Avionics News September 2019 - 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

Professionalism
I

n a recent article in an aviation journal regarding FAAcertified mechanics, the author, a renowned pilot who
also holds a mechanic certificate, focused on the lack of
oversight and what a mechanic could get away with. The article
emphasized common perceptions and what the author perceives
to take place when no one is watching. Fortunately, while the
authorities have a very distinctive role in aviation safety, the
professionalism of the maintenance industry (as well as every
other sector of the industry) is truly the core of aviation safety,
not the implied oversight.
While this month started with the less-than-professional
article about my chosen profession, as the days progressed, I
found myself at AirVenture Oshkosh discussing the upcoming
Part 43 regulatory change being proposed in Australia with
one of our AEA member companies. And then to bookend
the month, I had a discussion with the new owner of my
automobile maintenance shop where he highlighted the value
of professionalism to his business.
Bringing a month of conversations together, this month's
column is about the professionalism of aviation maintenance,
including avionics, of course.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines professionalism
as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a
profession or a professional person."
People forget that the aviation regulations are all based on
industry best practices, mostly dating back to the 1920s and
1930s, but nonetheless, they originated with industry. If you
consider the basic definition - how we conduct our work
- 14 CFR Part 43 captures it well: "He shall use the tools,
equipment and test apparatus necessary to assure completion of
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september

2019

the work in accordance with accepted industry practices."
Understanding the regulations is a key element in defining
industry best practices and how we conduct our business; what
our aims are; and the qualities we expect of ourselves and our
employees. Quite often, individuals will focus on the regulatory
ability of a certificated mechanic to work on anything from
a Piper Cub to the latest Boeing 787. Well, that is correct;
the regulations do allow a certificated mechanic to perform
maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations of an
aircraft or appliance, or a part thereof, for which they are rated.
This is what the pilot/author focused on in his unprofessional
article. But he missed, as well as most people who anecdotally
look at this, the rest of the story.
You cannot look at the regulations independent of the
other regulations. They are pieces of a puzzle that require
an understanding of all the pieces in order to see the
whole picture. You cannot understand Part 43 without also
understanding Part 65. You cannot understand section 43.3
without also understanding section 43.7.
The regulation (14 CFR 43.3 (b)) does allow that the "holder
of a mechanic certificate may perform maintenance, preventive
maintenance and alterations." However, if you read the whole
paragraph, you see that additional language of "as provided in
Part 65 of this chapter" is included.
The first item often missed is that 14 CFR 43.3 only
addresses "persons authorized to perform maintenance," and
it does not allow return to service. The regulation addressing
return to service is 14 CFR 43.7. Section 43.7 (b) does allow
that a "holder of a mechanic certificate or an inspection
authorization may approve an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine,



Avionics News September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2019

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Avionics News September 2019 - No label
Avionics News September 2019 - Cover1
Avionics News September 2019 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2019 - 1
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