For those of you who read my blog below, this is a major
update, and indeed a reversal of the position I posited in the blog. It is
based on information that was forwarded to me from an FAA Employee of AFS-340.
Before I share that, you need to know who AFS-340 is. They are an FAA
Headquarters branch of the Aircraft Maintenance Division; The Repair Station
Branch. According to their web site:
“The Repair Station Branch is the principal element in the
division for all repair station maintenance related to technical training,
regulations, policies, and procedures, including development of certification,
inspection, and surveillance policy.”
With those power credentials established, I’ll share the
‘I researched our
historical files and found a similar question asked in October 2013. The
answered provided by AFS-300 is below:
“Title 14 CFR section
43.1, does not prohibit an FAA Certificated Repair Station, if it elects to
issue FAA Form 8130-3 and Form 337, Return to Service paperwork, for parts and
articles intended for military use. It would be acceptable if an FAA
Certificated Repair Station selects to issue the respective forms. In view of
that, no Certificated Repair Station should be considered in violation of 14
CFR section 43.1 when it elects to issue the above documents for products
intended for military use.”
There is nothing
prohibiting the use of Form 8130-3 for product or articles being maintained
outside the applicability in Part 43.’
With that, it is now clear that a 145 repair station
working on military articles may if they choose, issue an 8130-3 (with their
repair station number as is required) for those parts.
Frankly, my head still spins from the questions posed by the
original blog, but in numerous conversations I have had with FSDO employees,
the answer I consistently get is that the military maintenance being performed
by repair stations is outside their purview or jurisdiction, so the activities
you perform on military parts won’t get surveilled even if you do exercise your repair station certificate number on
On the other hand:
At the end of the maintenance process we are, after all,
talking about an airworthy part, so why not, in the pursuit of standardization,
use a single document to attest to the part’s airworthiness, military or
civilian? That does appeal to me.
Finally, I’m not aware of anyone who is 100% comfortable
with the practice, but at the end of the day the customer will enjoy the
simplicity of a single airworthiness document for both military and civilian
Your comments are welcomed.
Over ‘n out.
Roy “Royboy” Resto
The original blog follows:
By Roy Resto
A distributor recently asked my opinion about an 8130-3
which appeared odd. The more I got into it, the more I saw evidence of activity
which gives its misinformed practitioners an apparently unfair competitive advantage over those who do the right
thing. What’s the practice? Repair Stations issuing 8130-3’s for military
parts. I recently saw examples from four different Repair Stations, in
different parts of the country, with different FAA FSDO’s. Leaving names out,
I’ll summarize the details of these tags:
1) A properly filled out 8130-3 using the current form with
the Repair Station exercising their certificate number as required…except the
part goes on an F-16 and is not a ‘dual use’ part.
2) An 8130-3 recently issued, but it was the superceded
form. They used a CAGE code where the certificate number belongs and…yes, it
too was not a dual use part.
3) A form identical in every way and block to an 8130-3, but
it did not say FAA FORM 8130-3 in block 2, it did say ‘8130-3’ at the bottom
left, just no reference to FAA.
4) Another form identical in every way to an 8130-3, but in
block 2 it said “Military 8130-3”. Again no reference to ‘FAA’
What’s going on here?
In speaking with the repair stations involved, I was
surprised at the lack of uniformity in their beliefs supporting their
practices, prompting me to champion this prose.
In this blog I need to address the following:
“Dual Use” parts
The intent of the 8130-3
Repair Station Capability Lists
The unfair competitive advantage and possible
DUAL USE PARTS:
From FAA Order 8900.1:
Products/Articles. A dual-use product/article is one that a PAH manufactures
for civil application, the FAA authorizes, and is procured under a U.S.
military contract. A dual-use product/article has the identical Part Number
(P/N) and configuration as its civil counterpart and is manufactured using the
same FAA‑approved design and
There are many dual use aircraft parts. In avionics for
example, you’ll find many. For instance, a common VHF (shark fin) antenna; most
are TSO products, and the same part number/TSOA combination part might be found
on a military or commercial aircraft. An 8130-3 issued for such parts is quite
With that said, perhaps we should establish the intended use
of the 8130-3.
THE INTENT OF THE
From paragraph 2-1 of FAA Order 8130.21H:
FAA Form 8130-3 is the preferred method for documenting the approval of
products and articles considered approved by the FAA.
Except as provided in paragraphs 2-2 (Conformity Inspections) and 2-6 (Prepositioned Products and
Articles) of this order, products and
articles not produced under an FAA production approval are not eligible to
receive an FAA Form 8130-3.
It should be clear then, that military parts, unless they
are produced under an FAA production approval (i.e. PC/TC, TSOA, or PMA), ‘…are not eligible to receive an FAA Form
Many Repair Stations that work on both commercial and
military parts keep dual capabilities lists. One that is required by 145.215
for the civilian/commercial/dual-use parts, and another used for detailing the
Military part numbers it works on; the latter used mostly as an administrative
and marketing tool. Now let’s review this important FAR regarding exercising of
a Repair Station’s FAA certificate:
From FAR 145.201 titled ‘Privileges and Limitations of
A certificated repair station may not approve for return to service'
(1) Any article unless the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or
alteration was performed in accordance with the applicable approved technical
data or data acceptable to the FAA.
Here’s where we wrap
together all the aforementioned definitions and FAR’s. Military parts (except
dual-use) are not produced under an FAA Production Approval, and therefor any
manual used to repair those parts is not approved technical data or data acceptable
to the FAA. Because of this it is highly unlikely the FAA would let you place a
military part on the Capability List required by FAR 145.215, and further, that
you can’t exercise your repair station certificate as shown by FAR 145.201 when
returning those military parts to service. It should also be clear that
according to FAA Order 8130.21, you cannot issue an FAA Form 8130-3.
Hmmm, for military parts, repair stations issuing FAA Form
8130-3’s with their certificate number on them, for parts not on their FAR
145.215 capabilities list, should
reconsider their practices.
In the civilian world, FAA Accepted manuals used to repair
and overhaul parts are generally called CMM’s, Component Maintenance Manuals,
and many are formatted according to ATA chapters. In the military world,
maintenance manuals may have varying names depending on which service owns the
aircraft. For example, Air Force manuals are called TO’s: Technical Orders. Generally, if you see an FAA 8130-3 and
the Remarks block cites a TO (instead of a CMM) as the data used to perform the
maintenance, that’s the first clue that the repair station may have crossed the
lines previously expressed. For a very popular military aircraft flown by many
nations of the world however, there may be a mitigating factor for the Lockheed
C-130. This aircraft was later Type Certificated by the FAA as the L100 series,
and flown by many civilian cargo operators. Lockheed maintains a controlled
document called the Component Overhaul Manual SMP-850. SMP-850 lists the
manuals used to repair and overhaul the type certificated L100 series, and yes,
it lists TO’s as FAA Accepted data. In this regard:
Repair Stations citing a TO in the Remarks
section of 8130-3’s, and whom claim it is a dual use, should also cite the
SMP-850 as the controlling document to establish the fact.
Since the repair station is claiming dual use,
FAA FSDO’s should ask to see the controlled copy of the Lockheed SMP-850.
Beware that there seems to be some uncontrolled
copies of SMP-850 floating around. I’m sure Lockheed Martin considers their
document to be IP (Intellectual Property).
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:
Most repair stations that perform maintenance on both
military and civilian parts are aware of the aforementioned FAR’s, Orders, and
definitions and are careful not to cross the line (by not issuing FAA
8130-3’s). They feel however, that competing repair stations which appear to
cross the line by issuing 8130-3’s places them at an unfair competitive
advantage. Let’s examine the environment which may be contributing to this
state of affairs.
Many contracts for the maintenance of military
parts require as a condition for the award, that the service provider be an FAA
repair station. This, not because the service provider is working on civilian
parts, but due to the reasonable expectation that the service provider has a verifiable
quality system with oversight, which will extend to the service contracted for.
Unfortunately, among quite a few of the firms writing the contracts, there is
the belief that since the service provider is an FAA repair station, that the
parts will be tagged with FAA 8130-3’s (again for non, dual use parts) and the
subsequent contract requires it. What do you do?
One repair station correctly responds they can
perform as contracted except not provide the FAA 8130-3. The airworthiness
release will be on some variation of a Military C of C
Another repair station responds they can perform
as contracted including the 8130-3.
Who gets the contract?
There seems to be the belief among some repair
stations that if they only omit their repair station certificate number from
the 8130-3, that it’s OK to use it. If so, please re-read the Order 8130.21
The world over, people refer the FAA Form
8130-3, generically just as 8130-3. If you take an FAA Form 8130-3 and remove
the “FAA” from it, and call it an 8130-3 in the header or footer, or “Military
8130-3”, is that a deliberate attempt to
mislead possibly uninformed customers who otherwise rely on the expertise of
the certificated repair station for proper documentation? I would hope it’s
not a deliberate attempt to mislead.
- If you desire to have an airworthiness release form
that functionally mirrors the 8130-3 block for block, that’s OK. Just remove
all references to 8130-3 or FAA. I’d also recommend removing the CFR language
from block 14a.
- Don’t use your repair station certificate on the
form. Your CAGE code is OK and a common practice.
Finally, since we are talking about military
parts, this is technically out of the ‘jurisdiction’ of the FAA, so it is
likely they don’t surveil the activities of their repair stations regarding
those military practices, but…when you start using 8130-3 on your forms, maybe
that jurisdiction line has been crossed.
Your comments are welcomed.
Over ‘n out.
Roy “Royboy” Resto