Avionics News January 2018 - 16

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Continued from page 15

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
United States

Legal interpretation of the term
'current' in 14 CFR §§ 43.13(a)
and 145.109(d)
The following information is from a Federal Aviation
Administration legal interpretation dated Oct. 25, 2017.

QUESTION:

One applicant requested from the FAA a clarification of the word "current" as applicable to 14 CFR §§
145.109 and 43.13.

ANSWER:

The following is extracted from the legal interpretation. The readers are encouraged to read the letter of
request and the FAA's response in its entirety before
changing their procedures.
Before we (FAA) address your company's specific
questions, we (FAA) believe three of your stated
conclusions that you based on our two interpretations
(referenced above) warrant clarification.
Conclusion 1: 	A previous version of a component
maintenance manual can be considered "current"
unless the FAA has invalidated it by rule or can otherwise show that it was not acceptable.
FAA Clarification: First, it is important to distinguish between an aircraft owner or operator selecting
an inspection program for current and future inspections of that aircraft, and maintenance to be performed
on it using a maintenance manual. As you correctly
noted, our 2008 interpretation, quoting a dictionary,
stated that "the adjective 'current' means belonging to
the present time." Accordingly, a previous version of a
manual is no longer "current," though, depending on
the circumstances, it may be acceptable to use.
The 2008 interpretation addressed the requirement
in § 9I.409(t)(3) that provided an aircraft owner or
operator the option to select as the inspection pro-

16

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january

2018

gram for the aircraft "a current inspection program
recommended by the manufacturer." That inspection
program (current at that moment in time) would be a
program acceptable to the FAA for future inspections
of the aircraft to which it applied unless some part of it
was deemed unacceptable because of changes required
by an airworthiness directive or some other FAA rule.
If the manufacturer later made revisions to the program, the originally-selected program would no longer
be the manufacturer's "current" inspection program
as of that later date, but it would remain an acceptable
inspection program for the owner or operator who had
selected it because it was current at the time of selection, as required by the regulation. The later revised
inspection program would, however, be the "current"
inspection program for an owner or operator who
selected it at that later point in time.
Conclusion 2:	 In the context of § 43.13(a), "current" does not necessarily mean "the latest" or "the
most current version" of a manufacturer's maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness of an article.
FAA Clarification: Your conclusion is incorrect.
As explained below in answer to your specific
question, the word "current" in § 43.13(a) means just
what the dictionary says it does, i.e., "belonging to
the present time" - in other words, the latest version
of the manufacturer's maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness in effect at the
point in time of use. None of our legal interpretations
attempted to redefine the meaning of current - they
only explained its application in the particular regulation at issue. Section 43.13(a) provides the option
of using "other methods, techniques, and practices
acceptable to the administrator" in lieu of those provided by the manufacturer.
Conclusion 3: 	As explained in your memorandum
of Dec. 5, 2008, the manufacturers should not unilaterally issue changes to their recommended maintenance
and inspection programs that could impose financial
and/or other burdens to the owner or operators of an
aircraft without running afoul of the APA.
FAA Clarification: Your conclusion is incorrect,
as it appears to be based on an incomplete reading



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News January 2018

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Avionics News January 2018 - Intro
Avionics News January 2018 - No label
Avionics News January 2018 - Cover2
Avionics News January 2018 - 1
Avionics News January 2018 - 2
Avionics News January 2018 - 3
Avionics News January 2018 - 4
Avionics News January 2018 - 5
Avionics News January 2018 - 6
Avionics News January 2018 - 7
Avionics News January 2018 - 8
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Avionics News January 2018 - 17
Avionics News January 2018 - 18
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Avionics News January 2018 - 20
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Avionics News January 2018 - Cover3
Avionics News January 2018 - Cover4
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