “the cause that directly resulted in the occurrence.” This would be like the person who whilst following a standard operating procedure (SOP) makes an “error” which results in an adverse outcome.

So therefore we can say that the person’s error is the direct cause of the problem that occurred.

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A Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is an FAA  or EASA approved major modification or repair to an existing type certified aircraft, engine or propeller. As it adds to the existing type certificate, it is deemed 'supplemental'. As its name suggests, an STC is a certificate. It defines the product design change, states how the modification affects the existing type design, and lists serial number effectively. It also identifies the certification basis, listing specific regulatory compliance for the design change.

An STC being a supplemental type design approval for a major alteration and specific to a make and model or even a specific serial number as a one “off” STC

The STC Holder – STCH remains ultimately responsible for the certification of the modification.  An STC is a design approval, however it doesn’t allow the holder to produce anything. (typically created by Part 21 /FAR 21 Subpart J Organisation Design Approval Holder (DAH) Design Organisation Approval (DOA)).

Note - The STC, which incorporates by reference the related Type Certificate (TC), approves not only the modification, but how the modification affects the original design.

The application must be made in the form and manner prescribed by the FAA  or EASA.

Last modified on Providing EASA Compliant Regulatory and Vocational Training when you need at your own pace. We provide an ever growing portfolio of online training courses and combination packages for example

Operations Regulation 965/2012 package, EASA Part M package & EASA Part 145 Package.

What sets SofemaOnline apart?

Quite simply we bust the myth that regulatory compliance is the objective!

It is not – compliance with the regulations is in reality minimum compliance, It should be a given not an objective- as Industries leading training organisation with 45 years background our focus is on effective delivery of the business  process.

Our training courses are based on and compliant with EASA, FAA, ICAO and other Standards as applicable and focus on a practical interpretation of the regulations (which is not necessarily the case with our competitors)

One of our major focus points is on delivering competence in the workplace

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Whilst we all recognise the importance of safety in particular within “our” Maintenance Environment we face as an industry the problem of (Some say) Chronic under reporting of safety incidents.  Please consider when was the last time YOU filed a safety internal report?

What is the reason?

Is it the fear of reprisals or is it a case of fundamental disconnection from the responsibility to accept a personal obligation to report?

Whatever the reason the reality is that there is without doubt insufficient occurrence reporting, which results in “open” not closed loops ineffective closure and a reduced ability to deliver proactive safety improvements. (If at all !)

EASA has introduced a new EU Occurrence Reporting Regulation which is one key step in this direction as it sets a new framework to encourage and protect safety reporting by aviation professionals.

The Regulation (EU Reg. 376/2014 became applicable as of 15 Nov 2015, and requires aviation organisations in the EU to both adopt and maintain a proactive Just Culture to facilitate the collection of key safety data and information and to protect the reports as well as the information.

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I want my Aviation Organisation Staff Training Program Managed online! - Now I know that SofemaOnline (SOL) manages specialty training on behalf of Aviation Organisations just like ours!

Whats on offer?

Your own Company Aviation centered Short Course – Developed for you and Managed on line by

Providing as much or as little support as you need, The cost effective way to manage your online training needs. SofemaOnline (SOL) courses provide the perfect opportunity for your employees to explore areas that will underpin their understanding of roles responsibilities and competence driving elements.

SOL courses have been shown to improve job performance and motivate your employees to engage in effective learning in a short period of time.

With online training our courses are suitable even for individual and new starters. Introductory short courses can be a perfect way to ensure that new starters are up to speed and have the relevant awareness of regulatory requirements and company. offers the perfect solution

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Does your company have a PTP relationship with SAS ? Please check now to see if your company is included - (If not please ask your company representative to inquire as to process by which you may become PTP accredited) :
Note please all discounts are conditional on the payment being made 7 business days before delivery of the course.
Open Classroom Training discount available for self sponsored employees with SAS (
Individuals and self sponsored delegates who are Employees of SAS PTP clients will also receive 20% as an individual for attending a single SAS Open Training and if they can encourage a colleague to join then both will receive 30% discount.
Tagged in: Discount Employees PTP
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Sofema Aviation Services ( and SofemaOnline ( Providing Guidance and Understanding Regarding Classroom, Webbex and Online EASA Compliant Regulatory and Vocational Training Courses.

Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) and SofemaOnline (SOL) have built up a portfolio of training courses which will by the end of 2018 number more than 500 Courses.
We are increasingly receiving requests for guidance as to the choice of the most appropriate course to take for a particular person or role within the organisation.

To provide an answer without a detailed understanding can be somewhat challenging as often the appropriate level of training depends very much on both the ultimate objective as well as the current knowledge level of the delegate.

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Posted by on in Regulatory

GCAA says now –EASA Says Later! ICAO says 8 years ago (2009)

Sofema Aviation Services ( considers the current status of SMS within an EASA compliant Part 145 organisation.

What is SMS?

Sure we all know what is a Safety Management System (SMS)

But consider the two options :-

a) Safety Management System focused on ensuring “Mandatory Compliance” with all Safety Objectives

b) Management System focused on developing in an effective way optimized for efficiency and delivering all Mandatory Safety Objectives

Tagged in: EASA GCAA ICAO Part 145 SMS
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Posted by on in Regulatory

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 This Blog looks at a basic understanding related to Part 66 Basic Examinations


 Examinations are conducted under strict examination conditions, all basic examinations shall be carried out using the multi-choice question format.

 Be careful and always read the question!

The incorrect alternatives shall seem equally plausible to anyone ignorant of the subject. All of the alternatives shall be clearly related to the question and of similar vocabulary, grammatical construction and length.

In numerical questions, the incorrect answers shall correspond to procedural errors such as corrections applied in the wrong sense or incorrect unit conversions: they shall not be mere random numbers.

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The requirement for EASA Compliant Fuel Tank Safety  (FTS) Training may be found in the New EASA Agency Decision Papers: •2009/006/R •2009/007/R. Both relate to Aircraft Fuel System Safety Effective from 28 March 2007. Essentially the rational for FTS Training was developed following the TWA 800 Disaster with the objective to both Familiarize candidates with the elements of Fuel Tank System Safety Issues and to enable candidates to understand the historical background and elements requiring consideration in relation to fuel system safety. In addition to Equip candidates to understand and use the language of fuel system safety issues and to allow candidates to understand and interpret fuel system safety issues from regulatory and manufacturer’s maintenance publications Satisfy Parts M & 145 Amendments on fuel system safety

Continuing Airworthiness Management and associated CAW tasks are the primary responsibility of the Operators CAMO. Regarding the management of Fuel Tank Procedures it is expected that the 145 Organisation should update the Maintenance Organisation Exposition (MOE) to include FTS concepts and organisation’s obligations. The Part 145 organisation is also responsible for all health and safety procedures including relating to fuel tank Nitrogen Inerting Systems

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EASAOnline ( considers the process to obtain your Maintenance Engineers Licence. Considering the Application Process for an EASA Part 66 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Licence (AMEL)

An application for an aircraft maintenance License or change to such License shall be made on an EASA Form 19 (Form 19 is adopted and issued by each regulatory authority)

Applications process

The application are normally made under the jurisdiction of the Competent Authority of any European Member State. 

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Posted by on in Regulatory presents the different categories available within the EASA Part 66 licence 

On the basis of the Maintenance Engineers License, together with satisfactory demonstration of competency and knowledge of organizational procedures the personal authorization document is issued by an approved Part-145 organization. 

Note - Whilst Category A is not maybe the best choice to sit for your licence, clearly as it is incorporated within the B1 licence it can be of significant benefit to allow the B1 Engineer to be task trained on multiple aircraft. 

A Category “A” License holder may only certify his (or her) own work and cannot certify the work of other individuals. 

The Category “A” based approval is a task based approval which is restricted to the mechanical systems, although simple and limited avionic tasks as for example which may be found on a daily inspection or a weekly check, can be included with the approval of the Competent Authority.

(b) Categories A and B1 are subdivided into subcategories relative to combinations of Aeroplanes, helicopters, turbine and piston engines.

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EASA Regulated Aircraft Maintenance is interesting and highly professional moreover Licensed Aircraft Engineers are essential to maintain the global aviation industry. Employment in the field of aviation offers the potential of a wide and varied career with an attractive salary.

As a Part 66 AMEL you are on your way to Certifying Aircraft to Fly ! (Issuing a Certificate of Release to Service CRS). Licensed Aircraft Engineers perform maintenance and other activities on Aircraft (often with modern equipment and advanced technology.) Ensuring the rectification of all defects as well as repairing airframe structures, engines, and avionic systems.  

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As a career starting in Aviation or Airport Services Aircraft Maintenance either Base or Line may be just the job for you!

Line maintenance is very satisfying and rewarding with the opportunity to progress to higher positions either within the organisation or in other organisations. 

Aircraft technicians and Engineers typically specialise as either B1 Airframe Engine & Electrical or B2 Avionic plus Electrical.  B1 Engineers who service engines, airframes and hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and the associated electrical systems and B2 avionic Engineers who service and overhaul the electronic systems, instruments, flight control, navigation and communication systems of aircraft as well as Aircraft Electrical Systems (task shared with B1)

Line maintenance essentially is maintenance that is performed on aircraft while they still remain operational, (carrying out routine maintenance of the aircraft on the ground during the turnaround between flights) whereas for Base Maintenance the level of maintenance is somewhat deeper. (Carrying out full servicing of the aircraft within the hangar at regular intervals typically at C check level) 

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