This program has been developed by the FAA Safety Team to review the requirements that an aircraft operator must know to make an informed decision about the airworthiness of an aircraft. It’s also a valuable resource for pilot examiners, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) pilots, and individuals who wish to become instructors. CFI’s are required to teach airworthiness requirements to pilots and Designated Pilot Examiners are required to evaluate a pilot’s knowledge of airworthiness during a practical test. Author: Fred Harms, FPM, Central Region;; POC: Phil Randall, AFS-850, Greensboro, NC Office 336-369-3948; PPT 07092201, Revision 1, dated 11/05/2012 by Pete Wilhelmson, AFS-850 2012/11/5-022 (I) PP
This program has been developed by the FAA Safety Team to review the requirements that an aircraft operator must know to make an informed decision about the airworthiness of an aircraft. It’s also a valuable resource for pilot examiners, instructor pilots, and individuals who wish to become instructors. CFI’s are required to teach airworthiness requirements to pilots and Designated Pilot Examiners are required to evaluate a pilot’s knowledge of airworthiness during a practical test. Throughout this presentation we discuss REGULATIONS. Although the correct term is Title 14 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 91, 43, etc, we will refer to them as FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) Part 91, 43, etc. or if referring to a specific section within the FAR will use “Section 91.7, 43.13, etc”. We have three OBJECTIVES for giving this presentation. GO THROUGH THREE NEXT SLIDES: Objectives 1, 2, and 3
NUMBER 1: The word “ airworthy ” is not specifically defined in the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) but the FAR does hold airmen responsible for it. In this presentation we will examine the implications of the word airworthy and determine its meaning from the way it is used.
NUMBER 2: We’ll also look at the requirements that must be met for an aircraft to be airworthy…
NUMBER 3: …and finally address the responsibilities placed on the owner/operator and pilot in command regarding the airworthiness of an aircraft. This is often one of the least understood aspects of flying.
The word airworthy is often used in the regulations and pilots and mechanics both have certain responsibilities for it, but if you look for a definition of the word in FAR Part 1….. you won’t find it.
FAR Part 91 contains the general operating rules . For all intents and purposes, that means PILOT RULES . I’m emphasizing that because many things that pilots assume are the responsibility of a mechanic or repair station, are actually contained in this section of the regulations. Section 91.7 specifically identifies responsibility for operating an airworthy aircraft. Person – Operate – Civil Aircraft and Airworthy have meanings that must be understood in order to know what is actually being said.
The second portion of Section 91.7 places the responsibility for determining whether the aircraft is in condition for safe flight on the pilot in command. It also uses the imperative word SHALL when specifying that the PIC discontinue the flight if an unairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structural condition occurs. So, what does discontinue mean? Does it mean land in the nearest open field? At a location where repairs can be made? At the nearest suitable airport? How about back at our departure airport where our car is parked? The answer is, as it so often is in aviation, IT ALL DEPENDS . If the situation is such that landing in the nearest open field is the only way to save yourself, the aircraft or protect the public, then discontinue means exactly that. If, in the pilot’s best judgment, the aircraft can be safely flown to the nearest suitable airport, then that’s what discontinue means. It probably does not mean over-flying suitable places to land and continuing to our destination, or returning to our departure point because to do otherwise would be inconvenient. The point being is, this is a regulation by-which our actions as a pilot in command will be judged. Whatever action you decide to take will be evaluated against this rule.
So, what does airworthy mean? There are two conditions that must be met for an aircraft to be airworthy. The source of this definition of airworthy comes to us from the airworthiness certificate issued by the FAA for the aircraft we are operating. As you can see from the airworthiness certificate excerpts, when it was issued, the aircraft had been inspected and found to conform to the type certificate and be in a condition for safe operation . Please note that you may often hear or read the phrase “conforms to type design” which means “conforms to the design requirements that were met for issuance of the Type Certificate”. Ask Question: How long is an Airworthiness Certificate in effect?
Read the terms and conditions. This is probably a good place to discuss preventative maintenance . There are approximately 32 items that are identified as preventative maintenance. They can be found in FAR Part 43 Appendix A. These are maintenance activities a pilot may do to their aircraft…….assuming they have the training and knowledge to do so. However, if you are about to do something to the aircraft, and it doesn’t fit into one of those 32 items, it’s probably deemed as “maintenance”. By the rule, maintenance must be performed by, or under the supervision of, someone who is certificated to perform maintenance. An A&P or certificated repair station for example. Regarding inspections, except for preflight, most other inspections are generally required to be performed by certificated maintenance persons, however there are always exceptions. If the aircraft is being operated under a certificate such as FAR Parts 121, 125, or 135, the pilot in command has further restrictions on what he or she can do to the aircraft. Please note that you may often hear or read the phrase “conforms to type design” which means “conforms to the type certificate”.
There are several certificates that we should be aware of for all of this to make sense. Let’s say you want to build an aircraft. We’ll call it a Fred’s Flyer, and the first version will be an “A” model. In order to get this aircraft certified, it will have to meet Part 23 certification rules of the FARs. Those rules dictate certain qualities that the aircraft must have regarding its construction. When you have accomplished that you will turn some prototypes over to the FAA for testing, and if they verify the certification requirements are met a TYPE CERTIFICATE will be issued, in this case, for a Fred’s Flyer – Model A. You are now the Type Certificate Holder . The Type Certificate Data Sheet will specify everything that is on the aircraft at the time it was certified, such as the engine, propeller, etc., and it will also contain limitations , such as airspeeds, maneuvers that may be performed, and weight and balance . I highlight weight and balance here because we will see it again later. In conjunction with applying for the type certificate, you must develop and submit maintenance program that will maintain the continued airworthiness of your aircraft……….often referred to as Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA’s).
Now that you have a type certificate, you want to build and sell Fred Flyers. Before you can do that the FAA needs to verify that you have the facilities, the tools, the equipment, and the trained personnel to build the aircraft. If you meet those requirements, you can get a production certificate .
Finally, the FAA will inspect the aircraft you produce to ensure they meet the original type design under which it was certified. If requirements are met, an AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE will be issued. That means that the aircrafts conformed to the type design, and must continue to conform to the type design to remain AIRWORTHY . So, when the airworthiness certificate specifies that the aircraft must conform to its TYPE CERTIFICATE what it is actually saying is that anything that was on the aircraft when it was certificated, must still be on the aircraft, and it must still be operational, unless it has been altered or removed in-accordance-with the rules.
If you are interested in looking at a type certificate data sheet you can go to www.faa.gov which is the FAA Home Page, then select the Aircraft Tab. That will bring you to this page and if you go to Technical Information you will see that one of the links is to Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS).
Selecting that link will bring you to this page where a TCDS can be searched by the various ways provided.
If you search by current models you can pick aircraft based on the holder (manufacturer) of the type design. In this example, Cessna Aircraft Company was selected…
… and now you can look at all the data sheets for all the aircraft that Cessna ever produced. Remember, the limitations for the aircraft are included on the type design data sheet, so it is an excellent resource for any airman, and a terrific tool for CFI’s and DPE’s. If you are going to learn how to fly in a Cessna 172B, what a great place to begin your first lesson, with an in-depth review of the aircraft and the equipment on it. Perhaps as a pilot examiner, you find yourself scheduled to give an evaluation in an aircraft that falls under your designation, but a model you have never been in before. Here’s a resource you can go to find out everything you ever wanted to know about it before you show up for the ride.
One of the responsibilities assigned by Section 91.203 is that an aircraft operator must ensure there is a current airworthiness certificate and certificate of registration in the aircraft. Section 91.403 requires the owner or operator to also verify compliance with FAR Part 39, in that all the applicable airworthiness directives have been complied with. Right about now anyone who rents an aircraft should be asking; “Hey wait!! Does that mean I’m responsible for the ADs on an aircraft that I rent?” True, although you’re not responsible for doing them, Section 91.7 makes the PIC responsible for the airworthiness of the aircraft. So you are responsible for verifying that they have been done. An acronym often used by flight instructors when teaching new students about documents required in the aircraft is “ARROW”. The A stands for airworthiness certificate and the first R refers to the registration. The rule that requires these documents is Section 91.203. Acronyms are good tools to use for teaching, but it’s also good to know that there is a rule that is the basis for the requirement.
Another responsibility of the operator is to ensure that any maintenance that has been performed has been properly recorded. This is an area where many owner/operators have inadequate knowledge and totally rely on the mechanic to get it right. Fortunately, most mechanics do get it right, but not always. It may not be the owner’s or operator’s responsibility to make the correct entry, but it is their responsibility to ensure that the required information is entered and maintained in the aircraft records.
Recall the acronym ARROW. Sometimes the O in ARROW is referred to as the O perating Handbook, or POH. What the O really refers to are the Operating Limitations . On older aircraft, the operating limitations specified on the type certificate data sheet are provided to the operator by placards and markings in the aircraft and on the instruments. Later aircraft are produced with an Approved Flight Manual, or AFM . An AFM is assigned to a specific aircraft and identified by serial number. The operating limitations are provided to the operator in a chapter in the AFM, usually chapter 2. Just as an example to help visualize what that means, if pages 2-3 and 2-4 are missing from the AFM, the aircraft is technically not airworthy because all the operating limitations are not in the aircraft. Pilots discovering this for the first time have been known to spend some time sticking reinforcements on the holes of the pages of that chapter. Section 91.9 is the rule that discusses placards, POHs, and AFMs. It is the pilot’s reference for the Part 23 requirement for Operating Limitations to be in the aircraft.
The W part of ARROW refers to weight and balance. If you read through FAR Part 91 you won’t find any rule that says “weight and balance must be on the aircraft”. As I said earlier, weight and balance is a limitation . It might be more accurate to teach ARROW as A-R-R-Ow . The W is actually part of the O and Section 91.9 is also the reference for W being required in the aircraft. The reason it is identified individually is because on older aircraft it is often carried as a separate document, usually stuffed in the document holder behind the registration. In later aircraft, weight and balance is in a separate chapter of the AFM. The W in ARROW is just a reminder to check to be sure we have it, and that it is up to date.
Verifying that the aircraft is SAFE for flight essentially means performing a thorough preflight inspection to ensure that everything is there and working properly. It sounds simple, but it is actually not simple at all. Why would you NOT be interested in finding something wrong with the aircraft you are about to fly? What’s you motive for being there? ……to fly……… not find things wrong with the aircraft! If you have been planning an aeronautical outing with friends all week, you might not be motivated to investigate/report some “observed” defects/conditions. It could easily be rationalized that this condition has been there for some time and it’s really nothing to be concerned about. Or maybe, if renting, think …..other pilots have flown it this way – right? In this example, one of the ways you might reduce the likelihood to put yourself into a position to make a poor decision, is to go out to the airport the day prior to the flight and look the aircraft over thoroughly. If you find something wrong, it can address it without being under the “pressure” to make an immediate go/no go decision. If nothing else, if you didn’t see on the aircraft yesterday, you must admit that something has changed quickly and you can’t rationalize that it’s been there for a long time. The truth is, you really don’t know if this represents a serious problem or not. It’s just not good ”Plane Sense” to takeoff with things going on with the aircraft that haven’t been investigated to determine if the safety of flight is compromised.
Recall ARROW although it has two Rs, the second R may be dropped because the requirement for a radio station license in the US has been eliminated. If the aircraft is going to be flown outside the US however, a radio station license issued by the FCC is still required, with the exception of Canada and Mexico. It is also important to know that it is a requirement to notify the National Transportation Safety Board – NTSB- if the aircraft is involved in an accident. Sometimes airmen decide not to report a mishap, assuming that it is only an incident, not an accident. The best guidance is to report all occurrences. If it turns out to be an incident, nothing has been lost. If it’s discovered….. after the fact……. and it turns out to be an accident that was not reported, additional problems may arise to deal with.
Remember ARROW…………..and verify ARROW…………….and if you provide flight instruction or examinations……..teach ARROW. Maybe you can adopt the second “R” to mean “Reporting” and/or “Records.” Throughout this presentation we have provided you with lots of useful accurate information and their sources. It is not only vital to provide the correct information, but you should give references where the information can be found. In aviation, they are many good techniques, rules of thumb , and acceptable industry standards and practices but you need to be sure they don’t conflict with regulatory requirements and responsibilities.
If confusion exists about what constitutes an “airworthy” aircraft, it can easily spill over into what to do if something on the aircraft becomes inoperable. It would be a rare day indeed if everything on an aircraft worked all the time but that’s what is implied when we say, “conforms to the type certificate”. You may be tempted to overlook /ignore things that are not required on a flight you are about to make, but there are two real dangers in doing that. The first is that in complex systems , seemingly unrelated things have a way of linking together in unexpected ways leading to disaster. Recall that on the Titanic, the lookouts didn’t have any binoculars. Would a pair of binoculars have prevented the disaster? We’ll never know, but probably it wasn’t considered a necessary asset as the ship sailed away on it’s maiden voyage….after all the ship was “unsinkable”!!....…right? The second problem is even more insidious. Overlooking inoperable equipment can become a Norm. Soon more and more defects are accepted or ignored. Not only are you flying an unairworthy aircraft……..worse yet …….it may be UNSAFE! Provide scenario: I recall an instance where an Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) had an applicant show up for a check ride in an aircraft that was so poorly maintained that one aileron could be held immobile and the other could still be moved full travel. When asked why he flew the aircraft in this condition, the applicant answered that the aircraft had always been that way since he had learned to fly in it. So beginning and during flight instruction, the behavior seed was planted into a new future pilot that evolved in the NORM of flying unairworthy and possibly unsafe aircraft.
It’s pretty typical of the type of personality that gets involved in flying to be goal-oriented. If the goal is to fly, there may be low interest in examining reasons why you can’t. There are allowances, within the FARs, that will allow you to operate legally with inoperative equipment. Section 91.213 gives us guidance on how to operate with a minimum equipment list, or MEL. An approved MEL will allow us to operate an aircraft with certain equipment inoperable. In many cases an MEL can be very useful, but it is not a panacea for flying a broken aircraft. There are a few “hooks” we need to be aware of. The first, and key word is; approved . There must exist an approved MEL for the aircraft. The letter of authorization (LOA) must be issued by the FAA Flight Standards District Office. The letter authorizes the operation per the MEL. Both the MEL and the LOA must be kept in the aircraft when operated. The second “hook” is the approved MEL must be used . The PIC doesn’t have the option of either using or not using it. Furthermore, other airmen who are going to use the aircraft must be trained on the use of the MEL. Anytime the word TRAINING is used, you can be assured that a record of that training will need to be kept. If you own the aircraft and fly it frequently, an MEL might be a good thing to have. If several people fly the aircraft, it might be wiser not to develop one unless you’re sure everyone will play by the rules. Nothing is more difficult for us to defend than when we fail to comply with our own procedures.
If you go back to the Technical Information link on the FAA.gov website and select Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL), it will take you to this page, opspecs.com. At this site you can find out a lot of information about MELs and how they are developed. If you browse the various links on the page, you will find a listing of aircraft that have master minimum equipment lists published. The MMEL is the basic document from which an MEL for a specific aircraft is developed. There is even a generic single engine MMEL that can be used to develop an MEL for a single engine aircraft.
Section 91.213 also provides guidance on how to defer maintenance and operate a rotorcraft , non-turbine aircraft, glider, lighter than air, or light sport, that doesn’t have an MEL. To determine if we can fly we need to use a decision chain. The first thing to determine is if the piece of inoperable equipment is required to be working. The type design data sheet and Section 91.205 have lists of equipment required for VFR during daylight and at night, and for IFR flight.
Assume that the landing light is inoperative and you will not be flying for hire. Section 91.205 states that a landing light is not required for either day or night operations as long as we are not flying for hire. Next determine if the inoperative equipment is required to be operational by the manufacturer. Depending on the type and age of the aircraft, this may take a bit of research. It may be found on the type certificate data sheet, or it may be found in the approved flight manual – AFM, if one exists for the aircraft. Usually the chapter that contains the weight and balance lists the equipment on the aircraft and indicates whether it is required to be operational. For our example, assume the manufacturer does not require the landing light to be working.
If you clear the first two steps you have two more options. The first is to remove the inoperative equipment. However, removing equipment falls under the category of “maintenance” , must be supervised or performed by certificate maintenance person and must be recorded. Section 43.9 provides the guidance on this and how that record must be made. Also review FAR Part 43, Appendix A to determine if it’s preventative maintenance . If so the action may be performed by certificated pilot. The second option is to deactivate the equipment. This could be as simple as turning the switch off or pulling a circuit breaker, if there is a separate circuit for the light, and then placarding the light as “inoperative”. The final requirement is a determination made by the pilot or a certificated and appropriately rated maintenance person that the inoperative piece of equipment does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft. This is where things can get a little slippery and close attention is needed. The FAA doesn’t care if this piece of equipment doesn’t work, if it did, it’s operation would be mandatory. However, the FAA does care WHY the equipment doesn’t work. Is the light not working because it has a burned out bulb? Or, is it not working because a wire has separated inside a wing full of fuel? Consequently you can see why this safety determination is critical. The final point to make affects our decision-making. In this scenario, the landing light is not legally required for either day or night operations because you are not flying the aircraft for hire. That means I could legally fly this aircraft to an unlit, sod runway. on a dark night with only 3-miles visibility. The point is, just because it’s legal – doesn’t mean it’s smart!!! The first question we need to ask anytime we plan on flying an aircraft with something inoperative is – WHY IS THIS FLIGHT NECESSARY? Have we placed too much emphasis on the perceived benefit? Is our decision-making being adversely influenced by external factors? Think well and decide correctly.
As mentioned earlier, there are three things on the airworthiness certificate that are necessary to maintain airworthiness – Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Alterations.
A description of what this term means can be found in FAR Part 43, Appendix A.
Read The Slide…………. In this definition, COMPLEX may have several meanings depending on your knowledge and capabilities. As an operator, you may be authorized to perform Preventive Maintenance but you better be sure you know what you are doing. Heck, if you don’t know what size hammer is used to change a spark plug, than just about any operation is complex.!! Bottom line…………if you don’t know………..don’t guess…………seek authorized, experienced and trained personnel.
If you are authorized and capable to do Preventive Maintenance, use applicable Manufacturer’s Instructions, calibrated tools and test equipment, if required. REMEMBER: All Preventive Maintenance actions requires an entry in the aircraft maintenance records.
The entry should include when the maintenance was performed, both the date and aircraft time. What maintenance was performed. The results of the operational check and finally, WHO DID THE WORK including your name, type of certificate and the number. Remember: Student pilots may not perform preventative maintenance. What do you do when you are away from home and you incur minor damage to your aircraft or find your annual inspection just expired? Contact the FAA and request a special Flight Permit
Section 21.197 of the Federal Aviation Regulations authorizes the issuance of a special airworthiness certificate and or a Faxed Special Flight Permit to civil U.S. Registered aircraft. It is often known by the more common name – ferry permit . This “ferry permit” can also allow aircraft to be flown with some damage allowances.. Carefully note that although the aircraft does not meet airworthiness requirements it MUST be in a condition of safe operation.
Illustrated here is the “Pink” Special Airworthiness Certificate for a special flight permit. It will be issued by the Flight Standards District Office after a determination is made that the aircraft can be flown safely to a location where repairs, alterations, or maintenance can be performed. Note this certificate as well as the FAXED Special Flight Permit, will have operating limitations attached that will list the limitations and what needs to be included in the aircraft logbook sign-off by a certificated mechanic or certificated repair station prior to flight and what has to be on board during the flight. It may include other specific limitations such as: day VFR, minimum crew, or other conditions the issuing office considers important for safety.
Recall the requirement on the airworthiness certificate is that maintenance, preventative maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with FAR Parts 21, 43, and 91. As the operator, you must also ensure that all required inspections have been complied with. Depending on how the aircraft is used, all the inspections identified on this slide may not be required on your aircraft.
An annual inspection is required for all aircraft unless they are certificated as experimental, light-sport, or provisional, or they are operated under an approved inspection program . Most air carriers, many corporate and fractional owned aircraft are on a continuous inspection program that ensures the airworthiness of the aircraft, but doesn’t necessitate it being out of service for an extended period. A maintenance technician holding Inspection Authorization (IA) is required to perform an annual inspection. When it is completed, it must be identified as an “Annual Inspection” in the aircraft records and signed-off by the IA who conducted it. The two additional entities authorized to perform annual inspections are the manufacturer, and certificated repair stations when they hold a rating to perform annual inspections. When the inspection is signed-off, the status of the aircraft must be indicated. The outcome of an annual inspection is not always an airworthy aircraft. If the inspection is performed and the technician finds discrepancies that make the aircraft unairworthy, a list of those discrepancies must be given to the aircraft owner. Those discrepancies must be fixed before the aircraft is airworthy. When reviewing the aircraft records, you need to ensure that not only has the annual inspection been performed, but that the aircraft was found airworthy.
The 100 hour inspection is required for aircraft that are operated “for hire”. A 100-hour inspection may be performed and signed-off by a maintenance technician who holds an A&P certificate. There is a provision in the regulations that allows the 100 hour limitation to be exceeded by not more than 10 hours while enroute to reach a place where the inspection can be done, however, during this time the aircraft may not be used “for hire”. Just as a reminder, some aircraft have AD’s that are due at hourly intervals and may come due at 100 hours. There is no provision in the FAR to over-fly an AD. The operator must ensure that all required AD’s have been complied with prior to exceeding the 100 hour limitation as authorized by the FAR.
Earlier “Approved Inspection Programs” were briefly mentioned as continuous inspection programs used by most air carriers, or corporate and fractional owned aircraft that ensures the airworthiness of the aircraft, without incurring extended periods out of service. Progressive Inspection is an approved inspection program that may be available to you. The key word with regard to progressive inspections is – approved . Operators desiring to use a progressive inspection program should contact their local Flight Standards District Office having jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant is located to determine eligibility and how to appy.
The pitot-static/altimeter inspection is required for aircraft that will be operated in controlled airspace under IFR. If the aircraft is only going to be operated VFR, then this inspection is not required . Some caution needs to be addressed here. If you operate an aircraft that is certified and equipped for IFR flight, but you only fly VFR, the inspection is not necessary. However, if something changes and you are put in a position where you may want to operate IFR, like being caught ON TOP, you must remember that the aircraft isn’t legal for that purpose.
Section 91.413 says that if the transponder hasn’t been tested and inspected in compliance with FAR Part 43, Appendix F within the preceding 24 months, it can’t be used. Now let’s talk about the rule regarding the use of the transponder which is Section 91.215 (c). It specifies that each person operating an aircraft equipped with an operable transponder maintained in-accordance-with Section 91.413, SHALL operate the transponder in controlled airspace. Controlled airspace is identified as: Class A, B, C, D, and E. The bottom line to these various references is that we must operate a transponder that has been properly tested and inspected anytime we are in controlled airspace. If the transponder fails the inspection, or hasn’t been tested and inspected within the preceding 24 months, then it cannot be used . ASK Question : If we swap a transponder from one aircraft to another, even if it is the same kind of transponder, we should have the unit tested and inspected? ANSWER: YES. Because Section 91.413 (b) requires following any installation or maintenance on the ATC transponder, where data correspondence error could be introduced, the integrated system has been tested, inspected, and found to comply with paragraph (c), appendix E, of part 43.
The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) inspection requirements are found in Section 91.207. There are two requirements that an operator needs to verify about the ELT. The batteries must be recharged or replaced if the transmitter has been in use for more than 1 hour or when 50% of their useful life has expired . The expiration date of the batteries must be legibly marked on the outside of the transmitter and entered into the aircraft maintenance record. There is also an inspection requirement every 12 calendar months to check proper installation, battery corrosion, operation and signal strength. It is not unusual for this inspection to be accomplished during an annual inspection, but it should be specifically identified either as a separate entry, or included with the annual sign-off, indicating the new expiration date for the batteries. If the transmitter has been temporarily removed for inspection, repair, modification, or replacement, no person may operate the aircraft unless the aircraft records contain an entry which includes the date of initial removal, the make, model, serial number, and reason for removing the transmitter, and a placard located in view of the pilot to show “ELT not installed.” The aircraft may not be operated more than 90 days after the ELT is initially removed.
The 30-day VOR check is not really an inspection, but is included here because it is something the pilot in command needs to check before operating the aircraft IFR using the VOR equipment. The procedures for making the check are included in Section 91.171 and each person making the VOR operational check SHALL enter the date, place, bearing error, and sign the aircraft log or other record. This is something a CFI may want to pay particular attention to. If the weather changes unexpectedly during a training flight, and the destination airport goes below VFR minimums, the CFI may decide it’s a good idea to request a clearance and execute an instrument approach. That would not be the time to begin wondering if the required checks have been completed.
Since the VOR check was discussed, it just seems natural to include the GPS data base if the aircraft has an IFR approved GPS and it’s going to be used for an IFR flight. My intention in this program is to identify those things we are responsible for as an aircraft operator, and to provide regulatory basis for them. There is no specific rule in FAR Part 91 that requires a current data base in the GPS, other than Section 91.103, which requires the pilot in command to become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. A current data base is regulatory, however, it sort of slides in through the back door. A current data base becomes regulatory because the unit comes with a supplemental flight manual which has operating limitations. Remember back a few slides during the discussion of ARROW,….”O” was referred to as Operating Limitations, and Section 91.9, make operating limitations mandatory and require them to be in the aircraft. FAR Part 43, Appendix A contains “Preventative Maintenance” activities and numbers (31) & (32) are the regulatory guidance for updating the data base. If the operation complies with those requirements, it is preventive maintenance . Both sections of the rule have requirements for an operational check to be performed and recorded . In order to do that correctly, you will have to wander around through a few more regulations, specifically, Sections 43.5, 43.7, and 43.9.
This is FAA Form 337. It is the document that is used when performing a major repair or major alteration to an aircraft. FAR Part 43, Appendix A defies and identifies Major Repairs and Major Alterations actions. FAR Part 43, appendix B. contains requirements for Recording of Major Repairs and Major Alterations and further states the following instructions: (1) Execute FAA Form 337 at least in duplicate; (2) Give a signed copy of that form to the aircraft owner; and (3) Forward a copy of that form to the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, within 48 hours after the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance is approved for return to service. Check with your local Flight Standards District Office to ascertain if they will accept one signed copy to forward to Aircraft Registry. You as the aircraft owner should have a copy of every 337 that was EVER completed on your aircraft. If you don’t……..get them.
As an operator you also need to be aware of any Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs), that might have been installed on the aircraft. An STC is a method of modifying the original type design of the aircraft. The reason they are important to the pilot is because they might come with a change to the limitations. The limitations and conditions shown are typical of those often found with an STC. If the aircraft has been modified by an STC, a copy of that information must be in the aircraft records and if there has been a change to the limitations, those supplemental changes must be carried and available in the aircraft. A listing of STC’s is available at the FAA website. www.faa.gov will take you to STCs as well as links other informative sites…………..go to NEXT SLIDE
This is the site you can reach at www.faa.gov/aircraft ……………………see that there is much valuable information for aircraft owners, operators and maintenance providers.
Sometimes during service the aircraft may encounter problems that may compromise the aircraft's safety, which were not anticipated or detected in prototype testing stages. The aircraft design is thus compromised and airworthiness directives will be issued. The directives normally consist of additional maintenance or design actions that are necessary to restore the type's airworthiness. Compliance is mandatory . Your aircraft maintenance records are required to include a summary of Airworthiness Directives applicable to the aircraft. The records must include the AD number, revision date and method of compliance. Recurring ADs must indicate the next time the AD is due for compliance
Throughout this presentation it has been mentioned that the operator is responsible for ensuring that all applicable ADs have been complied with. An AD compliance record should be included in the aircraft records and available to the operator to make a proper airworthiness determination. There is no standardized format for presenting the information, but the required information must be recorded.. Of particular interest should be the due date or aircraft hours for recurring ADs. It is not proper to enter the interval, such as 100 hours, but rather the actual aircraft time when compliance is due.
We defined Airworthy at the beginning of this presentation and mentioned that both pilots and mechanics have a responsibility for it. These are the rules that further define the shared responsibilities for the maintenance records.
Section 91.417 is the source for regulatory guidance on the information to be in the aircraft maintenance records. When reviewing the records to verify airworthiness, they should basically state the What, When, and Who. IS THE DESCRIPTION OF WORK CLEAR ON THE SLIDE? This is an extreme example but seriously if your record entries are not clear, clarification should be sought. The pilot in command, is expected to make the final decision regarding the airworthiness of the aircraft and needs to be able to understand what the records are stating. Section 43.9 also contains wording that specifically requires the name of any person who performed the work and the certificate number and type of the approving person. If doing other than “Preventive Maintenance” a certificated mechanic A&P must supervise your actions. Your name needs to be entered into the maintenance record, along with the signature, certificate number and type of the A&P who is approving the work for return to service. These requirements ensure safety is maintained. Improving safety is everyone’s responsibility…Go to NEXT SLIDE
Members of the aviation community whether pilots or mechanics should actively report safety issues and problems encountered with aircraft, power plant, and appliances. Whenever a system component or part of an aircraft, power plant, propeller, or appliance functions improperly or fails to operate in the approved type-certificated manner, it has malfunctioned and should be reported. Additionally, if a system or component has a flaw that impairs or may impair its future function, or it has a part installed improperly, it is defective and should be reported. This is a screenshot of the web site that enables all of us to do that. The address is: HTTP:WWW.FAA.GOV/AIRCRAFT/SAFETY/REPORT. It provides, among other safety reports a means to submit a Malfunction and Defect Report or a Service Difficulty Report. If you select either Malfunction and Defect Report or Service Difficulty Report you will get this screen……………………… Go to NEXT SLIDE
Read the purpose of the site to audience. The Service Difficulty Reports (commonly referred to as SDR) is another avenue of aviation defect reporting predominately used by the Air Carrier aviation community. This slide shows the web site that is available to submit an SDR but note a Malfunction and Defect Report can also be submitted from this site. If you select “Create a Malfunction and Defect Report” you will get an electronic Form to fill out………….Go the Next Slide
Just fill in available information and submit. If you encounter difficulties………..please don’t give up and not report…………… but rather call your local FSDO and ask for help.
The Malfunction or Defect Report form on this slide has been historically used for submitting reports of defect and malfunctions to the FAA and normally used by the General Aviation community. This form and many other useful Flight Standards forms are available on FAA.gov/forms. The direct web address to this Forms is http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/form/faa8010-4.pdf.
So a quick recap of your responsibilities as owner, operator, or Pilot in Command: Use the A-R-R-O-W…..to affirm you have: Airworthiness Certificate , Registration , FCC Radio License (if I will be operating outside the US), Operating Limitations and Weight and Balance . Ensure that all applicable Airworthiness Directives have been accomplished. Verify that all maintenance performed has been properly recorded, and also that required inspections and operational checks have been completed and if it should happen………………………. Report an accident to the National Transportation Safety Board – NTSB and…………. Report SAFETY issues you encounter
Finally, the pilot is responsible for ensuring that the aircraft is SAFE FOR FLIGHT by conducting a thorough preflight. This will be your last chance to detect potential unsafe items….do it carefully and thoroughly…….and use your checklist!!
There are numerous publications produced by the FAA and commercially, that we can go to to get valuable information about our responsibilities as an aircraft operator.
Advisory Circulars are available for purchase or they can be located at www.FAA.gov then go to Regulations and Policies.
The FAASTeam website………………….WWW.FAAsafety.gov………………. is a most viable tool and resource for you. If you have not been there, visit it soon. If you are not registered, please do so. Tell your aviation friends and acquaintances…….including your maintenance providers! You will find it a most comprehensive source of aviation pilot and maintenance information, presentations, web site references and links, training courses and awards programs. CHECK IT OUT!
This concludes PLANE SENSE. In this program we have defined the word “airworthy”, reviewed the requirements that must be met for an aircraft to be “airworthy”, and addressed the owner/operator and PIC responsibilities for the airworthiness of an aircraft.
The FAA Safety Team is dedicated to quality customer service and we like your feedback. Please provide feed back at the address shown. Thank you.
Federal AviationAdministrationPlane SenseR1 11/05/2012
Federal AviationAdministration2Plane SenseIntroduction• Review the requirements that an aircraftoperator/owner must know to make aninformed decision about the airworthinessof an aircraft.• Three Objectives
Federal AviationAdministration3Plane SenseObjective - To define the word “airworthy”
Federal AviationAdministration4Plane SenseObjective -To review the requirements that must bemet for an aircraft to be “airworthy”
Federal AviationAdministration5Plane SenseObjective – To address the owner/operator andPIC responsibilities for the airworthiness of anaircraft
Federal AviationAdministration6Plane SenseUnderstanding “airworthiness”• The term “airworthy” is often used but notspecifically defined in the regulations• Our understanding of the word may differdepending on whether we are a pilot or amechanic.
Federal AviationAdministration7Plane SenseCIVIL AIRCRAFTAIRWORTHINESS• No person may operate a civil aircraft unless itis in an airworthy condition.• The pilot in command of a civil aircraft isresponsible for determining whether thataircraft is in condition for safe flight. The pilotin command shall discontinue the flight whenunairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structuralconditions occur.
Federal AviationAdministration8Plane SenseCIVIL AIRCRAFTAIRWORTHINESS Section 91.7• No person may operate a civil aircraft unless itis in an airworthy condition.• The pilot in command of a civil aircraft isresponsible for determining whether thataircraft is in condition for safe flight. The pilotin command shall discontinue the flight whenunairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structuralconditions occur.
Federal AviationAdministration9Plane SenseAIRWORTHY?• Two conditions must be met:– The aircraft conforms to its type certificate, andhas been inspected, maintained, modified andrepaired in-accordance-with the regulations.– The aircraft is in condition for safe operation.
Federal AviationAdministration10Plane SenseAIRWORTHNESS CERTIFICATE• Terms and Conditions
Federal AviationAdministration11Plane SenseWHAT DOES TYPE DESIGN MEAN?Fred’s Flyer – Model AThe type design consists of--(a) The drawings and specifications, and a listing of those drawings andspecifications, necessary to define the configuration and the design features of theproduct shown to comply with the requirements of that part of this subchapterapplicable to the product;(b) Information on dimensions, materials, and processes necessary to define thestructural strength of the product;(c) The Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for ContinuedAirworthiness as required by Parts 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, and 35, or as otherwiserequired by the Administrator; and as specified in the applicable airworthinesscriteria for special classes of aircraft defined in Sec. 21.17(b).
Federal AviationAdministration12Plane SenseWHAT DOES TYPE DESIGN MEAN?Fred’s Flyer – Model A
Federal AviationAdministration13Plane SenseWHAT DOES TYPE DESIGN MEAN?Fred’s Flyer – Model A
Federal AviationAdministration14Plane Sensewww.faa.gov then select “Type Certificate Data Sheets”
Federal AviationAdministration15Plane SenseTYPE DESIGN DATA SHEETS
Federal AviationAdministration16Plane SenseTYPE DESIGN DATA SHEETS
Federal AviationAdministration17Plane SenseTYPE DESIGN DATA SHEETS
Federal AviationAdministration18Plane SenseAIRCRAFT OPERATORRESPONSIBILIES• An aircraft operator is responsible for thefollowing items:– Ensuring that the aircraft has a currentAirworthiness Certificate and Certificate ofRegistration in the aircraft. (91.203)– Verifying that the aircraft is airworthy and incompliance with all applicable ADs. (91.403)• A-R-R-O-W
Federal AviationAdministration19Plane SenseAIRCRAFT OPERATORRESPONSIBILIES– Assuring that maintenance is properly recorded.– Ensuring that the aircraft operating limitations,including weight and balance, are in the aircraftand complied with.– Verifying that the aircraft is safe for flight.
Federal AviationAdministration20Plane SenseAIRCRAFT OPERATORRESPONSIBILIES– Assuring that maintenance is properly recorded.– Ensuring that the aircraft operating limitations,including weight and balance, are in the aircraftand complied with.– Verifying that the aircraft is safe for flight.
Federal AviationAdministration21Plane SenseAIRCRAFT OPERATORRESPONSIBILITES– Assuring that maintenance is properly recorded.– Ensuring that the aircraft operating limitations,including weight and balance, are in the aircraftand complied with.– Verifying that the aircraft is safe for flight.
Federal AviationAdministration22Plane SenseAIRCRAFT OPERATORRESPONSIBILITES– Assuring that maintenance is properly recorded.– Ensuring that the aircraft operating limitations,including weight and balance, are in the aircraftand complied with.– Verifying that the aircraft is safe for flight.
Federal AviationAdministration23Plane SenseAIRCRAFT OPERATORRESPONSIBILITES (ARROW)– If the aircraft will be flown outside of U.S.boundaries, a current FCC Radio Station Licenseif radios are installed.– Reporting an aircraft accident to the NationalTransportation Safety Board in-accordance-withCFR 830.
Federal AviationAdministration24Plane SenseARROW• A-Airworthiness Certificate• Section 91.203(a)(1)• R-Registration• Section 91.203(a)(2)• R-Radio Station License, when required• O-Operating Limitations• Section 91.9(b)(1)&(2)• W-Weight and Balance• Sections 23-1519, 23-1583, 23-1559 & 91.9
Federal AviationAdministration25Plane SenseWHAT HAPPENS WHENTHINGS BREAK?• The airworthiness certificate is no longer ineffect!
Federal AviationAdministration26Plane SenseWHAT HAPPENS WHENTHINGS BREAK?Section 91.213: Inoperative Instruments andEquipment• Minimum Equipment List – MEL– Developed for a specific aircraft– Letter of authorization from the FSDO required– Must be used by everyone who flies the aircraft– Training and records required
Federal AviationAdministration27Plane SenseMinimum Equipment List
Federal AviationAdministration28Plane SenseWHAT HAPPENS WHENTHINGS BREAK?Section 91.213: Inoperative Instruments andEquipment• NO MEL decision chain– Regulations – TCDS and 91.205– Manufacturer – equipment list– Remove or deactivate, and placard– Determination of safety
Federal AviationAdministration29Plane SenseWHAT HAPPENS WHENTHINGS BREAK?Section 91.213: Inoperative Instruments andEquipment• NO MEL decision chain– Regulations – TCDS and 91.205– Manufacturer – equipment list– Remove or deactivate, and placard– Determination of safety
Federal AviationAdministration30Plane SenseWHAT HAPPENS WHENTHINGS BREAK?91.213 Inoperative Instruments and Equipment• NO MEL decision chain– Regulations – TCDS and 91.205– Manufacturer – equipment list– Remove or deactivate, and placard– Determination of safety
Federal AviationAdministration31Plane SensePREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Federal AviationAdministration32Plane SensePREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Federal AviationAdministration33Plane SensePREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Federal AviationAdministration34Plane SensePREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Federal AviationAdministration35Plane SensePREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Federal AviationAdministration36Plane SenseSPECIAL FLIGHT PERMIT• A Special Airworthiness Certificate may beissued and or…..• Faxed Special Flight Permit which includesoperating limitations for intended flight.• Aircraft may be flown without requiredequipment or inspections performed.• Aircraft must be in a condition for safeoperation
Federal AviationAdministration37Plane SenseSPECIAL AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE
Federal AviationAdministration46Plane SenseREQUIRED INSPECTIONS• Annual inspection 91.409(a)• 100 hour inspection 91.409(b)• Progressive inspection 91.409(d)• Pitot-static/Altimeter 91.411• Transponder 91.413• ELT 91.207• 30-day VOR check 91.171• Current GPS data base 91.103 / 91.7
Federal AviationAdministration47Plane SenseFORM 337
Federal AviationAdministration48Plane SenseSUPPLEMENTAL TYPE CERTIFICATESLimitations and Conditions: The installation should not beincorporated in any aircraft unless it is determined that theinterrelationship between this installation and any previouslyapproved configuration will not introduce any adverse effectupon the airworthiness of the aircraft. The approval of thismodification applies to the above-noted aircraft model seriesonly. A copy of this STC must be included in the permanentrecords of the modified aircraft.
Federal AviationAdministration50Plane SenseAIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
Federal AviationAdministration51Plane SenseAD COMPLIANCE RECORD
Federal AviationAdministration52Plane SenseResponsibilities• 14 CFR part 91, section 91.417 states that anaircraft owner/operator shall, keep and maintainaircraft maintenance records.• 14 CFR part 43, sections 43.9 and 43.11 statethat maintenance personnel, however, arerequired to make the record entries.
Federal AviationAdministration53Plane SenseWhat Must Be In The MaintenanceRecords?• Description of the work performed• Date the work was completed• Signature and certificate number of the personapproving the workIn addition Section 43.9 includes:• The name of any person working on the aircraft and thecertificate type of the approving personΙ χερτιφψ τηατ τηισ αιρχραφτ ηασ βεεν ινσπεχτεδ ιν αχχορδανχε ωιτη αν αννυαλ ινσπεχτιον ανδ ωασ δετερµινεδ το βε ιν αν αιρωορτηψ χονδιτιονSIGNATURE ΙΑ 4456782435
Federal AviationAdministration63Plane SenseSummary• Defined Airworthy• Discussed Airworthy Requirements• Discussed Owner/Operator/Pilot-inCommand Airworthiness Responsibilities• Accident and Safety Reporting
Federal AviationAdministration64Plane SenseYOUR TIME FOR:Questions??Comments….
Federal AviationAdministration65Plane SenseTHANK YOU!!The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) is dedicated to QualityCustomer Service and we would value your feedback. Pleaseprovide your feedback at:www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/qms