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Federal Aviation Administration. WAPA 2010. Tim Smyth (847) 294-7132 timothy.smyth@faa.gov Representing the FAA. Federal Aviation Administration.

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Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


WAPA 2010

Tim Smyth

(847) 294-7132


Representing the FAA

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


This Year’s IssuesWestern Aircraft Propeller Service (Update)Hartzell Propeller Hub Oil Filling EffortALCOA Forging InvestigationFuture of FAA A/C Certification Support

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


  • Doing this presentation as a public awareness and education effort.

  • Currently employed as a Senior Engineer, Propulsion Branch at the Chicago ACO.

    • Hartzell Propeller FAA Program Engineer and Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) Oversight Management Team (OMT) Lead

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


Western Aircraft Propeller Service (Update)

SAIB NE-09-48, issued August 14, 2009

SUBJECT: Potential Nonconformities

Background: (Revisit the reason this all started)

How/Why did this happen?

  • Baron aircraft owner complaint!

    • “Improper overhaul(s) alleged”

    • Portland FSDO was contacted

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


SAIB NE-09-48(cont.)

  • Propellers removed and sent to another repair station for teardown and evaluation.

    • FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) witnessed

      • Several nonconformities were discovered

        • “Slimcerts” not installed

        • Unauthorized shotpeening performed

        • Wrong finish paint used

        • Pitch change knobs improperly installed

        • Damaged hub threads

        • Damaged cylinder threads

        • EC776 sealer used but not appropriate

      • PMI decided to send propeller assemblies to Hartzell for further evaluation

        • Hartzell confirmed findings

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


SAIB NE-09-48(cont.)

Because of the previously described conditions….

  • Portland FSDO performed a focused repair station facility inspection, they found;

    • Signed off AD compliance without proper NDI qualifications

      • Out of date vision tests

      • Employee certifications expired

      • Training requirements not current

      • Calibration of equip out of date

  • Shop equipment out of calibration

  • No facility shotpeening qualifications

    • Process did not meet TC holders requirements

  • Chemical conversion coating not applied in accordance with TC holder’s requirements

  • Used parts tagged (8130-3) without reference or traceability to FAA approved or accepted data

  • Facility DID NOT perform all the steps cited in TC holder’s ICA documentation for overhaul

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


SAIB NE-09-48(cont.)

  • Western Aircraft Propeller Service has worked hard to correct these findings

  • Propeller and propeller components returned to service after July 1, 2009, are not subject to this SAIB

  • FAA has returned Western Propeller’s Repair Station Certificate to full capability active status

  • FAA re-issued SAIB NE-09-48R1to notify the public of Western Aircraft Propeller Service’s corrective actions and “Status” (Sept. 24, 2010)

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


SAIB NE-09-48 (cont.)

What can we all learn from this (Reminder)?

  • You never know when a complaint will generate an investigation

  • Keep records and certifications up to date

  • Maintain your agreements with the FAA and the propeller mfgrs

  • Make sure equipment calibrations are current

  • Work to the propeller manufacturer’s publications or other FAA approved/accepted data

    • Use the latest revisions (recommendation)

    • Make sure special processes are properly qualified/approved

  • Maintain frequent communications with your local FAA/CAA representative

    • Don’t forget FAA voluntary disclosure policies (AC 00-58B)

      • Self Audit your facility

      • Present findings to FAA prior to their investigation visit

      • Propose a corrective action plan

      • Show evidence you are correcting the issues found

      • Finally conduct a safety assessment on self audit findings

      • Study FAA website on Safety Management (advisory matl)

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


Hartzell Hub Oil Filling Effort (Ref. M. Mayhill Pres.)


  • Number of hub cracks/failures over the years

  • Cause HAS NOT been specifically identified

  • Design improvements have helped

  • Several ADs written over the years

  • Thousands of inspections performed

    • NO DETECTED CRACKS to date

    • BUT...small number of hub cracks still reported every year

  • Previous success with oil filling hubs

  • Develop a terminating action to maintain safety (Goal)

  • Reduce burden on flying public

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


Hartzell Hub Oil Filling Effort (cont.)

What’s been going on?

  • FAA has been encouraging Hartzell’s development program

  • Extensive design and field evaluation effort

    • Approximately three year program

  • Service Evaluation almost complete

  • FAA ready to implement when Hartzell is ready

  • AD Alternative Method of Compliance is being considered

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


Alcoa Blade Forging Investigation

What’s going on here?

  • To date, two reports of internal blade forging defects found

  • All solid aluminum blade forgings made by ALCOA potentially involved

  • Affects all propeller manufacturers that use solid aluminum blade forgings from ALCOA

  • NO failures to date

  • Defect may be introduced at the Ingot to Bar shaping level material process (ALCOA investigation findings)

  • Blade shape forging process can stretch internal defect over large internal blade surface areas

Wapa 2010

Federal Aviation


Alcoa Blade Forging Investigation (cont)

How is it found?

  • First report found during new blade production machining

  • Second report found during overhaul inspection

  • Both were found visually

    How many blades affected?

    • Not sure

    • Condition could be present over many years

      What do or can I do?

  • Get with the respective manufacturers for details

  • Report any unusual internal defects found (outboard blade section, blade bore, balance hole, etc.)

    Ongoing Industry/FAA effort continues…..

  • Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes?

    Public awareness briefing:

    • A/C Certification Division is undergoing a transformation

      • What does that mean….?

        • A/C Certification appears to be going from a direct certification support activity with the public to an certification oversight activity for delegated authorizations?

          • What the….huh?

            • In the near future ACOs may be used to primarily conduct oversight of delegated certification authorizations in lieu of direct certification programs with the public.

            • Transition has started

            • Expect full change over to occur by 2015 or so

        • Changes to the Designated Engineering Representative (DER) Program in work.

        • Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) now in place (Since 2009)


        • Academy of Sciences Study from 1996-1998 (Report to Congress)

        • Harmonization with the European Union (EU)

        • Industry promoting changes (Advisory Committee Participation)

    Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes (cont.)

    • Academy of Science’s Report to Congress

      • Outlined streamlined and improved certification processes

      • Made recommendations to reduce certification burden

      • Proposed changes to standardize certification requirements

  • Harmonization with the EU

    • European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) Current Structure

      • DOA (Organizational Certification Approval Authority)

        • Product Approval Holders (PAH)

        • Under DOA, PAHs control type design changes

        • Aircraft Operators/Users must obtain approvals from PAHs

          Note: many operators have used US DERs to obtain design approvals in US, then submit validation requests through Bi-Lateral trade agreements

      • Applicants must meet certain qualification standards to directly submit Type Design approval proposals to EASA

  • FAA proposes to harmonize with this type of structure

    • Proposed re-write to 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 21 coming next year

      • Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) scheduled for release in 2011


  • Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes (cont.)

    14 CFR Part 21 Proposed Re-write (NPRM) (highlights, cont.)

    • 21.15, 21.21, 21.29; Establish certification applicant qualifications

      • Require demonstrated capability by applicants

      • Applicant must have an engineering system or hire designees

      • Similar qualification standards for STC applicants, etc.

      • Align with EASA

    • 21.47 Transfer

      • FAA reviews potential holder’s qualifications and capabilities

      • FAA agrees/approves transfer and reissues TC-STC

      • In line with EASA language and process

    • Standardize and enforce approval holders responsibilities

    • Other changes (Review NPRM)

    Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes (cont.)

    FAA ODA Structure

    • ODA is an ACO like organization with “limited” certification approval authority.

      • ODAs can:

        • Issue PMA design approvals

        • Design approval for STCs and issue STCs

        • TC design approvals

        • Conduct inspections (conformities)

        • Provide approved data to other ODAs

        • Maintain/oversee Quality Systems for production

        • Receive repair and alteration design approval authority

        • Support FAA managed cert. programs

        • Other misc. authorities

    Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes (cont.)

    FAA ODA Structure (cont.)

    • There are currently 160 + ODAs recognized and approved by the FAA

    • More are under review for approval

    • ODA structure is intended to be the means to obtain certification type design approvals in the future (Similar to EASA DOA)

    • FAA to rely on ODAs to conduct significant “day to day” certification program activities.

      • FAA to provide resources to oversee ODAs

      • FAA to transition to ODA oversight versus direct public certification programs once an ODA has approval for that function

      • Expect full implementation in the next 5 years or so

    Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes (cont.)

    FAA DER Program Changes (highlights)

    • DER delegated authority to transition from function authority (e.g. Structures, Powerplant, Systems, etc.) to delegated authority by specific regulation (e.g. 23.907, 25.903, etc.)

      • Transition to occur (start) sometime in the next year (2011) or so

      • All DERS to receive delegated authority by regulation

        • If the DER doesn’t have the specific regulation callout in their authorization letter they can’t approve that data (find regulatory compliance)

          • DER will be evaluated yearly to determine if they have any activity to that regulation (find compliance)

            • If Yes, authority will likely be extended another year

            • If No, then FAA will determine if that regulation remains with that DER’s authority (yearly renewal)

    • DER numbers have diminished from approx. 4000 to less than 2000 (further reduction anticipated)

    Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    FAA Aircraft Certification Changes (cont.)

    FAA DER Program Changes (highlights)

    • RS-DER delegated authority (Repair Specifications)

      • An RS-DER is a DER who has a specialized delegated authority to approve multiple, non-serialized part or component (including sub-assemblies, etc) repair specifications.

        • Starting July 2011, ONLYRS-DERs can approve these type’s of repair specifications.

        • RS-DER must have this specific authority listed in the DER authorization letter (and Designee Information Network (DIN))

        • RS-DER will sign the front page of the Repair Specification with his or her DER number

    • Other limitations on DERs are being proposed/implemented

    • Visit the FAA website for further information on DER changes

    Wapa 2010

    Federal Aviation


    • Questions???

      Thank You!