When it comes to owning an aircraft, there is no doubt that maintenance is one of the most important elements of proper airplane care. Routine maintenance will not only ensure that everything is in good working order, but can also help to identify potential problem spots before they can become worse and jeopardize the safety of your passengers. Not to mention, the FAA has strict guidelines with regards to proper airplane maintenance. Here are a few things that you need to know about airplane maintenance.
Of course, the most important reason for conducting routine airplane maintenance is to ensure the safety of its passengers. Regular inspection of moving and mechanical parts will go a long way to ensuring that part failure doesn’t cause a catastrophic accident. In addition, making sure that the aircraft is sound will ensure that the trip is not only a safe one, but a comfortable one as well.
In order to meet FAA mandates, aircraft owners and operators must have a maintenance program that provides a written log of periodic maintenance that is performed. There are several different inspection levels that have to occur throughout the year in order to maintain the airworthiness of the aircraft in question. Simply lettered A, B, C, and D, these inspections must be performed and recorded in order to meet FAA guidelines and allow the aircraft to fly. Inspection A is a quick, overnight inspection that must occur whenever the aircraft has reached 500 flight hours. There is no time requirement for this check, which means that the inspection occurs more frequently for those that fly more often and less frequently for those who don’t. Inspection B, however, is required to be performed every 3-6 months under the supervision of airport hangar personnel. It is much more thorough than Inspection A, however the inspection can still be conducted in just a few hours. Inspection C occurs once every 1-2 years and requires the entire aircraft to undergo a maintenance inspection. The inspection can take up to two weeks to complete by a licensed airplane maintenance person and, until the inspection is complete and signed off on, the airplane is out of commission. Last but not least, Inspection D is the most expansive inspection and must be performed approximately every five years. This inspection process can take up to two months and checks every aspect of the airplane for defects.
One of the things that many aircraft owners/operators like to have when performing these inspections are 28 volt power supplies. These devices provide continuous power to the various electrical systems of the aircraft such as GPS positioning, altitude detection and other systems without the need to start and run the aircraft.
Performing regular airplane maintenance ensures that your airplane is safe and comfortable to operate. It is also necessary for lawful operation.