Part 135 Conformity Inspections Receive Help 

FAR Regulations

Companies working on conformity inspections for Part 135 operations get a hand 

Building a Part 135 operation is not for the faint of heart. Even growing an existing certificate by adding a new type of airplane takes grit and determination. We had the brilliant idea of adding a Citation to our Part 135 EMS Certificate and it caused more stress and drama than I ever thought possible in the cozy niche of Air medical flying. 

As the Chief Pilot of a fixed-wing division, the task to add a new jet to the certificate fell squarely on my shoulders. There would be new manuals and conformity checks and proving runs, but there were steps to take, and we would just go line by line. Except each new request from our FSDO was more daunting than the last. The manuals I submitted came back twice as big with all the corrections and comments. I thought I spoke the language of the FAA; I wasn’t even close. 

Before this, I had never heard of a conformity check. I still have nightmares of paperwork and maintenance documents scattered everywhere on my desk. Basically, the conformity inspection is how you prove to the FAA that your aircraft is properly configured for 135 standards. It’s easier said than done. 

Why Do we Have Conformity Inspections Anyway? 

  • Increase safety: Conformity inspections can help increase the safety of operations by ensuring the aircraft is properly maintained and compliant with all regulations. 
  • Improve performance: Regular compliance inspections can help improve performance by identifying potential issues before they become critical. 
  • Reduce costs: Regular inspections can help reduce the cost of maintenance by detecting minor problems early on and preventing them from becoming major issues later down the line. 
  • Meet standards: Compliance inspections ensure that operations meet or exceed industry and regulatory standards, thus helping to ensure legal requirements are met. 
  • Ensure quality: Conformity assessments provide an opportunity for operators to ensure quality assurance measures are being met to guarantee the best possible levels of service. 
  • Avoid penalties: By scheduling regular conformity assessments, operators can avoid penalties from aviation authorities due to failure to comply with regulations. 

Bluetail Offers a Solution to a Cumbersome Process 

The FAA has an extremely long list of requirements that must be met before they will authorize the aircraft for revenue service. The older the aircraft, the more maintenance and operational records you will have to go through to prove the aircraft meets all of those requirements. But help is here – Bluetail to the rescue!  

Bluetail, a company designed to help companies organize and understand aircraft records and paperwork, introduced a new software module that is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes to perform conformity inspections by fifty percent. 

The product is called Mach Conformity and its purpose is to help operators add aircraft onto our certificates faster and more efficiently. 

Mach Conformity is purchased as a software subscription and provides a “conformity binder builder” that allows the user to upload documents for the FSDO to review.  You can also digitally “paper-clip” related documents into single pieces of work, and it even provides a way for people to upload airworthiness directives (AD’s) and Chapter 4 and 5 requirements. From there, they can link supporting documents to the appropriate AD and OEM maintenance program requirements.  

And to make it even more user-friendly, each binder chapter has a color-coded task manager that can help track the status of each chapter. And when you’re done with all the requirements, the final binder can be saved and exported into a standard format for the FSDO review! 

Bluetail says that using their software will save user companies days of work, but I think they are being modest. Having a process that organizes, combines and color codes sounds more like saving weeks to me. Anything that has to do with Part 135 certification is, as a rule, messy and complicated. Having a little help in the process is invaluable. 

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