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Just curious if anyone knows the legal reasons for the extension of aircraft compents? What is the purpose of extensions? Can I just fly an aircraft to a job that has been sitting on extension at a base, but not done? I was under the impression it was for the purpose of getting an aircraft back to a place to service the a/c. Am I wrong or can it be used for more than just operational convience? I have searched on line and through manuals without any info on this matter from a pilots perspective.

 

koala

 

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You can research into CARS for the reasons and what you may do with an extension. However, once an extension is granted under the authority of an AME you are not liable for what happens after that, unless you think the extension poses some safety concern. You will find if extensions are used too often the company will draw the attention of Transport and it's auditors.

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The liability issue is the big issue for me. I don't want to take an a/c that is on extension, when the extension was granted to allow the a/c to return to base, if this is an issue of airworthiness. I don't think the a/c is going to fall out of the sky, although it does make me somewhat nervous.

 

koala

 

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What is the nature of the extension vis a vie the approved maintenance schedule; and what does the MCM say.

 

What is being extended. I would depend for me. If its kosher with the MCM you have no liability, except for your own skin.

 

P5

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Extensions are normally granted when their is an unforseen delay in the ability of the operator to carry out the due inspection or overhaul.

 

You may see more use of extensions when you are having a busy season due to unavailability of an Engineer or shortage of parts or scheduling of the overhaul facility for example.

 

Note that an extension may be granted to an inspection or overhaul, but only IAW your company's approved Maintenance control manual.

 

Note also that extensions are not possible for service life limited items (IE parts that come due for retirement).

 

If an operator uses the extension approvals for each and every component every time, regardless of availability of support, they are in a pretty dark grey area. Extensions are not to be used for economic gain for the company, and this is what catches the eye of your local TC inspector.

 

Engineers are in short supply and the overhaul shops feel the pinch too, so extensions are going to happen. They are not necessarily a bad thing.

 

So unless everything always gets extended don't get to worried about it. You can still fly the aircraft and it won't create a black hole and swallow you up.

 

Cheers

 

RTR

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What is the nature of the extension vis a vie the approved maintenance schedule; and what does the MCM say.

 

What is being extended. I would depend for me. If its kosher with the MCM you have no liability, except for your own skin.

 

P5

 

Also check your company's MSA (The approved maintenance schedule) for that type. Most manufactures allow 10% on inspections not on hard lifed items i.e. main rotor blades.

 

If it's not in the MSA you can't do it.

 

The purpose of an extension is to get you back to base, or they can be used to finish up a job, but like was already said if auditors see extensions are being used all the time they will question how effective the technical dispatch is.

 

Some times you need to use an extension because that exchange unit you were promised would be there in time didn't arrive.

 

Bottom line is extensions are a tool that can be used to make things run a little smoother and keep the machine flying but shouldn't be used all the time.

 

Sean

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This is nothing new, companies have been abusing extensions since they were invented. Some items can be extended longer than others and like said above, it depends on the MSA and what the manufacturer says in it's maint. manual. AD's can't be extended but some of the newer ones have intervals of 110 hrs, allowing you to use the extra 10.

 

Now, once the inspection has been completed, it will be due again in 100hrs(for a 100hrinsp). Some people get confused and think that they need to do the insp. again in 90 hrs(if a 10hr on a 100 was granted).

 

For calendar items it usually 30 days but again depends on the MSA and manufacturers information.

 

Don't Panic!

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Don't Panic!

 

 

Thanks guys and good advice. I am pretty confident that the a/c isn't going to fall out of the sky. The idea of using an extension for a finacial rather than operational considerations would be the gray area I guess. From my position, this would be hard to tell.

 

koala

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Thanks guys and good advice. I am pretty confident that the a/c isn't going to fall out of the sky. The idea of using an extension for a finacial rather than operational considerations would be the gray area I guess. From my position, this would be hard to tell.

 

koala

 

My DOM always considered extensions something akin to an "Ace in the hole" so to speak, hence the reason we pilots were always to keep him informed (even on a daily basis if required) when we/I thought something was coming due, in accordance with customer requirements. 10 hours was the minimum but you know how drill moves, seismic, or fires go...it can change fast.

 

That being said I was usually lucky to only fly 1 or 2 different machines for a season so I knew that logbook inside out regardless of what our tracking system said ( that is of course unless I failed to e-mail/phone my hours in on time)

 

It was explained to me that having your books audited can be a heck of alot more expensive (especially if you are not "open" and found not in compliance with the spirit of the law) than the gain of using extensions for economic purposes in the long run.

 

But all of that is personal experience. In the end, if your OP's manual says what ours did...You are the end decision maker on the dispatch of that aircraft. They may find another "Captain" to do otherwise but your butt is covered...and that my friend is the magic of flying commercially...no matter the threat or liability of flying a dangerous machine to your customers, your butt is still strapped in there with them. If you fail to recognize that there is a good chance I'll see you in back pages of the next TC quarterly.

 

Fly Safe

 

Zazu

 

PS

 

If you can't trust your DOM...either you or he has a problem!

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But all of that is personal experience. In the end, if your OP's manual says what ours did...You are the end decision maker on the dispatch of that aircraft. They may find another "Captain" to do otherwise but your butt is covered...and that my friend is the magic of flying commercially...no matter the threat or liability of flying a dangerous machine to your customers, your butt is still strapped in there with them. If you fail to recognize that there is a good chance I'll see you in back pages of the next TC quarterly.

 

Thanks for the good reminder. I know I have flown a/c in the past that I shouldn't have and I got away with it. I sure hope this isn't an indication of where my company is headed. I have worked with other companies that played the extension game and it was pretty messed up and I think in the long run it cost them more on Overhauls anyways. I know it is tough times but as stated, it is my butt in the seat.

 

koala

 

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