Recent blog posts

The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 4

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

Welcome to the final part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance.

In this article we look at what is not a maintenance activity.

ACTIVITIES WHICH ARE NOT MAINTENANCE

It is mistakenly believed that if something has the potential to cause harm to the aircraft or its operation, the activity should be covered as a maintenance activity. That perception probably has ties to the language that is used in the definition of a “major repair” in § 1.1: “Major repair means a repair: (1) That, if improperly done, might appreciably affect weight, balance, structural strength, performance, powerplant operation, flight characteristics, or other qualities affecting airworthiness…” This has led people to improperly classify some activities that could affect the airworthiness of the aircraft, if done improperly, as maintenance. These activities include:

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Where are we in our SMS journey in 2018? It is almost 1 decade since ICAO introduced the requirement for Proactive SMS, the good news is that it is evident that SMS is having a positive effect on the overall safety level across the industry.

In accordance with EASA Regulatory Obligations the accountable executive is accountable for establishing the SMS and allocating sufficient resources to support and maintain an effective SMS.

The current situation shows on examination that across lower levels within the industry (and this is true of almost all organisations) there as still a significant level of unreported exposures. Partly this is due to insufficient engagement with the SMS by many of the junior employees.

Pre-Requisites for Delivering SMS

SMS should build on existing organisation business processes and integrate with all the various elements of the management system. SMS Key Processes include Hazard Identification, Occurrence Reporting, Risk Management and Performance Measurement.

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 3

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

Welcome to the third part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance?

This article provides an overview

REPLACEMENT OF PARTS

The replacement of parts is the removal and/or installation of parts on a product or article, and therefore, logically a maintenance task. However, there are some specific tasks that require further explanation.

Removing and Reinstalling the Same Part

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at typical performance indicators within an Integrated Operation

Flight Operation

Ground Operations

Maintenance

The following list serves as an introduction to a range of indicators which may be employed within your organisation to support the development of Key Indicators and to facilitate the measurement of Safety Performance across the business.

Using Data derived from the Compliance Quality Audit Program to support the Performance Metrics of the Safety Management System

1/ Internal audits/compliance monitoring: all non-compliances

a) Total number of findings per audit planning cycle & trend

b) % of findings which have a safety significance

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 2

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

Welcome to the second part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance?This article considers what makes up overhaul, repair and preservation.

OVERHAUL

An overhaul includes several separate maintenance activities to restore a product or article to a condition that will give a reasonable assurance of operation for a specified amount of time. The term “overhaul” is mentioned in several places in the FAR’s but this article uses the definition in 14 CFR section 43.2(a), which states that an overhaul consists of disassembly, cleaning, inspection, repaired as necessary, reassembly, and testing.

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Presented by SofemaOnline (www.sofemaonline.com

Please use the following information to prepare for your presentation. Carefully read through the comments and choose the ones which are relevant to your expectations.

The goal is to make your presentation not only stand out and impress, but to flow and  enable you to fully engage with the audience.

1. Related to the Preparation of Your Presentation

Are you knowledgeable about the topic covered in your presentation?

Have you completed and checked your material preparation?

Are the visual aids easy to read and easy to understand, are you familiar with the integration of visual aids into presentation?

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 1

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

This is the first part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance. 

The term “maintenance” is defined in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 1, §1.1 as “inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and the replacement of parts, but excludes preventive maintenance.”
While this definition has been around for a long time, differences between the five elements that make up maintenance (i.e., inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and the replacement of parts) is not always clearly understood. The definition of maintenance does not include the terms “rebuild” or “rebuilt”. Those functions are limited to the Design Approval Holder (DAH) (i.e., manufacturer) with Production Certificate (PC) approval using its approved design data.

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SofemaOnline (SOL) www.sofemaonline.com considers the challenges of Public Speaking and how we can benefit from a knowledge of non verbal techniques

Realities of Non Verbal Communication

Lets Consider a few of the realities we face related to Non Verbal Communication Techniques.

Our words only count for small percentage of the actual success of our message, in fact the major part of our message is transmitted by our Body Language, Facial Expression as well as the tone of our voice.

Our audience is generally looking for a positive experience – they are not expecting to be subjected to negative feelings and emotions.

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SofemaOnline (www.sofemaonline.com) looks at effective use of PowerPoint to support Presentations

PowerPoint slides are an excellent tool and aid to learning particularly if used effectively and can emphasise a point as well as provide humour and at the same time become an anchor for a message.

Consider some PowerPoint (PPT) challenges which we face as trainers:

a) It is possible to “hide” behind a PPT presentation

b) It can overload with information

c) The content may not be strong

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SofemaOnline (SOL) www.sofemaonline.com looks at the role of icebreakers in Public Speaking

What is an Ice Breaker?

Ice breakers serve a multiple purpose by helping to relax the participants as well as building an open relationship and fostering a team relationship.

Ice breakers which appear spontaneous travel better and can be more effective than those which appear to mechanical in delivery. Always be non-judgmental with your communication to the delegates.

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An Aviation Leadership and Management Skills Development Blog

Introduction

Let’s consider why are we making the presentation or speech, as well as to consider the reason the audience is in front of us?

Our first goal should be to get the message across to our audience that our objectives are in alignment - means that “their goals” are “our goals”. If we achieve this we should find the audience receptive.

Win over your audience by sharing that you respect their time and you do not intend waste it. That you are prepared and looking forward to sharing the information within your presentation.

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at the challenges to ensure we deliver the strongest possible presentation

Presentation is the Key to Success

The challenge is to maximum the effectiveness of the time we can commit to developing the presentation. Typically, you will be time constrained with many obligations. Nevertheless, it is essential we complete all the elements to prepare a presentation which:

a) We can be proud off

b) More importantly it is well received by the audience or delegates

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Coming to Terms with Public Speaking

Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at the challenges faced (and overcome) by successful public speakers.

As in all skill-based activities, practice makes if not perfect, for sure a better performance. We should therefore strive to connect with the audience in a personal way. If we can consider the audience as a collection of individuals rather than a group, we should generally feel more relaxed about speaking in public.

Connecting with the audience in such a way as you can demonstrate empathy and to address their specific needs, concerns and objections.

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Whilst the ancestry of the FAA goes back to the 1920’s  the “Modern” FAA essentially started with the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. A different level of aviation safety was to be found at this time with a number of accidents driving congress to mandate a new independent regulatory body with authority to address safety issues through the power of rulemaking.

Today the FAA has a broad reach with authority for all aspects of aviation related activity in the United States.

Meanwhile over in Europe the Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) forerunner of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) can show its origins back to the early 1970’s. 

The original purpose of the JAA was to provide oversight and guidance related to the design and certification of large Aircraft, Engines and APU’s. It was during these early days that an alignment started to take place between the FAA and the JAA to introduce common certification codes for large aircraft and aircraft engines. Such alignment contributed to the common acceptance of Aircraft Parts and Alliances by participating entities.

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at the challenges of maintaining an effective supply change compliant with EASA, Best Practice & Due Diligence.

What is it all about

Amongst other proposed changes EASA looked at enhancing the supplier evaluation procedure to provide clarity together with a strong and robust process.

So what happened

Unfortunately, as is currently happening in many regulatory related areas EASA steps back and several years pass. (This story is not a positive reflection on the role of EASA – however it is unlikely that this will change or improve in the near term!)

Tagged in: EASA NPA 2012-03
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What is Production Planning?

So lets start by saying that production planning has nothing to do with the operator (so not to confuse with the maintenance planning activities which sit within the operators remit).

Production Planning belongs to the Part 145 Production Organisation – To be effective it needs to interface with the PART M Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) and ideally to be able to influence the CAMO in a positive way.

Production Planning could be considered an art in that we need to effectively bring together a number of disparate elements to obtain the best possible result in the minimum time whilst recognising the importance of Safety, Human Performance and Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS).

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We usually overestimate our ability to communicate and this can even be magnified when the communication is with people who we know well. Often because we believe we have a deeper level of understanding than is actually the case.

We should try to speak to people as individuals even when they are in groups. Do not allow yourself to be distracted and focus on delivering your message in a genuine way with both enthusiasm and energy.

Knowing the Subject Matter is Essential

You really do need to know the subject, this is a fundamental part of establishing rapport and respect with you audience (both of which are essential for effective communication).

Pay particular attention to your audience and strive to build the connection, adjust your message so that it resonates with the audience, focus on getting your message across without overdoing, seek questions as a way of ensuring the message is received.

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SofemaOnline – www.sofemaonline.com  considers the role of Dynamic Communication

Communication is actually a very dynamic process going far beyond the words we say. Whilst Communication essentially encompasses both language and speech it includes also the ability to share our thoughts and experiences in a meaningful way using other ways and means, for example body language.

Another way to look at Communication is to accept that it is a broadband process which is essentially made up of many single band processes. Consider that the actual speech used as well as each different type of non-verbal aspect can be considered as single elements that together make up the broadband process of communication.

We are able even without realizing that it is taking place to process multiple modes of communication is an automatic, part of our problem is that we do not even need to hear all of what is being said before we have begun to formulate our response!

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com considers an EASA Compliant Maintenance Planning Process. 

Maintenance has come a long way since the early days when maintenance programs owed more to the perception of the maintenance needs, as opposed to the analyzed and justified needs. In addition the role of the regulator was also minimal, and in part developed as a result of events, incidents and accidents. 

During the end of the first half of the 20th century regulations began to strengthen and the aircraft manufacturer was seen as the appropriate source of the maintenance program development. The early attempts at effective maintenance (in the 1960’s) saw time limits developed which resulted in aircraft being progressively dismantled, in what became know as Hard Time primary maintenance.

All hard time components were then routed through an overhaul process and after an appropriate restoration process were considered as zero timed. (Means they were considered as zero life and good to go again) - Following investigations into the effectiveness of the Aircraft Maintenance Process, by both the FAA and several airlines, a number of determinations were made.

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Steve Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com – explains

A type certificate holder (TCH) can produce parts for its airplanes through the process of the manufacturers authorisation FAR Part 21 / EASA Part 21 Subpart G has the authorization to manufacture those parts on the basis of its type certificate, and production certificate.

However organisation who are authorised as PMA-holding manufacturers are permitted to make replacement parts for aircraft, even though they are not the original manufacturer of the aircraft. An applicant for a PMA applies for approval from the FAA.

An STC is a certificate. It defines the product design change, states how the modification affects the existing type design, and lists serial number effectivity. It also identifies the certification basis, listing specific regulatory compliance for the design change. Information contained in the certification basis is helpful for those applicants proposing subsequent product modifications and evaluating certification basis compatibility with other STC modifications.

Tagged in: FAA Manufacturing PMA STC TCH
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