Gray Matter, by Denny Pollard

Gray Matter

by Denny Pollard

Copyright Date:
11.0" x 8.5"
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An overview of the "gray" areas of being an A&P. Or what you deal with every day on the job that is not always covered in depth by schools and by the technical manuals.

The grey area of aviation where no clear guidelines exists, or where the CFRs has not been applied in a long time thus making it unclear if they are applicable at all. My new book is the perfect shop reference guide for any aviation mechanic just starting out or the seasoned professional that needs to know where the reference is to keep current.

Gray Matter provides useful skills and step-by-step instructions including: IA Test Instructions, Airworthiness Charts, Definitions, Forms, Publications, IA Functions, Tort Action, Continued Airworthiness, Implied warranty, Contracts, Liability, Aircraft Records, Approved Data, Equivalent Tooling, Part Replacement, Deferred Maintenance, Field Approvals, and Questions & Answers.

For example, "Actively Engaged" requires that a person be participating, occupied, or employed in inspecting, overhauling, repairing, preserving, or employed in inspecting, overhauling, repairing, preserving, or replacing parts on certificated aircraft. Teaching techniques would not by itself meet the requirements of the regulation. What does all this mean and how does the FAA inspector interpret it? This along with many other questions are explained with the proper reference.

FAA Clarifies “Actively Engaged” for IAs. In a notice of policy dated 8/4/11, the FAA has clarified the term with regards to those applying for and renewing an inspection authorization (IA). Current regulations state (among other requirements) that an IA must be actively engaged in maintaining aircraft for a two-year period before obtaining or renewing an IA. The new policy notice addresses the confusion caused by the term “actively engaged” and has broadened its application to cover IAs providing maintenance in rural areas, and those offering specialized expertise with rare or vintage aircraft. The definition also recognizes part-time employment and occasional activity which may occur on an infrequent basis. However, for someone who only participated in maintenance activities on a part-time or occasional basis, the FAA proposed that an aviation safety inspector (ASI) “would use documentation or other evidence provided by the applicant detailing the activity to determine whether the type of maintenance activity performed, considering any special expertise required and the quantity of activity demonstrated. In order to renew an IA under CFR 65.93(a), an applicant will need to present evidence to the ASI to demonstrate that he or she still meets the four requirements of CFR 65.91(c), and according to the FAA, refresher training alone does not satisfy those requirements. Thus, applicant’s will need to demonstrate that they are “actively engaged” in some way other than by simply attending refresher training.

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Mechanic General Information
flow chart airworthiness standards
flow chart to become an A&P
flow chart to obtain your IA
legal interpretations
rules of construction
job requirements

Inspection Authorization
IA history (DAMI)
eligibility requirements
IA test description
required forms and where to find them
publications and technical data
service bulletins and letters
required CFRs
overhaul and rebuilt
manuals and tools
type certificate data sheets
advisory circulars not mandatory
IAs and liability
required inspections
maintenance manuals
structural repair manuals
parts catalogs
priviledges and limitations of an A&P
functions of an A&P
functions of an IA
design data by the FAA
type design CFR 21.31

Mechanical Liabilities
IA liabilities
tort action
standard of care
negligence of employee
implied warranty
shop liability
aircraft records
data acceptable by the administrator
record a lien
equivalent tools
record retention
data plates
general shop practices

Frequently Asked Questions
general A&P and IA
part replacement
suspected unapproved parts
INOP instruments
deferred maintenance
unauthorized repairs
field approvals
aircraft RVSM
owner mechanic issues
supplemental inspection document SID

Mechanic General Knowledge
IA renewal procedures
IA suspensions
security investigations
threats against government employees
A&P experience requirements
replacement of certificates
sample A&P reference letter
disqualifying criminal offences
starting your own business
AD compliance record
repair stations and air carriers
annual/100 hour checklist

By The Author:
To be completely frank about it, I’m increasingly aware that there are as many gray areas in aviation as there are black-and-white ones, and I’m beginning to feel as if I know less and less about what I do. I’m a trained and reasonably experienced A&P mechanic, and I’m supposed to know this airplane stuff, but my experiences are often contradictory to what I know are theoretical facts. It’s frustrating, and sometimes I think I knew more back when I knew less. Or at least I thought I did. To keep an aircraft in peak operating condition, aircraft mechanics and service technicians perform scheduled maintenance to make repairs and complete inspections required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Many aircraft mechanics specialize in preventive maintenance. They inspect engines, landing gear, instruments, pressurized sections, accessories—brakes, valves, pumps, and air-conditioning systems, for example—and other parts of the aircraft and do the necessary maintenance and replacement of parts. Inspections take place following a schedule based on the number of hours the aircraft has flown, calendar days, cycles of operation, or a combination of these factors. To examine an engine, aircraft mechanics work through specially designed openings while standing on ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from the craft. After taking an engine apart, mechanics use precision instruments to measure parts for wear and use x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment to check for invisible cracks. Worn or defective parts are repaired or replaced. They may also repair sheet metal or composite surfaces, measure the tension of control cables, and check for corrosion, distortion, and cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail. After completing all repairs, mechanics must test the equipment to ensure that it works properly.


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