NDT Technique Development

Effective Date: 23 November 2006

Reference: TAM Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2, Annex C, Appendix 2

OPI / Telephone: DTAES 4-5 – 819-939-4757

1.    Purpose

1.1.   This Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) Advisory provides a method for regulatory compliance pertaining to the development Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques, proposed amendments to existing techniques, or application of a non-Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) technique, and ensures that technique development, amendment and application requirements are satisfied.

1.2.    This TAA Advisory is not mandatory nor does it constitute a regulation. It describes a means acceptable to the TAA, but is not the only means, to demonstrate compliance to the regulation(s). If you choose to use this TAA Advisory, then all-important respects of it must be followed.

2.    Applicability

2.1.   The TAA Advisory is applicable to all organizations seeking accreditation as a maintenance organization (AMO) by the TAA and applies to the development of new NDT techniques, an amendment to existing NDT techniques, or application of a non-CAF technique developed by another maintainer of the same aircraft type. NDT techniques are used to determine serviceability during maintenance operations involving the Department of National Defence (DND) aircraft and the related materials, components and parts.

3.    Related Material

3.1.   Definitions:

  1. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). The term used to describe the application of technical methods to examine materials or components in ways that do not impair future usefulness and serviceability in order to detect, locate, measure and evaluate flaws; to assess integrity, properties and composition; and to measure geometrical characteristics.
  2. Technique. Formal written instructions describing the procedure to be followed and the equipment required to perform a specific NDT inspection.

3.2.   Regulatory References:

3.2.1.  Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM), C-05-005-001/AG-001, Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2, Annex C, Appendix 2, Paragraphs 8 - 16 – Specialized Maintenance.

3.2.2.  AEPM Division Quality Management System AF9000 Plus procedure Equipment Management Team (EMT) 04.023/b-03 - Non-Destructive Testing Technique Development, Amendment, Approval and Implementation (latest version).

3.2.3.  CANADA (CAN)/ Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) 48.9712-2006 / International Standards Organization (ISO) 9712:2005 – Non-destructive Testing – Qualification and Certification of Personnel.

4.    Discussion

4.1.    The purpose of technique development is to produce a written set of instructions that specify the optimum manner in which parts, assemblies or materials are to be inspected to establish the absence or presence of defects. All NDT techniques developed by a contractor or non-CAF agency for application on DND aircraft during any type of maintenance shall be forwarded to the appropriate National Defence Headquarter (NDHQ) Aircraft Engineering Officer (AEO) and to the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) Non–Destructive Testing Centre (NDTC), for review as per procedure at Regulatory Reference 3.2.2.

4.2.    As stated at reference 3.2.1, the TAA does not accredit maintenance organizations to perform “specialized NDT maintenance”. Instead, the TAA recognizes CGSB certified Level 2 or level 3 technicians. The CAN/CGSB national standard is recognized by the TAA as a superior standard when compared with other standards dealing with the equivalent topic.

4.3.    Only a CGSB level 3 certified individual from a contractor’s organization shall develop techniques or propose amendments to existing techniques. ATESS NDTC must review all techniques regardless of origin that are to be used on DND aircraft. The review is to ensure that techniques have referenced recognized industry standards and practices (i.e., the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American Society Of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT)), and possess consistency in format, dialogue and terminology.

4.4.    An individual certified to level 3 shall have demonstrated competence and be authorized to perform functions in accordance with paragraph 3.2.3.

4.5.    An individual certified to level 3 may be authorized by the employer to:

  1. Assume full responsibility for a test facility or examination centre and staff;
  2. Establish, review for editorial and technical correctness and validate NDT instructions and procedures;
  3. Interpret codes, standards, specifications and procedures;
  4. Designate the particular test methods, procedures and NDT instructions to be used;
  5. Carry out and supervise all tasks at all times; and
  6. Provide guidance for personnel at all levels.

4.6.    Any technique may be subsequently re-formatted into a CAF format, depending on:

  1. Level of maintenance application (i.e., Third Line Inspection Repair (TLIR), periodic);
  2. Inspector (i.e., contracted service, CAF NDT technician);
  3. Time constraint (i.e., immediate fleet-wide Special Inspection (SI));
  4. Inspection periodicity (one-time only SI versus scheduled recurring inspection); and
  5. If changes and/or additional information must be made/added to the drafted technique.