Appendix E - Maintenance Releases Made with Expired Licenses
1.1 Situations have arisen where AMEs have continued to exercise the privileges of their AME licence after the expiry of the document. Although the AME may currently be undergoing the licence re-issue process in accordance with STD 566.03(12), guidance is required to determine what, if any, the effect of these certifications may have on aviation safety.
1.2 The purpose of this appendix is to provide TC personnel with guidance on how to address situations where a maintenance release has been made using an expired licence.
2.1 If an AME has continued to exercise the licence privileges following expiry of the document, any maintenance certifications will have been issued in contravention of the CARs. However, provided the aircraft operator and pilot were not aware of the license expiry, they would not be committing an offence by accepting the maintenance release as a basis for dispatching or flying the aircraft.
2.2 The inadvertent use of an expired licence does not, in itself, necessarily indicate that the aircraft should be considered unairworthy.
The responsible TC office should investigate the matter and ensure that any threats to safety are dealt with.
Note: During the review process assessment of safety compliance and/or administrative compliance should be viewed as independent issues.
3.1 Certifications Made Under an AMO:
3.1.1 TC should issue a finding to the AMO identifying that a maintenance release has been made by an AME whose licence has expired.
3.1.2 Immediate action by the AMO must include an evaluation of whether the competence, and/or level of currency with AMO training requirements, of the AME are in doubt.
3.1.3 If the AME was current with the AMO's training requirements (etc), to the extent that had the licence been valid issue of the maintenance release would have been correct, the AME's competence need not normally be in doubt.
3.1.4 If the AME is not current with the AMO's training requirements, competence may become a factor. The AMO's immediate action must include steps to deal with each affected maintenance release.
3.1.5 Long-term action must correct the AMO's failure to remove the ACA authority until the licence was valid, and address the Quality Program deficiencies that permitted the ACA system failure to go undetected.
3.1.6 Written confirmation by the AMO that all certifications made under the authority of the expired licence have since been recertified is required. This information must include aircraft registration marks and dates of initial certification and recertification.
3.1.7 If the AMO fails to take effective corrective action, the TC office involved must act to address any threat to safety which may include suspension of the flight authorities, Continuing Airworthiness involvement (suspect products), and/or initiating audit or certificate action.
3.2 Certifications Made on Private Aircraft:
3.2.1 The AME is to be counseled of their responsibility to ensure that any maintenance certified with an expired licence is recertified prior to the aircrafts next flight. Written confirmation by the AME that all certifications made under the authority of the expired licence have since been recertified is required. This information must include aircraft registration marks and dates of initial certification and recertification.
3.2.2 The region should review the facts and make a determination as to whether notification to the aircraft owner/operator is warranted.
4. Notification to the AME
4.1 As the AME no longer holds a valid licence regulatory suspension of the document is not required.
4.2 In situations where the AME has applied for licence renewal/reissue, receipt of their application form shall be recognized as confirmation that they have acknowledged that they may not utilize their licence until it is renewed/reissued (as applicable).
4.3 In situations where TC has been made aware that the AME has exercised the privileges of an expired licence, and the AME has not initiated the licence renewal/reissue process, notification shall take the form of a letter in which the individual is advised that TC has become aware of the expiry of the licence and that they are no longer in a position to utilize the licence until it is renewed/reissued (as applicable).
5. Enforcement action
5.1 Where deemed warranted the TC office involved is to raise a detection notice to initiate an Aviation Enforcement investigation. Evidence to support the violation (e.g. aircraft certifications) is required to be forwarded to Enforcement along with the detection notice. If there is reason to believe that the AME or AMO knowingly made maintenance releases with the licence expired, the detection notice is to include that information.
6.1 The outcome of any TC review/investigation processes must be documented and appended to the AME's 5802 file for future reference.