Inspectors Must Now Know Something About The Stuff They
week the FAA issued a revised set of instructions (Change 16 to
Order 8300.10) to FAA inspectors for the approval of major repairs
and alterations to aircraft. These instructions replace those
issued in September 2002.
The revision was due to significant problems for aircraft owners
and mechanics attempting to obtain approval for such changes. Some
local FAA Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) simply refused
to process many of the applications for repairs and alterations and
used what is commonly referred to as field approvals, or 337s.
Aircraft operators in Alaska were so greatly affected that the FAA
agreed to temporarily rescind the implementation of the new policy
in the Alaska Region. The revised instructions clarify to FSDO
inspectors what major repairs and alterations they can approve and
what resources are available to assist them in making their
Another issue: if the inspector was not "thoroughly familiar
with all aspects of the alteration or repair" he or she could not
provide the approval. This language led to the denial of several
applications when the policy was first released. The revised
instructions added the following statement:
"The lack of ASI qualifications does not mean the FSDO should
deny a field approval and tell the applicant that they need an STC.
The ASI can seek assistance from another ASI or FSDO, as
And because some applicants do not have an in-depth knowledge of
all the information needed and the manner it should be presented,
the new instructions provide for that situation. They also allow
applicants to make changes to the application in order to prevent
denial and the need for a complete new application.