CAVU Café: Royboy’s Prose & Cons

*Note: The views expressed in CAVU Café: Royboy’s Prose & Cons blog are those solely of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the Aviation Suppliers Association or the Association’s staff, members, or Board of Directors.

   About Roy Resto


Some documents, as Rodney Dangerfield might say, ‘’’…get no respect.” That is of course, until the mud hits the fan. So it is with the supposedly lowly tear-down report. Day in and day out we routinely check for the presence of these documents, checkoff a box on our receiving checklist, then add them to the scan/file pile. Done. There are situations however, when those reports are going to demand a lot of attention, which is the focus of this blog.

Tear-down reports may go by many names such as ‘Work Shop Reports’, ‘Shop Findings’, and ‘Work Order’, among others. Essentially they are a summary of the work performed, parts replaced, the reason those parts were replaced, and other pertinent data. Generally the regulations of the respective country’s Civil Aviation Authority require such information be recorded when aircraft components are being repaired and overhauled. The tear-down report accompanies the Airworthiness Release Certificate such as an EASA Form 1 or FAA 8130-3.

Many times preliminary tear-down reports are created in order to facilitate the customer quoting process. For example, a maintenance shop receives a component for overhaul but first the customer wants a quote of what the price will be before authorizing the commencement of work.

In this blog we’ll review the following:

1) Reliability: Identifying trends in failed parts

2) Establishing warranty claims

3) Does the stated work and parts replaced align with the price charged?

Sidebar Fun Fact: Rodney Dangerfield, whose name at birth was Jacob Cohen, took on his stage name based on a cowboy character in a Jack Benny radio show. 

Reliability: Identifying trends in failed parts

I recently attended the AMC/AEEC (Avionics Maintenance Conference/Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee) Conference; more on them later1. The AMC for many years has been a platform for airlines to collectively express their concerns with certain Avionics systems and components. Their questions and concerns are submitted ahead of the conference so as to give the respective OEM and/or airframer the opportunity to respond during the conference. The entire process is quite orderly and organized, and typically well researched. I estimated there were about 600 attendees from around the world made up mostly of Avionics Engineers, Customer Support Representatives, and Avionics Maintenance Managers, among others.

What follows is a classic use of tear-down reports which were analyzed in order to address reliability problems. This is a redacted posting from one of the discussion items:

“An analysis of 124 landing light assemblies’ teardown reports was accomplished over the period xx/xx/xx to xx/xx/xx with the top issues reported as lens cracked/broken (77%), wire harness cracked/broken (77%), and lamp harness open (61%). (Airline) xxx and (OEM) xxx reviewed a corrective action plan to improve the lamp harness with a service loop (bulletin). (Airline) xxx has just implemented this so it’s too early see if this action will correct the harness issues.”

When component removal rates within an ATA chapter exceed a specified threshold, alerts are generated and issued to the airline maintenance organization. Investigative actions typically include analysis of tear-down reports as just illustrated.

Establishing warranty claims

Warranties for components that have undergone maintenance typically extend to the work performed and the parts replaced at the last visit. When there is a premature removal from the aircraft, the question arises by the operator if the part is under warranty, and if so, to return the part for a warranty claim to the maintenance shop. The maintenance shop will have to analyze two questions to establish whether they will honor a warranty claim:

  •         Did the removal occur during the covered period of the warranty?
  •         Did something fail that was ‘covered’ (previous task performed, previous parts replaced)?

Enter the Tear-down report. A simple example: The part was removed from the aircraft after 2 months since the last shop visit. At the last shop visit the failure was confirmed by the removal and replacement of transistor Q1. The unit passed all subsequent tests and was returned to service. This time however, the failure is confirmed by the removal and replacement of transistor Q2, which was not touched the last time since it was working just fine. Will the warranty be honored? To be clear, I don’t wish to get into a side discussion about warranties, but it should be evident that referring to the details contained in tear-down reports help establish grounds for warranty claims.

Does the stated work and parts replaced align with the price charged?

You just charged your customer a hefty price for an overhaul. You can expect that tear-down report to receive quite a bit of attention. Hopefully the work performed and parts replaced align with the price you charged or you can expect an ear-full.

Irresistible sidebar: Rodney Dangerfield famous one-liners:

"I bought a new Japanese car. I turned on the radio... I don't understand a word they're saying."

"I bought a perfect second car... a tow truck."

"What a dog I got, he found out we look alike, so he killed himself."

"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them."

"I looked up my family tree and found three dogs using it."

"With my old man I got no respect. I asked him, 'How can I get my kite in the air?' He told me to run off a cliff."



1AMC/AEEC background: From their respective ARINC website:

·     About AMC: The AMC is an air transport industry activity organized by ARINC Industry Activities. The objectives of AMC are to promote reliability and reduced operating cost in air transport avionics by improving maintenance and support techniques through the exchange of technical information.  AMC consists of representatives from the technical leadership of the air transport avionics maintenance community. The voting membership of AMC consists of the representatives of commercial air transport operators.

·        About AEEC: The Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) creates value for airlines and the aviation industry by developing engineering standards and technical solutions for avionics, networks, and cabin systems that foster increased efficiency and reduced life cycle costs for the aviation community.

It’s been my experience that these groups over the years have quietly, continuously, and collaboratively made significant contributions to increased reliability, standardization, and safety.

Over ‘n out

Roy ‘Royboy’ Resto

Posted By Roy Resto | 6/6/2017 12:17:36 PM

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