View Full Version : using non approved harware for panels

3rd Feb 2017, 03:37
Have a great question for the tech ones here.
If you remove a wing panel and have to drill and easy out many screws, can one run down to the local Home depot or Lowes and buy replacement screws?
This on commercial aircraft under FAA part 121.
Seems they think so, have to disagree severely.
Awaiting replys, either way.

3rd Feb 2017, 03:54
Seems they think so,
Who's the 'they' that think this is OK? 'They' need to be escorted away from the maintenance facility ASAP.

We came close to having a problem with this on the 747-400 program at Boeing (many years ago). A few mechanics were caught pulling nuts and bolts out of the Facilities stores room. A memo was circulated immediately ordering facilities stores personnel not to issue stock to anyone from any org other than facilities for exactly this reason.

3rd Feb 2017, 04:23
This is our guidance: On common repair items like fasteners, there must be an approved parts equivalency procedure in place and applied before non-standard/unapproved hardware can be substituted - the focus, naturally, being on where and how the hardware is used.

3rd Feb 2017, 05:40
The Manufacturer of he Aircraft specifies the hardware to be used. I very much doubt it says go to the hardware store and use what fits. The proper screws are made of a certain material, have the correct head for the task, and the required finish (ie CAD Plated). The hardware store may have a screw that fits but what is its composition.

Short Answer:- No..

Band a Lot
3rd Feb 2017, 05:51
It could be possible, but unless they can prove the procedure and documents required to have it an approved part it would be against the regulations and company policy.

If the aircraft lists these screws as locally obtained under a part number or supplier it is perfectly ok, I doubt it does!!

Again refer to the parts manual from the manufacturer for the part number or any alternate if the local hardware shop can match then it may be possible to use them (I said MAY!)

Simply ask them to refer the approved data for the screws use in the paperwork that requires certification. Or report them to FAA if they refuse.

3rd Feb 2017, 21:17
Hey, Boeing did it to "rollout" the 787 mockup on 7/8/07...Apparently a lot of Home Depot fasteners...

3rd Feb 2017, 21:41
Ask your Quality dept.........

Jet II
4th Feb 2017, 01:22
Threads like this scare me.

perhaps its a spoof?

4th Feb 2017, 02:31
One well known radio company used Gold Plated pins in it's circuit boards, these failed with monotonous regularity after 20 years service. This was because they were steel pins, and galvanic action eventually caused the gold plating to fail.
Had they used plain copper pins originally, then no problems would have occurred.

tpng conehead
4th Feb 2017, 03:07
That would come under fitting bogus parts. You can only fit parts as per the IPC/SB or approved engineering orders or other approved documents for the aircraft concerned.

Band a Lot
4th Feb 2017, 03:43
In 2009, the FAA's regulations concerning aircraft parts approval were changed. The new regulations explain that an article that is reasonably likely to be installed on a type certificated product (aircraft, propeller or engine) may not be produced unless it fits into one of six categories:

(1) It is produced under a type certificate;
(2) It is produced under an FAA production approval;
(3) It is a standard part (such as a nut or bolt) manufactured in compliance with a government or established industry specification;
(4) It is a commercial part as defined in § 21.1 of this part;
(5) It is produced by an owner or operator for maintaining or altering that owner or operator's product; or
(6) It is fabricated by an appropriately rated certificate holder with a quality system, and then consumed in a repair or alteration.

#3 can possibly allow it if the aircraft manufacturer has developed it as an industry standard for said aircraft type during certification. This is not likely but certainly possible if the aircraft manufacturer and a commercial hardware company (Zed screw company) had close ownership relations. Simply in the aircraft manuals state where locally obtained Zed screws can be used on say the Concord wings.

Some time back a fixed ELT using D cell Batteries said "locally obtain Duracell D cell batteries" and fit. From memory the use by date on the battery was reduced as part of the approval. All 100% legal with a till slip from local supermarket. (However the bulk packs of these exact approved batteries were a different diameter and did not fit).

Battery only as an example that it is possible.


Uses standard Duracell® batteries
Smallest, lightest TSO-C91a ELT available
Easy to install. Requires no aircraft power
Fire resistant, high impact plastic case
Waterproof to 60 ft.
Easily removed from aircraft for service
Coherent beacon designed for satellite detection
Two Year Warranty

4th Feb 2017, 04:11
Band a lot,

Fitting Standard AA Batteries in an ELT poses no problem, because that's what you're told to do by the approved maintenance/overhaul data.

Similarly with most megaphones fitted to Boeing A/C:-
"The power supply used in the megaphone consists of six standard 1½ volt
“AA” size batteries"

However, and I'd like to start by saying my experience lies firmly in maintenance of Boeing A/C, I'm fairly sure in the Airbus AIPC it will give an exact part number of bolt to be fitted (down to the exact length).

Approval could possibly be granted to use equivalent parts, however these equivalent parts would have to be made form the same material, be heat treated to the same hardness and have the same coatings as the original.
Equivalent parts also normally need to be identified as such.

And the chance of finding a titanium with a cadmium coating down at Home Depot is probably pretty thin.

4th Feb 2017, 04:35
And the chance of finding a titanium with a cadmium coating down at Home Depot is probably pretty thin.

I sure hope it's equally scarce in the manufacture as well :E

cadmium gathers salt and salt causes stress corrosion in Titanium

Band a Lot
4th Feb 2017, 04:51
DD you just failed and fitted bogus parts!

Uses standard Duracell® batteries Is a cut and paste.

If you use any other brand than Duracell like Energizer they are not approved.

Duracell and Artex must have agreed standards and QA in place with appropriate FAA approval. ( Aircraft Timex wheel bearing have the same part number as the commercial ones - but only certain production runs get Aviation approval and paper work - only due to high batch level quality checks than the other production runs).

In the Boing is it a type and model "megaphone"? I assume it is as certain specs will be required to be meet such as volume.

How to Make a Megaphone With Construction Paper | eHow (http://www.ehow.com/how_12167589_make-megaphone-construction-paper.html)

Band a Lot
4th Feb 2017, 04:58
And requires certification it seems.

ACR 2BA Cabin Emergency Megaphone - ACR Electronics - ACR-EM-2BA - Aircraft cabin crew training equipment (http://cabincrewsafety.com/stock/cabin/205/ACR-2BA-Cabin-Emergency-Megaphone.html)

7th Feb 2017, 03:04
If I was fitting new batteries to your ELT, then you're quite correct, "standard" AA's would be bogus parts.

HOWEVER! My post was a cut and paste direct from the manufacturers overhaul documents, where "six standard 1½ volt “AA” size batteries" is the specification. So, as long as the batteries are of AA size, produce 1.5 volts, and you fit 6 of them, it's all good!

That is indeed the megaphone in question, and it IS actually certified, just not for $350!

This is something we see quite often, the last example was buying some multi-meters off the shelf at the local tool store (multi-meters listed in the approved maintenance data obviously). £120 to Joe Public, £240 for the exact same thing with a certificate in the box.

lomapaseo, quite correct, I knew some were Ti and some were cad plated, I've gotten the 2 mixed up!

A and C
7th Feb 2017, 10:07
We have approval to from an aircraft manufacturer to fit commercialy sourced back up batteries provided these meet the original specifications and come with a certificate of conformity.

This approval is very specific and can't be applied to any other items.

8th Feb 2017, 04:01
Not sure if this is relevant to the OP but I'll post the link anyway:


See the section on "investigation".

Band a Lot
10th Feb 2017, 06:24
DD we are reading the same page, yours allows use of any brand battery and requires a volt for use of commercial available items for aircraft use, mine is a brand specific as I assume a quality control between Artex and Duracell for commercial available use.

So for the OP yes it is at times possible to use items from the local hardware shop, but they need to be approved for use by (anyone willing to get them approved) a paperwork procedure.

We once got approval to use marine engine control cables for some of our aircraft. They needed to be Brand Specific and floor tested to 1.5x expected force, before fitment.

Other aircraft now have several items including lights and gauges that are brand specific commercially available. These are smaller types but becoming far more common.

10th Feb 2017, 11:14
If this was done as stated by the OP then this hardware would not have been approved therefore rendering them 'suspected unapproved parts' which would cause for immediate grounding along with an MOR.