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An Introduction to AS9102 First Article Inspection Report (FAIR)


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What's an AS9102 First Article Inspection Report?

An AS9102 FAIR, or First Article Inspection Report, certifies that each sample was produced and inspected according to the customer's specifications. AS9102 First Articles used by the aerospace and defense industries includes 3 forms: part number accountability, product accountability, and characteristic accountability.

What are the forms in AS9102 FAIRs?

There are 3 forms in AS9102 FAIRs - Part Number Accountability, Product Accountability, and Characteristic Accountability. 

AS9102 Form 1: Part Number Accountability
Identify the part for the first article inspection (FAI) and associated sub-assemblies or detailed parts.

AS9102 Form 2: Product Accountability
All material and process specifications, as well as any special processes and functional testing defined as design requirements, must be accounted for on Form 2.

AS9102 Form 3: Characteristic Accountability
All product characteristics such as dimensions, tolerances, notes, etc. must be accounted for on Form  3.  An inspection drawing or model is required whereby all inspection characteristics (defined using CAD annotations) are clearly identified with uniquely numbered inspection balloons.  The numbers on the inspection balloons must correspond to the characteristic numbers on Form 3. 

AS9102 was updated Rev B, the most recent version, is the standard used by most companies. Learn more about the evolution of AS9102 since it was first released in 2000 and the differences between Rev A and Rev B

When should I conduct a First Article Inspection?


A First Article Inspection is typically called for in a purchase order contract between the producer and buyer. 

The most common reason to conduct a FAI is because it's required by your customer. According to SAE, here are the times a First Article is required:

  • First production run of a new product
  • Design change
  • Materials or sources change 
  • It has been more than 2 years since the part was produced 
  • Change in process, tools, or location

Learn more about when a First Article Inspection is required. 

What Are the Steps to Create an AS9102 First Article Inspection Report?

Step 1: Pre-Planning

Determine your requirements: 

  • Is this a new First Article/FAI part, partial, or re-accomplishment?
  • Do you have released for production/manufacture of the FAI Part (e.g. engineering) data sets?
  • Do you have quality planning in support of performing the first article?

Gather documentation needed for your First Article Inspection: 

  • Engineering drawings
  • Digital product definition data sets
  • Bill of materials/raw materials list
  • Specifications
  • Manufacturing planning/routing/traveler/work order
  • Source/supplier information
Step 2: Create inspection plan
  • Balloon part drawing: identify the requirement to be inspected with a unique identifier where that requirement exists. 
    • You can balloon with a PDF editor, by hand with a pen, or with InspectionXpert, shown below.

visual example of balloon and extracting a dimension of drawing in gif format

  • Fill out the AS9102 Forms 1 and 2 with information from the Bill of Materials and Specifications List. 
    • Document the requirements to be inspected traceable to the balloon number.
    • Reference location of the balloon
    • Requirements including units of measure, variable requirements with tolerances
    • Classifications (Critical, Major, Key)
Step 3: Manufacture the part
  • Build the product and ensure you are documenting/recording processing and inspection results for the requirements during the manufacturing process.
Step 4: Collect data
  • Inspect the part according to the inspection plan created
  • Keep track of calibrated, certified inspection tools so that they are traceable back to the person certified to use the tool to perform the inspections/manufacture accurately and to the level of precision required
Step 5: Create Report
  • Enter measurement result data into Form 3
    • Measured result(s)
    • Designed/Qualified Tooling
    • Non-conformance information, if any
    • Certificate of Conformance (C of C)
    • Functional Test Report

Free AS9102 Revision B Template & Guide

What's Included:

  • Free AS9102 Rev B Template as an Excel workbook with forms 1, 2, and 3.
  • Separate annotated guide with an explanation of every field in the AS9102 Template forms 1, 2, and 3.

Download Free AS9102 Template & Guide

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Common Questions

What is AS9102 Standard?

The AS9102 Standard is the document created by SAE that establishes the baseline requirements fore conducting and documenting a first article inspection for the aerospace industry. 

Does AS9102 require the use of the AS9102 form?

Whether AS9102 form is required depends upon your customer. If your customer has not made any specific FAI requirements, then per AS9100, AS9102 is used as a guideline to perform FAI. If a customer requires FAI to be performed per AS9102, then you must use AS9102 forms. Some customers may require variations on the AS9102 forms. 

How long does a valid AS9102 remain valid?

An AS9102 first article inspection report is valid for 2 years after the initial run as long as: 

  • No changes in process, tool, or location
  • No design change
  • No materials or source change

Learn more about when a first article inspection is required

What is Delta FAI?

A delta FAI, or partial FAI, is done when there is a change in the manufacturing process. A partial or delta FAI is required when: 

  • A change in design potentially affects form, fit, or function
  • A change in manufacturing source, process, inspection method, location of manufacturer, tooling, or material
  • A change to numerical control programs or translation to another media potentially affects form, fit, or function

Learn more about when a first article inspection is required.

What does FAIR stand for?

FAIR is a First Article Inspection Report. It is the output of a FAI, first article inspection, which is a set of actions that validates a manufacturing process. 

What is the difference between FAIR and FAI?

A FAIR, First Article Inspection Report, is the documentation you provide to your customer as evidence of your first article inspection. FAI, or first article inspection, validates your manufacturing process. 

What is AS9100?

AS9100 is a company level certification created for the aerospace industry based on the international quality management system created by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and supported by IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group).