Heads Up

Advisory Circular AC 521-009 is out!

Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 521 came into effect last year, combining and superseding CARs 511(approval of type designs), 513 (approval of mod and repair designs), 591 (service difficulty reporting) and 593 (airworthiness directives). The reasoning behind this initiative was to harmonize and better align our Canadian regulations with other governing authority regulations.

With the introduction of CAR 521 came the requirement to replace Advisory Circular (AC) 591-001 which provided procedural guidelines for the handling, processing, investigating and closure of Service Difficulty Reports (SDR).

As of 7 October 2011, AC 521-009 has officially replaced and supersedes AC 591-001, encompassing the same requirement and procedural guidelines in accordance with Division VIII and IX of CAR 521, with some minor differences.

A difference noted in AC 521-009 through the introduction of CAR 521 is the reporting of suspected unapproved parts (SUPs), which was previously defined in CAR standard 591 but is now captured in CAR standard 571.13 through an information note.

This note states: " A person who has reasonable grounds to believe that a part installed or intended for installation in a type certified aeronautical product that was not manufactured or certified in accordance with the applicable regulations of the state of production, or that is improperly marked, or that is documented in such a manner as to mislead with regard to the origin, identity or condition of the part shall submit to the Minister a report of the suspected unapproved part, using the service difficulty reporting system set out in Section 521.401 of the CARs.".

Therefore, all notifications of SUPs to Transport Canada Continuing Airworthiness (TCCAW) are to be done through the SDR program with the use of the Web Service Difficulty Reporting System (WSDRS) application or hard copy form. When SUP reports are submitted in the form of an SDR, TCCAW will forward the information to the Standards Branch, Technical Programs division for further investigation and action.

The TCCAW WSDRS was developed as a result of requests from the aviation industry in Canada for a web-based, fast, convenient and confidential SDR system. TCCAW has been able to develop new regulatory requirements and improved methodology for SDRs and therefore is now more informed and better prepared to develop a corrective action plan based on reported service difficulties of an aeronautical product, component, equipment or part. The service difficulty information is also more efficiently forwarded to the responsible type certificate holder, applicable Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) and submitter of the SDR when required. The criteria and examples for reporting these service difficulties are covered in this AC, however, they are not exhaustive.

AC's are used for information and guidance purposes and in some cases replace the applicable CAR standard or Airworthiness manual. AC's may provide examples of acceptable means but not the only means of demonstrating conformity with regulations and standards. An AC on its own does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements, nor does it establish minimum standards; it is to be used strictly as guidance material.

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