Any aircraft that operates under 14 C.F.R Part 91 is required to undergo a series of maintenance checks to remain in airworthy condition. While some assessments are carried out more frequently, others are only performed as necessary. This is especially true when talking about “inspections” and “overhauls.” As such, it is important to understand the differences between the two and when they need to be conducted.
To begin, you must get familiar with what 14 C.F.R. Part 91 is. As per the FAA regulations, maintenance includes the inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and replacement of parts, but does not include preventative maintenance. As such, inspection and overhaul procedures can be categorized as unique forms of maintenance.
Typically, inspections require examinations and manual checks to determine the present condition of an aircraft or one of its components. An inspection may range from a routine visual assessment to a detailed examination that may necessitate the complete disassembly of parts or the use of X-ray, ultrasonic, eddy current, or magnetic particle equipment. In general, the inspected components are not replaced unless they are defective or flawed.
An overhaul, on the other hand, consists of the disassembly, cleaning, inspection, repair, reassembly, and testing of the aircraft or a particular aircraft component. The main reason for an overhaul to be carried out is to restore a component to a particular condition to ensure it works for a specific amount of time. This is usually defined as time between overhauls.
Overhauls and inspections are especially critical for determining the airworthiness of aircraft that adhere to FAA regulations. That being said, the regulations mandate each Part 91 operator and owner to have an “inspection program” for their particular aircraft. This program can vary, with the most common consisting of a 100-hour, annual, or manufacturer’s recommended inspection, depending on the aircraft model.
Some inspections may even include the scheduled inspection of specific parts to check for hidden damage at designated intervals. The unscheduled inspection of items is usually event-driven and circumstantial, ensuring there are no malfunctions. However, unscheduled inspections are not an official part of an inspection program and are carried out as needed. If an inspection destroys a component and it must be replaced, it is important to include that item in the inspection program.
Functional checks are another likely inspection that are not always listed in an inspection program. Their inclusion is usually dependent on the type of inspection being performed. In some instances, they may be included in a pilot’s pre-flight or post-flight procedures required by an aircraft flight manual or pilot’s operating handbook. After such inspections are carried out and you find yourself in need of aircraft overhaul equipment or aviation maintenance parts, rely on Emergent Industrials.
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