Here at Double M Aviation, we provide aircraft inspections for general aviation aircraft, including Beechcraft, Cessna, Piper, Mooney, and De Havilland, as well and many other types of single, twin and turbine airplanes.
Types of Aircraft Inspections
Aircraft inspections are required in order to maintain an airplanes airworthiness certificate. The type and frequency of your aircraft’s inspection will depend on if you fly your aircraft for hire or if it’s simply for personal use.
While each inspection is unique in the issues that might arise and the exact procedures and processes vary greatly from aircraft to aircraft, we will try to give some basic examples of items that might be inspected or addressed during each type of inspection. We always recommend you discuss your aircraft and it’s unique aspects with your maintenance provider directly to get an accurate idea of what is involved in inspecting your aircraft.
50-hour inspections are extremely valuable for all types of aircraft. Although, these inspections aren’t specifically listed as required by the FAA, every aircraft must have its oil changed a minimum every 50 hours or when the oil appears dirty. In fact, aircraft engines do create a lot of filth and contaminants. This is primarily due to the properties in the avgas and the byproducts created during the combustion process. In addition to changing the oil, the aircraft engine is also examined. This examination looks for general wear and tear and include spark plug cleaning and gapping.
100-hour inspections are required for all aircraft that are flown for hire or commercial purposes, including for flight instruction and paid photo flights, and each inspection must be in accordance with FAR 91.409. During the 100-hour inspection, the aircraft oil is changed again, and the spark plugs are cleaned and gapped. The entire exterior of the aircraft is also inspected, including the skin, flight control surfaces, propeller, cowling, landing gear, brakes and tires. Inside the aircraft, the cabin and cockpit are examined for hazards, like loose seats and anything that could hinder flight operations. The avionics and flight controls are inspected for proper function, and the aircraft logbooks are inspected.
Annual inspections are more in-depth than the 100-hour inspection, and they are required for all aircraft, regardless of whether they are flown for commercial purposes or for recreational purposes. Annual inspections must also be performed in accordance with FAR 91.409. It is important to note that if a 100-hour and annual inspection are required at the same time, the annual inspection can be used for the 100-hour inspection. However, a 100-hour inspection cannot be used for an annual inspection.
During the annual inspection, all inspection panels are removed as is the cowling, propeller(s) and wheels in order to ensure every major and minor component of the aircraft can be properly inspected and tested for wear and tear. The seats and other removable items from inside the aircraft are also removed.
Once all panels have been opened and interior and floorboards removed, our aircraft mechanics begin the detailed annual inspection, which includes examining the skin for cracks, defects and loose rivets, examining the flight controls for proper movement and ensuring all cotter pins are in their proper positions and not corroded, bent, missing or loose. The brakes are tested and inspected, and the engine is checked in detail for wear and tear and any excessively worn parts.
Inside the aircraft, the cabin is checked for damage or loose components that could work their way free during flight. The seat rails are checked for corrosion, and the interior of the aircraft is inspected for wear and tear. The flight controls, fuel switches, avionics and flight instruments are also checked for proper operation. If any instrument or avionics component does not work or is malfunctioning, that component must be placarded as inoperable if it is not required for flight, or it must be repaired or replaced if it is required for flight. Annual inspections typically take longer than the 50 or 100-hour inspections as they are more detailed and more parts of the aircraft are inspected. .
To schedule an FAA inspection of your aircraft or to learn more about our aviation maintenance services, call us at 863-940-3450.