Avionics News July 2019 - 17

There are three fundamental events in the history of repair
stations: the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938; the Department of
Transportation Act of 1966 (and the fundamental establishment
of the FAA along with the codification of the Federal Aviation
Regulations); and the FAA Part 145 rulemaking in 1999.

note that in the June 15, 1954, revision to CAR 52 (realizing
they were the regulations from 1938 until 1967), the revision
states: "It is also the intent in this revision to place a greater
degree of responsibility for the operation and performance of
the repair stations on management as a consequence of the additional privileges granted the certificate holder." This reminds me
of an old adage from Alphonse Karr: "The more things change,
they more they stay the same." I think most of the modern
rulemaking efforts could, and often do, start with very similar
language linking responsibility with privileges.
CAR 52 provides insight into two critical elements of the
modern repair station: What is the scope of an airframe rating,
and what is the origin and intent of contract maintenance?
The original regulation defined airframe to mean "any and all
kinds of fuselages, booms, nacelles, cowlings, fairings, empennages, airfoil surfaces, and landing gear, and all parts, accessories, or controls, of whatever description, appertaining thereto,
but not including powerplants and propellers." In essence, with
respect to repair stations, an airframe rating was actually an aircraft rating minus the two other type certificated products (powerplants and propellers). That is unlike the modern definition,
which I don't find to be as clear, where airframe means "the
fuselage, booms, nacelles, cowlings, fairings, airfoil surfaces
(including rotors but excluding propellers and rotating airfoils
of engines), and landing gear of an aircraft and their accessories and controls." In the modern regulation, the definition of
airframe applies to all FAR parts, while the definition contained
within CAR 52 was only applicable to the scope of a repair station's airframe rating.
Note that in the 1967 transition from the Civil Air
Regulations to the Federal Aviation Regulations, the FAA
reduced the number of regulatory definitions by nearly twothirds and consolidated them into Part 1. In the process, it
deleted some very important descriptive language applicable for repair stations and maintenance.

The second critical element is surrounding the history of contract maintenance and how the current conversation is about this
"new" privilege of repair stations whose origin is over 80 years
old. Yes, contract maintenance has been available to repair stations in the oldest CAR 52 regulations that I have been able to
review, while it was significantly changed in the 1999 Part 145
rulemaking.
When reviewing the Civil Aeronautics Manual 52, the historical equivalent of the modern advisory circular, section 52.30
titled "Equipment and materials; general," stated that "An applicant for a repair station certificate shall have such equipment
and materials as are necessary for the competent and efficient
performance of the functions appropriate to the rating or ratings
sought." Further, sections 52.31 to 52.35 contained limited relief
of the equipment requirement by including the following exception: "An asterisk (*) indicates that the applicant need not have
equipment and materials for this function, provided he contracts
that particular function to a competent agency having such
equipment and materials."
Some of those items that were listed with an asterisk for a
radio rating included:
* Paint and refinish equipment containers.
* Accomplish appropriate methods of marking calibrations, or other information on ration control panels and
other components, as required.
* Fabricate tuning shaft assemblies, brackets, cable assemblies, and other similar components used in radio or
aircraft radio installations.
* Test radio instruments.
There are two interesting parts to these regulations. First, you
were only allowed to contract with "competent agencies," that
is, only contract to other certificated repair stations (agencies).
And second, the ability to contract a function was limited to
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Avionics News July 2019

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