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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Flight Manuals and Other Documents

Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Prior to the unit's intended use, an operational check
must be performed in accordance with the applicable
sections of 14 CFR part 91 on checking, removing,
and replacing magnetic chip detectors.

• Inspection and maintenance tasks prescribed and
specifically identified as preventive maintenance
in a primary category aircraft type certificate or
supplemental type certificate holder's approved special
inspection and preventive maintenance program when
accomplished on a primary category aircraft.
• Updating self-contained, front instrument panel mounted
air traffic control (ATC) navigational software databases
(excluding those of automatic flight control systems,
transponders, and microwave frequency DME) only if no
disassembly of the unit is required and pertinent instructions
are provided; prior to the unit's intended use, an operational
check must be performed in accordance with applicable
sections of 14 CFR part 91.

Certificated pilots, excluding student pilots, sport pilots, and
recreational pilots, may perform preventive maintenance
on any aircraft that is owned or operated by them provided
that aircraft is not used in air carrier service or 14 CFR part
121, 129, or 135. A pilot holding a sport pilot certificate
may perform preventive maintenance on an aircraft owned
or operated by that pilot if that aircraft is issued a special
airworthiness certificate in the LSA category. (Sport pilots
operating LSA should refer to 14 CFR part 65 for maintenance
privileges.) 14 CFR part 43, appendix A, contains a list of the
operations that are considered to be preventive maintenance.

Repairs and Alterations
Repairs and alterations are classified as either major or minor.
14 CFR part 43, appendix A, describes the alterations and
repairs considered major. Major repairs or alterations shall
be approved for return to service on FAA Form 337, Major
Repair and Alteration, by an appropriately rated certificated
repair station, an FAA-certificated A&P mechanic holding
an IA, or a representative of the Administrator. Minor repairs
and minor alterations may be approved for return to service
with a proper entry in the maintenance records by an FAA certificated A&P mechanic or an appropriately certificated
repair station.

For modifications of experimental aircraft, refer to the
operating limitations issued to that aircraft. Modifications
in accordance with FAA Order 8130.2, Airworthiness
Certification of Aircraft and Related Products, may require
the notification of the issuing authority.

Special Flight Permits
A special flight permit is a Special Airworthiness Certificate
authorizing operation of an aircraft that does not currently
meet applicable airworthiness requirements but is safe
for a specific flight. Before the permit is issued, an FAA
inspector may personally inspect the aircraft, or require it
to be inspected by an FAA-certificated A&P mechanic or an
appropriately certificated repair station to determine its safety
for the intended flight. The inspection shall be recorded in
the aircraft records.

The special flight permit is issued to allow the aircraft to be
flown to a base where repairs, alterations, or maintenance
can be performed; for delivering or exporting the aircraft; or
for evacuating an aircraft from an area of impending danger.
A special flight permit may be issued to allow the operation
of an overweight aircraft for flight beyond its normal range
over water or land areas where adequate landing facilities
or fuel is not available.

If a special flight permit is needed, assistance and the necessary
forms may be obtained from the local FSDO or Designated
Airworthiness Representative (DAR). [Figure 8-10]

Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

A primary safety function of the FAA is to require correction
of unsafe conditions found in an aircraft, aircraft engine,
propeller, or appliance when such conditions exist and
are likely to exist or develop in other products of the same
design. The unsafe condition may exist because of a design
defect, maintenance, or other causes. 14 CFR part 39 and
Airworthiness Directives (ADs) define the authority and
responsibility of the Administrator for requiring the necessary
corrective action. ADs are used to notify aircraft owners and
other interested persons of unsafe conditions and to specify
the conditions under which the product may continue to be
operated. ADs are divided into two categories:
1. Those of an emergency nature requiring immediate
compliance prior to further flight
2. Those of a less urgent nature requiring compliance
within a specified period of time

ADs are regulatory and shall be complied with unless a
specific exemption is granted. It is the responsibility of the
aircraft owner or operator to ensure compliance with all
pertinent ADs, including those ADs that require recurrent
or continuing action. For example, an AD may require a
repetitive inspection each 50 hours of operation, meaning
the particular inspection shall be accomplished and recorded
every 50 hours of time in service. Owners/operators are
reminded there is no provision to over fly the maximum hour
requirement of an AD unless it is specifically written into the
AD. To help determine if an AD applies to an amateur-built
aircraft, contact the local FSDO.