Aircraft Inspections: A Guide to Keeping Your Aircraft Safe

Aircraft are robust and advanced vehicles, yet just like an automobile, they require regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that all systems and parts are airworthy and functioning as intended. As required by the FAA, aircraft must undergo a series of inspections, each of which vary in their thoroughness and objective. To help you better understand the basic inspection requirements of an aircraft, we will discuss common aircraft inspections in brief detail.

As aircraft operators may use their aircraft differently, some flying everyday while others on occasion, various inspections are required based on flight hours and calendar dates. For example, the 100-hour inspection is quite common, and it is held every time an aircraft has been under operation for one-hundred hours when an aircraft carries a person for hire or is used for training. Since one may need to fly to the location where they will have the inspection conducted, the limit may be exceeded by 10 hours. During the 100-hour inspection, a certified mechanic will inspect the aircraft in a thorough manner before addressing any issues during the maintenance phase. Inspections are fairly thorough as the mechanic will run the engine, test flight controls, remove cowlings, and more.

As 100-hour inspections and other operations lead to downtime that can be detrimental to projects, some pilots elect to follow progressive inspection plans. These inspections are actually conducted much more frequently as compared to 100-hour inspections, yet they are shorter while still covering various areas. Progressive inspection plans will need to be applied for, and the authority to conduct one does not transfer with the sale of the aircraft.

The annual inspection is one that most general aviation aircraft are subjected to, and true to their name, they are held once a year. Typically, the only aircraft that are exempt are those that follow a progressive inspection plan or those that carry a special flight permit, current experimental certificate, or provisional airworthiness certificate. When conducting the annual inspection, a properly endorsed mechanic with an inspection authorization must be relied on. If an aircraft is outside of its annual inspection range, it cannot be flown without authorization. To fly an aircraft to a facility outside of the annual endorsement, the pilot will need a ferry permit.

While the primary inspections that one may follow include 100-hour, progressive, and annual inspections, there are other various inspections that may occur. For example, an inspection will be needed before purchasing the vehicle, and this is known as the pre-purchase inspection. As this inspection is not required by any authority, it can be as complex as an annual inspection or as simple as a quick glance for any scuffs. As the pre-purchase inspection gives you time to find any potential issues prior to making an investment, it can be very useful to be thorough about such inspections and get a mechanic's opinion.

If you have your aircraft inspected and find yourself in need of altimeter system parts, transponders, emergency locator transmitter parts, or other such aviation products for repair or replacement, let the experts at Sourcing Streamlined help you secure everything you require while saving you time and money. Working with leading manufacturers that we trust, we present customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts. If you happen to be facing a time constraint, rest easy knowing that we can expedite the shipping process for our customers through the use of our robust supply chain network. If you would like to learn more about any particular parts, fill out and submit an RFQ form or give our team members a call for a direct quote. With industry experts serving you around the clock 24/7x365, we can even fulfill your most hard-to-find part needs with ease!


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