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FAASTeam Notice
Type: Airworthiness
Notice Date: Friday, April 18, 2014
Notice Number: NOTC4883
Maintenance Safety Tip
This notice expired on
                                     Aging Aircraft in General Aviation Best Practices
                                             Part 3: Special Attention Inspections
Your assessment of an aircraft’s paperwork is only the prelude to a thorough aging evaluation. For aging aircraft, the normal annual inspection minimum requirements specified in 14 CFR 43.15 Appendix D, or those recommended by the manufacturer, may not be enough. You may need to do a detailed inspection, a series of inspections, modifications, part replacements, or a combination of these, to maintain airworthiness and keep an aging aircraft operating safely.
As an aircraft ages, the inspection methods and techniques may change from what was previously required. High aircraft time, severe operating environments, inactivity, outside storage, modifications, or poor maintenance can all prompt a special inspection. The records research will provide the information needed for owners and mechanics to discover what a particular aircraft, or aircraft type, may need.
Special inspection criteria can be written to pertain to a specific aircraft or aircraft type. In the reference listed below, you will find an “Aging Airplane Inspection and Maintenance Baseline Checklist”. You can use this checklist as a starting point to develop a model- or airplane-specific inspection and maintenance checklist.
The design concepts of systems (mechanical, electrical, and flight controls) and of structures (layout and materials) are similar from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer for most aging GA aircraft. Areas typically susceptible to aging have been identified.
This concludes the General Aviation Aging Aircraft series of Maintenance Safety Tips, but should also be where you begin to modify or enhance your maintenance techniques when working on aging aircraft. If you have not yet obtained/reviewed a copy of “Best Practices Guide for Maintaining Aging General Aviation Airplanes” please view or download it at:
 Spread the word to your maintenance colleagues and pilot acquaintances that work and/or fly these older aircraft.