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Last update; January 2007

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Criteria to Acquire FEPP Aircraft

Aircraft Operating Plan

Acquisition Procedures

Screening and Freezing

Documenting Aircraft Acquisitions in FEPMIS and PMIS

Aircraft Safety

Aircraft Security

Registration of Aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

De-registration of Aircraft with FAA


Federal Aviation Interactive Reporting System (FAIRS)

Stocking of Parts

Parts Accountability

Maintenance and Storage

Acquisition of Aircraft for Parts


Disposal of Parts


Interagency Transfer


Forest Service Acquisition Management Role in FEPP

Forest Service Regional Aviation Management Role in FEPP

Federal Excess Aircraft Use Report

Incident/Accident Reports


The administrative provisions of appropriations acts annually provide for Forest Service acquisition of excess aircraft from military services and Federal civilian agencies. This includes aircraft seized by Federal law enforcement agencies. The purpose of this authorization is mainly to permit the Forest Service to loan these aircraft to State foresters for support of the State's fire protection programs.

States acquiring aircraft through this FEPP program shall use the aircraft for fire protection activities. States may not acquire aircraft through the FEPP Program to support the Forest Service or other federal agencies. The States requesting aircraft, aircraft parts and specialized aircraft tools, must be able to justify FEPP aircraft based entirely on the fire protection needs of the State.

Written authorization must be obtained from the Regional, Area, Institute and national FEPP managers before FEPP aircraft are assigned to agencies whose primary mission is other than fire, such as law enforcement agencies, search and rescue, and others who may also provide fire protection or work under agreement with the fire agency to provide fire protection.

Loaning FEPP aircraft to non fire-protection entities is not permitted. FEPP aircraft used in the conduct of either public or civil aircraft operations must be in full compliance with applicable FAA Regulations (14 CFR 137).

Government competition with private industry is not allowed. The Government should not use FEPP to provide services for others when there are commercial services reasonably available to provide the service.

Forest Service aircraft on loan to State forestry agencies are subject to recall if not used in accordance with Federal aviation laws and regulations and property management laws and regulations.

The primary use of all aircraft must be for fire protection purposes. Incidental use for other than fire or emergency purposes of up to 10 percent is allowed. Written explanation is required for non fire use exceeding this level.

When FEPP aircraft are used, it is permissible to recover the direct cost of operating the equipment. Use rates shall not include depreciation, amortization, modification, profit, risk, start-up, or replacement costs of FEPP aircraft or FEPP aircraft parts.

Personal use of FEPP aircraft is not permitted.

Aircraft must be placed into use within 5 years of receipt. The Regional, Area, or Institute PMO may allow additional time when justified by the State Forester.

Acquisition of FEPP aircraft must be evaluated by States to determine if FEPP is the most appropriate and cost-effective mechanism for meeting fire program objectives.


Requirements for acquiring aircraft are the same as those for acquiring other FEPP. Before acquiring aircraft, State foresters must have on file with the regional forester or area director an operating plan indicating planned use. This plan must be an integral part of the State fire plan and must be signed by a State official authorized to make acquisition and replacement decisions. This plan will be reviewed by the regional FEPP program manager, the regional PMO, and the regional aviation officer.

As a minimum, the aircraft operating plan must include:

  1. Pilots:State policy on pilot qualifications, proficiency, and recurrent training, and the process for recording pilot flight hours.
  2. Aircraft:State policy on aircraft operations requirements, proposed maintenance plans and schedules, process for recording maintenance performed, parts support, number of aircraft, estimated hours, and the physical protection of FEPP aircraft.
  3. Intended Use: How will aircraft support the State fire mission in compliance with the 90/10 rule? All planned use must be fire related.
  4. Airports: List primary and alternate operating facilities.
  5. Records: Process of recording aircraft flight hours by mission.
  6. Security: What is the assessed security risk of the aircraft and what measures are taken to mitigate those risks?
  7. Other: Document the State aviation safety program, designate the aviation safety officer, include an organizational chart that shows lines of authority, and designate the chief pilot.


Upon acceptance of the State Aircraft Operating Plan, States must revise or establish an acquisition plan for types and number of aircraft desired. The plan must be approved by the Regional, Area, or Institute FEPP manager and PMO, and must be included in the annual acquisition plan.

The States should work with GSA in locating available excess aircraft. All aircraft transfers are approved by GSA Region 9, San Francisco.


To place a freeze on aircraft, the States shall follow the procedures for freezing other FEPP property. The regional property/program manager will submit the Federal Excess Property Management Information System (FEPMIS) SF-122 to the national FEPP manager who reviews and forwards to the agency PMO for final approval. Prior to transfer, all acquisition documents must be approved by:

  • the State FEPP manager (1, 4)
  • the State Aviation Manager (3)
  • the State Forester (2)
  • the Forest Service Regional Aviation Officer (3)
  • the Forest Service Regional, Area or Institute PMO (1, 4)
  • the Forest Service Regional Program Manager (2)
  • the Forest Service Washington Office Aviation Specialist (2)
  • the Forest Service agency PMO (2)
  • the Forest Service FEPP National Program Officer (2, 4)
  • the GSA Aviation Area Utilization Officer (2)
(1) Approvals are documented in FEPMIS
(2) Approvals are documented on a hard copy of the SF 122
(3) Approvals are done in conjunction with the Aviation Plan
(4) Maintained in a hard copy file

Submission of the request in FEPMIS indicates that the appropriate approvals have been obtained and documented at the submitting office level.

Individual SF-122's will be used for each aircraft to facilitate registration requirements by FAA.

Each SF-122 shall contain all the following data elements: make/model, manufacturer serial number, the date the physical custody transferred to the state agency (acquisition date), and the military bureau number (serial number).

  1. This information should be noted in the ‘Shipping/Special Instructions’ block of the “Create SF-122 process in FEPMIS.
  2. If unavailable at time of acquisition, this information must be added to the original document prior to registration.
  3. The Forest Service will enter this required information into PMIS.


Upon taking physical custody of FEPP aircraft, the state agency shall assign the aircraft a Federal property identification number and receipt the aircraft in FEPMIS by completing the following data fields; the Federal Supply Code (FSC) of 1510 for fixed wing aircraft or FSC 1520 for rotary wing aircraft, make, model, model year, manufacturer serial number, aircraft condition, the date the physical custody transferred to the state agency (acquisition date), the military bureau number (serial number) and the aircraft hours.

Once the state agency receipts the aircraft in FEPMIS, the Forest Service Property Technician or Specialist shall verify the data and enter all required fields into PMIS in a timely manner, ensuring the date that the state agency took physical custody of the aircraft is entered in PMIS acquisition date field. The date the aircraft was tanked and the aircraft facility assigned security level (I, II, or III), shall be entered in the PMIS “Notes Field”.


FEPP aircraft which originated with the military are maintained using the original military standards. Though not required to do so, some organizations have elected to use a combination of military or commercial (FAA) standards, whichever are more stringent.

The National Transportation Safety Board definitions apply to State-operated federally owned aircraft (FSM 5700).

Aircraft accident: An occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft that takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and when that person has disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.


  • Serious Injury Any injury that:
    1. Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date the injury was received.
    2. Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose).
    3. Causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage.
    4. Involves any internal organ.
    5. Involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.
  • Substantial Damage.
      Damage or failure that adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and that normally would require major repair or replacement of the affected component. Examples of failures NOT considered substantial damage are: engine failure; damage limited to an engine; bent fairings or cowlings; dented skin; small puncture holes in the skin or fabric; ground damage to rotor or propeller blades; damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, or brakes.
  • Aircraft Incident.
      An occurrence other than an accident associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of operations.


    USDA aviation operations require enhanced security operations due to the potential of aircraft being used as weapons or other threats.

    The security of all Forest Service aircraft is of the utmost importance, whether those aircraft are operated directly by the Forest Service, operated at Forest Service facilities, or are owned by the Forest Service but operated by the States.

    Aircraft that are equipped with a tank for chemical or water distribution must be identified in FEPMIS and reported to the Forest Service PMO.

    1. Enter the date the aircraft was tanked in FEPMIS by modifying the property detail information.
    2. Notify the Forest Service PMO of the date the aircraft was tanked.
    The Forest Service Property Technician will then enter the date the aircraft was tanked in PMIS “Notes” field.

    Protection of assets must be based on a realistic assessment of the risks and vulnerabilities associated with the criminal and terrorist threats likely to be directed at the assets in their actual locations. Performing risk and vulnerability assessments allows the Forest Service to establish appropriate asset protection and identify the likelihood of any attempts to compromise them. Risk and vulnerability assessments also provides the Office of Procurement and Property Management with the information required to develop design criteria for construction or facility upgrades to meet the designated criteria for Security Levels (I, II or III) as indicated in the Security Standard Requirements Guide (FSH 5709.16, Chapter 50, Section 50.6).

    1. After completion of the assessments and security plan, submit a copy for review to the Fire and Aviation Management Staff, Washington Office.
    2. Enter the Security Level (I, II, or III) of aircraft facilities in FEPMIS by modifying the property detail information and notify the Forest Service PMO of the assigned Security Level.
    3. To obtain a copy of the Security Standards Requirement Guide, contact the Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management Staff, Washington Office.

    Facilities security guidance can be found in the Law Enforcement Handbook, FSH 5309.11; Chapter 14; in the FSH 5709-16, Chapter 50 or in the United States Department of Agriculture Integrated Physical Security Standards and Procedures Handbook.


    Register only those aircraft that are or will be operational. Deregister aircraft that change from an operational to a permanent non operational status. See Deregistration of Aircraft with FAA instructions.

    Aircraft must be registered with the FAA prior to being put into service. To ensure correlation between FAA's data base of registered aircraft and the Federal Aircraft Management Information System (FAIRS) maintained by the GSA, these steps must be followed.

    The FAA Form 8050-1, Aircraft Registration Form, shall be completed as follows:

    1. Aircraft Manufacturer and Model: Indicate both the military and civilian model designations. Example: Cessna O-2 (337)
    2. Aircraft Serial Number: Indicate both the manufacturer's serial number and the military (bureau) number. Example: 337M0320 (67-11450). Note that the manufacturer's serial number is listed first. This number will be used by the FAA to list the aircraft and will also be used in FAIRS.
    3. Name of Applicant: Show “USDA Forest Service – FEPP”; on the first line. Subsequent lines should be the State address.
    4. Civilian aircraft need only show the manufacturer's model designation and serial number, as before.
    5. The form must be signed by a Forest Service official and accompanied by a legible copy of the transfer document with all applicable signatures. The transfer document and the registration form must show matching serial numbers and model designations.
    6. If registering a military aircraft, the form must be accompanied by a letter requesting the use of the manufacturer's serial number along with the military model designation (e.g. Cessna O-2, serial number 337-0320). If a particular tail number is desired for this aircraft, request in this letter as well.


    Deregister an aircraft when it comes out of service permanently or prior to release of aircraft during the disposal process.

    Registration numbers (tail numbers, N-numbers) are assigned to aircraft, not to agencies. If the State wishes to retain the N-number for assignment to another aircraft, this request must be noted on the SF-120 or the request to deregister. The Forest Service will write a letter to the FAA with the request for a different registration number for the aircraft and retention of the original number for reuse on another aircraft.

    If the aircraft is being disposed of as scrap, submit the data plate with the SF-120 to the regional office. The regional manager will forward the data plate to FAA with the de-registration request.

    When a registered aircraft is disposed of by transfer, donation, or sale to another entity, remove the registration and airworthiness certificates from the aircraft before the transfer is affected. Submit the certificate to the Forest Service, which is responsible for signing it and returning it to the FAA.

    If an aircraft is being donated for ground uses (static display, for example), remove the data plate and return to the Forest Service for return to the FAA.

    If a registered aircraft has become scrap (for example, crashed), submit the certificates and the data plate to the Forest Service for return to the FAA.


    Cannibalization of aircraft has a lower priority than requests to restore and operate the aircraft. The General Services Administration, through the Regional or Area Property Management Officer, approves or disapproves all requests for aircraft acquired expressly for cannibalization.

    Once the aircraft has been fully cannibalized, it may be declassified. To declassify an aircraft, the State forester must request in writing that the Regional or Area property management officer declassify the aircraft.

    To declassify an aircraft, do the following:
    Responsible Official
    State Forester Send a letter to the Forest Service Regional or Area Program Manager requesting the aircraft be declassified, and stating that the aircraft is non-operational (which includes lost or destroyed). In this letter, identify the Federal Supply Classification (FSC) group(s) that the declassified aircraft/parts will fall under if applicable, describe the condition of the aircraft (crash-damaged, unrecoverable, parts unavailable, and so forth), and include photographs as appropriate. Within 10 days of the decision being made.
    Regional or Area Program Manager or Property Management Officer Send a letter to GSA, Aircraft Management Policy Division (MTA), 1800 F Street, NW; Washington DC, requesting approval to declassify the aircraft and stating that the aircraft is non-operational (which includes lost or destroyed). In this letter, identify the Federal Supply Classification (FSC) group(s) that the declassified aircraft/parts will fall under if applicable, describe the condition of the aircraft (crash-damaged, unrecoverable, parts unavailable, and so forth), and include photographs as appropriate (FMR 102-33.420). Within 30 days of receipt of the State Forester’s request.
    State Forester Following applicable Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 45.13), the State Forester should request approval from the local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to remove the manufacturer's data plate. Within 14 days of receiving GSA’s approval to declassify the aircraft.
    State Forester Inform GSA of FAA's approval, send the data plate by courier or registered mail to the FAA, as directed by the unit FSDO, and remove any Certificate of Airworthiness and the aircraft's registration form from the aircraft, complete the reverse side of the registration form, and send both documents to the FAA. Notify the Regional or Area Program Manager that this step is complete. Within 14 calendar days of receiving approval from FAA to remove the data plate.
    Regional or Area Program Manager or Property Management Officer Notify the National FEPP Program Manager that the above steps have been completed. Update all official inventory records by removing the declassified aircraft from the personal property records, and adding it to another Federal Supply Classification code, as appropriate. Within 30 days of receipt of notification of completion from the State Forester.
    National Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) Program Officer Delete the aircraft from the FAIRS inventory records. Within 14 days of receipt of notification of completion.

    Consider the remaining unusable carcass as scrap and promptly disposed of it. See Chapter 30 for disposal instructions


    State FEPP Managers are responsible for ensuring that the receipt process in the Federal Excess Property Management Information System (FEPMIS) is completed in a timely manner after the State gains physical custody of the aircraft.

    The National FEPP Program Officer is responsible for updating FAIRS within 14 days of the receipt submission.


    Regional and Area Federal Excess Personal Property Program (FEPP) Managers ensure that only reasonable quantities of parts are in stock. The Regional or Area Property Management Officer may grant exceptions to this rule when items are out of production and when past experience shows the advisability of having more on hand.


    Parts with an original acquisition value of less than $5,000 will be consumable and not tracked on Federal inventory. Parts with an estimated original acquisition value of $5,000 or greater that are removed from a FEPP aircraft for use on another aircraft, must be inventoried and tracked as a Federal inventoried item.

    Form AD-112 must be submitted to the regional program/property manager for approval prior to removal of parts.

    FSCAP must be documented as required by GSA and FAA regulations.

    All State operators of excess property aircraft should be wary of acquiring counterfeit aircraft parts.


    All aircraft must be maintained in accordance with manufacturers or military maintenance specifications and procedures. States must maintain appropriate records on time/life parts.

    Fly all operational aircraft at least 2 hours each month to maintain aircraft readiness, or substitute accepted manufacturers' procedures for storage for off-season readiness.

    All aircraft, including aircraft acquired for parts, must be protected from theft, weather, vandalism, or other damage.


    Acquisition of aircraft for parts use has a lower priority than requests to restore and operate the aircraft. The GSA , through the regional or area PMO, approves all requests for aircraft acquired for cannibalization. For aircraft already in the State's possession, the State Forester should submit a Change of Status Request for Cannibalization. After approval of the request to cannibalize the aircraft, the Forest Service will determine whether the data plate must be removed and submitted to FAA. If the aircraft is completely cannibalized and not intended to be put into service, the data plate must be surrendered to the FAA. The remaining unusable carcass is considered scrap and must be properly disposed.


    Aircraft that are no longer needed should be reported on form SF-120 by the State Forester to the Regional, Area, or Institute FEPP manager or FEPP PMO, who will report the aircraft to AAMS. If needed, deregister the aircraft with the FAA. See Deregistration of Aircraft with FAA.

    The disposal of aircraft is likewise handled by GSA Region 9, San Francisco.


    Disposal of aircraft parts is more sensitive than disposal of other FEPP. Parts identified as FSCAP must be accompanied by historical maintenance documentation at time of release. Parts without proper documentation or which cannot be made airworthy must be mutilated and disposed of as scrap. The mutilation must be witnessed and certified by the State FEPP property manager or a designee. Parts that are not FSCAP should follow the normal disposal process found in CHAPTER 30.


    Certain classes of aircraft parts require demilitarization (de-mil) prior to disposal. To de-mil a part, it must be rendered unusable for reinstallation. This is accomplished by cutting, crushing, or otherwise ensuring that the part cannot be superficially or cosmetically restored and put back into service. This requirement is noted on the SF-122 for parts acquired from excess. The destruction of the part should be accomplished by the State employee responsible for aircraft maintenance and witnessed by the State FEPP property manager or designee.


    All transfers of aircraft from one Accountable Officer to another must be approved in advance by the Regional, Area, or Institute property officer. Notification of this process must be forwarded to the National FEPP Program Officer so that FAIRS may be updated.


    As a tool of property management, federal agencies are authorized under 40 U.S.C. § 503 to use the exchange/sale method of property disposition and acquisition. Subsection (a) provides: “In acquiring personal property, an executive agency may exchange or sell similar items and may apply the exchange allowance or proceeds of sale in whole or in part payment for the property acquired.”

    Exchange/sale authority in the FEPP Program belongs with FS.

    Any replacement property acquired using exchange/sale would be exclusively Federal property.

    As determined by USDA, Office of General Council; FS can not use exchange/sale to allow State cooperators to obtain an ownership interest in the replacement property acquired from exchange/sale


    As the agency PMO, the branch chief, Property Policy, Washington Office Acquisition Management, shall review and approve or deny all requests for acquisition of aircraft.


    Forest Service Regional Aviation officers may:

    1. Review all State aviation operations plans for compliance with USDA Forest Service and State excess property direction.
    2. Help establish minimum standards for pilot qualifications and maintenance for excess property aircraft.
    3. Coordinate and/or establish an approved source of parts for excess property aircraft, such as the Department of Defense.
    4. Review State security risk assessments and mitigation plans.

    Forest Service Aviation Management's role/responsibilities as cooperating agency:

    1. Upon request, assist in the development of State cooperators' aviation safety programs.
    2. Provide aviation expertise or assistance as requested.
    3. Upon request, assist in the management of State cooperators' aviation operations.
    4. Determine whether State cooperator meets comparable aviation standards for Forest Service use.
    5. Approve State cooperator's aircraft for USDA Forest Service missions, as appropriate.


    Aircraft Use Reports must be completed for all operational and non-operational aircraft.

    An annual Federal Excess Aircraft Use Report for each aircraft must be submitted in FEPMIS by January 31 each year.

    1. The report must contain aircraft usage from the previous fiscal year (January 1 through December 31).
    2. The printed version of the electronic report must be signed by the State Forester and forwarded to the Regional, Area, or Institute FEPP Program manager by January 31.
    3. The Regional, Area, or Institute FEPP Program manager will verify the information on the Use Report, enter any changes in PMIS and forward a copy of the report to the National FEPP Program manager by March 1.
    4. The Washington Office National FEPP Program Manager will retain a copy for the official record.

    Repeated violation of the 10-percent non-fire-use limitation may be grounds for recall of the aircraft.


    The State forester shall report to the Forest Service regional or area PMO any accidents or incidents involving FEPP aircraft that result in serious injury or substantial damage. A verbal report shall be made as soon as possible and followed with a written report within 10 working days.

    The Forest Service regional or area aviation officer will participate as a member of an accident investigation team upon request. The Forest Service should be advised of any corrective or disciplinary action taken as a result of accidents involving FEPP aircraft.

    The State forester is responsible for meeting U.S. Department of Transportation reporting requirements of the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) relating to aircraft accidents.

    The NTSB now has the legal responsibility to investigate all aircraft accidents, both public and civil. This is a statutory charge that occurred as a result of Public Law 103-411.

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    FEPP Desk Guide January 2007