Aircraft Documentation for Annual Inspection

This is aimed at all of the aircraft owners out there that have to present their aircraft for an annual inspection.

It doesn't matter if you are a current IA and do the inspection yourself or if you have to hire it done (I do my own).

The problem is the same for everyone.

It is paperwork, or documentation as I like to call it.

Lets keep in mind that when the FAA representative tries to determine if the (your) aircraft is legal he starts with and pretty much ends with paperowork.

Each part or component on your aircraft must have documentation supporting its airworthiness. That includes the aircraft itself.

This documentation must be collected in some sort of organized manner that makes it possible (not necessarily easy) for the IA to review each year to determine the aircrafts airworthiness before he can sign off an annual inspection.

What drives the IA crazy is when the owner just dumps off a collection of paperwork and leaves it to the IA to sort it out.

The IA has to charge for his time and this process keeps him from what he really wants to do which is look at the aircraft.

Of course the owner hates to pay for the extra time and doesn't like the delay that results om getting his annual done and the aircraft back in service.

I have created a free web site ( to try and guide the owner through the process of putting his aircrafts documentation in order. This is very time consuming but will save the owner time and of course, money in the long run.

It also increases the resale value of the aircraft because documentation is the foundation for airworthiness and airworthiness is the foundation of market value.

I will add to this blog in the future to help guide the owner through this paperwork process and answer any questions that might come up.

Thanks for your time and see you soon.


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Comment by Duane I Beland on July 18, 2012 at 2:05pm
This blog can go on forever because the question of documenting your aircraft never end.

Right now lets concentrate on the documentation required. I know everyone has heard of AD notes, Service Bulletins etc. While these are vital to the aircrafts documented airworthiness, they are secondary to the documentation of your aircraft.

First, you have to have a current list of the parts, p/n,s, S/N's date installed and aircraft time installed (not time since o/h but total air frame time since the aircraft was new).

If this sounds like a lot of work, well your right. But think of the cost involved. An up to date list like this will help you with insurance, resale value and you annual inspection cost.

If you know this data on your aircraft components then complying with AD notes, service bulletins etc will be much easier and far less expensive. Just think of the difference in cost of having your mechanic/IA look at your list as opposed to having to remove a component to determine its p/n and s/n.

One of the best parts of creating this list is that anyone can do it. You, your partner or your mechanic. Just ask yourself who you want to pay for this.

Also, this task doesn't have to be completed over night. You can take your time on it. Make up a list of components and then search for the installation data that goes with them. Something to do on a rainy day in your hangar.

Next entry is going to be about finding out the history on your (or any) aircraft. It is easier than your might think and very cheap also.

Thanks Duane (


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