Repair Stations: is the Ides of March or is the FAA in the midst of a Part 145 sweep?
Random Actions precipitated by Ides of March
Or conscious FAA campaign to enforce Part 145
The FAA is moving towards a kinder, gentler Enforcement Policy; emphasizing compliance and reducing the significance of punishment. As John Duncan explained early in this transition:
“Over the past three decades, the organization has changed dramatically as it adopted and adapted to new technology, Duncan said. Yet the culture stayed the same. That culture reinforced the thinking that inspectors should “know everything about everything,” he said, but added, “That’s a failed concept.”
It was expected that the movement to the new regime would take time and that the field might resist this change in their job description. Further, there have seen a few actions which did not seem to fit the new more understanding profile.
Below is the 3rd major FAA action against a Part 145 entity in March. Is this a pattern of reverting to the old Penalization days or just the random fate of the Ides of March?
[ History of March 15: it was the date for a number of significant religious observances. In Roman business practices it became a date on which creditors demanded payments on debts. Then in 44 BC, it bumped up in historical significance when Julius Caesar was assassinated. The Emperor was stabbed to death at a meeting of the Senate, led by Brutus and Cassius.]
The most recent FAA Part 145 action a revocation:
…FAA has issued an Emergency Order of Revocation against Aviation Technologies, of San Antonio, Texas, for falsifying maintenance records. The FAA alleges that between July 2015 and October 2017, a non-certified individual who was not an employee of Aviation Technologies performed work on a variety of aircraft parts. This person then contacted Aviation Technologies to provide paperwork certifying that the work was completed in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations. During an investigation, FAA inspectors determined that Aviation Technologies issued documents stating that it had performed maintenance on approximately 89 aircraft parts, even though the company had never seen, inspected or observed the alleged maintenance performed on those parts. The FAA further alleges that the parts were sold for installation on transport category civil and foreign aircraft, creating potentially unsafe conditions. The parts included control surfaces, thrust reverser components and other safety critical components. The FAA worked with Aviation Technologies to have all of the parts recalled.
The FAA press release indicates that Aviation Technologies has surrendered its certificate. However, there is NO INDICATION on its website that its Part 145 certificate.
Is this a pattern of FAA putting the Part 145 sector under scrutiny?
Paperwork, data and other details are common to all three cases. It is not clear whether there have been meetings between the FAA and the certificate holders about what would be in compliance? Have there been differing opinions as to what the FARs require and the absence of any resolution forced the Revocations?
- the Ides of March cast its magical marking on these Repair Stations
- there are three Part 145s with significant problems
- the FAA may be reducing its enthusiasm for the new Compliance postures
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