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Hi Kurt,

 

The FAA disagrees with you and Tom,

Call them and they can site the reg for you. I'm still out of town. Give them a call tomorrow and ask and I'm sure they will quote the reg.

 

They told me when I challenged them on this that if a certified aircraft or an SLSA MFG has a part number assigned you MUST get it from them because sometimes they do additional testing and quality control you know nothing about. As a matter of fact they used the Timken bearing example. They were very adamant about their stance. They did admit that if you used the same bearing from another supplier and logged the same part number there was no way to trace it as you are not required to keep receipts.

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We have these discussions quite often and they always seem to come down to what the FAA regulates and what it has given over to the ASTM in creating Light Sport which allows manufacturers to drop the TSO requirements.

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I'm still out of country and have already called on this once. Someone else give them a call they will be able to quote chapter and verse. It would be better if another person came on here and said they called and post up the info. There are many places in the rules/regs that have sentences that tell you to look else where or SLSA is different. Some times you can't stop reading just when you find what you think you are looking for because at the end of the rule/reg it says something about SLSA. That used to trip me up, now I read to the end.

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Hi Kurt,

 

The FAA disagrees with you and Tom,

Call them and they can site the reg for you. I'm still out of town. Give them a call tomorrow and ask and I'm sure they will quote the reg.

 

They told me when I challenged them on this that if a certified aircraft or an SLSA MFG has a part number assigned you MUST get it from them because sometimes they do additional testing and quality control you know nothing about. As a matter of fact they used the Timken bearing example. They were very adamant about their stance. They did admit that if you used the same bearing from another supplier and logged the same part number there was no way to trace it as you are not required to keep receipts.

 

Roger, I don't know how the FAA could disagree with me ,because my information also came from the FAA. Like I said it all depends on how the description is worded in the parts catalog. That is why you can't replace the bearing on the Cessna, but can on the Piper.

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I think the answer to some of this is found in 91.327 (5) & (6). Which both reference the "current consensus standard" and authorization by the manufacturer.

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Once it is assigned a part number by FD your are technically locked in to get it from them because the parts manual doesn't say "or other similar part or identical part from other supplier". The lack of langauge in the manuals puts you back in the default reg of buying any part assigned a part number from them. I will say that few in the SLSA community follow this including the SLSA MFG's.

 

Did anyone call them yet?

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So point to the requirement if you think it so.

 

14 CFR 91.327 b. No person may operate an aircaft that has a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category unless-

 

(5) Each alteration accomplished after the aircraft's date of manufacture meets the applicable and current consensus standard and has been authorized by either the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;

(6) Each major alteration to an aircraft product produced under a consensus standard is authorized, performed and inspected in accordance with maintenance and inspection procedures developed by the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;

 

So, I read this as, for example, if you change brands of tire, you need to (1) make sure the tire meets ASTM consensus standards and (2) make sure the change has been authorized by the manufacturer.

 

I included the next section (6) on major alterations because I think that a change in tire brand is an alteration and not a major one since a change in tire brand does not require a maintenance or inspection procedure as indicated.

 

I basically agree with Mr. Grant since he references the same sections.

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And I guess we assume that if the LOA is issued the mfg has made certain it fits ASTM consensus standard.

Oh, and Doug will do. Mr. Grant seems too formal. :)

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The lack of language does not create a regulatory requirement; that is never the case. Somewhere in the AOI, or the Maint manual, FD would have to state that parts must be sourced exclusively through them. What they do say in 1.7 of the CTSW MM is: Spare parts can be ordered from Flight Design...

 

In any case, the tires are a bad example because they are listed as disposable parts and those are specifically not required to be sourced from the OEM in the ASTM consensus standard which is ASTM F2483.05 in case you were wondering. As an aside, all you people using Desser retreads and such, that is indeed illegal. Only BFgoodrich, Sava (2 types) or Air-TRAC tires for the Tundra are specified in the FD MM.

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This is why I can't stand government regulations. We have three different standards (Part 23, SLSA, and ELSA) that all have varying degrees of relevance, depending on the *exact* circumstances of the maintenance or operation in question. It's a clusterf*ck that leaves owners and operators scratching their collective heads. Even on forums like this where we have relative experts on every aspect of this, we can't agree because the regs are not easily understood.

 

There is a legal doctrine that says that laws that cannot be understood by a reasonable person have no force or effect because they by definition cannot be obeyed. I'm not suggesting that anybody not follow the regs to the best of their ability, but SHEESH.

 

Okay, rant over. ;)

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Most of the regs are there in black and white. You just have to reference more than one section or read the entire section to find the reference that adds, exempts or redirects you about LSA. Most people stop when they find an answer that fits the original question, but you have to read all sub paragraphs and the entire section. On most questions I call the FAA on, which has been many, they always show me the reg that answers the question and many times it wasn't what I read, but farther through the section I was reading.

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Andy, the problem is that the regs are fairly easy to understand but people don't want to follow them so they begin parsing them to death looking for loopholes. It is often the case that regs don't seem to be coherent or make sense. One example is that a Supbart K CFI does not need a medical and can be PIC of an LSA but according to most readings of the reg that I have seen may not act as a safety pilot while you fly your LSA with a view limiting device. Some people seize on this apparent ambiguity to argue that the words of the reg don't apply because they are not coherent.

 

We are people and so are FAA employees. If we ask a branch of the FAA or a FSDO for an opinion, we are getting an opinion.

 

When one gets to a certain stage in the game, the only way to resolve the issue is to ask the Chief Counsel of the FAA for an opinion. The safety pilot question has been working it's way through the FAA for at least two years and I don't know if the Chief Counsel ever got it or if it is still in OK City. In the meantime, we have people swearing that a Supbarpt K CFI with no medical can be safety pilot. And most of the world saying they cannot.

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The point I was trying to make is about parts and part numbers.

C9993184A is a fuel tube DIN 73379, 7.5x13.0. This fuel tube can be replaced by any source that meets the DIN 73379 specification and size 7.5x13.0. KF28000020 is a fuel valve. This part would have to come from Flight Design because there is no spec or manufacturer listed for the valve. Hardware is an other area if it calls out DIN spec size and grade it can be purchased from any source. At least this is the way it is for GA aircraft.

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No, the regs are indeed a confused mess and most people don't digest regulatory legalese very well. And so this topic keeps regurgitating. I did call the LSA branch 2 days ago, spoke at length with Edsel Ford (he is super helpful and nice to speak with, BTW). To be fair to Roger, he did concur that there is a legal requirement to source all non-disposable parts through them. It stems from 14CFR21.190 c2, where the consensus standard in particular is ASTM F2483.05. So FD is supposed to require their numbered parts to be sourced through them. I countered that ASTM is not a public document, is not directly referenced in the FARs, and anyway is only directly applicable to the manufacturer for their cert. of compliance. As Doug pointed out, an owner or mechanic has to presume that FD has complied correctly.

 

For us, the regulatory path is from 91.327 (d) which says I have to follow the OEM's AOI. That it turn, explicitly says I have to follow requirements in their Maintenance manual (and those of Rotax and BRS). So, for instance, the only legal reason I have to pay any attention to ROTAX documents is that The AOI says so and directly sub-references it. Neither the FD AOI nor the FD maintenance manual says anything about having to buy parts directly from them. In legal terms: an owner A&P, or LRSM exercising ordinary due care could not be expected to discover that document and abide by its terms, any more than they are supposed to comb through the FD website or read various blogs to figure out the correct action. Probably, the way the system should work, is FD is supposed to say above their Maint. Manual consumables list something like: "In accordance with ASTM F2483, all parts, except for the disposables below, must be sourced through FD or one of its approved distributors." But they don't, so I believe it is not mandatory based on a strict reading of FAR requirements.

 

With all that, Edsel conceded that I may well be correct and he encouraged me to send this in to Rebecca MacPherson for a legal opinion. He said he did the same thing with Carol Carpenter and she ended up verifying her reading of the regulations as to who can provide training according to the FARs. http://www.johnea.ne... AGC 2 2012.pdf

 

Then he one-upped me. He has a legal interp http://www.johnea.ne...t/MacMillan.pdf on a GA case, that basically severely limits the scope of changes that any OEM can make, outside of the explicit, FAA sanctioned AD process. This carries over to S-LSA since the Safety Directive process (and the lesser service bulletins and alerts) is also not FAA sanctioned. Also, there is not even any process described in the ASTM consensus standards for generating SDs, a long-standing sore point with Edsel. In any case, what it means is that SDs cannot be considered legally mandated as they are currently created as that would be an unauthorized delegation of rulemaking. That is basically the same thing that snagged Rotax when they tried to mandate extra training for A&Ps and to dictate who could do the training in Carol's case.

That's right, the main guy at FAA LSA division has concluded that all Service Directives have no force of law. So it is a mess and I'm happy to be an ELSA. BTW, I did send basically what is above in to Rebecca for an interp., but seems like the typical response time is several months.

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No, the regs are indeed a confused mess and most people don't digest regulatory legalese very well. And so this topic keeps regurgitating. I did call the LSA branch 2 days ago, spoke at length with Edsel Ford (he is super helpful and nice to speak with, BTW).

 

Didn't we (you, me and Tom) have a dinner or something bet on this: ;):lol:

To be fair to Roger, he did concur that there is a legal requirement to source all non-disposable parts through them. It stems from 14CFR21.190 c2, where the consensus standard in particular is ASTM F2483.05. So FD is supposed to require their numbered parts to be sourced through them.

 

 

 

I countered that ASTM is not a public document, is not directly referenced in the FARs, and anyway is only directly applicable to the manufacturer for their cert. of compliance.

 

 

Or you have to do your full research and read and call the FAA and or FD if you don't actually know:

As Doug pointed out, an owner or mechanic has to presume that FD has complied correctly.

 

For us, the regulatory path is from 91.327 (d) which says I have to follow the OEM's AOI. That it turn, explicitly says I have to follow requirements in their Maintenance manual (and those of Rotax and BRS). So, for instance, the only legal reason I have to pay any attention to ROTAX documents is that The AOI says so and directly sub-references it.

 

Could not; Why not you just did like I have and others have. If you don't know call someone who does like you just did.

In legal terms: an owner A&P, or LRSM exercising ordinary due care could not be expected to discover that document and abide by its terms, any more than they are supposed to comb through the FD website or read various blogs to figure out the correct action.

 

You're right unfortunately no one is doing that for us.

Probably, the way the system should work, is FD is supposed to say above their Maint. Manual consumables list something like: "In accordance with ASTM F2483, all parts, except for the disposables below, must be sourced through FD or one of its approved distributors."

 

 

 

I don't ever go on what my interpretation alone because it has been known to be wrong too many times. I always call the experts so I don't have to defend myself later and they don't get to say you should have known or should have called us.

 

But they don't, so I believe it is not mandatory based on a strict reading of FAR requirements.

 

 

 

 

The path to enlightenment or a challenge is only a phone call away now days. :)

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To all,

The Edsel Ford reference to a part 21 rule does not apply here. I am going to go out on a limb and make the assumption that everyone involved in this discussion lives in the part 91 and/or the part 43 world. That is to say, we are either operating a product, or performing maintenance on it. That being said, I would echo a request made earlier. If I cannot procure and use approved parts from whatever source I so choose, site the part 91 or part 43 rule that prohibits me from doing so. Edsel Ford, I may be talking to you.

Bottom line: One cannot alter an SLSA without mfg. approval. However, if I can procure and use approved parts from XYZ parts house (or my neighbor) on a cheaper, and more readily available basis than FD, I WILL do so, and am legally allowed to.

Put yourselves in a position to legitimately say that you have not altered the product. Put yourselves in a position to say that you are in compliance with part 43. Remember, no matter where you get parts, once you perform maintenance, you own the work including the parts associated with it. If you altered the SLSA without approval, you (the operator) are in violation (no matter how insignificant you think the alteration is).

I have said before, read and understand part 91 as it relates to maintenance requirements. Read and understand part 43. Neither one is that long. Forget about part 21. It does not apply when discussing WHERE to procure parts.

 

On safety directives, I disagree that they are not regulatory. This is where part 21 does apply (to manufacturers). They must monitor for, and correct (cause to be corrected), unsafe conditions by issuing safety directives. If Edsel is eluding to the fact that the overall Safety Directive system is poor, I do agree whole heartedly. Rotax cannot issue a Safety Directive at all, because it is not an aircraft mfg. FD cannot issue a Safety Directive to require training, or where to procure parts, because niether requirement would by iteself, correct an unsafe condition. Once the mgf. does issue a legitimate Safety Directive however, it is back to part 91 (specifically 91.327). This is the rule that makes Safety Directive compliance mandatory for operators (as long as the Safety Directive corrects an unsafe condition).

 

Doug Hereford

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I doubt Mr. Ford would disagree with any of this. Responsibility for part 21 adherence is the job of the OEM. More specifically, the FARs in part 91 and 43 never direct an owner or mechanic to anything in part 21 so they cannot be held legally accountable to part 21 particulars. Edsel's point is that FD is supposed to ensure the adhere to the ASTM, which means they should have put the restriction in the AOI or the MM. He was not aware that they never echo that requirement in their manuals. So he is basically correct, there is a legal requirement to source parts through FD, but if push came to shove, FD are the ones who would have to answer for the oversight, not owners or mechanics. Anyway, he was convinced enough with this line of reasoning that he wanted me to get a proper legal interp on it. As I said, he was quite reasonable and informative. He likes it when people do their homework, I'm sure. Give him a call if you like.

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Hi Kurt. FWIW, I have approval for Condor "Monster" 600 X 6 6 ply tires. I requested approval for this when I submitted paperwork for my Matco upgrade. FD gave approval which is reflected on my LOA. The Condor's have a load rating of 1750 lb. (each) which is "equal to or greater" than factory and are also speed rated to 120mph.

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Unfortunately, that is you alone unless it says otherwise. It would be way better if all LOAs were blanket. Besides being confusing, it's not a great setup. If FD faithfully adhered to the ASTM, that would make things worse since they are no Aircraft Spruce. FD would do a terrible and expensive job stocking every part the CTs use.

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Chanik,

There is no legal requirenet for FD to specify, nor do they have legal authority to specify WHERE parts are obtained to maintain their products.

Part 21 incorporates ASTM in five different areas. The first deals specifically with the aircraft design

The second deals with the required mfg quality system.

The third deals with operating, maintenance and inspection procedures, and flight training supplements.

The forth deals with creation of safety directives.

The fifth deals the production acceptance test procedures.

None of these references give the mfg. the authority, or responsibility to restrict WHERE parts can be procured. I will admit, that as a practical matter, many parts may only be available from the OEM, however, this does not imply that these parts must be sourced only from the OEM.

I see nothing in part 21 that requires or allows an OEM to specify where parts are procured.

 

Doug Hereford

 

 

 

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