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In order to ensure that aircraft are maintained to the highest standard of air-worthiness, they are managed and inspected
under FAA-mandated and -approved inspection programs. Inspection programs must ensure the aircraft is airworthy
and conforms to all applicable FAA aircraft specifications, type certificate data sheets, airworthiness directives, and
other FAA approved data.
Inspection planning is organized around an aircraft's age, utilization, environmental conditions, and the type of
operation. Examples include changes in temperature, frequency of landings and takeoffs, operation in areas of
high industrial or environmental pollutants, and passenger or cargo operations. To assure proper maintenance,
each inspection interval must be stated in terms of flight hours, calendar times, and cycles (the number of
take-offs and landings the aircraft makes). As part of the aircraft's certification process, the aircraft manufacturer
and the FAA agree on the frequency for inspection requirements on the aircraft as well as functional checks of
each system. This forms the basis for the maintenance program when the aircraft is in service. Every system on the
aircraft has its own inspection requirements. Typically, major system-inspection requirements are synchronized
to minimize aircraft downtime and to eliminate a duplication of effort. However, it is common to have
completely separate inspection cycles for the primary aircraft structure and its engines.


On a base level, "inspect" means to examine by

sight and touch. When performing inspections, the
inspector measures and checks conditions against
established guidelines. An inspector must be able to
recognize defects and be aware of failure modes.
Aircraft inspections include manual tasks such as
initiating the inspection, accessing the aircraft, and
responding to problems. In addition, cognitive
tasks, such as search and decision making skills, are
also used in the inspection process. An inspector
should be able to identify and determine the acceptable degree of deterioration or defects permitted by
the manufacturer's manuals or other approved data.
Initiating the inspection can begin by reviewing a
maintenance checklist or work card, and understanding the area or item to be inspected.
Maintenance checklists for small aircraft (under
12,500 lbs. gross takeoff weight) must conform to
FAR Part 43, Appendix D. Most aircraft manufacturers provide inspection checklists regarding the
specific aircraft they produce. Small aircraft manufacturers' inspection schedules meet the minimum
requirements of Appendix D and contain many
details covering specific items of equipment
installed on a particular aircraft. In addition, they
often include references to service bulletins and service letters, which might otherwise be overlooked.
As long as they meet the minimum requirements of
Part 43 Appendix D, approved inspection checklists
may also be customized and made more extensive
to meet the needs of an individual owner/operator.
Large and turbine powered aircraft are inspected
under more encompassing inspection programs tailored to their specific type of aircraft and operating
Aircraft are subject to many required inspections.
These range from the basic pre-flight inspection, a
daily walk-around inspection, to extensive heavy
maintenance checks, which involve significant disassembly and detailed inspection of the aircraft.

An FAA approved Minimum Equipment List
(MEL) includes equipment that, if inoperative, may

either ground the aircraft or allow it to be flown

with flight restrictions deferring maintenance for
specific periods of time. An aircraft's MEL is specific to its precise configuration and serial number.
When a MEL item is discovered inoperative, it is
reported by making an entry in the aircraft's maintenance record. The inoperative equipment is either
repaired or deferred according to the MEL instructions prior to further flight. After repair, record an
airworthiness release or aircraft maintenance entry
to remove the flight restrictions. [Figure 17-1]
During a pre-flight inspection, all of the aforementioned items are verified by the pilot along with performing a visual walk-around inspection. The
walk-around entails referencing a pre-flight
checklist and looking for obvious problems such
as nicks and cracks on the propeller, missing
hardware, properly inflated tires, and flight control
damage. Although pre-flight checklists are
primarily designed for the flight crew, an aircraft
technician should also perform these checks before
operating an aircraft. [Figure 17-2]


FAR Part 91 contains the General Operating and
Flight Rules of aircraft and specifies the inspections
required to determine the airworthiness of an aircraft. Subpart E of Part 91 deals with and describes
the approved inspection programs for aircraft
Small aircraft are governed by subpart E and must
have a complete annual inspection every 12 calendar months. If the aircraft is operated for compensation or hire, it must have a "100-hour" inspection of
the same scope as an annual inspection performed
every one hundred hours of operation. Large and
turbine powered, multi-engine aircraft require more
specific detailed inspections that are tailored to
their particular flight operations.

The most common type of inspection required for
small general aviation aircraft is the annual inspec-


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


SERIAL NO. 500A3848Q








A certificated mechanic shall perform an
inspection of the combustion heater.
Remove nose section top access panel,
a. Inspect the heater for general security,
damage and fuel leaks, Inspect for
damage to any of the associated
systems adjustment to the heater,
b, Replace access cover.
c. Inspect heater fuel pump located inside
the nose wheel well area mounted
against the top of the wheel well. Check
for security, damage and fuel leaks to
heater fuel pump,
d, Inspect fuel cycling solenoid valve and
fuel safety solenoid valve located in the
wheel well area against the lower
bulkhead area looking aft, Check for
security, damage and fuel leaks to any
associated fuel lines in this area.
Enter a statement of work performed in the
aircraft flight log and install placard.







Figure 17-1. A Minimum Equipment List (MEL) includes items of equipment related to the aircraft's airworthiness. It does not contain items such as wings, flaps, and rudders, which are obviously required. MELs also list equipment that may be deferred with
flight limitations.




Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

tion. Within every 12 calendar months, the aircraft

must have a complete inspection performed to
determine if the aircraft meets all the requirements
for its certification. A calendar month is one that
ends at midnight of the last day of the month. For
example, if the inspection was completed on
January 14, it will remain valid until midnight
January 31, the following year. An aircraft may not
be over flown beyond the annual due date unless a
special flight permit is obtained authorizing the aircraft to be flown to an inspection facility.
The FAA specifies the details of both an annual and a
100-hour inspection in Appendix D of 14 CFR Part 43.
Appendix D includes a list of items entitled, "Scope
and detail of items (as applicable to the particular aircraft) to be included in annual and 100-hour
Inspections." This list is not all-inclusive to each aircraft manufactured, but typical of the scope of inspection the FAA requires. The manufacturer of the aircraft
provides a detailed inspection checklist, which meets
the minimum requirements of Appendix D, in the service manual for each aircraft it produces.
Figure 17-3 represents a portion of a typical manufacturer's inspection checklist. The checklist shows
the recommended time intervals of items inspected
under a progressive inspection program, a complete
inspection, or annual, including all 50,100 and
200-hour items in addition to any special
inspection items.
Annual inspections must be performed by an A&P
technician holding an Inspection Authorization (IA)
or an inspector authorized by a certified repair station with an airframe rating. If the aircraft passes the
inspection, the inspectors must write up the inspection results in the maintenance records, and approve
the aircraft for return to service. If for any reason the
aircraft does not meet all of the airworthiness
requirements, the inspector must provide a list of
discrepancies and unairworthy items to the aircraft
owner. The inspector may not delegate any inspection responsibility to another A&P or repairman, nor
may the inspector merely supervise the inspection.
However, as long as the discrepancy found does not
require a major repair, any certified A&P technician
may correct each discrepancy the inspector listed,
and then approve the aircraft for return to service.
The due date of the next annual inspection is then
based on the date of the original inspection and not
on the date the discrepancies were corrected. For
example, if an aircraft's annual was completed on
March 20, but a discrepancy repair was not completed until April 15, the next annual is still due
March 30 the following year.

If the aircraft does not pass the annual inspection, it

may not be flown until the unairworthy condition is
corrected. However, if the owner wants to fly the
aircraft to a different repair location, a special flight
permit may be obtained to ferry the aircraft to that
alternate repair location.

If the aircraft is operated for compensation or hire,
it must be given a complete inspection of the same
scope and detail as the annual inspection every 100
hours of operation unless it is maintained under an
FAA-approved, alternative inspection program such
as a progressive inspection program. In the case of a
100-hour inspection, the time limitation may be
exceeded by no more than 10 hours of flight operation while enroute to an inspection facility.
However, the excess time used to reach the inspection location must be included in computing the
next 100 hours of time in service. For example, if a
100-hour inspection was due at 1000 hours and the
pilot over-flew the aircraft to 1008 hours to reach an
inspection facility, the next 100-hour inspection is
still due at 1100 hours of operation.
The difference between a 100-hour and an annual
inspection is that a certified A&P technician may
conduct the 100-hour inspection and approve the
aircraft for return to service. The A&P technician
who inspected the aircraft must make the proper
entries in the aircraft's maintenance records and
approve the aircraft for return to service before the
100-hour inspection is considered complete.
Like the inspector performing an annual, the A&P
inspecting the aircraft may not merely supervise the
inspection process. The maintenance technician
performing the 100-hour inspection is responsible
for approving the aircraft for return to service. In
other words, the A&P signing off the aircraft must be
the one who actually performed the inspection.
However, the inspector may utilize other A&Ps or
repairmen in the preparation for the inspection
such as removing inspection panels, cowlings, and
fairings. In addition, any certified A&P technician
may repair and sign off any discrepancies found by
the inspector as long as they are not major repairs or
major alterations.
100-hour inspections may be signed off as annual
inspections if an A&P mechanic holding an inspection authorization (IA) completed the inspections.
In a sense, the aircraft could have several annuals
performed in one calendar year at each 100 hours of
operation. However, a 100-hour inspection may not
take the place of an annual inspection. If an aircraft
is operated under the requirements of an annual


Aircraft Exterior
Aircraft Structure
Windows, windshield, doors and seals
Seat stops, seat rails, upholstery, structure and mounting
Seat belts and shoulder harnesses
Control column bearings, sprockets, pulleys, cables, chains and turnbuckles
Control lock, control wheel and control column mechanism
Instruments and markings
Gyros central air filter
Magnetic compass compensation
Instrument wiring and plumbing
Instrument panel, shock mounts, ground straps, decals and labeling
Defrosting, heating and ventilating systems and controls
Cabin upholstery, trim sun visors and ash trays
Area beneath floor, lines, hose, wires and control cables
Lights, switches, circuit breakers, fuses and spare fuses
Exterior lights
Pitot and static systems
Stall warning unit and pitot heater
Radios, radio controls, avionics and flight instruments
Antennas and cables
Battery, battery box and battery cables
Battery electrolyte
Emergency locator transmitter
Oxygen system
Oxygen supply, masks and hose
Deice system plumbing
Deice system components
Deice system boots







Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection












In addition to the items listed below, always check for correct direction of movement,
correct travel and correct cable tension.
Cables, terminals, pulleys, pulley brackets, cable guards, turnbuckles and fairleads

Chains, terminals, sprockets and chain guards

Trim control wheels, indicators, actuator and bungee
Travel stops
Decals and labeling
Flap control switch, flap rollers and flap position indicator
Flap motor, transmission, limit switches, structure, linkage, belt cranks, etc.
Flap actuator jackscrew threads
Elevators, trim tab, hinges and push-pull tab
Elevator trim tab actuator lubrication and tab free-play inspection




Rudder pedal assemblies and linkage

External skins of control surfaces and tabs
Ailerons, hinges, and control rods
Internal structure of control surfaces
Balance weight adjustment

Figure 17-3. (1 Of 2)



Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection





First 25 hours, refill with straight mineral oil (MIL-L-6082) and use until a total of 50 hours
have accumulated or oil consumption has stabilized; then change to ashless dispersant
oil. Change filter element each 50 hours, or every six months.
Clean filter, replace as required.
Replace hoses at engine overhaul or after 5 years, whichever comes first.
General inspection every 50 hours.
Each 1000 hours, or to coincide with engine overhaul.
Each 100 hours for general condition, lubrication and freedom of movement. These
controls are not repairable. Replace every 1500 hours or sooner if required.
Each 500 hours.
Internal timing and magneto-to-engine timing limits are described in the engine service
Remove insulation blanket or heat shields and inspect for burned area, bulges or cracks.
Remove tailpipe and ducting; inspect turbine for coking, carbonization, oil deposits
and impeller for damage.
First 100 hours and each 500 hours thereafter. More often if operated under prevailing
wet or dusty conditions.
If leakage is evident, refer to Governor Service Manual.
At first 50 hours, first 100 hours, and thereafter each 500 hours or one year, whichever
comes first
Replace each 500 hours.
Check electrolyte level and clean battery compartment each 50 hours or each 30 days.
Refer to manufacturer's manual.
Inspect masks, hose and fittings for condition, routing and support.
Refer to maintenance manual.
Lubrication of the actuator is required each 1000 hours or three years.
Each five years replace all rubber packings, back-ups and hydraulic hoses in both the
retraction and brake systems. Overhaul all retraction and brake system components.
Replace check valves in turbocharger oil lines each 1000 hours.
Check alternator belt tension.

Figure 17-3. (2 Of 2) An excerpt of a typical manufacturer's inspection checklist utilized during annual inspections that outlines the
required inspection items. This inspection checklist is multi-functional. It outlines 50-hour, 100-hour, 200-hour, and annual inspection intervals.

inspection, it must be inspected by an A&P who

holds an IA rating, or certified repair station inspector and be signed off as an annual inspection only.

form to all applicable FAA aircraft specifications,

type certificate data sheets, airworthiness directives, and other data such as the manufacturer's service bulletins and service letters.

At times, aircraft operators may feel that it is not
economical to keep the airplane out of commission
long enough to perform a complete annual inspection at one time. In which case, the owner may elect
to use a progressive inspection schedule. A progressive inspection is exactly the same in scope and
detail as the annual inspection but allows the workload to be divided into smaller portions and performed in shorter time periods. For example, the
engine may be inspected at one time, the airframe
inspection may be conducted at another time, and
components such as the landing gear at another.
Progressive inspection schedules must ensure that
the aircraft will be airworthy at all times and con-

The manufacturer provides guidelines to help an

operator select an appropriate inspection program
for their specific operation. For example, if an aircraft is flown more than 200 hours per calendar
year, a progressive inspection program is most
likely recommended to reduce aircraft downtime
and overall maintenance costs.
Again referring to Figure 17-3, this aircraft inspection
chart outlines a typical schedule used in a progressive
inspection program. As shown in the chart, there are
items inspected at 50,100, and 200 hours, in addition
to special inspection items that require servicing or
inspection at intervals other than 50, 100 or


hours. The inspection intervals are separated in such

a way to result in a complete aircraft inspection every
200 flight hours. This particular inspection program
would not be recommended or practical unless the
aircraft is flown more than 200 hours per year.
Before a progressive inspection schedule may be
implemented, the FAA must approve the inspection
program. The owner must submit a written request
outlining their intended progressive inspection
guidelines to the local FAA Flight Standards
District Office (FSDO) for approval. After approval,
and before the progressive inspection program may
begin, the aircraft must undergo a complete annual
inspection. After the initial complete inspection,
routine and detailed inspections must be conducted
as prescribed in the progressive inspection schedule. Routine inspections consist of visual and operational checks of the aircraft, engines, appliances,
components and systems normally without disassembly. Detailed inspections consist of thorough
checks of the aircraft, engines, appliances, components and systems including necessary disassembly.
The overhaul of a component, engine, or system is
considered a detailed inspection.
A progressive inspection program requires that a
current and FAA-approved inspection procedure
manual for the particular airplane be available to
the pilot and maintenance technician. The manual
explains the progressive inspection and outlines the
required inspection intervals. All items in the
inspection schedule must be completed within the
12 calendar months that are allowed for an annual
inspection. The progressive inspection differs from
the annual or 100-hour inspection in that a certified
mechanic holding an inspection authorization, a
certified repair station, or the aircraft manufacturer
may supervise or conduct the inspection.

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

narios such as high flying times, aircraft operated in

extremely humid environments, or in extremely
cold or wet climates. Because of the size and complexity of most turbine-powered aircraft, the FAA
requires a more detailed and encompassing inspection program to meet the needs of these aircraft and
flying conditions. Although they may be operated
under Part 91, large and turbine-powered aircraft
are often inspected under programs normally utilized by air carrier or air taxi operations.
The registered owner or operator of a large or turbine-powered aircraft operating under Part 91 must
select, identify in the aircraft maintenance records,
and use one of the following inspection programs: a
continuous airworthiness inspection program, an
approved aircraft inspection program (AAIP), the
manufacturer's current recommended inspection
program, or any other inspection program developed
by the owner/operator and approved by the FAA.
The exception is in the case of turbine-powered
rotorcraft operations, in which case, the owner/operator may choose to use the inspection provisions set
out for small aircraft: annual, 100-hour, or progressive inspection programs. After selection, the operator must submit an inspection schedule, along with
instructions and procedures regarding the performance of the inspections, including all tests and
checks, to the local FAA FSDO for approval.
A continuous airworthiness inspection program is
designed for commercial operators of large aircraft
operating under FAR Part 121, 127, or 135. It is one
element of an overall continuous airworthiness
maintenance program (CAMP) currently utilized by
an air carrier that is operating that particular make
and model aircraft. [Figure 17-4]

If the progressive inspection is discontinued, the

owner or operator must immediately notify, in writing, the local FAA Flight Standards District Office
(FSDO) of the discontinuance. In addition, the first
complete inspection is due within 12 calendar
months or, in the case of commercial operations,
100 hours of operation from the last complete
inspection that was performed under the progressive inspection schedule.



Figure 17-4. Large turbine powered corporate jet owners may

elect to use a continuous airworthiness inspection program
because of the complexity of the aircraft and its systems.

Large (over 12,500 lbs. gross takeoff weight) and

multi-engine turbine aircraft operating under FAR
Part 91, require inspection programs tailored to the
specific aircraft and its unique operating conditions. These unique conditions would include sce-

A continuous airworthiness inspection program

might be chosen under Part 91 operations when an
air carrier purchases or leases an aircraft operating


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

under another air carrier's 121 certificate. For example, Airline B purchases an aircraft from Airline A.
The aircraft must be operated under an inspection
program during the transition from Airline A to
Airline B. Instead of creating an entirely new
inspection program tailored to the specific aircraft
during this transition period, Airline B may choose
to keep the aircraft on its current continuous airworthiness inspection program until it is placed on
the new owner's Part 121 operating certificate.
An approved aircraft inspection program (AAJP) may
be chosen by on-demand operators who operate under
Part 135. If the FAA determines that annual, 100 hour,
or progressive inspections are not adequate to meet Part
135 operations, they may require or allow the implementation of an AAIP for any make and model aircraft
the operator exclusively uses. The AAIP is similar to the
CAMP utilized by most Part 121 air carriers. This program encompasses maintenance and inspection into an
overall continuous maintenance program. [Figure 17-5]

Figure 17-5. Turbo-prop aircraft typical of the type operated

by air-taxi operators. Each aircraft operated by air-taxi operators may be maintained under an AAIP designed specifically to that particular aircraft by registration number.

A complete manufacturer's recommended inspection program consists of the inspection program

supplied by the airframe manufacturer and supplemented by the inspection programs provided by the
manufacturers of the engines, propellers, appliances, survival equipment, and emergency equipment installed on the aircraft. A manufacturer's
inspection program is used more frequently when
an aircraft is factory new. If an aircraft has several
modifications, updated systems, or custom avionics
not installed at the factory, the manufacturer's
inspection program alone may not be adequate in
the overall inspection of the aircraft and all of its
installed equipment and components. In this case,
another method of inspection must be chosen.
The owner of an aircraft may choose to develop
their own inspection program. The recommended

manufacturer's inspection program is generally

used as the basis of an owner developed inspection
plan. However, deviation from the manufacturer's
inspection program must be supported and
approved by the FAA. The customized plan must
include the inspection methods, techniques, practices, and standards necessary for the proper completion of the program. Most owner developed
inspection programs include inspection and repair
requirements only, and do not require continual
maintenance performed to their aircraft.

Aircraft are manufactured to FAA approved specifications. Alterations made to the original design
specifications of the aircraft require approval in the
form of a sign-off from a certificated maintenance
technician or, in the case of a major repair or alteration, approval from the FAA on form 33 7. The
absence of approval for any alteration renders the
aircraft unairworthy. A conformity inspection is an
essential element of all aircraft inspection programs
and performed to determine whether the aircraft
conforms to or matches its approved specifications.
A conformity inspection is essentially a visual
inspection that compares the approved aircraft
specifications with the actual aircraft and associated engine and components. A list is compiled outlining the information gathered from the type certificate data sheets (TCD), applicable supplemental
type certificate data sheets (STC), major repair &
alteration information (FAA Form 337), aircraft
equipment list, airworthiness directive compliance
record, etc. The list includes model numbers, part
numbers, serial numbers, installation dates, overhaul times, and any other pertinent information
obtained in the above reference documents. The
mechanic performs a visual inspection and compares the aircraft with the compiled list of information making note of any deviation from the aircraft
specifications. [Figure 17-6]
A conformity inspection is not specifically required
by name, but it is inherently required at every
inspection interval due to the nature of the inspection; to determine whether the aircraft conforms to
its certification specifications. However, a conformity inspection is specifically required when an
aircraft is exported to or imported from another
country with the intention of becoming registered
in that respective country. Further, a conformity
inspection is highly recommended when performing a pre-purchase inspection for a prospective aircraft buyer.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

Figure 17-6. (1 of 2) Typical conformity inspection checklist. A mechanic visually inspects the aircraft then documents the actual
aircraft and equipment information on a conformity checklist. The checklist is then compared to the aircraft's specifications to
determine airworthiness compliance.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


TBO hours/years:
Engine TT:
STC's installed:




Maintenance Doc & Rev. no.

Date of last Overhaul:

Applicable airworthiness directives

TBO hours/years:
Prop TT:
STC's installed:




Maintenance Doc & Rev. no.

Date of last Overhaul:

Applicable airworthiness directives

TBO hours/years:
Gov. TT:
STC's installed:




Maintenance Doc & Rev. no.

Date of last Overhaul:

Applicable airworthiness directives

TBO hours/years: left
Mageto TSO left
STC's installed:




Maintenance Doc & Rev. no.
Date of last Overhaul: left


Applicable airworthiness directives

Page 2 of 2
Figure 17-6. (2 Of 2)

Although the conformity inspection is an important

part of the overall inspection process, it is one of the

entirely carried out. For example, an IA performing

an annual inspection is responsible for determinig
of the

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


inspectors fail to visually verify the equipment

installed on the aircraft with the equipment list. In
doing so, the IA may overlook a piece of equipment
installed on the aircraft but not documented in the
maintenance records, which could render the aircraft unairworthy. The verification of the presence
of equipment installed in the aircraft, but not verifying that the installation was properly performed
may also render the aircraft technically unairworthy. The inspector must not only verify the physical
presence of items but also confirm whether the
installation of the equipment was properly performed, especially if the installation was done without proper documentation.
A skilled and effective inspector meticulously verifies the installation of equipment list items. Not
only verifying that they are physically in the aircraft, but also that they were properly installed and,
in the case of a major repair or alteration, that a form
337 was created and approved by the FAA.


Aircraft operators regulated under FAR Part 121 or
135 must maintain their aircraft under comprehensive maintenance and inspection programs. One of
the differences between Part 91 operations and Air
Carrier operations is that Part 121 operators must
continually maintain
inspect their

Ongoing maintenance is not required on aircraft

operated under Part 91. The operating rules of Part
91 only require an owner to correct discrepancies
found during inspection intervals. Air carriers, on
the other hand, must perform aircraft maintenance
and inspection on a continual basis.
Air charter operations regulated under Part 135
offer another unique operating environment.
Depending on the type of operation, and the size
and complexity of aircraft operated, a range of
inspection rules apply. Part 135 operators may
choose from several different inspection programs
depending on the number of seats and complexity
of the aircraft.


Air carriers operating under Part 121 must maintain
their aircraft under a Continuous Airworthiness
Maintenance Program (CAMP). A continuous airworthiness inspection program is one element of an
overall CAMP. The basic requirements of a CAMP
include inspection, scheduled and unscheduled
maintenance, overhaul and repair, structural
inspection, required inspection items (RII), and a
reliability program. Specific instructions, standards,
and operations specifications for each element of
the continuous airworthiness maintenance program
must be included in the air carrier's maintenance
manual for the specific aircraft for which it is
applicable. A CAMP is a fleet program and encom-


Service check

Check: A-1
check A-2
check A-3
check A-4
C Check

Check: D-1
check D-2
check D-3
check D-4



Log book and maintenance forms review (for

example: time control items). Exterior visual
checks and routine aircraft servicing such as
hydraulic fluids, engine oil, & general
lubrication. Operational checks.

Required no more than 48 elapsed

calendar hours from the last Service
Check, A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, or C check.

Log book and maintenance forms review.

Exterior visual check, routine and specific
inspections, and routine aircraft servicing.
Replacing time-limited items. Operational

Required no more than 125 flight hours

from the last equalized A and/or C check.

Includes "A: check items in addition to

detailed inspections of aircraft, engines,
components, and appliances.

Required no more than 3600 flight hours

from the last C check.

Includes "C" check items in addition to

extensive dissassemby and opening up of the
aircraft, and weight & balance. Flight test after
operational checks.

Required to be performed at no more than

9000 flight hours or 3 calendar years,
whichever occurs first from the last phase D

Figure 17-7. Typical air carrier maintenance "letter check" schedule outlining the scope and time intervals of required inspections
for a specific type of aircraft. The maintenance schedule outline is used in conjunction with the specific work cards to maintain
the airworthiness of the aircraft and all installed equipment.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

passes the entire group of aircraft versus inspection

programs regarding individual aircraft such as an
AAIP, which is utilized under Part 135 air charter
Like a progressive inspection program, the FAA
must approve a continuous inspection program.
This inspection program is extremely comprehensive, specific to the operator's aircraft, and requires
complex maintenance facilities and large numbers
of technical personnel. A continuous airworthiness inspection program is a program of
FAA-approved inspection schedules which allow
aircraft to he continually maintained in a condition
of airworthiness without being taken out of
service for long periods of time. This program
keeps aircraft downtime to a minimum due to
segmented maintenance or inspections intervals,
thereby keeping the aircraft in service in a more
efficient and convenient manner.
The continuous inspection program for a large air
carrier may, as an example, consist of "letter check"
inspection schedules. An example of a typical letter
check inspection schedule is outlined in Figure
17-7. Letter checks are normally scheduled prior to
due times or cycles. Over-flying due times or cycles
of any required inspection is a direct violation of
FAA regulations and may include large monetary
fines. [Figure 17-7].
It is difficult to provide an overall description of a
general air carrier inspection program because each
air carrier's CAMP is designed specifically to its aircraft and type of operating conditions. Hence, every
air carrier operating in the U.S. utilizes a different
CAMP designed specifically for its individual needs
and specific flight operations.
There are many different methods of inspection
scheduling, inspection frequency, and terminology
used throughout the airline industry. For example,
one airline may refer to cursory line maintenance
as a "daily" check, while another may refer to the
same type of line check as a "service" check. The
scope of these types of inspections is also designed
explicitly for the particular aircraft. What is
included in a daily check for one specific type of
aircraft may not be comprehensive enough for
another. Again, figure 17-7 illustrates a letter check
schedule including phase inspections within the
"A" and "D" checks regarding a specific type of
In this schedule arrangement,

service checks

based on calendar hours while all other letter

checks are based on flight hours. The completion of
an "A" check eliminates the need for a service
check due at the identical time interval. In other
words, if a more detailed inspection is performed,
it may zero out the less-encompassing inspection
due time. A service check is due 48 calendar hours
from the completion period of a "service", "A",
"C", or "D" check. The next "A" check phase is due
125 flight hours from a completed "A", "C", or "D"
check. This inspection schedule shows a series of
"A" checks between each "C" check. There are
twelve sets of "A" checks (A-l, A-2, A-3, A-4)
between each complete heavy "C" check. "C"
checks are due every 3600 flight hours and two
comprehensive "C" checks are due between every
heavy "D" check.
Each level of inspection must be clearly defined in
the operator's continuous airworthiness inspection
program. For example, a specific area of the aircraft
may require only a visual inspection during
pre-flight, "service checks", and "A" checks but
may require a detailed inspection in the same area
for a heavy "C" or "D" check. In most letter check
maintenance schedules, the inspection and
maintenance become more detailed and build upon
the prior letter check performed.
Work cards act as control documents in the continuous inspection process. Job cards are issued for all
aspects of CAMP inspections and are used to organize inspection instructions and account for the
specific steps involved. Depending on the scope of
inspection, several work or job cards are referenced. Each work card outlines one specific area of
the inspection. Figure 17-8 is an example of a work
card used during a heavy "C" check regarding an
air carrier aircraft. The work card provides an outline of a specific area of the aircraft inspection.
Recurring airworthiness directives and manufacturer's service bulletins are usually incorporated on
work cards also. The work card provides accountability columns where the inspector or maintenance technician signs off each step as it is
inspected or serviced. In addition, specific instructions, including reference figures, may be included
with each work card. The completed work card
becomes part of the aircraft's maintenance record.
[Figure 17-8]
FAR Part 121 outlines the specific approval for
return-to-service requirements for air carrier


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection









a. Inspect L/H elevator tab hinge no. 1
b. Inspect L/H elevator tab hinge no. 2
a. Inspect L/H elevator No. 1 hinge bearing and bolt (AD 97-08-22)
b. Inspect L/H elevator No. 2 hinge bearing and bolt (AD 97-08-22)
a. Inspect No. 3 hinge bearing plate assembly
b. Inspect No. 4 hinge bearing plate assembly









a. Check internal spars, webs, ribs and stiffeners.
b. Check condition of structure at front spar hinge attachment to elevator.
c. Check tab lock mechanism for condition.



a. Inspect L/H elevator tab hinge No. 1.
b. Inspect L/H elevator tab hinge No. 2.



OBVIOUS DAMAGE. (Refer to figure 1)
a. Inspect L/H elevator No. 1 hinge bearing and bolt.
b. Inspect L/H elevator No. 2 hinge bearing and bolt.



a. Inspect No. 3 hinge bearing plate assembly.
b. Inspect No. 4 hinge bearing plate assembly.

Figure 17-8. (1 of 2) Work/job card which references the "Left elevator/tab structure and hinge fitting" inspection required at a
heavy "C" check. The work card includes the specific inspection steps along with supporting documentation helpful in the completion of the inspection.

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection




Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Part 135 on-demand air charter operators have several different options regarding the type of inspection programs with which they must comply. Air
charter companies that operate aircraft with less
than 9 seats may choose to inspect these aircraft
under FAR Part 91 and Part 43 rules, 100-hour or
progressive inspection programs. In other words,
they are not required to perform continual maintenance on their aircraft, only inspection and discrepancy repair. Air charter operators that operate
aircraft with 10 or more seats are required to implement a more-encompassing continual maintenance
and inspection program. They may choose to
implement a Continuous Airworthiness
Maintenance Program [CAMP), an Approved
Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP), a current manufacturer's inspection program, or an operator
developed inspection and maintenance program
approved hy the FAA.
An approved aircraft inspection program (AAIP) is

the inspection program most often implemented by

FAR Part 135 operators. It is similar to a continuous
airworthiness maintenance program used by Part
121 air carriers. However, AAIPs are not fleet
inspection programs and do not require continual
maintenance. They require continual inspection
and are set up for the individual aircraft by registration number and serial number. Air charter operations may have several different AAIPs for different
aircraft operated.
For example, an air charter operation that operates
an aircraft with 9 or fewer seats may inspect that
particular aircraft under 100-hour or progressive
inspection intervals. The same operation may also
operate several larger, complex aircraft and inspect
them under separate AAIPs. It is possible for an air
charter operator to use a different inspection program for each of its aircraft, progressive for one,
AAIP for another, etc. [Figure 17-9]
Manufacturers' inspection programs are more specific than the 100-hour or annual inspections but
lack the ease and control provided by the approved
aircraft inspection program. An AAIP allows the
operator to choose their own maintenance and
inspection schedules. An AAIP is not considered
better than a manufacturer's program, however, an
AAIP provides the FAA inspector with more control
of the program's content. It requires the operator to
validate its programs and revisions to the inspector
which manufacturer's programs do not require. This

Figure 17-9. Air medical operators may operate several different types of airplanes and helicopters and inspect each
under separate inspection programs. AAIPs are not fleet
programs; they are inspection programs designed for individual aircraft. A charter company that owns and operates
five different aircraft could conceivably operate them under
five different AAIPs; each specific to an individual aircraft.

is not to say that a manufacturer's program cannot

be used, but it must be identified as an AAIP and
approved for a particular operator as that operator's
program, not the manufacturer's.
When establishing an approved aircraft inspection
program (AAIP), it should include avionics, instrument systems, and appliances. These types of systems are not always installed by the aircraft manufacturer and may not be included in their recommended inspection program. The AAIP must include
instructions and procedures for all installed systems.
Approved aircraft inspection programs are similar to
continuous airworthiness inspection programs in
that they both differ tremendously from operator to
operator and aircraft to aircraft. An example of an
AAIP might contain a daily service check, a 50-hour
Preventative Maintenance Inspection (PMI), a series
of 5 separate phase inspections conducted 150 hours
apart, a 2500-hour major airframe inspection, and
additional maintenance items that include standalone inspections. [Figure 17-10] [Figure 17-11]

Special inspections are scheduled inspections with
prescribed intervals other than the normally established inspection intervals set out by the manufacturer. Special inspections may be scheduled by
flight hours, calendar time, or aircraft cycles. For
instance, in the case of a progressive inspection
schedule for a small Cessna, special inspections
occur at intervals other than 50, 100, or 200 hours.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


A/C time

flight hrs





Type of Inspection


Nose landing gear area, nose gear, pilot's compartment, cabin

section, rear fuselage & empennage, wings, main gear area,
engines, landing gear retraction, operational inspection, post

Nose section, nose avionics compartment, nose landing gear area,

nose gear, pilot's compartment, cabin section, rear fuselage &
empennage, wings, main landing gear area, engines, landing gear
retraction, operational inspection, post inspection.

Nose landing gear area, nose gear, pilot's compartment, cabin

section, rear fuselage & empennage, wings, main gear area,
engines, landing gear retraction, operational inspection, post

Nose section, nose avionics compartment, nose landing gear area,

nose gear, pilot's compartment, cabin section, rear fuselage &
empennage, wings, main landing gear area, engines, landing gear
retraction, operational inspection, post inspection.

After "phase 4" inspection is completed, repeat inspection sequence. The complete program must be accomplished at
least one time every 24 calender months. Any part of the inspection not completed is due immediately. Completion of
phases 1-4 is considered a "complete inspection."
Figure 17-10. An example of a typical AAIP phase inspection schedule outline.

Special inspection items are usually explained in

the notes section of the service manual inspection
Examples of special inspection items may include
oil change information after an engine overhaul, the
inspection and replacement of hoses at engine overhaul, and magnetic compass compensation every
1000 hours. Additionally, inspection and replacement of the rubber packings on each brake at 5-year
intervals, and inspection and lubrication of the elevator trim tab actuator at 500-hour intervals may
also constitute special inspection items. Each manufacturer outlines special inspection items specific
to each model of aircraft.
Altimeter and static system inspections and certifications are considered special inspections. Every
aircraft operated under Instrument Flight Rules
must have its altimeters and static systems
inspected and certified for integrity and accuracy
every 24 calendar months as required by FAR Part
91.411. The scope of the altimeter and static system
certification is outlined in FAR Part 43, Appendix
E. The altimeter is checked for operation and accuracy up to the highest altitude it is used, usually the
aircraft's service ceiling, and a record made of this

inspection and certification in the aircraft maintenance records.

The altimeter certification may be conducted by the
manufacturer of the aircraft, or by a certificated
repair station (CRS) holding an appropriate rating
that authorizes this particular inspection. However,
a certified airframe technician may perform the static pressure system leakage tests and integrity
inspection but cannot perform the certification.
ATC transponder inspections are also considered
special inspections. The radar beacon transponder
that is required for aircraft operating in most areas
of controlled airspace must be inspected each 24
calendar months by any of the following: a certificated repair station approved for this inspection, a
holder of a continuous-airworthiness maintenance
program, or the manufacturer of the aircraft on
which the transponder is installed. This test is
required by FAR Part 91.413 and described in FAR
Part 43, Appendix F.
The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) inspection
is also considered a special inspection. FAR Part
91.207 requires the ELT inspection every 12
months. The inspection entails checking for proper

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection



ATA ref. Mec Insp


1. Combustion heater
a. Check the gap and condition of the heater spark plug


b. Check fuel plumbing, pump and regulator for leakage, damage, and security of attachment


c. Clean and inspect the system fuel filter at the inlet port of the fuel control valve



NOTE: There are no inspections required in this section during this phase
1. Electrical wiring and equipment- inspect all exposed wiring & equip for chafing & damage

AC 43.13

1. Wheel
a. Inspect wheel for wear, damage, and corrosion


b. Inspect wheel bearings and races for wear, pitting, cracks, discoloration, rust, or damage


2. Tire
a. Inspect for wear and deterioration


b. Check for correct inflation


3. Shimmy damper - Inspect for leaks, security, and attachment

4. Nose gear brace stop lugs - Inspect for cracks, damage or deterioration
5. Nose gear steering stop - Inspect steering stop for damage or distortion
6. Landing & taxi lights - Inspect for broken lens or bulbs


7. Steering linkage- Inspect nose gear steering mechanism & attaching hardware for wear


8. Nose landinq gear strut - Check strut for leakage and correct extension


Phase 1 Inspection (page 1 of 5)

Figure 17-11. An example of an AAIP phase 1 inspection job card and control document.

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

installation, battery corrosion, operation of the controls and crash sensor, and the ELT signal. Check the
ELT battery's expiration date and record the expiration date for replacing or recharging the battery in
the maintenance record. The expiration date must
also be legibly marked on the outside of the ELT.


Flight into severe turbulence

Flight into volcanic ash
Overtemp conditions
Overweight landings

A conditional inspection is an unscheduled inspection conducted as a result of a specific over-limit, or
abnormal event. Examples of events requiring special inspections include:

Exceeding placarded speed of flaps

and landing gear
Bird strike

Hard landings

Lightning strike

Overstress conditions

Foreign object damage (FOD)


mation regarding the identification and treatment of
corrosion, see chapter 12 of the ASrP Technician
General Textbook.

The inspection of an aircraft to determine its airworthiness requires a great amount of skill and judgment.
For the most part, the items to he inspected are listed
in an inspection checklist. However, how well an
inspector evaluates an item's airworthiness is up to the
judgement and skill of the individual. These factors
combine to require the inspector to develop a system
or procedure for effectively inspecting an aircraft.
It is imperative that inspectors set up a set of standards in order to determine an item's airworthiness.
These standards must be high enough to guarantee
the airworthiness of the aircraft, but not so high to
cause needless expense to the owner. The inspector
must also withstand pressures applied by others to
lower those standards by representing items as
being airworthy when they are not. Once these standards are compromised, it is very difficult to restore
the integrity of an aircraft inspector.

Aircraft inspectors should be familiar with the visible, measurable or otherwise detectable effects of
wear and tear on an aircraft. An effective inspector
is able to recognize and determine the cause of the
wear and tear that is found during inspection,
which makes the subsequent repair straightforward. The five most common sources of wear and
tear are weather, friction, stress overloads, heat,
and vibration.
The damaging effects of weather can vary widely
and range from surface corrosion, oxidation, wood
rot, wood decay, fabric decay, fabric brittleness, fabric mildew and cracks, and interior damage and
exterior paint oxidation due to ultra-violet rays. In
addition, physical damage due to weather can range
from lightning damage, hail dents, wind damage to
control stops and control rigging, to surface damage
due to sand and dirt erosion. Atmospheric moisture
content is another consideration when inspecting
an aircraft. The amount of water and salt the air
holds may directly influence the potential corrosion
found on the aircraft, especially aircraft based near
large bodies of water and oceans. For further infor-

Friction damage manifests in many different forms

such as abrasions, burnishing, chafing, cuts, dents,
elongation, erosion, galling, gouging, scratches,
scoring, and tearing. In the context of this section,
friction is the rubbing of one object against another
that causes a destructive result. [Figure 17-12]
Abrasion is caused by a rough
between two moving
Burnishing is the polishing of a surface by the
sliding contact with another, smoother, harder,
metallic surface. Bearings have a tendency to
burnish and should he checked and lubricated
Chafing is the wear between two parts rub
bing, sliding, or bumping into each other that
are not normally in contact.
Elongation is the oval-shaped wear of a bear
ing surface around bolts, hinge pins, clevis
pins, etc.
Erosion is the loss of metal from the surface by
the mechanical action of materials such as
dirt, sand, or water. Propellers, leading edges
of the wings and empennage, wheel fairing,
landing gear, and cowlings are susceptible to
erosion damage.
Galling is the breakdown or buildup of the
metal surface due to excessive
between two parts in motion. Particles of the
softer metal are torn loose and welded to the
harder metal surface.
Overloading the aircraft may result in the failure or
deformation of the structure, either slightly or
prominently, but usually produces visible damage.
The types of stress overloads that an inspector must


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


This nose strut shows signs of abrasion due to a lack of

lubrication on the strut surface. The protective plating
has also been rubbed away at the base exposing the
metal underneath. The unprotected portion of the strut
also shows signs of oxidation corrosion. Cleaning and
lubricating the strut surface extends the life and appearance of the strut
This example illustrates chafing caused by the control
cables rubbing the ducting found under the floor panels of

a Beech King Air.

Wheel bearings have a tendency to burnish with a lack of lubrication. The bearing race in this example shows signs of burnishing. Detailed inspection and lubrication of the bearing
assembly will extend the life of the bearings.

Elongation is a defect that needs to be checked at attach points

on the aircraft. The attachment plate of this hydraulic actuator
shows signs of elongation of both bolt holes. The continuation of
the elongation will eventually fatigue the metal to the point of failure if not detected.

This propeller shows signs of erosion on the leading edge due to sand, dirt,
and foreign objects wearing away the surface metal

Figure 17-12. Examples of friction damage.

become familiar with are tension, compression, torsion, shear, and bending overloads. [Figure 17-13]
Tension overloads usually occur after hard
landings, taxiing on rough fields, or flight in
turbulent air. Failure is indicated by signs of
the pulling away of fittings from the fuselage,
failure of welded areas, wrinkling of metal
skin, and deformed or cracked fittings.

Compression overloads may manifest as

bulges in the metal skin, breaks in paint, and
bows or bends in the long members such as
wing struts. Wood compression may be
detected by a slight ridge across the face of the
member at right angles to the grain.
Torsion or twisting overloads will turn one
end of a part around its longitudinal

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Tension or stretching damage may be exhibited by the pulling away of the skin from the structure
of an aircraft. In this example, the lower wing skin of a damaged Beech Bonanza has been pulled
away from the riveted seam exposing the interior wing area-

The wing tip of this aircraft is bent in an upward direction illustrating

bending stress overload. The inboard portion of the wing was held in
place while a bending force was applied to the wing tip.

The firewall of this small aircraft was compressed in a hard landing. The
firewall is constructed of stainless steel requiring a large amount of
compression stress overload

Figure 17-13. Examples of stress-overload damage.

while the other end is held fixed or turned in

the opposite direction. Wheels caught in
frozen ruts during landing may twist the landing gear and cause torsion damage. Careful
inspection of the landing-gear torque links
should be made after landing on rough or rutted fields. Severe air loads imposed upon the
aircraft during flight through turbulent air may
twist the control surfaces. Improper rigging of
the wing and tail control surfaces may also
cause torsion overloads by producing a positive load on one side of the surface at all times.
Shear overloads result from forces that are
applied to an object in an opposite but parallel
direction. When a shear overload is applied,
the part having the least resistance to the force
will fail first. Because bolts, rivets, and clevis
pins are used in areas subject to shear forces,
they should be inspected for shear failure.
Bent, torn, or deformed bolts, rivets, or clevis
pins are good indications of shear damage.

Bending overloads cause rigid members to

curve or bow away from a straight line. Hard
landings, abnormal flight loads, and improper
ground handling may cause bending damage.
Wood or metal skin may show signs of wrinkling, cracking, or distortion. On fabric covered airplanes, a bent member may be detected
by looseness or wrinkling of the fabric.
The primary source of heat damage affecting the aircraft is the powerplant. Inspectors must be familiar
with direct and indirect heat sources that cause
damage. Direct heat damage is normally caused by
leaking exhaust gases, and, in the case of severe
leaks, may allow flames to escape resulting in devastating consequences. Indirect heat damage may
result from excessive engine compartment heat
indicated by high oil and cylinder head temperatures, blistering paint on the engine cowling, and
odors of burned oil or rubber during or after engine

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Improperly installed or leaking engine baffles, misaligned cowlings, improper carburetor-heat control
rigging, improper cowl-flap door rigging, and dirty
air coolers may cause indirect heat damage. In addition, the use of an improper grade of oil, and oil
leakage, may also cause indirect heat damage to the
aircraft and engine. [Figure 17-14]

Figure 17-15. The cracks on the wing skin of this Piper

Seneca were caused by the excessive play in the aileron
hinge. During flight, vibration or "flutter" of the ailerons
occurred which stressed the aircraft structure and caused
stress cracks to manifest on the upper wing surface.

inspection. An inspector must be familiar with

each of these areas in order to perform effective and
high-quality inspections.

Figure 17-14. The bubbling of the paint in addition to the

exhaust trail exiting the engine cowling vent illustrates
indirect heat damage.

Vibration causes many malfunctions and defects

throughout the life of the aircraft. Vibration affects
loose or improperly installed parts and accelerates
wear to the point of failure in some cases.
Low frequency vibration can be felt or noticed by
the pilot or mechanic. It is usually caused by a
malfunctioning powerplant, propeller, worn
engine-mount pads, loose aircraft structure joints,
or improper rigging. Noticeable vibration causes
abnormal wear between moving parts. Excessive
clearances and poor installation are also factors
affecting the level of vibration damage and should
be considered when inspecting the aircraft.
For example, control surface and trim tab
"free-play" limits may be extreme due to
excessively worn hinges and actuator damage.
Excessive free-play causes the control surface to
vibrate or "flutter" in flight. The vibration then
transfers through the airframe structure and causes
fractures and fatigue to appear in locations remote
from the source. [Figure 17-15]
In addition to the aforementioned wear and tear
effects, following is a brief outline of some of the
most common deficiencies to look for in an aircraft

Movable Parts: proper lubrication, security of

attachment, binding, excessive wear, proper
safety wiring, proper operation and adjust
ment, proper installation, correct
cracked fittings, security of hinges, defective
bearings, cleanliness, corrosion, deformation,
and sealing and tension.
Fluid lines and hoses: proper hose or rigid
tubing material, proper fittings, correct fitting
torque, leaks, tears, cracks, dents, kinks, chaf
ing, proper bend radius, security, corrosion,
deterioration, obstructions and foreign matter,
and proper installation.
Wiring: proper type and gauge, security, chaf
ing, burning, defective insulation, loose or
broken terminals, heat deterioration, corroded
terminals, and proper installation.
Bolts: Correct torque, elongation of bearing
surfaces, deformation, shear damage,
sion damage, proper installation,
size and type, and corrosion.
Filters, screens, and fluids: cleanliness, cont
amination, replacement times, proper types,
and proper installation.
Powerplant Run-up: Engine temperatures and
pressures, static RPM, magneto drop, engine
response to changes of power, unusual engine
noises, ignition switch operation, fuel shutoff/selector valves, idling speed and mixture
settings, suction gauge, fuel flow
operation, engine mount security, mount bolt
torque, spark plug security, ignition harness

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


security, oil leaks, exhaust leaks, muffler

cracks and wear, security of all engine accessories, engine case cracks, oil breather obstructions, firewall condition, and proper operation
of mechanical controls.
Propellers: nicks, dents, cracks, cleanliness,
lubrication, gouges, proper blade angles,
blade tracking, proper dimensions, governor
leaks and operation, and control linkages for
proper tension and installation. Nicks on the
leading edge of the blade are an important
item to inspect for; they produce stress concentrations that need to be removed immediately upon discovery in order to prevent the
blade from separating at the nick.

The inspection of aircraft requires a great deal of
organization and planning. Effective inspections
must be performed in a logical and orderly
sequence to ensure that no inspection item is overlooked or forgotten. The accepted method of performing an inspection that is used by the aircraft
maintenance industry also includes the service and
repair activities that are necessary to approve the
aircraft for return to service.
The inspection of an aircraft is divided into five
basic phases: pre-inspection, examination, service
and repair, functional check, and the return to service phase.

The pre-inspection phase is very important and
serves to organize the paperwork, records, tools,
and equipment needed for the inspection. This
phase usually includes: work order completion,
compilation of the aircraft specifications, review of
maintenance records, airworthiness directive
research, manufacturer service bulletin and letter
research, airworthiness alert research, producing
the inspection checklist, and aircraft preparation.
The pre-inspection phase begins with the completion of the work order which outlines and authorizes the performance of the services. The maintenance records, airworthiness directives, service bulletins, and any other relevant service information
are researched and, if applicable, added to the
inspection checklist. The aircraft is cleaned, and
the engine is usually run-up to check engine parameters and to set a base line for the post-inspection
run-up. Removal of inspection panels, engine cowling, and interior, if required, are done during the
pre-inspection phase. In addition, tools and equipment are made ready, and any known parts that are
needed are ordered. [Figure 17-16]

The work order is the agreement between the shop

or mechanic and the owner of the aircraft concerning the work to be performed. It describes the work

Figure 17-16. During the pre-inspection phase, the aircraft is prepared for the inspection by removing all applicable inspection panels and completely uncowling the engine compartment. It is important to have access to as much of the aircraft, systems, and
components as possible for a complete inspection.

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

requested and serves as a record of parts, supplies,

and labor expended on the aircraft. While interviewing the owner, describe the work requested and
any discrepancies that the owner wants repaired.
The owner then signs the work order before work
begins on the aircraft. [Figure 17-17]


and, on a base level, whether the aircraft has had

maintenance performed in a consistent manner.
Maintenance records are researched to determine
information such as the type of oil in use, ELT battery expiration and operational test date, altimeter
and transponder test due dates, when the spark
plugs were last changed, age of the battery, when
vacuum system filters were last changed, life-limited parts status, aircraft total time, major repair
and alteration information, and engine time since
overhaul (TSO). [Figure 17-18]

Figure 17-17. Preparing the work-order with the customer

is an important step in the pre-inspection phase of any

Clearly explain to the customer that additional

charges may apply regarding maintenance performed to correct any discrepancy found during the
inspection. It should be noted that the work order
normally only estimates the total cost of the inspection and any subsequent maintenance repair. It is
impossible to determine the labor and parts expense
of unknown discrepancies. Certain shops charge a
flat rate for the inspection and charge separately for
parts and labor regarding any maintenance done to
the aircraft. Others may charge on an hourly basis
along with any expenses for parts and supplies that
are incidental to the inspection and maintenance.
At times, discrepancies are detected upon inspection. It is wise to provide the owner the opportunity
to choose to fix the discrepancies or not. If the owner
chooses to repair any discrepancy that is found during the inspection, revise the work order with
reference to the needed repairs. Have the owner sign
the revision order before beginning the repairs.

The maintenance record and aircraft specifications

review is a very important part of any inspection
and takes place before the aircraft is physically
examined. Maintenance records can reveal quite a
bit about the care and maintenance of an aircraft.
The maintenance history of the aircraft is carefully
examined to determine repetitive maintenance
problems, airworthiness directive compliance, any
major repairs and alterations done to the aircraft,

Figure 17-18. Thorough maintenance information research

is key to an effective inspection. Without complete and
correct aircraft information, important items may be overlooked during an inspection.

All aircraft must conform to their certification

requirements. Therefore, the research and compilation of the aircraft specifications is essential to a
proper conformity inspection. A conformity
inspection entails a visual inspection of the entire
aircraft, engine, propeller, avionics, and appliances using information gathered from the TCD,
STCs, aircraft equipment list, and applicable airworthiness directives. A thorough inspection
starts with the research of the aircraft specifications and maintenance information.
In addition to the records review, the inspection
checklist must be obtained that is specific to the
aircraft make and model. When performing annual
or 100-hour inspections, the use of a checklist is
required by FARs. The technician may design a
checklist that is specific to the aircraft being
inspected, or use a checklist provided by the manufacturer of the aircraft, engine, propeller, and
installed components as long as it meets the minimum requirements outlined in 14 CFR part 43
Appendix D.



A thorough inspection includes the research and

documentation of applicable service bulletins and
service letters. During the records review, manufacturer's service information is researched to verify
any possible changes that were made to improve the
service life or efficiency of the aircraft, engine, propellers, or appliances. The manufacturer of the aircraft publishes service bulletins and letters to
inform the owner of any design changes, malfunctions, or servicing requirements. They may require
an inspection or repair to correct an unsatisfactory
condition. The FAA does not require the compliance of service letters or bulletins. However, the
owner should be encouraged to comply. Many
times, service bulletin information is a precursor to
a mandatory airworthiness directive (AD).
Additionally, airworthiness directives may reference service bulletin information for specific
instructions regarding inspection and/or repair
when complying with the AD.
Each manufacturer has a different service bulletin
numbering system. Most will include the year in the
service bulletin reference number but some do not.
To perform a service bulletin search using microfiche, review the index of service bulletins that
apply to the type and model of the aircraft, engine,
propeller, and appliances and compile a list of
applicable service bulletins. In addition, updated
service bulletins that are received after the publish
date of the microfiche are referenced in the "service
bulletins received after cutoff" section of the master
reference fiche and are usually referenced by service bulletin number. [Figure 17-19]

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

If the maintenance facility utilizes a computerized

search program, a search may be made that is specific to the make and model of the aircraft, engine,
propellers, and appliances. Most computerized
search programs allow the technician to enter specific search criteria, such as make and model, which
makes this method more efficient and less time consuming than microfiche. The program searches by
the criteria entered into a search field and produces
a list of applicable service bulletins. Again, most
computerized service bulletin subscriptions will
reference updated information that is received after
the publish date in a specific section such as "New
service bulletins." Furthermore, a number of computerized maintenance-information-services offer
real time search capabilities over the Internet offering daily updated service bulletin information.
Once the service bulletin list is compiled, confirm
the applicability by comparing the serial number of
the aircraft or equipment against the relevant serial
numbers in the "effectivity" or "models affected"
section of the service bulletin. A list of bulletins that
apply by serial number is then compared to the service bulletins complied with and referenced in the
maintenance records. Those that have not been
complied with would then be due. Because the FAA
does not require mandatory compliance with service bulletins, they should be discussed with the
aircraft owner to determine if compliance is
Compliance with service bulletin information at
regular inspection intervals may save time and
money in the long run. Many times, service bulletins bring attention to malfunctions and design
changes that eventually become important enough
to warrant publishing of an airworthiness directive
(AD). If the service bulletin is complied with during
a regularly scheduled inspection, it may eliminate
the need to perform the inspection and/or repair
again to comply with a subsequent AD. The "compliance" section of the AD will clarify whether the
accomplishment of the service bulletin satisfies the
AD compliance.

Figure 17-19. Inspections begin with service information

research. This mechanic is researching service bulletin
information using microfiche. Although microfiche is a
valid and accurate way to research and compile current
maintenance information, it is being replaced with computerized search programs that do not require extensive
microfiche libraries. One CD-ROM takes the place of hundreds of microfiche making it easier and more efficient to
update and research information.

Airworthiness directives (AD) are issued by the

FAA to correct unsafe conditions that affect the
safety of an aircraft. ADs are mandatory and require
compliance. Thus, it is imperative to comply with
all ADs that apply to the aircraft. At the beginning
of every inspection, research and compile a listing
of all airworthiness directives that are applicable to
the aircraft, its engine, propeller and any installed


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

In the case of airworthiness directives, they may be

researched in the same manner as service bulletins: manually through microfiche or computer
search programs. In addition, several maintenance
information companies provide detailed searches
that are applicable to the particular model of airplane and its installed equipment for nominal fees,
thus eliminating the need for inefficient research
Aircraft owners are required to maintain the current
airworthiness directive (AD) status of their aircraft
and all installed equipment. Included in the AD status is the method of compliance, AD number and
revision date, whether the ADs are recurring or onetime only, and finally, the time and date when the
next action is required. To improve the ability to
track AD compliance, most aircraft records include
a separate airworthiness directive compliance
record, which keeps a cumulative record of the current AD status for a particular aircraft. Instead of
looking through logbooks page by page, the AD
compliance record makes researching AD information much easier by compiling AD compliance in
one convenient location.
In addition to compiling the applicable AD information, the technician must be able to interpret the
applicability and compliance sections in the body
of the AD. Every AD applies to each aircraft or component as identified in the applicability statement
regardless of the classification or category. The serial number range or series of aircraft or component
that is listed in the applicability statement determines whether the AD is valid for that particular
aircraft or component. When there is no serial number range specified, the AD applies to all serial numbers. [Figure 17-20]

After completing the pre-inspection paperwork and

maintenance records review, perform an engine runup to provide a baseline of engine parameters to
compare to the post-inspection run-up indications.
A pre-inspection run-up also warms the engine and
provides proper lubrication. Perform an engine runup to determine whether the engine develops
proper static rpm and manifold pressure, if applicable, and to check pressures and temperatures to be
sure that they are within proper operating ranges.
Check the magnetos, carburetor heat, and propellers
for the proper operation, and test the generator or
alternator for proper output.
During the run-up, check the operation of electrical
flaps for symmetrical movement and smooth opera-

tion through the entire range of travel. Also, verify

that the flap indicator agrees with the actual flap
position. Check flight control movement and travel,
making note of any roughness or malfunction. Verify
that the ailerons move in the proper direction with
alternating control inputs; rotating the yoke to the
right moves the right aileron up and left aileron down
and vice versa 'when rotating the yoke to the left.
Also, while the electrical power is available, check
the radios for proper operation, listening for any
noise that may be caused by the interference of the
engine or any aircraft system. Check the magnetic
compass reading for any deviation caused by electrical interference while the electrical systems are
operating. Make sure the compass correction card,
if required, is placarded.
Set the altimeters to the current barometric pressure
and compare the altimeter indication with the
actual field elevation where the aircraft is located
making note of any discrepancy. In addition, 'while
operating at high RPM, check the instrument pressure or vacuum for proper operating range indications.
Check the operation of the fuel selector valve by
selecting each fuel tank to verify consistent engine
function when drawing fuel from individual tanks.
Make note of any changes in engine RPM, and fuel
flow or pressure fluctuations. Check the fuel pressure produced by the engine-driven pump and,
after shutdown, by the electric boost pumps. After
engine shutdown, listen to the gyro instruments as
they run down to detect any bearing roughness.
After the engine is shutdown, uncowl the engine
and look for any loose or disconnected lines, oil
and fuel leaks, or any other irregularity. Finally,
once the run-up is concluded, completely wash
down the engine to remove all oil and dirt that
might hinder a complete inspection.

The primary purpose of the examination phase is to
physically evaluate the airworthiness of the aircraft
and its components. All of the subsequent activities
of the inspection are dependent upon, and in support of, the examination phase of the inspection.
The examination phase is the actual inspection of
the aircraft. It starts with a conformity inspection,
which compares the actual aircraft with its certification specifications. It then proceeds to looking at,
feeling, checking, measuring, operating, moving,
testing, and whatever else is needed to determine


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

99-16-06 - Failure of the wing attach fittings

The New Piper Aircraft, Inc.
Category - Airframe
Effective date - 09/24/1999 Recurring - No
Supersedes - N/A Superseded by - N/A
Amendment 39-11241;
Docket No. 99-CE-01-AD
Applicability: Model PA-46-350P airplanes, serial number 4622191 through 4622200 and 4636001 through 4636175, certificated in any category.
Note 1: The affected serial numbers refer to airplanes that have been delivered since January 1995 and could have insufficientstrength wing attach
fittings installed. Airplanes manufactured after serial number 4636175 have this problem corrected prior to delivery.
Note 2: This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered,
or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance
of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with
paragraph (c) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition
addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.
Compliance: Required within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplished.
To prevent the potential for failure of the wing attach fittings caused by the utilization of substandard material, which could result in the wing
separating from the airplane with consequent loss of control of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Install reinforcement plates to the wing forward and aft attach fittings by incorporating the Wing to Fuselage Reinforcement Installation Kit,
Piper part number 766-656. Accomplishment of the installation is required in accordance with the instructions to the above referenced kit,
as referenced in Piper Service Bulletin No. 1027, dated November 19, 1998.
Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with Sees. 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and
21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.
An alternate method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an equivalent level of safety may be approved the
Manager FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO). The request shall be forwarded through an appropriate FAA Maintenance
Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Atlanta ACO.

Note 3: Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtainedfrom the
Atlanta ACO.


The installation required by this AD shall be done in accordance with the instructions to the Wing to Fuselage Reinforcement Installation
Kit, Piper part number 766-656, dated November 6, 1998, as referenced in Piper Service Bulletin No. 1027, dated November 19, 1998.
This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
Copies may be obtained from the New Piper Aircraft, Inc. Customer Services. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Central Region, Office of
the Regional Counsel or at the Office of the Federal Registry in Washington DC.
This amendment becomes effective on September 24, 1999.

Figure 17-20. Example of an airworthiness directive regarding a Piper PA-46. ADs are set up in the same format: the heading showing the AD number, revision date and subject, the "applicability statement" that distinguishes the aircraft or component applicability, and the "compliance statement" that specifies the time and procedural requirements for AD compliance.

the condition of the aircraft and its components. A

checklist is followed with a planned sequence or
order in which items of the aircraft are inspected.
Note the needed service and discrepancies that are
discovered during the examination phase on a discrepancy list. The discrepancy list is used for follow-up repair either during the inspection or hy
another certificated technician after the completion
of the inspection. [Figure 17-21]
One of the most important considerations for an efficient inspection is that it must be systematic. Using
the checklist, inspect one complete system before

going to the next. For example, check the complete

aileron system from the control wheel to each aileron
and back to the wheel. Then check the complete elevator system. Jumping from one part of a system or
component to another leaves room for mistakes and
the possibility of overlooking problem areas.


The service and repair phase of the inspection
includes the necessary maintenance that is required
to approve the aircraft for return to service and to
preserve its airworthy condition. Servicing consists
of tasks such as lubricating wheel bearings


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

A conformity inspection requires the thorough inspection of the aircraft's


A differential compression test is used to check cylinder condition.

Perform the compression check while the engine is still hot to gain
accurate compression indications. The increased clearances of the
pistons, rings, and valves of a cold engine, in addition to the lack of
lubrication, may result in air compression leakage and inaccurate

Inspection mirrors and flashlights are essential tools used during the
inspection process.

Figure 17-21. Examples of areas checked during typical inspection intervals.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Ultra-sonic testing is a good way to inspect a window for hidden flaws, delamination
and to check window thickness. The use of a coupling gel is essential for proper indications.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

moving parts, replacing and cleaning filters and

screens, adding fluids, servicing the battery, and
cleaning the aircraft.
Although discrepancy repair is not part of the inspection itself, it is closely related and usually done concurrently with the inspection. The repair phase may
include replacement, repair, and overhaul of the aircraft components and systems that are found to be
deficient or unairworthy. Additionally, modifications
to the aircraft that require a Supplement type certificate (STC), are often done in conjunction with an
annual or 100 hour inspection. Modifications that
require an STC are considered major alterations,
therefore, must be returned to service by an A&P
mechanic with an Inspection Authorization.


After the inspection is accomplished and all needed
maintenance is completed, the maintenance technician conducts functional or operational checks on
the aircraft and systems. When performing an annual
or 100-hour inspection, FAR part 43.15 requires a
functional check on the aircraft engines. Therefore,
perform a post-inspection engine run-up to determine whether the power output (static and idle rpm),
magnetos, fuel and oil pressures, and cylinder and
oil temperatures meet the manufacturer's specifications. The engine functional check phase also allows
the technician to check for fuel leaks, oil leaks, and
any other irregularity that may indicate something
left open or loose during the inspection.
Additional functional checks are recommended to
ensure that the installed systems or subsequent discrepancy repairs are airworthy according to the
manufacturer's specifications.
After all maintenance is completed, a good wash
of the aircraft to remove any trace of oil or grease
left on it from the inspection is recommended.
Include the windshield and all of the windows
remembering to only use the proper cleaning fluids. Using the wrong type of chemical can damage
or destroy the aircraft finishes and windows.
Carefully clean the inside of the aircraft to remove
any fingerprints or grease marks left during the
inspection. Vacuum the carpet, straighten the seat
belts, and make the inside of the cabin appears
neat and organized.
An aircraft owner may not understand the intricacies of an inspection, but are sure to notice any
grease spots or smudge marks left behind. They may
feel that a person who is careless enough to leave a
disorganized and unclean airplane may have been
equally careless in the inspection.

After the inspection is accomplished, you must
complete the paperwork before the aircraft is
approved for return to service. In the case of a
100-hour inspection, the work order is completed,
the AD compliance record is filled out, and
inspection entries are recorded in the maintenance
Complete the work order to detail the inspection
and all of the work and servicing that was performed. In most cases, the work order is very
detailed and may be recognized as part of the aircraft records. Tally up all labor charges, cost of parts
and supplies, and any special charges such as outside labor and telephone calls related to the job.
Complete and systematic maintenance documentation not only protects the maintenance technician if
a question ever arises concerning work that was or
was not done, but it is assumed that good records
normally accompany good work.
Before an aircraft can be legally flown, entries must
be made in the maintenance records and signed off
by the appropriately rated maintenance technician.
The inspection entry and sign-off constitutes
"approving the aircraft for return to service." FARs
require a separate 100-hour inspection entry for
each log if the owner maintains separate logbooks
for the airframe, engine, and propellers. In the case
of an annual inspection, an entry is only required in
the airframe log. However, most inspectors enter an
annual inspection entry in all logbooks, thus making maintenance record research more efficient and
easy. Again, the inspection is not complete and the
aircraft is not approved for return to service without
the proper logbook sign-offs. Refer to the "Aircraft
Maintenance Records" section of this chapter for a
detailed explanation of entry requirements. [Figure
17-22] [Figure 17-23]

Figure 17-22. The inspection is not complete without the

proper maintenance entry. Make sure the entry is legible
and that it details the inspection performed according to
the FAR requirements specific to the inspection entries.

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Figure 17-23. (2 of 9)

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Des Item

Spinner and spinner bulkhead


Bolts and nuts

Engine compartment
Check for evidence of oil and fuel teaks, then clean entire engine compartment prior to inspection.
Engine oil, screen, filler cap, dipstick, drain plug and external filter element
Oil cooler
Induction air filter: clean, inspect, replace if needed.
Induction air box, air valves, doors, and controls
Cold and hot air hoses
Engine baffles
Cylinders, rockers box covers, and push rod housings
Crankcase, oil sump, accessory section, and front crankshaft seal
All lines and hoses
Intake and exhaust systems
AD 97-12-06: Gascolator, tailpipe, and cowling area
Ignition harness
Spark plugs
Compression check:
Cy! 1: ^IVSQ
Cyl 4 $0180 Cyl 2: 7^/80
Cyl 5 yy /80







Crankcase and vacuum system breather lines

Electrical wiring
Vacuum pump and relief valve
Vacuum relief valve filter
Engine controls and linkage
Engine shock mount pads, mount structure, and ground straps
Cabin heater valves, doors, and controls
Starter, solenoid and electrical connections
Starter brushes, brush leads, and commutator
Alternator, and electrical connections
Alternator brushes, brush leads, and commutator or slip ring
Voltage regulator mounting and electrical leads
Magnetos (external inspection) and electrical connections
Magneto timing
Injection system
Engine cowling

Fuel System
Fuel strainer, drain valve, and control
Fuel strainer screen and bowl

Cessna 172R 100-hour inspection checklist

page 2 of 4
Figure . (3 of 9)
17 23

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection





Fuel tanks, fuel lines, sump drains, filler caps, and placards
Drain fuel and check tank interior, attachment, and outlet screens
Fuel vents, vent valves, & vent line drain
Fuel selector valve and placards
Fuel valve drain plug
Engine primer


Brake fluid, lines and hoses, linings, disc, brake assemblies, and master cylinders
Main gear wheels, wheel bearings, step and spring strut, tires, and fairings
Main and nose gear wheel bearing lubrication: clean, repack, & lubricate
Steering arm lubrication
Torque link lubrication
Nose gear strut servicing
Nose gear shimmy dampener servicing
Nose gear wheels, wheel bearings, strut, steering system, shimmy dampener, tire, fairing,
and torque links
Parking brake and toe brake operational check






t ? c <-

Aircraft exterior
Aircraft structure
Windows, windshield, and doors
Seats, stops, seat rails, upholstery, structure, and seat mounting
Safety belts and attaching brackets
Control "U" bearings, sprockets, pulleys, cables, chains, and tumbuckles
Control lock, control wheel, and control "U" mechanism
Instruments and markings
Gryos central air filter: plug vacuum line when removing filter
Magnetic compass compensation
Instrument wiring, and plumbing
Instrument panel, shockmounts, ground straps, cover, and decals and labeling
Defrosting, heating, and ventilating systems, and controls
Cabin upholstery, trim, sun visors, and ash-trays
Area beneath floor, lines, hoses, wires, and control cables
Lights, switches, circuit breakers, fuses, and spare fuses
Exterior lights
Pitot and static systems
Stall warning system
Radios and radio controls
Radio antennas
Avionics and flight instruments
Antennas and cables
Battery, battery box, and battery cables

Cessna 172R 100-hour inspection checklist

page 3 of 4
Figure 17-23. (4 of 9)





Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

Des Item

Battery electrolyte level: only use distilled water to maintain electrolyte level
Emergency locator transmitter (ELT): attachment, test, & expiration date - replace if expired

Control System
In addition to the items listed below, always check for correct direction of movement, correct travel, and
correct cable tension.
Cables, terminals, pulleys, pulley brackets, cable guards, turnbuckles, and fairleads
^7 C
Chains, terminals, sprockets, and chain guards
Trim control wheels, indicators, actuator, and bungee
Travel stops
All decals and labeling
Flap control switch, flap rollers and tracks, flap position pointer and linkage, and flap electric
motor and transmission
Flap actuator jack screw threads
Elevator and trim tab hinges, tips and control rods
Elevator trim tab actuator lubrication and tab free-play inspection
Rudder pedal assemblies and linkage
Skin and structure of control surfaces and trim tabs
Balance weight attachment

Post inspection engine run-up

Engine temperatures and pressures
Static RPM
Magneto drop
Engine response to changes in power
Unusual engine noises
Fuel selector valve: operate engine on each tank position and OFF position long enough to
ensure proper selector valve function.
Idling speed and mixture; proper idle cut-off
Alternator and ammeter operation
Suction gage:
Fuel flow indicator
After shutdown, check for fuel and oil leaks.




Clean up
f,L. Reinstall all inspection panels and cowlings
%L Wash exterior
- Clean windows and windshield
Clean and vacuum interior
Straighten seat belts

Final paperwork


Update AD compliance list

Complete work-order: regarding parts, supplies, and final labor figures
Produce log book entries: airframe, engine, and propeller logs
''Produce list of discrepancies, if applicable

Cessna 172R 100-hour inspection checklist

page 4 of 4

Figure 17-23. (5 of 9)

100-hour inspection - 172R


1 Trt*p* ll t,t~

Action Taken
^"cpltf c<^


fi, kc_eM"" Removed S/N

prop c I ier

Installed S/N


3Ht I-12- ~A
& < ( -$

t jtl/oo




Ckecfe" AActatAieti


Removed S/N
Installed S/N

Kepler ?cf
& k4-


JM < 1 4-A w. k:


iufi/ pUccr/J o^



Removed S/N
Installed S/N




/// r/aa


C*-Ppier ec/

/ A-*r- Wjfi(w \-lr~f Removed S/N ^2TfA/^O&Oi

Installed S/N

t^Z>Z T&-JI





R*p ^ced

Removed S/N

kPi f^robe

Installed S/N


&t-T btkHer^ expired







Removed S/N O of "n " f 2.3

Installed S/N 51M ~ 6?5?7





Aircraft Make
Registration No.

S u bj ec t

172R S/N

Date & hours

@ compliance



Oil pumps

1/15/97, 128.7



High pressure fuel


1/15/97, 128.7



Piston pins

2/2/97, 140.2



Gascolator, tailpipe,
and cowling area

1/20/00, 1140.8



Piston pins

1/20/00, 1140.8



Static air source valve

1/5/99, 690.5



Aileron control cable

7/20/98, 503.2







Torque check

2/20/99, 768.5

Prevent loss of aileron

control caused by a
damaged or frayed
control cable.

1/5/99, 690.5




Method of Compliance


AD 96-09-10 not applicable to

IO-360-L2A engines. No further action
Previously complied with in accordance
with paragraph 2 and service bulletin no.
525A. Mfg. date code does not meet
applicable codes listed in AD. No further
action required.
AD 97-01-03 not applicable to NOOXYZ
due to serial number range and model
affectivity. No further action required.
Complied with by modifying cowling in
accordance with paragraph (b) and
service bulletin no. SB97-2861. No
further recurring action required.
AD 97-15-11 not applicable to
IO-360-L2A engines. No further action

Previously complied with in accordance

with paragraph (b)(2)(i). No further action
Previously complied with in accordance
with paragraph (2) and service bulletin no.
98-27-02. No further action required.
AD 98-17-11 not applicable to
10-360-L2A engines. No further action
Previously complied with in accordance
with paragraph (3)(ii). No further
recurring action required.

98-25-03 not applicable to NOOXYZ due

to serial number range and model
affectivity. No further action required




One time

o to



Next com p.
@ hrs/date

signature, cert,
type, & number

y>M. C


tt-P izmtspr?





Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

Airframe maintenance log entry

January 18, 2000

Total time: 1140.8 hours

InstallectEu^placardnjgxjrto right hand fuel filler opening in accordance with Cessna 172R service
manual, ^^xsfe-w/ JCS*~K^-,.... A&P. No. 987654321
Brian Thomas

Propeller maintenance log entry

January 18, 2000

Total time: 1140.8 hours; Propeller TSO: 0 hours

Removed propeller-shaft seal and replaced with seal P/N 12D4901 in accordance Cessna service
manual section 11-4 through 11-5. Blended 1 /16th inch nick located on the leading edge 6 inches
from the base of the #2 blade in accordance with McCauley overhaul manual section 6-11. Post
repair dimensional inspection performedHfMccordance with. McCauley overhaul manual section
6-13 and found to be within specificationsg^^Na*^, V*^-^......A&P. No. 987654321
Brian Thomas

Airframe maintenance log entry

January 19, 2000

Total time: 1140.8 hours

Removed emergency locator transmitter battery S/N B89-A-123 and replaced with emergency
locator transmitter battery S/N 3924-Q587. ELT operational check acceptable. New ELT battery
expires January 20, 2002. Removed left main tire (S/N 4279N00601). Balanced and installed left
main tire (Michelin 6.00 x 6, 4 ply tire, S/N 8932TG22). Replaced left strobe light with P/N T2345;
opajBtional cheej^good. All work performed in accordance with a Cessna 172R service
manual. ^ S ^ ~ ~ ^ f ^ - & P . N o . 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Brian Thomas

Airframe maintenance log entry

Figure 17-23. (8 of 9)

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection


Airframe 100-hr log entry

January 20, 2000

Aircraft Total time: 1140.8 hours

Performed 100-hour inspection in accordance with FAR part 43 appendix D and Cessna 172 service
manual, section 2-6 through 2-12. Airworthiness Directive compliance may be found in aircraft
records. I certify this aircraft has been inspected in accordance with a 100-hour inspection and was
determined to be in airworthy condition. jjz>j/an_ u>$*^~ A&P. No. 123456789
Beth Collins

Engine 100-hr log entry

January 20, 2000

Aircraft Total time: 1140.8 hours, Engine TSMO: 0 hours

Performed 100-hour inspection in accordance with FAR part 43 appendix D and Cessna 172 service
manual, section 2-6 through 2-12. Airworthiness Directive compliance may be found in aircraft
records. Compression test results: #1-78/80, #2-79/80, #3- 79/80, #4- 80/80, #5- 79/80, #6-79/80.1
certify this engine has been inspected in accordance with a 100-hour inspection and was determined
to be in airworthy condition.
yu^?^. C* >1* - - A&P. No. 123456789
Beth Collins

Propeller 100-hr log entry

January 20, 2000

Aircraft Total time: 1140.8 hours, Propeller TSO: 0 hours

Performed 100-hour inspection in accordance with FAR part 43 appendix D and Cessna 172 service
manual, section 2-6 through 2-12. Airworthiness Directive compliance may be found in aircraft
records. I certify this propeller has been inspected in accordance with a 100-hour inspection and was
determined to be in airworthy condition.
\P#j &C iL*^>
A&P. No. 123456789
Beth Collins

Figure 17-23. (9 of 9)


Aircraft maintenance records provide evidence that
the aircraft conforms to its airworthiness requirements,
therefore, incomplete or missing records may render
the aircraft unairworthy. Aviation maintenance technicians are required to record maintenance entries and
aircraft owners are required to maintain them.
To keep the maintenance history of the aircraft,
engines, propeller, components, and appliances
clear and easy to research, maintenance record
entries and inspection entries should be separated.
Maintenance and inspection records document different events altogether. Individual FARs outline the
requirements of maintenance and inspection record
entries; Part 43.9 outlines maintenance entry
requirements and Part 43.11 outlines inspection
entry content. According to FAR Part 43.9, inspection events are specifically excluded from the
required maintenance record entries; again, reinforcing the idea that maintenance events and inspection
events need separate maintenance log entries.


Except for Air Carrier and some Air Charter operators, technicians who maintain, perform preventive
maintenance, rebuild, or alter an aircraft, airframe,
aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component
are required to make an entry in the maintenance
record containing the following:
A description of the work performed or reference to FAA acceptable data. The description
should describe the work performed so that a
person unfamiliar with the work may understand what was done, along with the methods
and procedures used in performing it. When
the work becomes extensive, it could result in
a very large record. To prevent this, the rule
permits reference to technical data that is
acceptable to the FAA in lieu of making the
detailed entry. Manufacturer's manuals, service bulletins, service letters, work orders, airworthiness directives, advisory circulars, and
other acceptable data that accurately describe
what was done may be referenced.

The completion date of the work performed.

Normally, this is the date the work was completed. However, the dates may differ when
work is accomplished by one person and
approved for return to service by another.
The name of the person performing the work
if it is someone other than the person approv
ing the return to service.
The signature, certificate number, and type of
certificate held by the person approving the
work for return to service. Two signatures may
appear in the case of one person performing
the work and another returning the aircraft to
service, however, a single entry is acceptable.
As discussed earlier, the FARs require the maintenance technician to produce maintenance records
that contain specific information. The owner, however, is responsible for maintaining records that
contain additional information. According to FAR
Part 91.417, owners must maintain the following
The total time-in-service of the
engines, propellers, and each rotor. Time in
service, with respect to maintenance
records, is defined as the time from
moment an aircraft leaves the surface of the
earth until it touches down at the next point of
landing. Part 43.9 does not require time in ser
vice to be part of maintenance record entries.
However, Part 43.11 requires time-in-service
to be recorded in the inspection entries under
Part 91 and Part 125.
The status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and
ance. If the total time of the aircraft and the
time-in-service of a life-limited part are both
recorded in a maintenance entry, then the nor
mal record of time-in-service automatically
meets this requirement.
The time since the last overhaul of all items
installed on the aircraft which are required to
be overhauled on a specified time


Again, if the total time of the aircraft and the

time since the last overhaul are both recorded
in a maintenance entry, then the normal
record of time-in-service automatically meets
this requirement.
The current inspection status of the aircraft,
including the time since the last inspection
that was required by the inspection program
under which the aircraft and its appliances are
The status of applicable airworthiness direc
tives [AD] including the method of compli
ance, the AD number, revision date, whether
or not the AD involves recurring action, and, if
applicable, the time and date when the next
action is required.
Copies of FAA Form 337 for each major alter
ation to the airframe and currently installed
engines, rotors, propellers, and appliances.
The list of information that the owner must maintain varies from the list of information that the
maintenance technician must record. Although the
technician is not required to record the above listed
information, thorough technicians include it in the
maintenance logbook entries. Figure 17-24 and figure 17-25 illustrate typical maintenance record
entries. [Figure 17-24] [Figure 17-25]

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

Aircraft owners are not required to keep separate

logbooks for the airframe, engines, propellers, or
appliances; however, most do. Most owners, who
operate under Part 91 rules, maintain airframe,
engine, and propeller logs. This practice helps in
the research and tracking of the aircraft history,
time-limited items, inspection times, airworthiness
directive compliance, etc. The maintenance technician must know where to record specific types of
maintenance and inspection information. For example, an engine oil and filter change would be
recorded as a maintenance entry in the engine logbook. However, the repair of the exhaust system
would be recorded as a maintenance entry in the
airframe logbook.


Before any inspection is considered complete, the
inspection record entry must be recorded in the aircraft's maintenance records. The inspection record
requirements of FAR Part 43.11 apply to the annual,
100-hour, and progressive inspections under Part
91. FAR Part 43.11 also applies to inspection programs under Part 125, approved aircraft inspection
programs (AAIP) under Part 135 and the 100-hour
and annual inspections under Part 135.411.
Inspections performed on transport category aircraft
require record entries outlined in FAR Part 121.709.
According to FAR Part 43.11, the person approving
or disapproving for return-to-service the aircraft, or
any item after any inspection, is required to make an
entry in the maintenance record containing the following information:
The type of inspection and a brief description
of the extent of the inspection.
The date the inspection was completed.

Figure 17-24. Sample entryaintenance record entry

regarding the replacement of a vacuum pump and entered
in the airframe log.

January 18, 2000

Total time 1245.7
Removed emergency locator transmitter (ELT) battery S/N
234-345Q and replaced with emergency locator transmitter
battery P/N TL342, S/N 34AQ456 in accordance with Piper
service manual page C23-24. Functional check good. ELT
replacement due on January 18, 2002.
TTBf&^ P no. 23456766 John D. Brown
Figure 17-25. Sample entryaintenance record entry
regarding the ELT battery replacement recorded in the
air-frame log.

The aircraft total time-in-service.

Certification statement.
The signature, the certificate number, and the
type of certificate held by the person approv
ing or disapproving the aircraft for return to
If an inspection is conducted under an program
that is allowed in Part 91,123,125, or 135, such
as Progressive or Approved Aircraft Inspection
Programs (AAIP), then the logbook entry must
identify the inspection program, the part of the
inspection program that was
and also contain a statement that the inspection
was performed in accordance with the proce
dures for that particular program.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

In addition, if the person performing any inspection

that is required by Part 91,125, or 135 should find the
aircraft unairworthy, the inspector must provide the
owner with a signed and dated list of discrepancies.
When a discrepancy list is provided to an owner, it
basically means that, with the exception of the listed
discrepancies, the aircraft inspected is airworthy.
When an inspection is terminated before it is completed, the maintenance record must clearly indicate
that the inspection was discontinued. Although it is
no longer required to forward a copy of the discrepancy list to the local flight standards district office
(FSDO), it becomes part of the maintenance record
and the owner is responsible for maintaining it
accordingly. The inspection entry must reference the
discrepancy list if one is provided to the owner.
Many times, discrepancies that are found during
inspections are repaired and signed off as the
inspection progresses. In this circumstance, a list of
discrepancies is not needed and the inspection may
be signed off as being airworthy. In the case of a
100-hour inspection, while the certified
mechanic inspects the aircraft, another certified
mechanic may repair and sign off any
discrepancies prior to the completion of the
inspection. In this case, maintenance record entries
are produced regarding the repairs and separate
entries are produced documenting the inspection.
Keeping the maintenance entries and inspection
entries separate helps keep the aircraft logs clear
and easy to follow.

September 27, 2000

Total time: 2780 hours

Performed an annual inspection in

accordance with FAR part 43 appendix D and
manufacturer's maintenance manual, section
2-1 through 2-11. Airworthiness Directive
compliance may be found in aircraft records. I
certify that this aircraft has been inspected in
accordance with an annual inspection and
was determined to be Jn airworthy condition.
A. No. 13453234

Figure 17-26. Sample entryirworthy annual inspection.

May 12, 2000 Total time: 3245 hours
Performed an annual inspection in
accordance with FAR part 43 appendix D and
Cessna 172G service manual, section 2-1
through 2-11. Airworthiness Directive
compliance may be found in aircraft records. I
certify that this aircraft has been inspected in
accordance with an annual inspection and a
list of discrepancies and unairworhty items
dated May 12, 2000 has been provided to the

aircraft owner.

d/t I.A. No. 13453234

Figure 17-27. Sample entrynairworthy annual inspection

If the owner maintains separate records for the

air-frame, engines, and propellers, the entry for the
100-hour inspection is entered in each, while the
annual inspection is only required to be entered
into the airframe record.

May 12,2000


Re; Unairworthy items found during annual inspection

An annual inspection may be signed off in the maintenance records as airworthy or unairworthy
depending on the condition of the aircraft. Whether
or not the aircraft owner keeps separate logs, FARs
stipulate the annual inspection need only be
recorded in the airframe logbook. However, it is
good practice to enter an annual inspection record
in all maintenance logbooks making maintenance
information easier to research and compile. Figure
17-26 illustrates a typical annual inspection entry
regarding an airworthy aircraft. [Figure 17-26]
Figure 17-27 represents an unairworthy annual
inspection entry. In addition, a list of discrepancies
outlining the unairworthy items found during the
inspection must be provided to the aircraft owner
and referenced in the inspection record. [Figure
17-27] [Figure 17-28]

Ms. Rhonda Jones

1234 W. 1st St.
Denver, CO 23456

Dear Ms. Jones,

This letter is to certify that on April 10, 2000,1 completed
a 100-hour inspection on your Cessna 172F, N I23BC, and
found it to be in an unairworthy condition for the following
1) Compression in cylinder #4 read 40/80, which is
below the manufacturer's recommended limits.
2) A 1/Sth inch nick was found on the leading edge of
the propeller.
Your aircraft will be considered airworthy when the above
listed discrepancies are corrected and approved for return to

service by a person authorized in FAR part 43.

Thank you.
JoeL. Smith, A&P no. 13453234
Aviation Services Inc. 1234 2nd
Ave. Denver, CO 23456

Figure 17-28. Typical letter to aircraft owner itemizing the

discrepancies found during an annual inspection.

Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection



A 100-hour inspection may also be signed off in the
maintenance records as airworthy or unairworthy.
The required inspection entry items are listed in
FAR Part 43.11. If the aircraft owner maintains separate logs, the 100-hour inspection must be
recorded in each applicable maintenance log unlike
the annual, which is only required to be recorded in
the airframe logbook. Figure 17-29 and Figure 17-30
illustrate airworthy and unairworthy 100-hour
inspection entries. [Figure 17-29] [Figure 17-30]

January 5, 2000

Total time: 540

Performed progressive inspection in accordance with

FAR part 43 appendix D and Cessna 421G service
manual page 2-1 through 2-10. Airworthiness
directive compliance may be found in aircraft
records. I certify that in accordance with a
progressive inspection program, a routine inspection
of the left wing and a detailed inspection of the right
hand engine were performed and the aircraft is
approved for return to service.
A&Pno. 1589432

June 30, 2000 Total time: 1459 hours

Performed 100-hour inspection in accordance with
FAR part 43 appendix D and manufacturer's
maintenance manual, section B1 through B10.
Airworthiness Directive compliance may be found
in aircraft records. I certify that this aircraft has
been inspected in accordance with a 100-hour
inspection and was determined to be in airworthy

. No. 1347890

Figure 17-29. Sample entryirworthy 100-hr inspection

record entry.
April 10, 2000
Total time: 1002 hours
Performed 100-hour inspection in accordance with
FAR part 43 appendix D and manufacturer's
maintenance manual, section B1 through B10.
Airworthiness Directive compliance may be found
in aircraft records. I certify that this aircraft has
been inspected in accordance with a 100-hour
inspection and a list of discrepancies and
unairworthy items dated April 10, 2000 has been
provided for the aircraft owner.

Figure 17-30. Sample entrynairworthy 100-hr inspection

record entry.


FAR Part 43.11(a)(7), which refers to inspection programs such as AAIPs and progressive inspections,
now requires a more specific statement than previously required. The entry must identify the inspection program used, identify the portion or segment
of the inspection program accomplished, and contain a statement that the inspection was performed
in accordance with instructions and procedures for
that particular program. Samples of a progressive
inspection entry and an AAIP inspection entry follow. [Figure 17-31] [Figure 17-32 ]

Figure 17-31 . Sample entryrogressive inspection entry.

October 6, 2000 Total time: 4567 hours

Performed a phase 3 inspection in accordance
with the StarJet Charter approved inspection
manual, section 3-1 to 3-16. Airworthiness
Directive compliance may be found in aircraft
records. I certify that this aircraft has been
inspected in accordance with an Approved
Aircraft Inspection Program and was determined
to be in airworthy condition.
A&P. No. 1347890
Figure 17-32 . Sample
entrypproved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP) entry.

Although it is the owner's primary responsibility to
maintain their aircraft in an airworthy condition,
including airworthiness directive compliance,
maintenance professionals may also have direct
responsibility for AD compliance. When 100-hour,
annual, or progressive inspections are performed on
an aircraft, the technician performing the inspection
is required to determine that all applicable airworthiness requirements are met, including the compliance of any applicable airworthiness directives.
When airworthiness directives are accomplished,
maintenance personnel are required to include the
completion date, name of the person complying
with the AD, signature, certificate number, and kind
of certificate held by the person approving the work,
and the current status of the applicable "AD" in the
maintenance record entry. The owner is required by
FAR Part 91.417 to maintain AD compliance information including the current status of the AD along
with the method of compliance, the AD number,
and revision date and, if the AD is recurring, the
time and date when the next action is required.


Aircraft Airworthiness Inspection

The recording of the airworthiness directive compliance may either be recorded in the maintenance logbook and/or kept as a separate listing in the maintenance records in the form of a running AD log.
June 30,1987 Aircraft total time 2345.5
Performed visual inspection of the flap sector
upper mounting brackets in compliance with AD
99-22-05 paragraph A and Gates Learjet
airplane modification kit 55-86-2. No cracks
found upon inspection. Replacement of flap
upper mounting brackets due at 2398.5TT in
accordance with paragraph (A)(2).

Figure 17-33 illustrates an AD listing format that

keeps track of all ADs complied with on a specific
aircraft. [Figure 17-33] [Figure 17-34] [Figure 17-35]
May 2, 2000

1449.2 Total time; 151.3

Performed visual inspection of the oil adapter

locking nut installation in accordance with AD
96-12-22 paragraph (2)(a)(1). Correct torque
noted and no oil leakage found upon inspection.
Next inspection due at 1539.2 hours or when the
engine oil filter is removed, whichever occurs


Figure 17-33. Sample entryirworthiness directive (AD)

compliance logbook entry regarding an AD that required an
inspection and subsequent repair within 100 flight hours of
the effective date of the AD and recorded in the airframe

Figure 17-35. Sample airworthiness directive (AD) record listing.



A. 123456789

Figure 17-34. Sample entryD compliance maintenance

entry regarding a recurring AD entered in the engine logbook.