Avionics News July 2013 - 14

In this monthly column, Ric Peri of the AEA’s Washington, D.C., office, informs members of the latest regulatory updates.

B Y

R I C

P E R I
A EA V I C E P R ES I D E N T O F G OV E R N M E N T & I N D U ST RY A F FA I RS

If You Don’t Understand, Ask!

I

recently had a flurry of questions from Aircraft
Electronics Association members where my answer
was essentially the same: ask your inspector.
These phone calls usually begin with something like, “I
have a new inspector, and he won’t field approve an installation my previous inspector freely approved.” This should
be a clear sign for the need to talk. Does this new inspector
know you? Are you essentially asking them to sign a blank
check or approve the data without a copy of the data? Is the
new inspector’s “knowledge, skills and abilities” the same as
your old inspector?
This brings the proverbial “good news-bad news” scenario.
The good news: More and more AEA members are recognizing those things that should be questioned. The bad news: We
are still afraid to ask.
In July 2004, Nick Sabatini, the Federal Aviation
Administration’s associate administrator for regulation and
safety, stated, “As a citizen, you have the right to question
your government.” However, for agents of the government, it
is your right as well as your responsibility to understand what
your government (through its duly appointed representative)
is stating or requiring of you.
This isn’t a license to be obnoxious and question the
person; you’re questioning the information. The regulations
do not require you to be in compliance with PIPP (Principle
Inspector’s Personal Preference). The regulations do require
you to be in compliance with, well, the regulations. So if you
are not in compliance, you not only need to know that you are
not in compliance, but you absolutely need to know “why”
14

avionics news

•

july

2013

you are not in compliance, as well. If you do not know “why”
your actions are not in compliance with the regulations, you
cannot amend your business practices to be in compliance.
Another scenario is where you have an installation that
is new for your business, as well as your relationship with
your inspector. Your inspector isn’t comfortable with granting a field approval, so he or she contacts the ACO. The
typical response is you need a supplemental type certificate.
Hopefully, you did your homework up front so you know the
“requirement” for an STC isn’t obvious. Go back and review
your alteration analysis, review all of the applicable advisory
circulars, and then the FAA’s field approval job aid. If none
of these indicate an STC is required, then this is an ideal
opportunity to ask the question, why? Where is your research
flawed, because you cannot find a reference that requires an
STC for this type of installation?
Many FAA Flight Standards inspectors and many more
ACO engineers believe there are only two levels of data
approval: field approval or STC. This is a gross undersimplification of the regulations. If the alteration meets the criterion
of a major change in type design (§21.93), then the applicant
must apply for an STC (or amended TC for the OEM). If the
alteration is not a major change in type design but meets the
regulatory definition of a major alteration (Part 1 and Part 43,
appendix A), then the alteration requires approved data. A
field approval is simply one means but not the only means of
acquiring approved data.
Please note, if the alteration fails to meet either of these
regulated criteria (major change in type design or major



Avionics News July 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News July 2013

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View from Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Panel Power for Budget Flying
Member Profile
ADS-B Countdown
Onboard Traffic Systems
A Conversation With...
The ELT Mess
Member Profile
iPads in Maintenance
Before & After
Aviation Aces
Growing Your Market
Avionics News Through the Years
FAA Fact Sheet on General Aviation Safety
AEAviators
'Smart and Cost-Friendly'
Business Basics
Legal Ease
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News July 2013 - Intro
Avionics News July 2013 - Cover1
Avionics News July 2013 - Cover2
Avionics News July 2013 - 1
Avionics News July 2013 - 2
Avionics News July 2013 - 3
Avionics News July 2013 - Point of Communication
Avionics News July 2013 - 5
Avionics News July 2013 - AEA Now
Avionics News July 2013 - 7
Avionics News July 2013 - 8
Avionics News July 2013 - 9
Avionics News July 2013 - 10
Avionics News July 2013 - 11
Avionics News July 2013 - 12
Avionics News July 2013 - 13
Avionics News July 2013 - The View from Washington
Avionics News July 2013 - 15
Avionics News July 2013 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News July 2013 - 17
Avionics News July 2013 - 18
Avionics News July 2013 - 19
Avionics News July 2013 - Panel Power for Budget Flying
Avionics News July 2013 - 21
Avionics News July 2013 - 22
Avionics News July 2013 - 23
Avionics News July 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2013 - 25
Avionics News July 2013 - 26
Avionics News July 2013 - 27
Avionics News July 2013 - ADS-B Countdown
Avionics News July 2013 - 29
Avionics News July 2013 - 30
Avionics News July 2013 - 31
Avionics News July 2013 - Onboard Traffic Systems
Avionics News July 2013 - 33
Avionics News July 2013 - 34
Avionics News July 2013 - 35
Avionics News July 2013 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News July 2013 - 37
Avionics News July 2013 - The ELT Mess
Avionics News July 2013 - 39
Avionics News July 2013 - 40
Avionics News July 2013 - 41
Avionics News July 2013 - 42
Avionics News July 2013 - 43
Avionics News July 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2013 - 45
Avionics News July 2013 - 46
Avionics News July 2013 - 47
Avionics News July 2013 - iPads in Maintenance
Avionics News July 2013 - 49
Avionics News July 2013 - 50
Avionics News July 2013 - 51
Avionics News July 2013 - 52
Avionics News July 2013 - Before & After
Avionics News July 2013 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News July 2013 - 55
Avionics News July 2013 - 56
Avionics News July 2013 - 57
Avionics News July 2013 - Growing Your Market
Avionics News July 2013 - 59
Avionics News July 2013 - 60
Avionics News July 2013 - 61
Avionics News July 2013 - Avionics News Through the Years
Avionics News July 2013 - 63
Avionics News July 2013 - FAA Fact Sheet on General Aviation Safety
Avionics News July 2013 - 65
Avionics News July 2013 - 66
Avionics News July 2013 - 67
Avionics News July 2013 - 68
Avionics News July 2013 - 69
Avionics News July 2013 - AEAviators
Avionics News July 2013 - 71
Avionics News July 2013 - 'Smart and Cost-Friendly'
Avionics News July 2013 - 73
Avionics News July 2013 - Business Basics
Avionics News July 2013 - 75
Avionics News July 2013 - 76
Avionics News July 2013 - 77
Avionics News July 2013 - Legal Ease
Avionics News July 2013 - 79
Avionics News July 2013 - 80
Avionics News July 2013 - 81
Avionics News July 2013 - What's New
Avionics News July 2013 - 83
Avionics News July 2013 - 84
Avionics News July 2013 - 85
Avionics News July 2013 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News July 2013 - 87
Avionics News July 2013 - 88
Avionics News July 2013 - Cover3
Avionics News July 2013 - Cover4
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