Aircraft Certification Staff Instruction

ACSI No.: 29
Issue No.:  1
Issue Date:  1997-02-27
AARD File:  5009-3-29

Aircraft Certification Staff Instruction (ACSI)

Subject: REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF REVISIONS - DOMESTIC FLIGHT MANUALS

1.0 BACKGROUND

1.1 Programs Division has had the responsibility for coordinating the review and approval of Flight Manuals (FMs) and supplements. Once the FM revision submission had been agreed by the Flight Test and Engineering specialists, an approval was then issued by the Chief, Flight Test, on behalf of the Director, Aircraft Certification.

1.2 In the past, all domestic FM revisions, including those that had no significant technical content or changes, required sign-off by both Flight Test and Engineering specialists prior to approval. A review of this process has established inconsistencies in the manner in which the FM revisions have been handled; and identified opportunities to improve the process without compromising the quality of the approvals.

2.0 PURPOSE

The purpose of this ACSI is to improve and standardize the review and approval process, within the Aircraft Certification Branch, of FM revisions or changes submitted by Canadian aircraft manufacturers.

3.0 APPLICABILITY

The revised procedures specified in this ACSI applies only to flight manual revisions submitted by Canadian manufacturers.

4.0 REVISED PROCEDURES

The following procedures will apply:

  1. Upon receipt and registration of a proposed revision, the Programs FM coordinator will forward it to the Flight Test specialist responsible for that aircraft type.

    Note

    The responsibilities for coordination in Programs rests with the MMEL/AFM officer.

    1. The Flight Test specialist will review the proposed revision and, using the criteria outlined in Appendix 1 as guidance, determine whether a review is required or not by Engineering and/or Continuing Airworthiness specialists. Review by Continuing will normally only be required where an Airworthiness Directive is involved.
    2. Where a review is not required by Engineering, the Flight Test specialist will advise the appropriate Engineering superintendent and responsible specialist by E-mail that the revision will be approved by Flight Test by a given date (specify).
    3. Where a review is required by Engineering, the Flight Test specialist will forward the revisions to the responsible specialist and will withhold the approval pending notification from the responsible specialists that the revision is acceptable. He will also advise Programs FM coordinator by E-Mail of the status of the approval. The Flight Test specialist shall obtain the signature of the responsible specialists attesting to their concurrence with the content of the proposed revision. The Engineering specialist will return the package to the Flight Test specialist.
  2. When the Flight Test specialist is satisfied with the status of the submitted revision, he will submit it to the Chief, Flight Test for approval.
  3. The Flight Test specialist will then forward the signed "Approval Page" to the Programs FM coordinator for transmittal to the manufacturer along with the approval letter. Programs will continue to liaise with other Airworthiness Authorities as necessary regarding the status of the FM revision approvals by TCSS.
  4. Cases may arise where the Flight Test specialist has proceeded with an approval without an input from Engineering specialists (based on the Appendix 1 criteria), with possible comments being received afterwards. These comments will be discussed with the aircraft manufacturer with a view to seek changes to the approved FM revision. Necessary changes will be incorporated at the next revision. If required, the former approval of the revision will be rescinded pending disposal of the comments.
  5. Flight Test will retain copies of all FM revisions submitted for approval for a suitable period. A three (3) year period is recommended. These files shall include a copy of the "Approval Page" and the names of other specialists that were involved in the review process.

Original signed by:

K. J. Mansfield
Acting Director, Aircraft Certification

APPENDIX 1

Flight Manual Review Criteria

1.0 The following types of revisions will normally require review and sign-off by Engineering or Continuing Airworthiness specialists prior to Flight Test approval:

  1. limitation changes except those identified in Section 2.0;
  2. revisions arising out of changes in types of operations (e.g. icing/IFR/RVSM);
  3. revisions resulting from in-service safety problems or where there is an existing related Airworthiness Directive (AD), or parallel AD action ongoing or contemplated (these revisions will also require sign-off by the Continuing Airworthiness specialist);
  4. reduction in the frequency of a pre-flight systems check;
  5. changes to emergency procedures;
  6. deletion of any normal, abnormal or emergency procedure; and
  7. any other changes for which the Flight Test specialist considers a review by Engineering or Continuing Airworthiness to be necessary prior to approval by Flight Test.

2.0 The following types of revisions will not normally require Engineering specialist sign-off prior to approval by Flight Test:

  1. revisions to text or layout that do not incorporate technical changes;
  2. revisions to text or layout that are prompted by operational considerations (e.g. change in wording in RJ AFM which describes how the pilot rotates the aircraft for take-off);
  3. changes that already exist in other FMs for that aircraft type, where the changes affect areas that are common between the models in question (e.g. change in APU limitation on CL-601 if same change has already been approved on CL600);
  4. revisions due to configuration changes where there is no change to limitations or emergency procedures (e.g. addition of GPWS);
  5. changes to performance data or procedures;
  6. changes to normal procedures, except for deletions, or unless the frequency of a pre-flight systems check was reduced;
  7. changes to abnormal procedures, except for deletions;
  8. changes to limitations where the limitation was applied to fulfill flight test requirements only (e.g. removal of CL-604 4000 ft maximum take-off or landing field elevation limitation which was originally imposed by Flight Test);
  9. changes in aircraft serial number eligibility; and
  10. corrections of simple errors in any section of the FM (e.g. CL-604 APU start cycle limitation was originally appropriate to an RJ APU versus a Challenger APU).
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