Balloon Repair Station

Responding to the EASA NPA on Part ML – Closes 9th Oct 2015

This is pretty much the last chance to change, amend or clarify EASA’s proposals to simplify the lot of the General Aviation pilot and their aircraft. There is a myriad of abbreviations that no-one outside the game has a clue what they mean but the bottom line is that not only would it be nice to get some alleviation from any proposed Regulation changes but it is important that by lightening the paperwork or regulatory burden in some areas does not cause an increase somewhere else. There are specific areas that you will find easier to comment on rather than others. If you can’t make head nor tail of what they are getting at with the question or suggestion please ask or leave it. Please remember that “We don’t need this” is not an answer unless you qualify it. Please note that these are the British Balloon & Airship club’s suggested / requested responses from Inspectors as written by Paul Spellward, Chairman of the BBAC Technical Committee and that we may not fully agree with all of them or the broader implications the response they recommend may have however it’s a bold and brave step and should give you some ideas to make up your own mind. We were neither invited nor approached for our views however clearly a lot of time and energy along with copious amounts of head scratching and thought has gone into preparing this. Sadly, as is so often the case EASA will have or certainly will do ‘deals’ here and there and certain aspects are shrouded in politics and the problem with interpretation making NPAs a visible PR exercise. Making no comment though is not an option. If you have already given up ballooning on account of the bollix then now’s you’re chance to tell them. Playing Devil’s Advocate though, have we all got used to the system we now have? If the oversight of balloons moves more towards the NAA (CAA in our case) as it would under EASA (Part 66 licences for example) then how will that be funded? EASA does not control charges levied by the NAAs for the Regulations they impose. We do need to tread very carefully. Chris

To all inspectors, from Paul Spellward / BBAC Technical Committee & Phil Dunnington / BBAC Flying Committee:

A very few BBAC specialists have been working intensely with EASA on improvements for ballooning. We have reached a phase on the maintenance arrangements where we need a small amount of work (perhaps 15‐20 minutes) from very many BBAC members (as you will see in the August Pilots Circular) and a bit more work (perhaps 30‐40 minutes) from inspectors. We are counting on you to do your bit. Please read on.

Background
Part ML (Part M “light”) is an attempt to lighten the burden for General Aviation in the maintenance regulations. This is not a “blank sheet of paper” approach, rather a reduction of some rules. Getting as far as this has involved a lot of work and we have “bagged” some of what we want. However, there are major points of remaining disagreement with EASA. They will take note of all comments in the Comment phase, in particular of similar (but NOT identical) responses from multiple different people or organisations. Please note, they will discount multiple identical responses, so we really do mean “in your own words”. Hence our success (or not) in this phase is largely dependent on YOU: pilots, balloon owners, inspectors and organisations commenting along the lines suggested in this document. Of course, you are perfectly entitled (and encouraged) to express alternative views if you wish.

Please note that a very detailed response has been made by BBAC. If you would like to see the more detailed document, please email technical‐committee@bbac.org

Short Summary
The main objective of BBAC in the consultation phase is to motivate support for the abolition of Airworthiness Review Certificates and the CAMO process for balloons. The Technical Committee believes, and anticipates many inspectors will agree, that the ARC and the CAMO process add no safety value (the UK system operated perfectly well without them pre‐2009). They add costs, complexity and bureaucracy. EASA has admitted that they are not a requirement arising from the “basic regulations” and have offered only a weak reason for retaining the ARC. Therefore we have a realistic chance, via co-ordinated actions, to have the ARC removed for balloons. If you only make one comment, please let it be on the ARC. Other BBAC objectives include the removal of Maintenance Programmes and to explicitly support some improvements which we, via the European Balloon Federation (EBF) already had succeeded in getting into the proposed text, but which might be challenged by others such as less enlightened National Aviation Authorities (NAAs).

Additional, mainly of interest to inspectors only
Background on inspector “licensing” (not part of the Part ML NPA): It has already been finalised (Task RMT.0135, Opinion No 05/2015, published on 22 June 2015) that at some point around 2018, inspectors will move to holding a “Part 66 L licence” rather than the “national rating” that currently applies. For the purposes of the Part ML consultation, we just need to understand that until an inspector holds the EASA “licence”, he will only be able to work on balloons from his own state of registry, when acting as an independent inspector, unless specifically approved by the national aviation authority of another state. Once an inspector holds the EASA “licence” he will be able to work on all EASA balloons, which ever their state of registry, subject to any contractual arrangements for the balloon to a particular Maintenance Organisation (MO) or Continuing Airworthiness & Maintenance Organisation (CAMO). The arrangements for “grandfathering” existing inspectors into the Part 66 L Licence and the arrangements for training and qualification of new inspectors will be collated by the BBAC and circulated in due course.

The NPA may be found at (and downloaded from)
http://easa.europa.eu/document-library/notices-of-proposed-amendment/npa-2015-08

To place comments, use the Comment Response Tool at:
http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/
You need to register. It is not difficult. Click on “register” on the top line and then fill in the form. Once you submit the form, it will send you (within seconds) an email. You have to follow the link in the email to “activate” your account. So now you are able to make comments.

Login using the user name (email address) and password you gave.
1. From the front page, go to “view documents” (click on these words on the top line) and then you will get a list of documents. The Part ML CRT (“Light Part M” in the third column) will be there relatively high up the list (depending on the date you visit)
2. Right click on the line for “Light Part M” then chose “add/edit comments”.
You then get sent into the “comment view”. Note that the remarks below describe what was seen on a PC running Internet Explorer.
3. Comments are added corresponding to blocks of text (sections) of the document. To add a comment you bring the relevant page into view on the left side, then hover your mouse over it. It will go yellow (highlight), then you can do a right click and choose “add comment”.
4. You will next be presented with the following view: It’s very easy, write your comments in the box (ensure the paragraph reference is clear to which paragraph it is referring) then hit the save icon.
You can adjust the size of the left hand part of the screen and the magnification as you might want to make it easier to read.

Okay, so here are the places BBAC is asking inspectors to comment
In each comment below, we have given the location in the document where it should be inserted. References are to the Comment Response Tool page numbering.

Comment 1 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 1 . Creating a separate ‘Light Part‐M’ (Part‐ML), independent from Part‐M, which is as clear and simple as possible;
(in your own words): Part ML is supported compared to Part M, but it still far too complex, it is still aircraft rules applied to balloons and it would be better for there to be a separate rulebook for balloons entirely (“Part Balloons”) , covering all things to do with balloons in one place and appropriately “light”.

Comment 2 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 2 . Making Part‐ML applicable to ELA2 aircraft and helicopters certified for up to 4 occupants and up to 1 200 kg Maximum Take‐Off Mass (MTOM), including all types of operations;
(in your own words): Part ML should cover all hot air and gas balloons and all simple hot air and gas airships, whether flown for private or other uses.

Comment 3 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 3 . Including the possibility of declaration of the maintenance programme by the owner for all aircraft in the scope of Part‐ML;
(in your own words): supported in principle but say that MPs are not needed for balloons since all manufacturers provide sufficient information in their manuals

Comment 3 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 1 . Creating a separate ‘Light Part‐M’ (Part‐ML), independent from Part‐M, which is as clear and simple as possible;
(in your own words): Part ML is supported compared to Part M, but it still far too complex, it is still aircraft rules applied to balloons and it would be better for there to be a separate rulebook for balloons entirely (“Part Balloons”) , covering all things to do with balloons in one place and appropriately “light”.

Comment 4 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 4 . Including the possibility of using Minimum Inspection Programmes instead of the data from the Design Approval Holder (DAH), for all aircraft in the scope of Part‐ML;
(in your own words): supported in principle but say in ballooning the manufacturers (DAHs) already provide completely sufficient and satisfactory data

Comment 5 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 5 Developing a very simple template for the maintenance programme, applicable to all aircraft in the scope of Part‐ML;
(in your own words): supported in principle but say that MPs do not add any value for balloons

Comment 6 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 6 . allowing approved maintenance organisations to perform airworthiness reviews and issue ARCs in conjunction with the 100 h/annual inspection, for all aircraft in the scope of Part‐ML;
(in your own words): supported in principle but say that ARCs should be abolished for balloons

Comment 7 Page 7. Explanatory Note — 2.3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) — 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part-M’option. Area in the CRT which is highlighted is the top two thirds of the page.

Refer to: 2.3.1. Description of the ‘Developing a Light Part‐M’ option, item 7 . . allowing independent certifying staff to perform airworthiness reviews and issue ARCs in conjunction with the 100 h/annual inspection, for sailplanes, balloons, hot‐air airships and ELA1 aeroplanes operated under the Part‐NCO rules;
(in your own words): supported in principle but say that ARCs should be abolished for balloons. Also that all ballooning should be under one regime – NCO – or, better, “Part Balloons”

Comment 8 Page 9 – area that is highlighted in the CRT is the top half of the page.
Nevertheless, the Agency is interested in receiving specific feedback on the following:
1. Whether the aircraft should be marked (with a placard, for example) indicating that the aircraft is subject to the alleviated continuing airworthiness requirements of the Part‐ML. 2. Whether the passengers should be informed (and how) about this fact.

(in your own words) Response to request for specific feedback: this is completely unnecessary, there are no differences in standards of inspection or of maintenance between now and how it would be under Part ML, therefore placards on the basket or special informing of passengers is not required at all. Passengers are very unlikely to understand the differences in any case.

Comment 9 Page 11 – section 2.3.7 is highlighted in the CRT
Stakeholders are kindly invited to provide data on economic impacts introduced by these draft rules and any other quantitative information they may find necessary to bring to the attention of the Agency.
(in your own words) explain that the current Part M system is confusing, expensive and does nothing to enhance safety compared to a simple, single annual inspection; explain how the costs of ARCs and inspections are a burden on your flying and how you believe they contribute to people leaving the sport and as a barrier to people joining the sport. Be as quantitative as you can but keep it polite please!

Comment 10 Page 11‐13 – highlight appears on whole of page 12 most easily
In addition, the Agency is interested in receiving specific feedback on the following proposals:
1. Eliminate the ARC and replace it by an additional statement included in the CRS of the 100h/annual inspection.

(in your own words): refer to point 1 “Eliminate the ARC” and support elimination of the ARC and replacement with a simple statement on the CRS (certificate of release to service); state again the ARC adds nothing to safety and is just an aircraft regulation burden imposed on ballooning, with associated bureaucracy and costs do not accept unnecessary processes (ARCs) for 99% of inspections just in case a move of a balloon from one country to another is made a little more complex. Thank EASA for confirming the ARC could be abolished and stress it should not be retained just for convenience in case a balloon is re‐registered in another country.

Comment 11 Page 11‐13 – highlight appears on whole of page 12 most easily.
Second comment on same section
2. The need to amend the Basic Regulation in order to: — eliminate the need for a maintenance programme
(in your own words): refer to point 2, page 13 “Eliminate the maintenance programme “(in your own words): support simplification for balloons, Maintenance Programmes are not required as separate documents because the manufacturers' manuals are completely sufficient. Most balloon owners / pilots don’t understand maintenance programmes.

Comment 12 Page 11‐13 – highlight appears on whole of page 12 most easily.
Third comment on same section
2. The need to amend the Basic Regulation in order to: — eliminate the need for a maintenance programme;— include certain categories of balloons (and
maybe other aircraft) in Annex II of the Basic Regulation; and — eliminate the need for an organisation managing the continuing airworthiness of aircraft involved in commercial operations

(in your own words): refer to point 2, page 13 “eliminate the need for an organisation managing the continuing airworthiness of aircraft involved in commercial operations “: CAMOs should not be a requirement for commercial balloon operations, since all balloons are very simple aircraft and there is no demonstrated safety benefit. CAMOs just add costs and bureaucracy.

Comment 13 Page 15 (whole page gets highlighted)
Possibility (option) for the owner/operator to issue a declaration for their own maintenance programme (applicable to all aircraft and operations within the scope of Part‐ML).
(in your own words): supported in principle but say that MPs are not needed for balloons since all manufacturers provide sufficient information in their manuals

Comment 14 Page 15 (whole page gets highlighted)
Introduction of ‘Minimum Inspection Programmes’ which may be used as a basis for the development of the maintenance programme (applicable to all aircraft and operations affected by Part‐ML, except for airships and rotorcraft due to the difficulty to establish common requirements for them).
(in your own words): supported in principle but say in ballooning the manufacturers (DAHs) already provide completely sufficient and satisfactory data

Comment 15 Page 16 ‐ highlight bottom three quarters of the page
3. Alleviations related to airworthiness reviews
Building upon the alleviations already introduced during Phase I of the ‘Part‐M General Aviation Task Force’, the following alleviations have been proposed: — Possibility for a Part 145 or M.A. Subpart F maintenance organisation to perform the airworthiness review and issue the corresponding ARC at the same time they perform the annual inspection contained in the maintenance programme (applicable to all aircraft and operations affected by Part‐ML).

(in your own words): please give strong support for this practice, which has been how we are doing it in UK CAMOs for the last 7‐8 years (annual inspection and ARC survey by the same person at the same time). Comment also that we would still prefer the ARC to be abolished.

Comment 16 Page 16 ‐ highlight bottom three quarters of the page
3. Alleviations related to airworthiness reviews
Building upon the alleviations already introduced during Phase I of the ‘Part‐M General Aviation Task Force’, the following alleviations have been proposed: Possibility for independent certifying staff to perform the airworthiness review and issue the corresponding ARC at the same time they perform the annual inspection contained in the maintenance programme (applicable to sailplanes, balloons, hot‐air airships and ELA1 aeroplanes operated under Part‐NCO rules).

(in your own words): please give strong support for this practice, (annual inspection and ARC survey by the same person at the same time) and its extension to MOs and Independent Certifying staff. Comment also that we would still prefer the ARC to be abolished.

Comment 17 Page 19
(in your own words): surely this should be adapted to be a single page

Comment 18 Page 25‐26 – highlight bottom half of page 25
ML.A.302 Aircraft Maintenance Programme(AMP) (a) The maintenance of each aircraft shall be organised in accordance with an AMP.
(in your own words): explain that balloons are so simple that individual AMPs are not required and that the generic MP in the manufacturer’s manual is completely sufficient. Express view that EASA should find liberal interpretations of the Basic Regulations which allow progress in lightening the burden on ballooning.

Comment 19 Page 32 – highlight top part of page
(e) In the particular case of balloons, where different combinations of baskets, burners and fuel cylinders are possible for a particular envelope, the person installing them shall ensure that:
(1) the basket, burner and/or fuel cylinders are eligible for installation according to the TCDS; and
(2) the basket, burner and/or fuel cylinders are in serviceable condition and have the appropriate maintenance records.

support for paragraph (e) is recommended

Comment 20 Page 35 – highlight middle section of page
(b) For aircraft operated under Part‐NCO rules, the Pilot‐owner may issue a CRS after limited Pilot‐ owner maintenance as specified in Appendix I.
support for this is recommended, but with the POM tasks in the manufacturer’s manual and that there is no AMP

Comment 21 Page 36 – highlight whole page
(b) The airworthiness review and the issuance of the ARC shall be performed in accordance with point M.A.710 of Part‐M by:
(1) the competent authority; or (2) a CAMO; or
(3) the approved maintenance organisation performing the annual inspection contained in the AMP, while in compliance with the requirements contained in point M.A.901(l) of Part‐M; or
(4) for sailplanes, balloons, hot‐air airships and ELA1 aeroplanes, operated under Part‐NCO rules, the certifying staff performing the annual inspection contained in the AMP, when:
(i) holding a Part‐66 licence rated for the corresponding aircraft; and
(ii) having acquired knowledge, either by self‐study, training or experience, of the parts of Part‐ML relevant to continuing airworthiness management, performance of airworthiness reviews and issue of ARCs, including the applicable cross‐referred parts of Part‐M.
For aircraft where there is no Part‐66 licence applicable, the certifying staff qualification of the State of Registry is an acceptable alternative, except that this is only valid for airworthiness reviews of aircraft registered in that Member State and the ARC will not benefit from mutual recognition when transferring the aircraft to another Member State.

Inspectors: Please support the above as written. It removes the inappropriate three year delay on new inspectors issuing ARCs. (it does this by the absence of any such requirement, which has been removed following lobbying at meetings in Cologne).

That’s all; it should not take you more than perhaps 45 minutes Please do your bit for this struggle and go and place your comments in your own words! Thank you !!
BBAC Technical Committee.

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