Aviation Safety: FAA Oversight of Repair Stations Needs Improvement

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DIANE Publishing, Jun 1, 1997 - 91 pages
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U.S. airlines and air cargo companies operate more than 6,700 aircraft. Nearly half of the work of maintaining, repairing and renovating this fleet is done by about 2,800 independent repair stations rather than the air carriers themselves. Examines the FAA's oversight of the aviation repair station industry. This report addresses these questions: (1) What is the nature and scope of the oversight of repair stations conducted by FAA personnel? (2) How well does FAA follow up on inspections to ensure that identified deficiencies in repair station operations are corrected? (3) What steps has FAA taken to improve the oversight of repair stations? Charts and tables.

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Page 16 - ... alters only a particular type of airframe, powerplant, propeller, radio, instrument, or accessory, or parts thereof, or performs only specialized maintenance requiring equipment and skills not ordinarily found in regular repair stations. Such a rating may be limited to a specific model aircraft, engine, or constituent part, or to any number of parts made by a particular manufacturer. (b) Limited ratings are issued for — (1...
Page 1 - Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Aviation Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation United States Senate The Honorable Bud Shuster Chairman The Honorable James L.
Page 77 - Because we used a sample (called a probability sample) to develop our estimates, each estimate has a measurable precision, or sampling error, that may be expressed as a plus/minus figure. A sampling error indicates how closely we can reproduce from a sample the results that we would obtain if we were to take a complete count of the universe using the same measurement methods. By adding the sampling error to and subtracting it from the estimate, upper and lower bounds for each estimate were developed....
Page 1 - As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the date of this letter.
Page 78 - ... answer our survey. In other cases, the respondent knew most of the answers without consulting records. The pretest attempted to simulate the actual survey experience by asking the official to fill out the survey while GAO staff observed and took notes. Then the official was interviewed about the survey items to ensure that (1) the questions were readable and clear, (2) terms were precise, (3) the survey was not a burden that would result in a lack of cooperation, and (4) the survey appeared independent...
Page 46 - ... equipped to perform the functions listed in Appendix A to this, part that are appropriate for the rating he seeks. (b) The equipment and materials required by this part must be of such type that the work for which they are being used can be done competently and efficiently. The station shall ensure that all inspection and test equipment is tested at regular intervals to ensure correct calibration to a standard derived from the National Bureau of Standards or to a standard provided by the equipment...
Page 59 - FAA monitor the implementation of the strategy to improve data quality to ensure that the data used in SPAS are reliable when the system is fully implemented in 1999.
Page 8 - We recommended that FAA expand the use of locally based teams for repair station inspections, particularly for repair stations that are large, complex, have higher rates of noncompliance, or meet predetermined risk indicators.
Page 4 - We could not find sufficient documentation to determine how well FAA followed up to ensure that the deficiencies found during the inspections were corrected.
Page 4 - However, the revision of the regulations began in 1989 and has been repeatedly delayed. The third effort is the addition of more FAA inspectors, which should mean that more resources can be devoted to inspecting repair stations.

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