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Old 30th Jan 2009, 15:13   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Line Maintenance

Greetings fellow techies.

I work for a very small company that is aiming towards obtaining M5 approval. My given task is to find out what constitues "Line Maintenance" but I have been unable to find a definitive list of what tasks can be considered as such. Being ex RAF, I have only recently entered the world of CAA, EASA, JAR's, BCAR's etc and navigating through a pile of acronyms is a bit confusing at times. As its possible to change an engine on the line, would this be considered as Line Maintenance or would this be a deeper level of maintenance? I have been unsuccessful finding anything on the CAA website, so if any of you chaps can give me a steer, I would be grateful.

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Old 30th Jan 2009, 15:59   #2 (permalink)
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Hello mate,

There is no answer to your question. From the companys I have worked for Line Maintenance covered all scheduled maintenace upto A checks and any unscheduled rectification. This means you could carry out a scheduled or unscheduled engine change.

However you need to forget how you worked in the RAF and read EASA Part 145 and EASA Part M. These documents are not light reading but they lay down the requirements to be met. You then need to submit an exposition to the CAA detailing how you will comply with the Part M and Part 145 regulations. Stuff like key post holders, maintenace facilities etc etc. If you try and do it all from scratch you will tie yourself up in knots.

My advice would be identify a company that is of a simular size to yours that is already approved to carry out the type of maintenance you are trying to do and consult them.
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Old 30th Jan 2009, 20:39   #3 (permalink)
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Line Maintenance Definition

The only definition I am aware of is contained in the 145 AMC and Guidance Material available on the EASA website at:


It states:

AMC 145.A.10 Scope
1. Line Maintenance should be understood as any maintenance that is carried out before flight to ensure that the aircraft is fit for the intended flight.
(a) Line Maintenance may include:
  • Trouble shooting.
  • Defect rectification.
  • Component replacement with use of external test equipment if required.Component replacement may include components such as engines and propellers.
  • Scheduled maintenance and/or checks including visual inspections that will detect obvious unsatisfactory conditions/discrepancies but do not require extensive in depth inspection. It may also include internal structure, systems and powerplant items which are visible through quick opening access panels/doors.
  • Minor repairs and modifications which do not require extensive disassembly and can be accomplished by simple means.
(b) For temporary or occasional cases (AD's, SB's) the Quality Manager may accept base maintenance tasks to be performed by a line maintenance organisation provided all requirements are fulfilled as defined by the competent authority.

(c) Maintenance tasks falling outside these criteria are considered to be Base Maintenance.

(d) Aircraft maintained in accordance with "progressive" type programmes should be individually assessed in relation to this para. In principle, the decision to allow some "progressive" checks to be carried out should be determined by the assessment that all tasks within the particular check can be carried out safely to the required standards at the designated line maintenance station.
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Old 31st Jan 2009, 00:26   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Oberon 1, great handle by the way. Did you used to be king of the fairies?!

I would see if you can get hold of another company's CAMME (Continuing Airworthiness Maintenance and Management Exposition). Ours are now held on CD and replaced regularly by amendment.

In it you can see what tasks are available for each station. For instance, some stations may be considered as main base, so a scheduled engine change could fall under their remit. Some other stations may be considered as outstations so just basic tasks up to weekly and defect rectification might be their limit. Your example of an engine change is good one, as some line stations may not be permitted to do a scheduled one, but could if it was an AOG situation.

These limitations are set by the Quality department and are ratified by various factors such as number of certifying staff, their qualifications, facilities available on station etc.
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Old 31st Jan 2009, 09:09   #5 (permalink)
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This may help, as a general rule on Airbus a/c, anything less than what was classed as a "C" check is Line Maintenance.
In other words all "A" checks are classed as Line Maintenance, whether or not you perform the check in a hangar.
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Old 1st Feb 2009, 09:48   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info guys - very helpful

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Old 3rd Feb 2009, 19:43   #7 (permalink)
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Depends on the SOP of the Airline concerned.
But normally Line Maintenance is carried out on the Tarmac,while Major Mx needs a hangar visit of a longer duration.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 06:19   #8 (permalink)
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As a general ruly as previously stated line maintenance is classed A and B checks but base is C and higher.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 07:24   #9 (permalink)
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As Spotty says A check classed as Minor Maintenence and can be carried out in a line envoirment along with unscheduled maintenence (also in a hanger by line guys if you have that luxury). C checks (this is the crux 'Planned Major Maintenence') needs to be done in a envoirment friendly atmosphere.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 10:18   #10 (permalink)
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The other thing to be aware of are the avaiable facilities, the regulator would expect something like an engine change to be accomplished in a hangar, with the aircraft protected from the environment.

The Approved Maintenance Programme for the aircraft will define the what is and is not line maintenance, it depends on what you will get through your surveyor.
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 19:13   #11 (permalink)
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I did an FAR Familiarisation training course today and in the reading material issued to us, Line maintenance was discribed as:

"Any unscheduled maintenance resulting from un-for-seen events/schedule checks that contain servicing or inspections that do NOT require specialised Training, Equipment or Facilities."

Just for info


Last edited by cessna24; 11th Feb 2009 at 21:23.
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 20:04   #12 (permalink)
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Good question. I work for a large international airline for Line Maintenance.
Our definition is Daily Checks and Defect rectification.
Weekly checks can be done on the line, but only by arrangement, and I don't think any are done at present.

Also any job bigger than say a spoiler actuator would be done by a working party from Base. Mainly because we do not have the man power.

With A320's I get a base working party about once a year with about 2000 departures a year.
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