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The Aircraft
2010-03-18

The Aircraft Make, model, serial number and "N" number can identify an aircraft. You should know the year the aircraft was built and any major ADs that have applied since it was built.

The aircraft acquires an airworthiness certificate when built or when undergoing major repair. If the required inspections have not been made the airworthiness certificate is not valid. Every aircraft is required to have an annual inspection. Any aircraft used for instruction, compensation or hire is required to have 100-hour inspections.

As issued the certificate remains valid as long as the aircraft is maintained per FARs 43 (maintenance) and FARs 91. After manufacture, the FAA may issue Airworthiness Directories (ADs) to correct perceived flaws. ADs amend the original airworthiness by requiring FAR compliance. This may be by structural change, maintenance, inspection, or placard. An AD may require immediate, recurrent or delayed compliance.

Non-compliance renders the aircraft unairworthy and may void insurance coverage. The aircraft owner is responsible for AD compliance. The pilot must know where to find the AD compliance list and should talk to a mechanic as to the interpretation of its codes. The requirement for this knowledge is barely recognizable in the PTS but it is there.

FAR 91.213 has to do with MELs (Minimum Equipment Lists) 91.213(d) applies to aircraft without MELs. AC 91-67, Minimum Equipment Requirements for General Aviation Operations Under part 91. Essentially, those aircraft not having MELs must comply with the original operating equipment when the aircraft was certified as airworthy. Once the aircraft's type design data have been established, they are published in an Aircraft Specification Sheet or Type Certificate Data Sheet. The data on these sheets apply throughout its operational life.

FAR 91.405 directs the owner/operator to have discrepancies repaired or placarded as permitted to be inoperative by 91.213(d)(2) until the next inspection and placarded until then as required by FAR 43.11.

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