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Can I go fly? How to look for inoperative equipment on preflight inspection

Photo credit to flythewing.comWe've all been there at one time or another. You're out pre-flighting your aircraft for either a training flight or a joy ride and there it is: Something in the flight deck is inoperative. Can you go fly? Is the airplane grounded? Let's take a look at a few different things to consider. Do you have a Minimum Equipment List(MEL)? A MEL is a list usually only used for part 121 or 135 jets. It pretty much states that if the equipment is inoperative and it falls underneath the MEL the airplane can safely be flown with that equipment being inoperative. The FAA will certify a MEL list created by the owner/ operator with a Letter of Authorization for the specific operations. An MMEL is a Master Minimum Equipment List which certifies a MEL for a fleet instead of just one aircraft. For Example, a 737 Max MMEL would be specific to all 737 Max's in a particular airline's fleet.Is the item on the list? If yes, make sure the Letter of Authorization in the airplane is issued by the FSDO and make a record describing the inoperative instrument and equipment.No MEL? Is it part of the Type Certificate Data Sheet(TCDS)? The TCDS lists limitations and information required for type certification including airspeed limits, weight limits, thrust limitations, etc. it provides a formal description of the aircraft, engine or propeller. Not in the TCDS? Is it required by the Kind Of Operation List or the Comprehensive Equipment List? A Kinds of Operation Equipment List (KOEL) is a list in the aircraft POH section 2 (operating limitations) that is required to be operational for the airworthiness in the listed kind of operations (VFR, IFR, Night). The comprehensive list is a list of all Cessna equipment installed. Some are required and some are optional all stated in section 6 (Weight and Balance) POH. Not in either POH lists? How about FAR 91.205? Far 91.205 is the required equipment list. Most of you may have learned it as:VFR day— ATOMATOFLAMESNight— FLAPS IFR— Day VFR + Night + GRABCARDDV Not in FAR 91.205? Lastly, does it have an AD? An AD is an Airworthiness Directive. ADs are mandatory FAA repairs for a particular piece of equipment. There are a couple of different types but regardless of type, if there is an AD attached to the inoperative equipment, it's an automatic no-go. Quite a process huh? In the event the inoperative piece of equipment you found during preflight passes all of these checks then you can ask a mechanic to: Remove that item or Deactivate it Placard it as "INOP" Record it in maintenance After all of that, you have officially completed your required checks to safely go fly!
Created 112 days ago
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