Is my aircraft airworthy?

This is a favorite question posed by checkride instructors: “is the airplane we’re flying in today airworthy?” The easy response is “well sure it is!” But you have to have the knowledge to back it up.

For this we have 2 acronyms to learn:

The first you may have heard of ARROW

Your aircraft must have an:

A – Airworthiness Certificate
R – Registration
R – Radio Certificate (required for international flights)
O – Operators Manual (Pilots operating handbook doesn’t count)
W – Weight and Balance (current and specific to your airplane)

In addition to aircraft documentation your aircraft must also be kept up to date with it’s inspections.

For this we use the acronym AVIATES

A – Airworthiness Directives (AD’s)
V – VOR Check (every 30 days) (IFR Only)
I – Inspections 100 hour (For Hire Only) and Annual (Required of all Aircraft)
A – Altimeter (Every 24 Calendar Months) (IFR Only)
T – Transponder (Every 24 Calendar Months)
E – ELT (Every 12 Calendar Months)
S – Static System (Every 24 Calendar Months) (IFR Only)

Using the acronyms ARROW and AVIATES you’ll be able to show your flight instructor or checkride examiner why your airplane is airworthy

Be sure you’re able to locate each inspection item (paperwork included) well before going up for you exam.

  • One thing that my instructor taught me to do, and I’m very glad he did, is learn to read the aircraft maintenance logbook. Many pilots have no idea where to find the endorsements in the logbook to show that these requirements have been done. Get to know your mechanic and have him show and explain to you the aircraft maintenance logbook sections and endorsements.

  • One thing that my instructor taught me to do, and I’m very glad he did, is learn to read the aircraft maintenance logbook. Many pilots have no idea where to find the endorsements in the logbook to show that these requirements have been done. Get to know your mechanic and have him show and explain to you the aircraft maintenance logbook sections and endorsements.

  • Hi Paul!

    Awesome addition to the post! As an instructor it’s important to sit down with students and show them the logs. This can be difficult because I know as an aircraft owner I keep the logs locked up at home. (for safety reasons)

    But I do bring them out of hiding every now and then to show students

    -Jason

  • Hi Paul!

    Awesome addition to the post! As an instructor it’s important to sit down with students and show them the logs. This can be difficult because I know as an aircraft owner I keep the logs locked up at home. (for safety reasons)

    But I do bring them out of hiding every now and then to show students

    -Jason

  • Charles

    You’d be amazed how many airplanes I see that dont have compass correction cards or have ones you cant read at all!

  • Charles

    You’d be amazed how many airplanes I see that dont have compass correction cards or have ones you cant read at all!

  • How did I make it through training without ever hearing the AVIATES acronym? That would have made things easier

  • How did I make it through training without ever hearing the AVIATES acronym? That would have made things easier

  • Charles, Great addition! I can relate, A friend of mine actually was unable to complete his checkride because the check instructor said he couldn’t read the deviation card!

  • Charles, Great addition! I can relate, A friend of mine actually was unable to complete his checkride because the check instructor said he couldn’t read the deviation card!

  • Patrick,

    I understand! I actually didn’t hear of that until my commercial training. Wish I would have found out sooner too!

    Glad to have helped you!

    Keep up the good work on AviationChatter!

  • Patrick,

    I understand! I actually didn’t hear of that until my commercial training. Wish I would have found out sooner too!

    Glad to have helped you!

    Keep up the good work on AviationChatter!

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