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FAASTeam Notice
Type: Airworthiness
Notice Date: Friday, April 18, 2014
Notice Number: NOTC4722
Maintenance Safety Tip
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Aging Aircraft in General Aviation Best Practices
Part 1: Introduction

How often do you work on old or aging aircraft still in operation? Unfortunately, manufacturers of those aircraft may have gone out of business, and those that still exist might not be able to provide field support. Engineering drawings, maintenance procedures, and other technical data, other than AC43-13, just aren’t available from nonexistent or outdated manufacturers.
Before you work on that “old” aircraft, ask the owner for all the acquired, organized, or preserved data about their aircraft. Reviewing this data greatly increases the likelihood of improvements in maintenance practices and safe operation of a particular aircraft. These actions can have an enormous impact on the continued airworthiness of an aging aircraft when you approve it for return to service.
In the next few months we will talk about two specific best practices that can have a fundamental impact on your approach to maintenance and inspection for aging aircraft. These are records research, and special attention inspections relating to aging aircraft. Doing either of these helps assess the condition of an aircraft. You need both to thoroughly assess the effects of aging (corrosion, metal fatigue, inspection techniques, and wiring deterioration, etc.) on an aircraft and monitor its condition during future operations.
Next month’s Maintenance Safety Tip - Part 2, will highlight “Aircraft Records Research”.  We highly recommend you review the publication titled “Best Practices Guide for Maintaining Aging General Aviation Airplanes” and share the guide with the owner of the aircraft. You can find the publication at: