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Is My Aircraft Airworthy? – Pilot Training TV LIVE

by Jason Schappert

Here’s the recording of my live episode of pilot training TV! Did you miss it? Visit Pilot Training TV to view the show schedule.

Is your aircraft airworthy? As a renter it’s crucial you make sure you have all your documents aboard your aircraft. When you rent you don’t know what the person ahead of you may have done. So learn how to check and make sure you have everything covered.

Text Transcript

It’s way past my bedtime, I’m a little bit tired but I am out here for you guys, I’m certainly giving you my best. This is a live show we’re doing right now. If you’re watching us on PilotTraining.TV, there is a chatbox there. Please feel free to jump into the chatbox and ask me any questions you guys want.

A few rules: no spamming, no profanity, none of that stuff or we’d have to give you the boot unfortunately. But given that chatbox, you can ask me any comment you guys wish. So go ahead and submit your comment that way.

Also, I have to give a shout out to someone… Matt, who I know is watching right now. Matt,I’d like to thank you personally. For you guys who don’t know, Matt is my hero the weekend, long story, but he’s the whole reason I’m over here live right now and the whole reason my business is still up and rocking. Matt, you’re a blessing and I really appreciate that.

Long story, if you guys wanna hear about that, email me and I’ll tell you about it privately. But good story nonetheless.

Last week’s episode of PilotTraining.TV, our topic was “Am I too old to fly?” We had a lot of comments, I got a lot of emails, all positive stuff which was great. I had some words of encouragement and I wanna read you some of these.

I have one from Therese, I hope I’m saying that right, who is 48 years old from Sydney, Australia which is cool. MZeroA’s getting full global reach, that’s awesome, couldn’t ask for more. She was talking about, “Why not just go for it?” It’s something she’s thought about, she’s gonna do it, she’s gonna go for it.

The great point she brought up was, “You know, I may be a little bit older, but what about a regional airline? I have to start there anyways. I could build and work my way up through a regional airline.” Hang out there and do regional airline somewhere in Australia, and that is a wonderful idea. The regionals will take typically lower time people and train them, mold them into pilots they want them to be. When I’m talking about regional airlines, I’m talking about something like Delta Connections, a subsidiary of Delta for the smaller and quicker hops, like that. So that’s something you can think about,doing a regional airline.

So again, this show is 100% live so if you guys have a question, enter into the chat and it will end up somehow into this desk. And I will be more than happy to answer it for you guys. What I wanna talk about today is, “Is your aircraft airworthy?” As a flight student I find a lot of us are happy-go-lucky and happy jumping in into any airplane. That’s great. But if you got ramp-checked, are you gonna know if you have all the right documentation? This is a strange airplane. You don’t know what maintenance they hold on it, if everything is current, if anything is in the airplane like it’s supposed to be? So it’s real important you check these aircraft documents as a renter.

I’m gonna stand up here, we’re gonna work on the board a little bit and I’ll show you exactly what I’m talking about. Is my aircraft airworthy from a document standpoint? Do I have all  my I’s dotted and my T’s crossed? So let’s go ahead and talk a look. I’m gonna stand up here and we’ll talk a look at this real quick.

What we have here in an acronym, as if we don’t have enough acronyms in aviation already. ARROW. Don’t mind my little kiddy hand writing, I’m working hard to perfect it. Okay? ARROW is our acronym here. What do we need, document-wise, onboard our aircraft at all times.

A stands for our Airworthiness Certificate. So our Airworthiness Certificate, and this is typically found in a clear pouch somewhere in the airplane. It is meant to be visible, and your Airworthiness Certificate can be found in there.

Usually in there, together with your Airworthy Certificate, is your Registration Certificate. Who is it registered to? Think about this as having your title essentially with you. This is your Airworthiness Certificate and your Registration Certificate. They need to be in there, they’re typically in that clear pocket inside the airplane.

R, listen to this, this will be a little bit different. Your Radio Certificate. Now, you may be saying, I haven’t heard of a Radio Certificate. This is for international flights only. If you plan on flying to the Bahamas, you’re gonna need a Radio Certificate or a Radio License
as it is sometimes referred to. Okay you’re gonna need that for international flights only. So, if you plan on staying on the States, you
can X that one off your list.

O.. pay close attention to these next two. O is our Operations or Ops Manual. This is specific for your airplane. Now, you need to remember that this is not a POH, a pilot’s operating handbook. That’s something you can buy from a pilot shop or a bookstore. The Operations Manual is specific to your airplane and came with the airplane when the airplane was born, basically you can say.

You can find the same information in a POH almost as you’ll receive in the Operations Manual or the Operator’s Handbook, but you need to have the official one that came with the airplane when it was born and that stays in the airplane at all times. The reason they have a pilot’s operating handbook is one you can carry in your flight bag, and one that you take home with you because you need the Operations Manual in there at all times.

And W, is the Weight and Balance. Now this isn’t a Weight and Balance that you calculate for that day. This is a Weight and Balance that stays with the airplane. This is the original Weight and Balance. When you add a radio, when you take something out, when you get it repainted, and you get a new Weight and Balance done at the shop. They’ll print it out and it needs to stay in your airplane. So, it’s not the Weight and Balance you did that day. It is the Weight and Balance that comes with the airplane and is updated when you add or take away anything from that airplane.

So as a flight student, as a renter, as someone flying with their friend. You need to run through the ARROW checklist. What if you got ramp-checked? You are pilot-in-command, so you are going to be someone in trouble for not making sure everything is checked off. Okay, so you need to run through the ARROW checklist… hey, you guys got any questions on this or anything else, leave me a question posted in the chat and I’ll be more than happy to chat or talk with you about it.

You need to run through all of that checklist… now, most flight schools will have what’s known as a document folder or document binder where everything is easy… check, check, check, there’s everything. You can run through it and make everything is in there.
Some places will have them scattered throughout so in my places you might be missing some things. So it’s gonna be very important that you get in there and check,and make sure you have all the documents because if you’re ramp-checked… well, when we’re talking about ramp-checked, the FAA literally has people that go around to make sure you’re up to snuff with all your documents and everything is proper. Your documentation as well as private pilot, that you have your medical certificate and a valid Photo ID and anything they’ll be looking for. Does your aircraft have its documentation?

So it’s important that you go through and run through the ARROW checklist and that acronym, and make sure you have absolutely everything in there. Okay, so as renters, make sure you’re going through all that stuff.

I will wrap it up here guys, if you guys have any questions, sneak them in right now and they’ll end up right here in my desk. I’ll read them out and I’ll answer them to you live right now, so get those questions in right now as I’m wrapping up. If you have a question, I have a second for you. I actually just finished doing a webinar.. a mock checkride webinar with my online ground school guys. I’m still pooped from that, we talked for almost an hour. We did a mock oral exam which is totally cool. If you guys haven’t checked out the Online Ground School, you go to MzeroA.com right now and click the Online Ground School tab and check it out. It’s your personal access to me, I got 120 full HD videos plus the mock checkride and all that kind of stuff. This is cutting edge flight training at its best guys, so I hope you’re ready for it. If you guys are sleeping right now and say, “Man, I wish I would have asked Jason that question,” shoot me an email at [email protected], or you can go to M0a.com, click on the Contact form and you know it’ll get to me that way.

So that is all I have for you guys, I want you guys to have a wonderful week. Get out there, do your absolutely best flying. If you’re not flying, go over some procedures, do some chair flying, get into the Online Ground School and check it out. If you’re not in the online ground school yet, you think you can’t afford it, check out all the free content I got in MzeroA.com, I got close to a hundred videos that you guys can digest and go through.

I appreciate your time, enjoy your week and, guys, most importantly, please remember that a good pilot is always learning. Catch you guys later.

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  • Bob Barbanes

    Jason, great video! But all pilots should know that if the FAA really wants to get picky, they can ask deeper questions about airworthiness. All certified aircraft must have some sort of periodic inspection (e.g. Annual). Aircraft used commercially (like flight school aircraft) must also have 100-hour inspections. If an FAA inspector wanted to get…umm…”snippy,” he could legitimately ask for the pilot to produce evidence that the Annual is not overdue. (Helicopters have more extensive requirements in that they have certain limited-life components that may not be overflown – as an engine or other component’s recommended overhaul interval can. ) If there is ANY question of an aircraft’s airworthiness, the FAA can ground it on the spot. Might not be really convenient if you’re in the middle of a long cross-country.

    By the way, an over-the-counter POH *can* be acceptible AS LONG AS it is the most current one provided by the a/c manufacturer, and that a current equipment list and weight and balance is in the airplane.

    The key is to not make the FAA dig deeeper – not give them any reason. If you get “ramped” and can immediately produce your personal certs (I keep mine in a dedicated pouch so they’re always together and protected from wear/tear), and can immediately produce the reg, a/w cert, AFM and weight and balance, then the Fed will know you have your act together. Hopefully he’ll move on to someone else. However, if you stumble around, don’t know what’s required to be in the plane and can’t find what is in there, the Fed will have a legitimate reason to probe further.

    Your video and the information in it is vitally important to ALL pilots. Thanks for putting it up!

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