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Aircraft Parts, aviation, Continued Operational Safety, Manufacturing, PMA

Who Can Support This Configuration?

A number of people have shared with us different incorrect statements made by large manufacturers to the disadvantage of the PMA community. These anecdotes ultimately lead MARPA to the complaint letter we filed with CFM last year.

I witnessed another inaccurate statement at the AIC Aero-Engine meeting on March 4th.  But this time, industry was able to ask the right questions and expose the rhetoric for what it was!

The speaker presented a slide featuring a cut-away view of an engine, and positing that OEM parts, two different sets of PMAs parts, and a change to type design pursuant to an STC could all be found in the one engine. The caption at the bottom professed that “No one has the data to support this configuration.”  The speaker explained that the point of the slide is that no one is able to support this configuration because no one has the data to support the configuration.

But when I asked about the practice of configuration control exercised generally by air carriers, the speaker admitted that his statement was inaccurate.  What he really meant, he explained, was that no manufacturer had the data for this particular configuration; but he admitted that the air carriers  that flew the configuration woul dhave the data to support it.

An air carrier in the audience confirmed that they review all PMAs and STCs before implementation for configuration control purposes, and that their engineering departments have the data to support any configuration chosen by the air carrier before that configuration is implemented.

The same air carrier representative also noted that he had approached PMA companies for engineering support and found the PMA companies to be highly responsive and supportive.

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About Jason Dickstein

Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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