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usually set up for production line overhauling and can do the job in fewer man-hours, which should save you money. As always in aviation, before deciding who to take your engine to for an overhaul, shop around and find out what you will get and how much it will cost.

Replacing Cabin Upholstery

The question is often asked about the requirements for replacing cabin upholstery. This is a very good question because it varies depending on the category of aircraft and the basis of certification.

The requirements are specific only to certified aircraft as no other category specifies fabric and upholstery standards. With amateur-built, owner maintenance and ultralights you are on your own for fabric standards, although you can use the certified aircraft standards if you wish to.

In the case of a certified aircraft the requirement is that you have to comply with the original certification document that the aircraft was certified under. For newer light aircraft this will be CAR standard 523, but only for aircraft certified in Canada after 1986. Aircraft before 1986 were accepted in Canada on the basis of their US certification under FAR Part 23 or for even older aircraft, US CAR-3.

So in order to determine the fabric requirements you first have to determine the certification basis of the aircraft!

For older aircraft certified under CAR-3 the only requirement is that the fabric meets an ASTM or other national standard for flame resistance. A manufacturer’s statement is sufficient for this.

For aircraft certified under FAR 23 the relevant section is FAR 23.853 which


“(f) Airplane materials located on the cabin side of the firewall must be self- extinguishing or be located at such a distance from the firewall, or otherwise protected, so that ignition will not occur if the firewall is subjected to a flame temperature of not less than 2,000 degrees F for 15 minutes. For self-extinguishing materials (except electrical wire and cable insulation and small parts that the Administrator finds would not contribute significantly to the propagation of a fire), a vertical self-extinguishing test must be conducted in accordance with Appendix F of this part or an equivalent method approved by the Administrator. The average burn length of the material may not exceed 6 inches and the average flame time after removal of the flame source may not exceed 15 seconds. Drippings from the material test specimen may not continue to flame for more than an average of 3 seconds after falling.”

In most cases you can show that the materials are "located at such a distance from the firewall, or otherwise protected, so that ignition will not occur if the firewall is

COPA Guide to Certified Aircraft 45

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