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91-82A - Fatigue Management Programs for In-Service Issues

Date Issued
August 23, 2011
Responsible Office
ACE-100,  Small Airplane Directorate
Description

a.This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance on developing and implementing a Fatigue Management Program (FMP) to address in-service issues for metallic fatigue critical structure.  An applicant may develop an FMP as one method to address an unsafe condition when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determines an airplane type design has a demonstrated risk of catastrophic failure due to fatigue.  In such cases, the FMP should incorporate damage-tolerance based inspections or a part replacement/modification program to mitigate the demonstrated risk.  The FMP should also incorporate other fatigue critical structure inspections to address the broader risk posed by potential cracking of these structures in the airplane.  The FAA will mandate the FMP by Airworthiness Directive (AD).  The FAA may also approve the FMP as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) to an AD.

b.This AC includes guidance relevant to developing FMPs for other purposes such as life extensions, type certification requirements, or non-mandatory maintenance programs.  This guidance supplements other ACs that contain guidance for developing damage-tolerance based inspection programs to look proactively for potential cracks.  Such guidance includes AC 91?56B, Continuing Structural Integrity Program for Airplanes, AC 25.571?1D, Damage Tolerance and Fatigue Evaluation of Structure, and AC 23?13A, Fatigue, Fail-Safe, and Damage-Tolerance Evaluation of Metallic Structure for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes.  Applicants should use product specific guidance in conjunction with this AC.

c.   This AC is not mandatory and does not constitute a regulation.  It describes an acceptable means, but not the only means, for maintaining the continued operational safety for airplane type designs that have a demonstrated risk.  In this AC, the FAA uses terms such as “must” or “require” only in the sense of ensuring applicability of a particular method of compliance when using a specific acceptable method of compliance described herein.