Uncertified avionics repair

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Unregistered, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Suppose a person who was not certified by the FAA to repair avionics were to competently repair a radio or other piece of avionics. Would the avionics be forever illegal to install and use in a certified aircraft or is it possible to have it checked out at a certified shop and returned to service?

    Because someone will bring it up, assume the person repairing the unit also had a general radiotelephone license and could legally repair 2-way radios.
     
  2. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    15,527
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jesse
    No clue. Ship it to me and I'll just use it in my airplane, you'll sleep better at night.
     
  3. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    15,297
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tony
    what avionics repair???
     
    Dana likes this.
  4. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,326
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    "Somebody repaired this radio? Really?"
     
  5. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    A certified avionics shop (with Radio rating with appropriate class rating for comm, nav, or pulsed equipment, as appropriate to the device) could examine the unit and pronounce it meeting its certification data.

    That said, the holder of an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator certificate is authorized to "adjust, maintain, or internally repair FCC licensed radiotelephone transmitters in the aviation, maritime, and international fixed public radio services." So, as long as the repair didn't go beyond that authorization, the repair was properly documented, and an FAA Airframe Mechanic (or owner/pilot in the case of a radio falling under item 31 in the preventive maintenance list) returns the aircraft to service after the repaired radio was reinstalled, I see no reason why this is an issue here.
     
  6. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    21,107
    Location:
    DC Suburbs
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill S.
    Or for those old enough, an FCC Second Class or higher license (which were converted to General....:mad: ).
     
  7. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    Second Class Radiotelephone. There's still a Second Class Radiotelegraph, which won't do (unless it's a WWII vintage radiotelegraph transceiver we're talking about, which I kinda doubt).
     
  8. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    The only time you need a certificate to repair radios is when you are working on the transmitter portion.

    So the answer to the OP's question really depends upon what was wrong with it.

    Any one can pull the radio out of the rack and clean pins to make it work again.
     
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Wrong again.

    those ratings are for repairing the transmitter only.
     
  10. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    So, you can't work on the receiver with those ratings, but one post above you say you don't need a rating to work on the receiver? Self-consistency would be useful here. The PG ticket is enough to work on the comm side, both receiver and transmitter.
     
  11. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    You must read what I said, not interpret it in your own way.

    Any one can repair any portion of the radio other than the transmitter.

    you only need a operators certificate for transmitting on transmitters that produce 1000 Watts of power your aircraft radio is limited to 5 watts of out put power.
     
    bnglass likes this.
  12. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    You must read the FCC rules rathere than just guess. You need that FCC ticket to work on that transmitter, too, and not just if it's over 1000 watts.
     
  13. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    You need a certificate to WORK on ALL transmitters no matter what they are used in, or for, or how much power they produce.

    You only need a Operators certificate for transmitters over 1000 Watts. That is why we do not need operators certificates for your aircraft any more.

    There is no mention of receivers any where in the FCC rules for Radios repairmen.
     
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    You must read what is written, and not twist it into some thing that was not said.
     
  15. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    :sigh: Good night, Tom.
     
  16. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Old Geek
    Um, no. Two examples just off the top of my head are radio amateurs, who can work on and even design their own transmitters with an amateur radio license, and designers of Part 15 devices.
     
  17. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    That would be the exception. but we were speaking of manufactured equipment.
     
  18. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    43,038
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Just like aviation, there are insurance rules for shops too.

    They sometimes state that only someone with a GROL touches anything, no matter what the FCC says.

    Just like FAA and aircraft insurance.

    And of course no one asked if said avionics device in question was a radar. Gotta have a specific endorsement on the GROL for that. ;)

    The person who said anyone can work on Part 15 devices is only partially right. The device may not be modified or it will no longer meet its type acceptance under Part 15.

    So "repair to original spec" is accurate, but not "modify the design".

    This is true of anything Type Accepted, actually, under any Part of the FCC regs. Even if you have the schematic and know how to make a radio perform better. You can't change it.

    Amateurs may modify, however.

    Amateur is always the odd-ball. Mostly because its intended to be fun. You're allowed to blow yourself up if you like.

    Wouldn't an "you're allowed to blow yourself up" Part for FAA and aircraft be entertaining?

    Experimental is close, but not nearly as open as Amateur FCC regs.
     
  20. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    983
    Location:
    Gulf Shores, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JohnAJohnson
    Did someone change the boards colors from red to blue? :confused:
     
  21. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,878
    Location:
    Olympia, Washington
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ghery Pettit
    Well, you do need a license to transmit on amateur radio frequencies. And Part 15 devices may not be modified or your authorization to use them goes away.

    True that. Nor may the manufacturer give you access to any controls that can take it out of compliance with the applicable FCC Rules.
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    22,030
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Exactly. If it wasn't documented, it never happened. And good luck proving an undocumented repair of that sort.

    Furthermore, why would anybody even notice? It seems at least half the radios in the sky (maybe just on the junk I've had to fly over the years) don't work completely right. Never had ATC complain about that.
     
  23. cowman

    cowman En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,154
    Location:
    Danger Zone
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowman
    I am actually a licensed ham with a general although I'm a bit out of practice with it. I can tell you exactly what the FCC rules are on this..

    I can repair, modify, or even build from scratch any radio transmitter I want but I can only transmit within the amateur radio bands that I am licensed for and only within the maximum power limits for that band. I can't modify or build radios to work on other bands. Those have to be FCC certified specifically for the radio service they are supposed to work on. So no homebrew radios transmitting on the aviation bands.

    For receivers, you can pretty much do whatever you want no license required as long as it's for your personal use and not rebroadcast. The only actual restriction is that you're not allowed to make something that receives a cellular phone signal or decrypt an encrypted transmission.

    That doesn't help with the FAA requirements obviously, but maybe is of some help.
     
  24. richas

    richas Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rich
    There is much more to consider than power limits for a commercial transmitter than power limits. The transmitter must be spectrally pure to within limits over temperature and frequency etc etc.
    Both transmitters and receivers have to be tested to determine that they don't produce spurious emissions within limits.
    Both transmitters and receivers have to be tested to have limited succeptablity to emissions.

    I am also a ham, it is apples and oranges.

    Rich
     
  25. bnglass

    bnglass Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    I know that this is an old thread. I understand the requirements that you be licensed to work on a transmitter (GROL in the case of aviation/marine etc.) due to risk of creating interference.

    Nav's don't create interference, but we trust our lives on them. Are there any FARs governing who works on NAV receivers? I have a KI-214 that I want to see if I can repair. I got it and a new Meter assembly at a really good price on E-bay. I don't have a GROL license, Just a PPL with Amateur Radio License and some soldering experience etc.

    If I open this Nav Indicator up and fiddle with the innerds, will no longer be "airworthy", or can I just take it to an avionics shop after I fix it and get an 8130?
     
  26. dmspilot

    dmspilot Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,450
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dmspilot
    This thread is an interesting historic preservation of poadeleted20's legendary reading comprehension skills!
     
    timwinters likes this.
  27. flyingbrit

    flyingbrit Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    flyingbrit
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    7,495
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    Tom-D has been suspended from the club. And this thread is over 5 years old, so I don't think he will see this.... and poadeleted20 voluntarily left and won't be back.
     
  29. bluerooster

    bluerooster Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,369
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    shorty
    A radio "station" is at least one of each, transmitter, and receiver.
    But, (there's allways a but) You can take an aircraft radio, and modify it to operate on the Ham bands, and use it to do so.
     
  30. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Home will always be Vandalia, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GlennAB1
  31. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    26,809
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    I'm back for now..
    And I'll stand by What I said 6 years ago. the FAA has no rules about who can work on or return to service aircraft radios.

    THE FCC does. They have rules about who can repair TRANSMITTERS, That's any transmitter not just aircraft transmitters.
     
    Zeldman likes this.
  32. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    7,495
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    Good to have you back.


    No argument from me on this.