How Does a DER Repair Get Approved by the FAA? (Pt. 1)

DER Repair FAA Approval Process

FAA Requires copy 1DERs write the playbook on some of the most expensive parts in the aerospace world. Airplanes, like cars, trucks or motorcycles, have many parts that fail. Repairs are needed. There’s something unique about the world of airplane parts. It starts with cost. Some parts on an airplane can cost $40,000 to replace, some much more. These expensive parts are often thrown out when they fail (often referred to as expendable parts). That’s where a DER comes in.


RELATED: What’s the difference between a DER Repair and FAA Approved Repairs?

DERs, or Designated Engineering Representatives, are expert aerospace engineers who specialize in reviewing and approving technical data for repairs of parts without a repair manual, or aren’t supported any longer by the original manufacturer (OEM).

The Value of DER

DER repairs save airlines thousands of dollars per repair. This process puts these costly parts back into the airplane at a much lower cost. Instead of throwing away the part, why not repair it and save? This alternative process to aerospace repair is what gives our FAA approved repair stations a unique place in the aerospace industry.

Learn more in our blog: What is a DER Repair?

FAA Requires 2

The Challenges Involved with FAA Approval

The parts that go back into an aircraft need to be safe. The process of quality inspection, plus the manual writing process during a DER repair is complex, a process which has been mastered.  Our FAA approved repair stations can effectively review the repair process for a part, and complete the arduous approval process in less than 30 days.

This strict FAA approval process can be a barrier for many in the aerospace industry. Dealing with the red tape can be a challenge. Paperwork and extensive waiting times eat up resources.

Our repair stations are an accessory Class 1,2,3 FAA repair station which gives them a competitive edge over their competition. This status is earned over a long period of successfully proving ourselves to be a high-quality repair station.

The Best Way to Get FAA Approval, and Fast

Our DERs wear two hats: DER & FAA representative. They’re actually FAA-certified. It’s a requirement. Once the part repair procedure is finished, we will have literally created a maintenance manual on that part. It’s not everyday you write a book on the subject of your work.

The DER’s ability to approve repairs or recommend approval of technical data to the FAA, shortens the wait time for the operator, which ultimately leads to time and money saved. This is a proven way of eliminating component replacement costs.

What kind of testing do these parts go through?FAA Requires copy4

Operators under FAA jurisdiction are responsible for ensuring that repairs are accomplished according to all applicable regulations. Airplane repairs can be classified as either “major” or “minor.” This assessment is based on the scope and complexity of the repair and the experience and capability of the operator.

The extent of testing is dependent on the criticality of the part that has been repaired. DER repairs are tested by being put in a condition/situation that simulates the stress that it would encounter while in flight. Naturally, the more critical a part is deemed, the higher standard it has to meet in order to pass its DER repair inspection.