Aircraft Lease return and Component Considerations

The process of aircraft lease return involves and review of installed aircraft components considerations is guided by certified lists or inventories from the lessee that will in part be confirmed physically. We will consider some of these components that are categorized as Hard Time (HT) and On Condition/Condition Monitored (OCCM), with each requiring specific attention to ensure compliance with lease return conditions.

Hard Time (HT) Components:

Definition and Limits: HT components have a defined life, typically counted in aircraft hours, cycles, or calendar days, set by the manufacturer (OEM). At their defined limit, actions like overhaul or bench testing are mandated, irrespective of the component’s condition.

Importance of Remaining Life: It’s crucial to assess the remaining life of HT components. If an aircraft is returned with components close to their life limit, it could lead to significant replacements soon after.

Lease Return Conditions: Common lease conditions might specify minimum remaining life for HT components (e.g., 6000 flight hours (FH), 3000 flight cycles (FC), and 18 months).

On Condition/Condition Monitored (OCCM) Items:

Focus on the condition and performance of components rather than just time-based metrics.

OCCM checklist includes certification, installation records, and compliance with specific lease terms, considering factors like modification status, age, hours and cycles.

Certification and Documentation:

Certified Lists/Inventories: Lessees provide certified lists of fitted HT components, including flight cycles and hours as required.

Documentation Requirements: For each HT component, the date of the last maintenance action (from release certificates like EASA Form 1/FAA 8130) is crucial.

Remaining Life Calculation: Compare the remaining life of each component against contracted lease requirements.

Lease Agreement Terms: Often more stringent than regulatory requirements, lease terms might stipulate specifics for replacement parts and operational limitations.

Lease Return Review:

Balancing Regulations and Lease Terms: Ensure compliance with both regulatory standards and lease conditions, prioritizing the most restrictive.

Component Condition: Assess if replacements are like-for-like or better, considering factors like standard, modification status, and operational impact where a component might be applicable for an aircraft, but affect capability such as some components might be non ETOPS compliant.

Practical Considerations:

Troubleshooting and Robberies: Handling components swapped for troubleshooting or taken from one aircraft for another will all proper documentation and compliance with lease return conditions.

Aircraft lease return demands a comprehensive review of HT and OCCM components against certified lists, regulatory requirements for airworthiness , and specific lease conditions. This process ensures that the returned aircraft meets all necessary criteria for serviceability, safety, and future leasing viability.

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