In my last column I wrote about the significance of the FAA Form 8130-3, Airworthiness Approval Tag and how it certifies to the world that a part or component is in an airworthy condition. I also mentioned that failure to accurately complete a Form 8130-3 can result in civil liability for you and your employer, possible FAA certificate action and, in certain cases, criminal charges for individuals and companies. In this article I will touch on a second area that presents a threat to unwary technicians: accurately listing the standards to which the repair or overhaul was conducted in Section 12 of the Form 8130-3.
It is not unusual to see an 8130-3 listing a component as "overhauled" and then listing in Section 12 remarks, "This component has been overhauled in accordance with Manufacturer X Component Maintenance Manual, Rev 2" or similar language. Anything wrong with that? Not if it is completely accurate. However, it is not unusual for components to be overhauled using tooling or procedures that are not specifically listed in the CMM. For example, Manufacturer X sells a spring compressor constructed of pure unobtanium in order to compress certain springs and allow the retainers to be removed during disassembly. Did you actually have and use that tool or did you use an equivalent tool for disassembly? If you did not use the actual tool specified in the CMM, you arguably did not perform the overhaul in accordance with the CMM. Sure, as long as you confirmed equivalency (more on that in a later column), you have complied with the regulations, but the statement in the remarks section of the 8130-3 is not technically correct.
A similar situation arises when you perform an overhaul and use a repair that is not listed in the CMM. Many manufacturers do not want certain types of repairs done during an overhaul, for example rewinding electrical components, so they do not list the process in the CMM. It is not uncommon for repair stations to develop their own processes, usually in the form of a process specification, and seek FAA approval for those processes. Conducting an overhaul using such approved processes is completely legal (provided the operator's CAMP allows it), but describing the overhaul as being performed in accordance with the CMM is no longer accurate. Situations similar to this have resulted in fraud claims and even criminal charges against maintenance providers.
The solution? Be meticulously accurate when you list the basis of the repair or overhaul you are performing. If you deviate from the CMM or other stated authority, spell out how you deviated from it or list all of the various sources relied upon for the repair.