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CHAPTER 2. THE STC PROCESS

2-1. GENERAL.
2-2.
SUBMITTAL AND EVALUATION OF APPLICATION AND DATA.
2-3.
INSPECTION AND TESTING OF COMPONENTS AND SUBASSEMBLIES.
2-4.
INSPECTION AND TESTING OF COMPLETE ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
2-5.
ISSUANCE OF THE STC.
2-6.
STC APPLICATION PROCESS CHECKLIST
2-7.
STC APPLICANT/FAA PROJECT INITIATION CHECKLIST
2-8.
SAMPLE CERTIFICATION PLAN
2-9.
SAMPLE COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST FORMAT

CHAPTER 2. THE STC PROCESS

2-1. GENERAL.

The STC application process has four basic steps: (1) FAA evaluation of submitted application and data; (2) inspection and test of detail parts, components, and subassemblies; (3) inspection and tests of the complete assembly, modification and installation; and (4) issuance of the STC. Described in the following text is the STC process for an aircraft. The process would be similar for an engine or propeller.

2-2. SUBMITTAL AND EVALUATION OF APPLICATION AND DATA.

a. FAA Form 8110-12, Application for Type Certificate, Production Certificate, or Supplemental Type Certificate, should be submitted to the FAA ACO with a letter that includes:

(1) A description of the project.

(2) The type of aircraft involved.

(3) A schedule for completion of the project.

(4) Where the work (design and installation) will be conducted.

(5) A letter from the applicant authorizing use of specific agents to represent the applicant. Certain individuals may act on behalf of the FAA. See chapter 4.

(6) Statement, if necessary, that a project initiation meeting is needed or desired.

b. Applicant should submit a Certification Plan to the FAA for approval, (see figure 2-4) containing:

NOTE: Implementation of the certification plan will be at the discretion of the ACO Manager/Project Engineer. An implemented plan should also be revised throughout the program.

(1) "General Information" should identify: the applicant, application date, model designation, etc.; the certification basis of applicable 14 CFR parts (including sections), exemptions, and special conditions; how compli-ance will be shown (tests, analysis, similarity, etc.), and what will be submitted to show compliance. See Figure 2-5.

NOTE: Identification of applicable regulations may require assistance from the FAA Project Engineer.

(2) "Project Schedule" identifying dates of: major milestones; when data and test plan submittals will be made; when conformity inspections, installation, and testing are required; and when the project will be completed.

(3) "Identification of Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representatives (DMIR), Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DAR), and Designated Engineering Representatives (DER)," and their specialties, utilized; including who will sign FAA Form 8110-3, Statement Of Compliance With The Federal Aviation Regulations, (if required), and whether it will be recommended or approved. Include names, points of contact, FAA home office and level of authority.

c. FAA will establish a project and assign a project manager/engineer. Within 10 working days after receipt of the application and certification plan, an acknowledgment letter is transmitted to the applicant identifying the project number, project manager/engineer and team (i.e. engineer(s), flight test personnel, Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG), MDO personnel, project officer, etc.), and the date of the project initiation meeting as appropriate.

d. FAA will review the "Certification Plan" and provide concurrence with, or modification of the Certification Plan, to meet or accomplish the applicable regulations and advisory material, certification procedures (i.e., DER data approval, test witnessing, etc.), and analysis, documentation and testing required to satisfy certification requirements.

NOTE: For systems that contain software, the Plan for Software Aspects of the Certification (PSAC) should be submitted after FAA approval of the Product Certification Plan. (Reference RTCA DO-178 latest change.)

e. Applicant should submit all data to the FAA project manager/engineer for review and approval. If the data is modified or updated during the course of the project, the applicant should immediately contact the FAA and establish a time frame when the change(s) will be submitted to the FAA.

NOTE: In many cases the FAA may need more than one copy of the data submittal package.

(1) Test plans need prior approval by the ACO and should include all necessary details: test fixture, test articles, (parts, components, or subassemblies) as well as the final modification or installation tests.

NOTE: Components and/or assemblies requiring conformity should be identified, including the test fixture and equipment.

(2) FAA coordination of the work will only be with the applicant/agent identified on FAA Form 8110-12, unless otherwise indicated in a specific authorization.

NOTE: The applicant is responsible for coordinating any FAA requests with the applicant's vendors and subcontractors.

f. FAA will review the data for compliance with the applicable regulations, and the project manager/engineer will notify the applicant when data is accepted.

2-3. INSPECTION AND TESTING OF COMPONENTS AND SUBASSEMBLIES.

Prior to modification or installation completion, it may be necessary to inspect and/or test detail parts, components, and/or subassemblies to verify the descriptive data conforms and complies with the applicable regulations. This is especially true when the part(s) will be out of sight after installation. See chapters 6 and 8.

a. FAA will issue requests for conformity, FAA Form 8120-10, for individual articles (i.e. detail parts, components, subassemblies, test articles, etc.) as necessary.

NOTE: The conformity inspection request should only be issued after the data has been FAA or DER approved.

b. Applicant should submit FAA Form 8130-9, Statement of Conformity, after performing own conformity inspections and complying with 14 CFR part 21, section 21.33. The applicant should, at the same time, arrange (with FAA concurrence) for FAA or FAA designee for conformity inspection, and FAA/DER witnessing of all certification testing to approved test plans.

NOTE: Submission of this form is called out on the Type Inspection Authorization. The FAA MIDO may delegate performance of the conformity inspection to an FAA DAR/DMIR.

c. FAA and Applicant conduct inspections and tests. The FAA, or their designee, will conduct all necessary conformity inspections. Upon completion of conformity inspection, the applicant will perform all required tests per approved test proposal. The FAA project engineer or an FAA authorized DER should witness all tests and conduct any necessary compliance inspections.

d. Applicant should submit test reports and substantiating data for all certification testing, as well as any further data necessary to demonstrate compliance with the regulations.

e. FAA will evaluate test reports and substantiating data for compliance with the applicable regulations. When it is determined that these reports and data comply, approval of the submittals will be granted.

2-4. INSPECTION AND TESTING OF COMPLETE ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION.

When the modification or installation is complete and all data has been approved, all component inspections and tests should be performed on the final article. These inspections and tests will be called out in the Type Inspection Authorization (TIA), FAA Form 8110-1, and must be completed satisfactorily before the STC can be issued.

NOTE: In the event that a TIA is not required, a request for installation conformity on FAA Form 8120-10 will be issued by the FAA project manager/engineer.

a. Applicant should submit proposed Aircraft/Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS/RFMS) and flight test proposal to the FAA for evaluation by the FAA pilot.

b. Applicant should conduct own certification test when the proposed test plan is acceptable to the FAA.

NOTE: The aircraft should be placed in research and development. See 14 CFR part 21, section 21.191.

c. Applicant should complete his/her own certification flight test requirements prior to any direct FAA flight test involvement, to assure the design change complies with all application regulations.

d. Applicant should submit a flight test report to the FAA for review after successful completion of his/her own certification flight testing.

e. Applicant should submit FAA Form 8130-9 and arrange (with FAA concurrence) for FAA installation conformity inspection to be conducted.

f. FAA will evaluate the applicant's flight test report for compliance with 14 CFR part 21, section 21.35(a)(4) and other applicable regulations. Upon acceptance, FAA certification testing, as called out in the TIA, may begin.

g. FAA will prepare and issue the TIA after coordination is accomplished with each appropriate engineering discipline, MIDO representative, and if applicable, AEG personnel, and the examination of the technical data required for the STC is completed or has reached a point where the aircraft will meet the applicable regulations.

h. All conformity installation inspections necessary are conducted by the FAA (or authorized FAA designee) as called out in the TIA or Request for Conformity (installation). Satisfactory completion of the inspections is necessary for TIA testing to begin. Conformity Inspections are recorded on Conformity Inspection Record, FAA Form 8100-1.

i. Applicant should arrange (with FAA concurrence) for final FAA compliance inspections and TIA ground and flight testing, as applicable.

j. Final compliance inspections and testing, (ground and flight), are conducted by the FAA/ Applicant as called out in the TIA.

NOTE: The aircraft should be placed in showing compliance with regulations. See 14 CFR part 21, section 21.191.

k. Applicant should submit all final data upon completion of the FAA final compliance inspections and testing, to the FAA project manager/engineer for review and approval. Data such as AFMS/RFMS, test reports, life limited parts (14 CFR parts 23, 25, 27, etc.).

l. FAA will evaluate final data submittal for compliance with the regulations. When it is determined that the data demonstrates compliance with the regulations, final FAA approval of the modification or installation will be granted.

2-5. ISSUANCE OF THE STC.

When all data, TIA tests, and inspections have been completed satisfactorily and approved by the FAA, an STC will be issued to the applicant. All appropriate project data will be sent to the FAA archives, and the project will be closed.

a. FAA, FAA designee, or applicant will prepare the Supplemental Type Inspection Report (STIR), compiling results of the completed TIA inspections, tests, and evaluations.

NOTE: If an FAA designee, or applicant prepares the STIR, the FAA must still review and approve the report.

b. FAA will prepare an STC upon completion of all the previous steps found in chapter 2, sections 2-2, 2-3, and 2-4. The STC will be signed by the ACO manager.

NOTE: In many cases, the applicant may be informally notified of the final approval and STC number when the STC is officially signed by the ACO manager.

c. FAA will issue the STC, (FAA Form 8110-2), to the applicant with a transmittal letter.

d. FAA will send a copy of all FAA supplemental type certificates, FAA Form 8110-2, which the holders have indicated are available for use by others, to be logged into the FAA STC data base: FAA; Attn.: AFS-610; P.O. Box 25082; Oklahoma City, OK 73125.

e. Application project will be closed when all steps in this chapter have been completed successfully.

2-6. STC APPLICATION PROCESS CHECKLIST

Phase I. SUBMITTAL AND FAA EVALUATION OF APPLICATION AND DATA

- Applicant submits application
- Applicant submits Certification Plan (as required by FAA)
- FAA establishes project
- FAA reviews and approves Certification Plan
- Applicant submits data
- FAA reviews data

Phase II. INSPECTION AND TESTING OF COMPONENTS AND SUBASSEMBLIES

- FAA issues individual requests for conformity inspection
- Applicant makes arrangement for inspections and tests
- FAA conducts/delegates conformity inspections
- Applicant conducts/FAA witnesses certification tests
- Applicant submits test reports and substantiating data
- FAA evaluates test reports and substantiating data

Phase III. INSPECTION AND TESTING OF COMPLETE ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
- Applicant submits proposed AFMS/RFMS and flight test proposal
- FAA evaluates proposed AFMS/RFMS and flight test proposal
- FAA prepares TIA/request for Conformity (installation)
- Applicant makes arrangements for installation conformity inspection
- FAA conducts installation conformity inspection
- Applicant completes company development flight tests
- Applicant submits flight test report
- FAA evaluates flight test report
- Applicant makes arrangements for final inspections and tests
- FAA/applicant conduct final inspections and tests per the TIA
- Applicant submits all final data
- FAA evaluates final data

Phase IV. ISSUANCE OF THE STC

- FAA prepares STIR
- FAA prepares STC
- STC sent to applicant
- FAA finalizes STIR
- STC sent to FAA archives
- Project closed

2-7. STC APPLICANT/FAA PROJECT INITIATION CHECKLIST

The purpose for this checklist is to clearly communicate early in the certification process the requirements that must be fulfilled for an STC to be issued. The contents of this checklist should be communicated between the applicant, the project manager/engineer, and the responsible MIDO office of the project at a minimum.

1. Is the application complete?

2. Is there anticipation of expanding the model applicability of the STC? If so, is there anything that can be done on the initial certification that will make expansion of the STC easier at a later date?

3. Is the STC going to be "multiple" or will it be a "one only"? If the STC is a "One-only", the aircraft make, model, and serial number should be provided.

4. Will the kits be for sale? If so, installation instructions will be necessary so that anyone obtaining a kit will have enough information for installation. (14 CFR part 21, section 21.303.) What is the fabrication inspection system?

5. Is there a requirement for generating instructions for continued airworthiness? See chapter 5-3.i. and note.

6. Is there an existing STC that could be used instead of going to the trouble of applying for a new one?

7. What is the Applicant's/FAA's schedule?

8. Where will modification of the aircraft take place?

9. Will any parts be fabricated outside of the applicant's facility? If so, what kind, where, and when will they be made? Qualification and conformity will be required.

10. What is required for the conformity inspection process? The applicant has the responsibility to properly record and report their conformity inspection on FAA Form 8100-1, Conformity Inspection Record, prior to FAA's conformity inspection. It is a necessity for early submittal of FAA Form 8130-9, in-process conformities and the procedure for making the request for conformity, FAA Form 8120-10. Drawings must be FAA/DER approved prior to asking for conformity inspection. See 14 CFR part 21, section 21.33.

11. What kind of drawing system will be used? The drawing system used should: contain a drawing list; provide information required for the various types of drawings (i.e. detail, component, assembly, and installation); describe the modification; list the materials and applicable specifications, processes such as heat treat, etc., and protective coatings used; and provide the dimensions in enough detail to accomplish the modification. Any process specifications, (fiberglass work etc.), used should be documented and reviewed by the FAA. New processes may have to be demonstrated to an FAA inspector. Suppliers of materials should be listed.

12. Will designees be used on the program? Identify the name, number and type of designees to be used. Explain the purpose of utilizing designees.

13. What types of tests are anticipated? What constitutes test proposals, conformities for setups and witnessing of tests, applicant versus FAA tests, and (if applicable) placing the aircraft in experimental category.

14. Will special instructions be necessary to tell the pilot how the modified aircraft will now operate? If so, an AFMS/RFMS will need to be prepared.

15. It is the applicant's responsibility to establish a certification test plan and compliance check list, and to determine the modification meets all applicable airworthiness standards.

16. Is the project significant? See FAA Order 8100.5, Aircraft Certification Directorate Procedures. Are issue papers, technical meetings required? What is the certification basis for the modification. Is AEG involvement required? Any special conditions? (e.g., High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF)).

17. What data must be submitted prior to issuance of, and how is the TIA and STIR used.

18. What guidance material is available? (i.e., guides, ACs, Orders, Notices, handouts, etc.)

19. What can be done to the aircraft while in modification/conformity process?

20. What is the potential for the alteration impacting 14 CFR part 36 noise requirements and the expense involved to show compliance with noise requirements?

21. Is a document list, with revision levels and approval dates, consisting of safety analysis, test plans, test reports and software documents, etc., submitted?

2-8. SAMPLE CERTIFICATION PLAN

I. Introduction
II. System Description
III. Certification Requirements
- 14 CFR part/CAR (etc.)
- System special requirements, unique or novel aspects
- Compliance checklist
IV. Method of Compliance
- Analyses &endash; failure, safety, performance, etc.
- Tests &endash; qualification, flammability, laboratory, simulator, ground, flight, etc.
- Software compliance
- Design
V. Functional Hazard Assessment Summary
- System criticality
- Software criticality
- Functional failure conditions summary
VI. Operational Considerations (if required)
- MMEL - Master Minimum Equipment List
- FCOM - Flight Crew Operating Manuel
VII. Certification Documentation
VIII. Certification Schedule
- Descriptive data submittal
- Substantiating data submittal
- Test schedule, including TIA
- Conformity inspection schedule
- Compliance inspection schedule
- Final approval
IX. Use of Designees and Identification of Individual DER/DAR

2-9. SAMPLE COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST FORMAT

The purpose of the compliance checklist is to document which regulations are applicable to the STC project and how compliance with those regulations was shown. Identification of applicable regulations and completion of the compliance checklist may require assistance from the FAA project engineer. Instructions for completing this sample compliance checklist are as follows:

Project Number:

The ACO project number.

14 CFR/CAR Paragraph:

Specific applicable regulations may be listed by number, e.g., 14 CFR part 25, section 25.1301.

Subject:

The subject or title of the 14 CFR part/CAR applicable paragraph.

Method of Compliance:

The method of compliance may include design drawings (D), analyses (A), tests (T), or other methods (O). Some compliance checklists simply list the letter corresponding to the applicable method of compliance. Other compliance checklists reference specific data by title or number. The applicant and FAA project team should agree upon a format.

Documentation Reference:

List the documentation (test report number, analysis report number, etc.) that demonstrated compliance to the subject 14 CFR part.


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© Copyright 1996 ASTECH Engineering. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author.

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