FAA Data Collection Tools

Manual Construction and Features

Data Collection Tools and

Manual Construction

There are three levels of DCTs: System, Subsystem, and Element. Each DCT has a purpose, an objective statement and associated Safety Attributes addressing Responsibility, Authority, Procedures, Controls, Process Measurement, Interfaces, and Safety Ownership. DCTs are not checklists of questions to ask the certificate holder's or applicant's personnel; instead, they are a means to assess a system, subsystem, or element. For initial certification, the ED DCT is used to validate initial certification programs. ED DCTs assure that a certificate holder's programs are designed to comply with the intent of the regulations and incorporate system safety. Element Design (ED DCTs) are mainly used during the certification process. Here at part135.com we are mostly concerned with the Element Design (ED DCTs) because they are directed at the GOM, Compliance Statement, General Training and HazMat manuals. ED DCTs contain detailed design questions. Some elements by design will not have an associated ED DCT. ED DCTs are accomplished at the element level. For initial certification, the ED DCT is used to validate initial certification programs. ED DCTs assure that a certificate holder’s programs are designed to comply with the intent of the regulations and incorporate system safety. Response Choices to ED DCTs are "Yes" or "No." There are over 12,000 DCT questions in the FAA database. The DCTs that apply to your operations are determined by the OpsSpecs that you choose in the SAS External Portal. Two very similar operators can have different sets of DCT questions. The questions might be similar but have differing applicability. Let's assume for a moment that we have operator A and Operator B. Operator A may have combined the positions of the Director of Operations and the Chief Pilot. In the DCTs that address management personnel Operator A may get a set of DCTs with 30 questions while Operator B may have 32 questions. Question number 2 for Operator A may be the same as question number 4 for operator B. The reason for this is that the questions are numbered sequentially as they are selected by the FAA's computer. This means that we cannot address the questions using sequence numbers for any two operators. This becomes a problem when trying to cross reference the manuals to DCTs. Fortunately, each question has a question identifier (QID). These QIDs are used by us to identify the correct question and we can now provide the location in the manual where the question is addressed. Each of our manuals are heavily cross referenced to the ED DCTs. Since we are not sure exactly which DCT questions you will have (unless you provide the list to us) we decided to answer all possibilities. That means that our cross reference should have more DCT references than you have questions. Each reference in the list will give you the QID and the page number where the DCT is addressed in the manual. Answering the DCTs without a cross reference would require you to do a key word search on the manual to find the location. We estimate that searching all DCTs could take over 900 hours of work. With the cross reference, it should only take less than 20 hours of work on the external portal. The external portal is located at sas.faa.gov. We have done most of the work for you. All you have to do is locate the QID in our list and enter the page number into the external portal. Clicking on the QID in the xref list will bring up a page showing the question. This is so you can confirm that the FAA question and cross referenced question are the same. Clicking on the page number will open the main document to the location where the DCT is addressed.
We provide the manuals in WordPerfect format for several reasons. The manuals are very large and can be complicated. Word is mostly a graphics based program and can be very slow and cumbersome on very large documents. If you give the FAA a Word document there is always the possibility that the document can be changed accidently even if it is locked. The FAA won't be changing a WordPerfect document because they are not allowed by law to use software produced in Canada and don't have a copy of WordPerfect.. We also provide the manuals in PDF format. This is the format that the FAA wants from you. PDF files are easy for the end user to use and can work on any computer or device. The manuals are divided into cross-linked documents. For example, the GOM, Compliance Statement and Xref file are cross linked to each other. This keeps the size of the files more manageable and certainly more useful. Let's suppose that you are looking at the compliance statement and a regulation references a page in the GOM. When you click on the reference, the GOM will open to the correct page. The compliance statement will remain open so you can see both at the same time. If the two documents were in one large file you would have moved away from the position in the compliance statement. It would not be easy to return to that position to continue with your review. When using cross linked documents the problem doesn't exist. All our manuals have thousands of references to the regulations, advisory circulars and FAA references. All you have to do is click on a regulation and a webpage will open with the FAA reg. Click on an advisory circular and the circular will open as a PDF for your review. Give us a call at 530-727-8135 and schedule a demo of the manuals to see just how easy it is to navigate and review our manuals. We can also show you how to setup Adobe Reader or Acrobat to use multipal documents in cross linked mode.
530-PART135 (530-727-8135)
Data Collection Tools an Manual Construction
Aviation Computer Systems