Recent blog posts

SofemaOnline looks at the Roles & Responsibilities of an Aircraft Production Support Specialist

Maintenance of aircraft fleets typically poses significant challenges with multiple, and in some ways conflicting objectives relating to the delivery of effective maintenance with the minimisation of operational costs, whilst maintaining the desired level of Safety & Service.

Production planning could be described as the ability to utilize available resources to achieve the maximum output within the available maintenance slot period.

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SofemaOnline looks at the working of the EU regulatory machine

Terminology Introduction


Decisions are binding legal acts that apply to 1 or more EU countries, companies or individuals. The party concerned must be notified and the decision comes into effect upon such notification. They don’t need to be transposed into national law.

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Review and Comments by Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema Group

Is Your Regulatory Training – Value Driven?

Regulatory for example EASA or Industry for example Sofema – where is the best value for the receiving organisation?

Lets cut to the “Chase” asking who provides the best value training is something of a “loaded” question.

Consider the Primary Role of your Organisation

Essentially the role of the organisation is to deliver an effective product in an efficient way moreover that compliance with regulatory obligations is (or should be) a given rather than an objective.

Tagged in: SofemaOnline Training
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SofemaOnline presents an unrivalled opportunity 

Delivering a Composite package of EASA Compliant Flight & Ground Operations Online Training Courses

Who is this package for? 

Accountable Managers, Operations Managers, Flight Operations Quality & Safety Staff, Operations Leadership Team, Training Pilots & Operational Department Stake Holders. 

What is in the Package? 

Consisting of:

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Is an FAA PAH required to provide FAA Form 8130-3 with its shipments to customers?

No. An FAA PAH is not required to use this form for domestic use. The FAA encourages the use of FAA Form 8130-3 for documenting the airworthiness status of FAA-approved products and articles.  This will help provide traceability and ease the movement of products and articles throughout the aviation system. However, the final decision is yours regarding whether or not to use this form.

Why is the use of FAA Form 8130-3 voluntary for domestic use?

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Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema Aviation Services looks at common errors made by MRO’s in allocating responsibilities for process 7 procedures – compounded by the weakness of regulatory auditors to identify such. 

All comments are welcome 

145.121 Maintenance procedures and quality system

(a) The organisation shall establish a safety and quality policy for the organisation which shall be included in the organisation’s exposition.

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Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) obligations are proscribed within EASA’s Implementing Rules EU 1321/2014.

A CAMO is directly responsible to the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holder. A CAMO must also maintain detailed airworthiness records of the maintenance due as well as the maintenance performed ensuring we are able to demonstrate Continuing Airworthiness.

Key CAMO Staff typically engage in Maintenance Planning, Technical Engineering, Technical Records, and Reliability Staff and are usually employed in multiple roles within the Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation, consider that each and all of these staff have the potential to impact on the organisation’s safety outcomes.

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Direct Shipment Authorization

What is a Direct Shipment Authorization (DSA)?

FAA Order 8130.21 defines a DSA as the written authorization, granted to a supplier by a Production Approval Holder (PAH) with responsibility for the airworthiness of a product or article, to ship articles produced in accordance with the PAH’s quality/inspection system directly to end users without the articles being processed through the PAH’s own facility.

DSA is a method of delivering products and articles from the supplier to the end user directly, including shipment to other suppliers and/or repair stations. Through approved quality system procedures, a PAH authorizes and ensures products shipped by a supplier directly to an end user conform to the approved design and are in a condition for safe operation.

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Sofema Aviation Services ( and SofemaOnline ( takes a look

With a growing Portfolio of Executive and Post Holder Course Sofema Classroom & Online Training is ideally placed to support your objectives to bring your leadership team up to speed related to awareness of regulatory driven roles & responsibilitites.

Understanding and Interpreting EASA Form 4 Post Holder Qualifications - The first comment to share is that in general EASA requirements and obligations are or should be considered as minimum compliance. There is a good chance that if you feel that you are falling short in respect of the qualifications, there may be additional issues in respect of managing competence.

Availability of Nominated Persons Training

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) Considerations 

The Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) is a generic document issued by the Type Certificate Holder (TCH). The contents of the MPD are coordinated by the Industry Steering Committee (ISC) and Maintenance Review Board (MRB) using the (Maintenance Steering Group 3 Logic) MSG 3 process of analysis and task determination).

The MPD contains hundreds of tasks it is not a customised document and contains all necessary task Information to support all variations of both Modification Status and Aircraft Configuration.

The MPD may list a task as “pre mod” or “post mod” (Depends on Aircraft Configuration).

The MPD Also contains (either as a separate section or integrated within the document) Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI’s).

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What is an export?

For the purpose of issuance of an export airworthiness approval, an export is defined as the transfer of a product or article from the regulatory authority of one CAA to another.

It is important to understand that a product or article does not have to cross the border of a country for an export to occur. For example, shipment of a part from a U.S. supplier in the United States to a foreign approval holder in the United States would constitute an export even though the part did not leave the United States.

Similarly, it is also important to understand that crossing an international border does not necessary constitute a change in regulatory authority for a product or article. For example, shipment of a part from a U.S. supplier in another country to its U.S. Production Approval Holder (PAH) would not constitute an export.

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Sofema Online offers an interesting and cost effective solution for CAMO new starters – see below for details.

The Challenge

To bring new starters up to speed with the EASA regulations essentially related to regulation 1321/2014 

How to engage with a process which supports the initial development of competence? 

What is Available?

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Which Block should be checked when returning an article to service after maintenance when the organization that performed the service is both FAA and CAA certified?

When FAA Form 8130-3 is used as an approval for return to service to meet the terms and conditions of a bilateral agreement’s Maintenance Implementation Procedures (MIP) or the Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG), the air agency or air carrier must check both boxes in Block 14a stating: “14 CFR 43.9 Return to Service” and “Other regulations specified in Block 12” and provide the appropriate information in Blocks 11 and 12. 

This is considered a dual release FAA Form 8130-3. This action should also be contained in the air agency’s supplement. The regulations of the other CAA must be specifically identified in Block 12.

Tagged in: CAA FAA FAQ Form 8130-3
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Who can issue FAA Form 8130-3 as approval for return to service?

Air agencies certificated under Part 145, or the holder of a U.S. air carrier certificate operating under Part 121 or Part 135, with an approved continued airworthiness maintenance program may issue an FAA Form 8130-3 for approval for return to service for a product or article maintained or altered under Part 43.

A Production Approval Holder (PAH) may issue an FAA Form 8130-3 for approval for return to service after rebuilding, altering, or inspecting its product/article in accordance with §§ 43.3(j) and 43.7(d). The use of FAA Form 8130-3 for this purpose is optional, but the FAA recommends its use. This will help aviation authorities and industry to ensure complete traceability and ease the movement of products and articles through the aviation system.

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What is the purpose of FAA Form 8130-3? 

FAA Form 8130-3 may be used:

- To constitute a statement from the FAA that a new product or article produced under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 21, Certification Procedures for Products and Parts, conforms to its design and is in a condition for safe operation.

- To return to service a used product or article following inspection, maintenance, or alteration.

- When exporting products or articles to meet the requirements of bilateral agreements between the United States and other countries. This includes the shipment, not the export, of a prototype product or article to another country.

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Do Organisations “underperform”?

Please consider the following questions:

Are you happy that as an Organisation you have assessed the Risk and exposure across the business to reduce it to its minimum exposure within the context of the organisations “reasonable” expectations (Here we reference the term as low as reasonably practicable ALARP)?

Are you happy with the level of reporting within the organisation? Not just the events, which have happened but also the “nearly events” how are you measuring the effectiveness of your internal reporting system?

As a general guy for every Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) or Service Difficulty Report (SDR).

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So there are essentially 2 elements to this presentation:

a) Considering the Role of Quality Assurance means What does an EASA Quality Assurance Do?
b) Maximising the Return on the Investment (Which Investment? - Essentially the Investment the Organisation makes to deliver the role of Quality Assurance)

Considering the QA - QC connection

One interpretation defines QC as “to check, test, or verify by evidence or experiments” and assurance being defined as “confidence of delivery” (maybe too narrow for our needs).

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Concerning Changes to EASA Part 145 Related to Annex II to ED Decision 2019/009/R

New Requirements Procedures and Obligations related to Stores, Material and Logistic Activities with an EASA Part 145 Organisation

Review by Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema Aviation Services


Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) to Annex II (Part-145) to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014 Issue 2 — Amendment 2

When is a new AMC & Guidance driven requirement effective from?

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As the technical complexity of aircraft have developed over the last 100 years the nature of interaction with people associated with the maintenance of aircraft began to matter more & more and in fact today human factors is relevant in just about every aspect and element of the maintenance system. 

The use of the term "human factors" in the context of aviation maintenance engineering is relatively new. In fact EASA only started mandating Compulsory HF training from 2005.

Several Landmark aircraft accidents, for example Aloha aircraft in the USA in 1988 and British Airways BAC 1-11 windscreen accident in the UK in June 1990 showed that there was an unacceptable level of exposure to the potential of Maintenance Human Factors MHF.

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Presentation Introduction – The Aviation Quality & Safety Management Symposium - Holiday Inn Sofia Bulgaria – Tues May 14th & Wed May 15th 2019  

If you are engaged in Aviation Quality & Safety Management this is your one "must attend" event of the year.

Here is your opportunity to engage with a professional who has decades of experience and is able to rise to the challenge of any Airport Security issue and to share an understanding regarding best practice solutions.

For event details please see the following link: 


Related to SMS Quality Assurance has 2 distinct roles:

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