Maintenance and Certification

Approved Aircraft Maintenance Type Training

by Martin Truman, Civil Aviation Safety Inspector, Operational Airworthiness Division, Standards Branch, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

Approved aircraft maintenance type training courses are intended to provide aircraft maintenance engineers (AME) with the necessary level of aircraft systems knowledge to sign maintenance releases. The knowledge gained from a type course ensures that aircraft are maintained and certified correctly. As a result, the safety of the passengers and crew for the applicable aircraft make and model is maintained.

The requirements for signing an aircraft maintenance release may be found in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). The regulation says that before signing a maintenance release for a transport category airplane or turbine powered helicopter, an AME must complete an approved type training course on the applicable make and model of aircraft from an approved training organization (ATO). The AME signing the maintenance release must also be rated either M1 or M2 for turbine powered helicopters. For transport category airplanes, an M2-rated AME license is required. If the aircraft are being maintained and released within an approved maintenance organization (AMO), the AME will also need an aircraft certification authority (ACA) on the aircraft make and model.

Aircraft maintenance type training courses come from two sources. The main source is an ATO, whose courses are all individually approved by Transport Canada (TC). Training may be also be provided by an AMO. AMO courses are approved through the AMO maintenance policy manual (MPM) and are not publicly available. All ATOs and AMOs have to meet regulatory requirements to have their courses approved by TC. The main difference between the two sources of training mentioned is that an AMO is only approved to conduct type training for its own employees and may not provide training to employees from other operators.

All approved type courses offered by an ATO may be found on the “Current type course approvals” Web page. The courses identified on this page are all individually approved and have all been issued a unique TC approval number. This same approval number will be included on your course graduation certificate.

Once you have found the training course that you want to take on the TC current course approvals Web page, contact the ATO listed for further details. If the course you need to take is not shown on the TC Web site, then it has probably not yet been approved. Occasionally, a course is so new that it has not yet been posted on the Web site. Contact your local TC office to confirm if there is an approved course for the aircraft type that you need training on.

I encourage you to take the time and do the research by first checking the TC current type course approvals Web page to see whether the course you need is listed. Being proactive will save you time, money and aircraft down time in the long run.

TC AIM Snapshot: Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

Compliance with ADs is essential to airworthiness. Pursuant to CAR 605.84, aircraft owners are responsible for ensuring that their aircraft are not flown with any ADs outstanding against that aircraft, its engines, propellers or other items of equipment. Refer to CAR Standard 625, Appendix H, for further details.

When compliance with an AD is not met, the flight authority is not in effect and the aircraft is not considered to be airworthy.

Exemptions to compliance with the requirements of an AD or the authorization of an alternative means of compliance (AMOC) may be requested by an owner as provided for by CAR 605.84(4). Applications should be made to the nearest TC regional office or TCC in accordance with the procedure detailed in CAR Standard 625, Appendix H, subsection 4. General information about exemptions and AMOC is given in subsection 3 of that appendix.

 (Ref: Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM), Section LRA 5.7)

Winter Confrontations

The following article was originally published in Issue 4/1989 of Aviation Safety Maintainer.

As the harsh Canadian winter approaches, it is time to review the special aircraft operating problems this creates and think about how to counteract situations before an accident occurs. Fuel filters and low drain points in the fuel system of all aircraft require extra winter attention or water collected over a period of time may freeze during flight and result in fuel starvation. For piston-engine aircraft, carburetor or induction heat systems need inspection to ensure correct operation and provision of sufficient heat. For jet-engine aircraft, this applies to lip boots and anti-ice vanes. Inspect all other aircraft ice protection systems and ensure that they deliver the specified amount of fluid or heat required for safety during flight in icing conditions.

Aircraft fluids and lubricants may require changing to winter specifications. Most aircraft require installation of winter kits on the engine or where indicated by the aircraft maintenance manual. Other aircraft ground protective covers, including those used for helicopter rotorheads and tail rotors, must be clearly marked to indicate removal prior to flight.

Batteries are less efficient in cold temperatures. Preheating the engine compensates for this and ensures better start-up lubrication and less engine wear.

Cold dry air is prone to static-electricity generation. Wear approved clothing or clothing of known low-static properties, particularly when you are refuelling aircraft.

Snow ploughs or other bulky equipment parked near areas where aircraft taxi can result in bent wing tips. Keep the ramp clear of all such hazards. Move or tow aircraft with great care on icy ramps.

Maintenance personnel, aware of the hazards of ice and hoarfrost on wings and tail surfaces, can indicate the corrective measures available to pilots prior to takeoff when these conditions are present. Recommending the type of pre-takeoff de-icing fluid is a judgment call; therefore, a thorough knowledge of the type of fluid mix required for the weather conditions is essential. This is where well maintained and readily available preheating and de-icing equipment pays off for the pilot and the maintenance organization.


2013-2014 Ground Icing Operations Update

In August 2013, the Winter 2013–2014 Holdover Time (HOT) Guidelines were published by Transport Canada. As per previous years, TP 14052, Guidelines for Aircraft Ground Icing Operations, should be used in conjunction with the HOT Guidelines. Both documents are available for download at the following Transport Canada Web site:

To receive e-mail notifications of HOT Guidelines updates, subscribe to or update your “e-news” subscription, and select “Holdover Time (HOT) Guidelines” under Publications / Air Transportation / Aviation Safety / Safety Information.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the above, please contact Doug Ingold at

Update to SAR Posture Times Stated in ASL 2/2013

The author of the National Search and Rescue (SAR) article on page 6 of Issue 2/2013 of the Aviation Safety Letter (ASL) asked us to mention important changes in the SAR response posture times. In paragraph 7, the 2-hour SAR response posture times have been changed to what are considered historically quiet times, i.e. mid-week, early morning and late at night. The heightened 30-minute full alert posture times, discussed in paragraph 8 of the article, are now Friday to Monday inclusive, from approximately 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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