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    MEL PROCEDURES

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    Date d'inscription : 17/11/2009
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    MEL PROCEDURES

    Message  french kiss le Mer 5 Jan 2011 - 17:14

    1 Introduction

    Dispatch with Inoperative Equipment

    The Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) and associated MEL are alleviating documents. Their purpose is not, however, to encourage the operation of aircraft with inoperative equipment. It is undesirable for aircraft to be dispatched with inoperative equipment and such operations are permitted only as a result of careful analysis of each item to ensure that the acceptable level of safety, as intended in the applicable JAR, is maintained. A fundamental consideration is that the continued operation of an aircraft in this condition should be minimized. The limitations governing rectification intervals are discussed later in this document (see JAR-MMEL/MEL.040 and .080).

    An operator or pilot retains the option to refuse any alleviation, and may choose not to dispatch with any particular MEL item inoperative.

    Legal Basis

    JAR-OPS 1.030 provides for operation of an aircraft with equipment inoperative, through the use of an approved MEL. JAR-MMEL/MEL provides the rules under which an MMEL and an MEL can be established for a given aircraft type.

    Where an MMEL has been established for a particular type of aircraft, an MEL shall not be approved for that type of aircraft unless it complies with the minimum requirements specified in the accepted MMEL
    (see JAR-OPS 1.030).

    Finally it is up to each JAA member Authority to accept the JAA MMEL (or the MMEL approved by the State of Design plus the related JAA MMEL Supplement if applicable) as the appropriate MMEL for operators under its jurisdiction.

    Equipment Included in the MMEL / MEL

    Most aircraft are designed and certified with a significant amount of equipment redundancy, such that the airworthiness requirements are satisfied by a substantial margin. In addition, aircraft are generally fitted with equipment that is not required for safe operation under all operating conditions, e.g. instrument lighting in day VMC. Other equipment, such as entertainment systems or galley equipment, may be installed for passenger convenience. If this non-safety related equipment does not affect the airworthiness or operation of the aircraft when inoperative, it need not be listed in the MMEL/MEL or be given a rectification interval. However, if the non-safety related equipment has another function related to safety (such as use of the entertainment system for passenger briefings) then this item must be included in the MMEL/MEL with an appropriate rectification interval - refer to paragraph 2.7.3.

    It follows that all items related to the airworthiness of the aircraft and not included in the MMEL are automatically required to be operative prior to flight (see JAR-MMEL/MEL .010b).


    2 MEL Policy and Procedures

    2.1 MEL Purpose

    The MEL is a joint operations and maintenance document prepared by an operator to:

    a)identify the minimum equipment and conditions for an aircraft to maintain the Certificate of Airworthiness in force and to meet the operating rules for the type of operation;

    b)define operational procedures necessary to maintain an acceptable level of safety and to deal with inoperative equipment; and

    c)define maintenance procedures necessary to maintain an acceptable level of safety and procedures necessary to secure any inoperative equipment.

    2.2 MEL Definition

    While the MMEL is for an aircraft type, the MEL is tailored to the operator's specific aircraft and operating environment and may be dependent upon the route structure, geographic location, and number of airports where spares and maintenance capability are available etc. The MMEL cannot address these individual variables, nor standard terms such as "As required by Operational Requirements". It is for this reason that an MMEL is not normally accepted by the Authority as a substitute for the MEL. It falls on the operator to develop operational "(O)" and maintenance "(M)" procedures, or to use documents issued by the Type Certificate Holder, such as a Dispatch Deviations Guide, where these documents are available.

    2.3 MEL Intent

    Except as authorized by the Authority in accordance with JAR-OPS 1.030 (b), operation of an aircraft with aircraft equipment inoperative or removed is prohibited, unless an operator does so in compliance with an approved MEL.


    2.4 Audit of Operator MELs

    The Authority should audit the operator’s conformance to MEL requirements on an ongoing basis, and as part of any company audit. Significant non-conformances may result in the MEL approval being withdrawn.

    2.5 Applicability

    2.5.1 Legal Basis

    a)JAR-OPS 1/3.030 stipulates that the operator shall establish a MEL for each aircraft, approved by the Authority. This MEL shall be based on, but not less restrictive than, the relevant MMEL (if this exists) accepted by the Authority.
    b)JAR-OPS 1/3.030(b) states that an operator shall not operate an aircraft other than in accordance with the MEL, unless permitted by the Authority. Any such permission will in no circumstances permit operation outside the constraints of the MMEL. The one exception specified recognizes the superiority of an Airworthiness Directive over the conditions or limitations specified in the MEL.

    2.6 Administrative Procedures

    2.6.1 Approval Authority

    Each Authority is responsible for approving the MEL of operators operating under an AOC delivered by that Authority, in accordance with JAR-OPS 1/3.

    2.6.2 MMEL Acquisition

    The operator must ensure that they use the latest version of the appropriate MMEL to develop their MEL (refer to JAR-MMEL/MEL.060). The latest JAA MMELs and MMEL Supplements are available for viewing or downloading (where these are available at no cost) from the JAA website. Alternatively, operators may obtain MMELs directly from the Type Certificate Holder, who normally provides MMELs along with a revision service, on a commercial basis.

    2.6.3 Operator MEL Development

    The operator should develop their MEL and all subsequent amendments, as a joint operations and maintenance project, based on the current MMEL revision.

    2.7 Conformance with the MMEL

    2.7.1 Modification of JAA MMELs and MMEL Supplements

    Operators may disagree with the content of the MMEL and request changes. These suggestions for changes, accompanied by appropriate substantiation, should be forwarded to the Type Certificate Holder. The Type Certificate Holder would then submit the change proposal to the Joint Operations Evaluation Board for review.

    2.7.2 MEL Content

    a)The operator's MEL must reflect the current limitations in the applicable MMEL or JAA MMEL Supplement. When a revision is issued to a JAA MMEL or JAA MMEL Supplement, the operator's MEL need not be revised if the change is less restrictive than the existing MEL.

    b)Except as noted above, the operator’s MEL shall be revised to reflect the most recent approved version of the MMEL or JAA MMEL Supplement within 90 days of receipt, as per JAR-MMEL/MEL.060.

    2.7.3 Non-Safety Related Equipment

    Non-safety related equipment includes those items related to the convenience, comfort, or entertainment of the passengers. They may include items such as galley equipment, movie equipment, ash trays, stereo equipment, and overhead reading lamps. Non-safety related equipment must not have an effect on the airworthiness or operation of the aircraft (see JAR-MMEL/MEL.010 and .050). This equipment does not require a rectification interval, and need not be listed in an operator's MEL, if it is not addressed in the MMEL. If an operator chooses to list this equipment in the MEL, it may be given a D category rectification interval. The exceptions to this rule are:

    a)Where non-safety related equipment serves a second function, such as movie equipment being used for cabin safety briefings, operators must develop and include operational contingency procedures in the MEL in case of an equipment malfunction.

    b)Where non-safety related equipment is part of another aircraft system, for example the electrical system, procedures must be developed and included in the MEL for deactivating and securing in case of malfunction.

    In these cases, the item must be listed in the MEL, with compensating provisions and deactivation instructions if applicable. The rectification interval will be dependent on the secondary function of the item and the extent of its effect on other systems.

    2.7.4 MEL Audits

    a)Whenever an audit is conducted, the operator’s MEL should be reviewed. The review should ensure that the MEL conforms to the current policies and procedures of the Authority.

    b)Special attention should be given to operating rules that may have been amended since the MEL was last approved. It should be confirmed that the latest revisions to the applicable MMEL - if more restrictive - have been incorporated into the MEL. When reference is made to “Operating regulations” in the MMEL, the last update of JAA Guidance Document for MEL Policy (TGL 26) should be taken into account when amending the MEL.
    c)

    2.8 MEL Development Procedures

    2.8.1 MEL Basic Format

    The MEL should include the following: a List of Effective Pages, a Table of Contents, the Preamble, Notes and Definitions, a section for each aircraft system, and amendment record page. The Preamble and Definitions shall be based upon, but no less restrictive than, the relevant MMEL as per JAR MMEL/MEL.060(a). Operators must specify the revision status of the MMEL and JAA MMEL Supplement, and any other documents such as a Dispatch Deviations Guide, used in the development of their MEL

    2.8.2 MEL Page Format

    MEL format is at the discretion of the operator, provided that it is clear and unambiguous. However, it is recommended that the MEL page format follow the JAA MMEL page format of five columns (see Appendix 1 to ACJ JAR-MMEL/MEL.025). The page numbering, and individual MEL items, however, should be in accordance with the ATA 2200 code system.

    2.8.3 List of Effective Pages

    A List of Effective Pages (LEP) will be used to ensure that each MEL is up-to-date. It must list the date of the last amendment for each page of the MEL. The date and revision status of each page of the MEL must correspond to that shown on the List of Effective Pages.

    2.8.4 Table of Contents

    The Table of Contents page should list the section for each aircraft system using the ATA 2200 listing as found in the MMEL. Pages should be numbered with the ATA system number followed by the item number for that system (e.g., the page following 27-2-1 would be 27-2-2).

    2.8.5 MEL Preamble

    The purpose of the MEL Preamble is to provide direction to company personnel on the philosophy and use of the MEL. An example MEL preamble which is acceptable for use by an operator is published in Appendix 1 to ACJ JAR-MMEL/MEL.065. An operator may choose to develop their own preamble but it should contain at least the information contained in JAR-MMEL/MEL.

    2.8.6 Notes and Definitions

    Notes and Definitions are required to allow the user to interpret the MEL properly. An example of Notes and Definitions can be found Appendix 1 to ACJ JAR-MMEL/MEL.065. Additions and deletions to the Notes and Definitions may be applied to the operator's MEL as required.

    2.8.7 Operational and Maintenance Procedures

    a)Dispatch with inoperative items is often acceptable only with the creation of special operational or maintenance procedures.

    b)Where the MMEL indicates that this is the case, the operator must establish appropriate procedures. Procedures recommended by the Type Certificate Holder in most cases can be adopted for this purpose, but the ultimate responsibility for providing acceptable procedures with the MEL rests with the operator. These procedures will ensure that an acceptable level of safety will be maintained. The Type Certificate Holder is required to produce operational and maintenance procedures such as Dispatch Deviation Guides, for use by operators (see JAR-MMEL/MEL.035(a)). These procedures may be inserted into the appropriate MEL pages, and submitted by the operator, to form part of the MEL. Dispatch Deviation Guides, and other similar documents are not approved by the Authority, nor can they replace the MEL. If the Type Certificate Holder has not published operational or maintenance procedures, the operator should develop appropriate procedures and, if requested, submit them to their Authority.

    c)The operator, when comparing the MEL against the MMEL, should ensure that where the (O) or (M) symbols appear, an operational or maintenance procedure has been developed that provides clear direction to the crew members and maintenance personnel of the action to be taken. This procedure should be included in the MEL or associated Operator’s Manual (see ACJ JAR-MMEL/MEL.075).

    d)The only exception is when the procedure is contained in another document that is available, e.g. other part of the Operations Manual (JAR-OPS 1.1045) (for “(O)” procedures) or the Maintenance Manual (for “(M)” procedures). In the latter cases, the MEL may refer to a section of the appropriate document; e.g.
    to the cabin crew members, such as a Operations Manual or Cabin crew Manual;
    - to the maintenance crew, such as an Aircraft Maintenance Manual (e.g. - the Airbus Aircraft Deactivation Procedures Manual), Maintenance Control Manual, etc.

    e)It is not acceptable to only reference the JARs or similar documents, as these documents may not be carried on board the aircraft and could be subject to misinterpretation. The objective is to provide personnel with clear, concise direction on how they are to proceed. Where the MMEL column 5 states "as required by Operating Requirements", this wording shall not appear in the MEL; rather, a synopsis of the Regulation shall appear.

    2.8.9 Operations Manual Procedures

    The operator must establish procedures in the Operations Manual for the use and guidance of crew members when using the MEL. The procedures must align with those in the Maintenance Control Manual. According to JAR-OPS.1045, the MEL is part of the Operations Manual.

    2.9 Rectification Interval Categories

    The maximum time an aircraft may be operated between the deferral of an inoperative item and its rectification will be specified in the MEL. Non-safety related equipment such as reading lights and entertainment units need not be listed. However, if they are listed, they must include a rectification interval category. These items may be given a “D” category rectification interval provided any applicable (M) procedure (in the case of electrically supplied items) is applied – refer to paragraph 2.7.3.

    The Rectification Interval Categories are defined in JAR-MMEL/MEL.040 as follows:

    Category A
    No standard interval is specified, however, items in this category shall be rectified in accordance with the conditions stated in the MMEL. Whenever the time interval is specified in calendar days, it shall start at 00:01 on the calendar day following the day of discovery.

    Category B
    Items in this category shall be rectified within three consecutive calendar days, excluding the day of discovery.

    Category C
    Items in this category shall be rectified within 10 consecutive calendar days, excluding the day of discovery

    Category D
    Items in this category shall be rectified within 120 consecutive calendar days, excluding the day of discovery.

    2.10 Rectification Interval Extensions (RIEs)

    2.10.1 Purpose

    Under certain conditions, such as a shortage of parts from manufacturers, or other unforeseen, situations, air operators may be unable to comply with specified rectification intervals. This may result in the grounding of aircraft. To preclude that from happening, a process has been instituted that will allow operators, subject to the approval of the Authority, to grant extensions to MEL rectification interval categories.

    Note: Certain items qualify for time-limited dispatch as specified in the Type Certificate Data Sheets. These items should be allocated an ‘A’ category rectification interval in order to prohibit rectification interval extension.

    2.10.2 Administration of RIEs

    Events beyond the Operator's control

    The core of this RIE process is to ensure that operators do not substitute RIEs as a means to reduce or eliminate the need to rectify MEL defects in accordance with the established category limit. Operators are not to use the extension process as a normal means of conducting MEL item rectification. RIEs will only be considered valid and justifiable when events beyond the operator’s control have precluded rectification.

    It is recognized that while MEL item rectification interval categories have been established, it may not be possible in every case to rectify aircraft in the time allotted for each MEL item. Several factors may influence the operator's ability to comply with the specified interval.

    These factors include:

    a)Parts shortages from manufacturers that affect all operators equally. Parts shortages can result from material, labour, or shipping problems but must be clearly outside the operator's control.

    b)Inability to obtain equipment necessary for proper troubleshooting and repair. Operators should, to the maximum extent possible, have the necessary equipment available to perform troubleshooting and rectification of MEL items. Equipment shortages or unserviceabilities may be encountered that cannot be directly controlled by the operator for the specified MEL item.

    Unwillingness on the part of the operator to obtain parts or equipment to rectify the defect in the timeliest manner possible will be grounds for review and could result in the withdrawal of the operator’s privilege to use RIEs.

    The instructions on the administration of RIEs are given in JAR-MMEL/MEL.081 and the associated ACJ.

    2.10.3 Process Compliance

    Airworthiness and Operational personnel should ensure that operators establish and implement a sound programme to address this authority and that ongoing surveillance ensures compliance with approved procedures. The number of times this privilege is used is expected to be low. The actual number of RIEs will vary from one operator to another due to individual circumstances. Emphasis should not be placed on how many RIEs are used, but rather on the correct application of approved procedures for the issue of the extension.

    2.11 Deferral of Items

    Procedures for the deferral of MEL items should be included as part of the operator's Maintenance Control Manual (MCM). The operator should ensure that the aforementioned procedures in the MCM are referenced or copied in the MEL and/or Operations Manual.

    2.11.1 Requirements

    These procedures comprise a method for:

    a)deferral and/or rectification of inoperative equipment;
    b)placarding requirements as per the MEL;
    c)dispatching of aircraft with deferred MEL item(s);
    d)using a remote deferral system;
    e)controlling categorized times; and
    f)training of company personnel who are responsible for MEL compliance procedures.

    2.11.2 Review of Deferred Items

    The operator should establish procedures whereby the Maintenance and Flight Departments periodically review the deferred items, in order to ensure that any accumulation of deferred items neither conflict with each other nor present an unacceptable increase in flight or cabin crew workload. Notwithstanding the categorization of item rectification intervals, it should be the aim of each MEL document holder to ensure that inoperative items are repaired as quickly as possible. It is JAA policy that optional inoperative equipment should be rectified or removed from an aircraft.

    2.12 Placarding

    Inoperative items should be placarded to inform crew members of equipment condition as appropriate. When they are accessible to the crew in flight, the control(s), and/or indicator(s) related to inoperative unit(s) or component(s) should be clearly placarded.

    While the MEL for some items may require specific wording, the majority of items leave the placard wording and location to be determined by the operator.

    The operator shall provide the capability and instructions to the flight crew to ensure that the placard is in place prior to the aircraft being dispatched.

    Note: Some MMELs indicate the need for a placard through the use of an asterisk. However, the exclusion of an asterisk in a MMEL does not preclude the requirement for placarding.

    2.12.1 Requirements to Placard/Placard Control

    Placarding should be carried out in accordance with the placarding procedures established and set out in the operator's approved MCM. The method of placarding control should ensure that all inoperative items are placarded and placards are removed and accounted for when the defect is cleared.

    The equipment/system shall be placarded so as to inform the crew members of the inoperative condition(s) of the item. To the extent practicable, placards must be located as indicated in the MEL, or adjacent to the control or indicator affected.

    2.12.2 Placard Criteria

    Placards should be self adhesive. The placard may be in two parts. Part One should list a description of the defect and the defect control number and should be attached to the log book for crew reference. Part Two should list the system affected and the defect control number and be fixed in the appropriate location. A MEL control sheet attached to the log book could serve the same purpose as Part One above.

    2.12.3 Multiple Placards

    If more than one placard is required for a MEL item, provision should be made to ensure that all placards are removed when the defect is cleared.

    2.12.4 Temporary Placards

    If a defect occurs at a base where maintenance personnel are not available, the flight or cabin crew may install a temporary placard as required by the MEL. The aircraft may continue on a planned itinerary to a base where maintenance will rectify or re-defer in accordance with the approved deferral system.

    2.13 Dispatch

    "Dispatch" for the purpose of the MEL/MMEL refers to the commencement of flight, which is defined in JAR-MMEL/MEL.001(d) and .005(d) as “the point when an aircraft begins to move under its own power for the purpose of preparing for take-off.” In the case of a helicopter, it refers to the moment the helicopter commences air or ground taxi. The MEL is approved on the basis that equipment will be operative for flight unless the appropriate MEL procedures have been carried out.

    The operator's MEL should include procedures to deal with any failures which occur between the start of taxi or push back and take-off brake release (see ACJ to JAR-MMEL/MEL.001(d)). Any failure which occurs after take-off commences should be dealt with as an in-flight failure, by reference to the appropriate section of the Aircraft Flight Manual, if necessary.

    2.13.1 Operational and Maintenance Items

    a)Any item of equipment in the MEL which, when inoperative would require an operational or maintenance procedure to ensure an acceptable level of safety, should be so identified in the "remarks" or "exceptions" column of the MEL. This will normally be "(O)" for an operational procedure, or "(M)" for a maintenance procedure. (O)(M) means both operational and maintenance procedures are required (see JAR-MMEL/MEL.075(d)).

    b)(O) Items

    1.Aircraft with inoperative equipment requiring an operational procedure may be returned to service following completion of the required MEL procedure for deferral.

    2.Operational procedures are normally carried out by qualified flight or cabin crew, but may be accomplished by other qualified, approved personnel (see JAR-MMEL/MEL.075).

    c)(M) Items

    1.Aircraft with inoperative equipment requiring a maintenance procedure may be returned to service following completion of the required MEL procedure for deferral.

    2.Maintenance procedures are normally accomplished by maintenance personnel, but some elementary maintenance tasks may be carried out by crew members or other qualified, approved personnel (see JAR-MMEL/MEL.075).

    2.14 Training

    2.14.1 Training Programme — Ground Personnel

    Operators should develop a MEL training programme for ground personnel, to be included in the Maintenance Management Exposition (MME) and Operations Manual, as appropriate, which must be approved prior to an operator receiving approval to operate with a MEL. The training should include those sections of the MME/Operations Manual procedures dealing with the use of the MEL, placarding of inoperative equipment, deferral procedures, dispatching, and any other MEL related procedures. Ground personnel include dispatchers and maintenance engineers.

    2.14.2 Training Programme — Crew Members

    Operators should provide crew members with MEL training and should detail such training in their Operations Manual. The training should include the purpose and use of a MEL, instruction on company MEL procedures, elementary maintenance procedures, and pilot‑in‑command responsibility. Crew members include pilots, flight engineers, and flight attendants.

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