Ground 7 - Airworthiness Requirements


The purpose of this lesson is to develop the pilot-in-training’s ability to determine the airworthiness of an airplane.


Scenario 1
You arrive at the airport about three hours before your friends on Sunday in order to have ample time to prepare for the flight back. After you finish your cross-country flight planning, you start on the preflight and discover the landing light on your aircraft does not work…what are you going to do?

Scenario 2
You are transitioning to a Cessna 182 at your local flight school so that you can take your entire family  on a trip. You ask the flight school manager for the aircraft logbooks so that you can check the airplane’s inspection status.  What are you looking for?

Scenario 3
You own a Cessna 182, but you haven’t flown it a lot lately, and its been more than 12 months since its been inspected by a mechanic.  There is not a local mechanic on the field, and you can’t get one to come to your field to perform the inspection.  There is a shop at a field about 20 miles away that you perform the inspection next week.  Can you fly the airplane to field for the purpose of the inspection?

Scenario 4
You own a Cessna 182. As you are preflighting the airplane, you are dismayed to find that the left main tire is flat.  Its Saturday and you know that the maintenance shop on the field is closed.  You do have a new tube and tire.  Can you change the tire yourself?  What are the requirements when a tire is changed? 

  • Read Chapter 9-  Flight Manuals and Other Documents from the FAA’s Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
  • Study these regulations in your FAR/AIM.  Use a highlighter to mark these sections, and tabs to easily find them.
    • 14 CFR Part 43: Maintenance, Rebuilding & Alteration
      • 43.9 Content, form and disposition of maintenance, preventative maintenance, rebuilding alteration records
      • Appendix A: paragraph (c): Preventative maintenance
    • 14 CFR Part 91: General Operating and Flight Rules
      • Subpart C - Equipment
        • 91.203 - Civil aircraft: Certifications required
        • 91.205 - Powered civil aircraft with standard category U.S. airworthiness certificates: Instrument and equipment requirements
        • 91.207 - Emergency locator transmitters
        • 91.209 - Aircraft lights
        • 91.211 - Supplemental oxygen
        • 91.213 - Inoperative instruments and equipment
        • 91.215 - ATC transponder and altitude reporting equipment and use
        • 91.225 - Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment and use
      • Subpart D - Special Flight Operations
        • 91.327 - Aircraft having a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category: Operating limitations
      • Subpart E - Maintenance
        • 91.403 - General
        • 91.405 - Maintenance required
        • 91.407 - Operation after maintenance, preventative maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration
        • 91.409 - Inspection
        • 91.413 - ATC transponder tests and inspections
        • 91.417 - Maintenance records
  • Memorize this memory aid

Inspection or CheckInterval
AAnnual12 calendar months
VVOR Check (IFR only)30 days
1100 hour inspection (carrying persons for  hire or flight instruction for hire100 hours
AAltimeter-Static System Check (IFR only) 24 months
TTransponder24 calendar months
EELT12 calendar months; battery 1 hour or half of useful life
AAirworthiness DirectivesOne-time and recurring
Learning Objectives
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Describe Pilot’s Operating Handbook/Airplane Flight Manual
Describe Aircraft airworthiness documents
Describe Aircraft logbooks and logbook entries
Describe Required inspections
Describe Airworthiness Directives
Describe Preventative Maintenance
Describe Required Equipment
Describe Special Flight Permit
Completion Standards
The lesson is complete when the pilot-in-training can:
  • meet the desired outcomes listed in the learning objectives table.
  • determine if an airplane is legally airworthy and safe to operate.
  • describe preventative maintenance tasks that can be performed by a private pilot and the requirements for performing preventative maintenance.
  • explain when a special flight permit would be required and the process for obtaining a special flight permit.