Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 discusses the basic requirements for annual and 100-hour inspections. With some exceptions, all aircraft must have a complete inspection annually. Aircraft that are used for commercial purposes and are likely to be used more frequently than noncommercial aircraft must have this complete inspection every 100 hours. The scope and detail of items to be included in annual and 100-hour inspections is included as appendix D of 14 CFR part 43 and shown as Figure 8-2.
A properly written checklist, such as the one shown earlier in this chapter, will include all the items of appendix D. Although the scope and detail of annual and 100-hour inspections is identical, there are two significant differences. One difference involves persons authorized to conduct them. A certified airframe and powerplant maintenance technician can conduct a 100- hour inspection, whereas an annual inspection must be conducted by a certified airframe and powerplant maintenance technician with inspection authorization (IA). The other difference involves authorized overflight of the maximum 100 hours before inspection. An aircraft may be flown up to 10 hours beyond the 100-hour limit if necessary to fly to a destination where the inspection is to be conducted.
Because the scope and detail of an annual inspection is very extensive and could keep an aircraft out of service for a considerable length of time, alternative inspection programs designed to minimize down time may be utilized. A progressive inspection program allows an aircraft to be inspected progressively. The scope and detail of an annual inspection is essentially divided into segments or phases (typically four to six). Completion of all the phases completes a cycle that satisfies the requirements of an annual inspection. The advantage of such a program is that any required segment may be completed overnight and thus enable the aircraft to fly daily without missing any revenue earning potential. Progressive inspection programs include routine items such as engine oil changes and detailed items such as flight control cable inspection. Routine items are accomplished each time the aircraft comes in for a phase inspection and detailed items focus on detailed inspection of specific areas. Detailed inspections are typically done once each cycle. A cycle must be completed within 12 months. If all required phases are not completed within 12 months, the remaining phase inspections must be conducted before the end of the 12th month from when the first phase was completed.
Each registered owner or operator of an aircraft desiring to use a progressive inspection program must submit a written request to the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) having jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant is located. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, §91.409(d) establishes procedures to be followed for progressive inspections and is shown in Figure 8-3.
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