Continuous inspection programs are similar to progressive inspection programs, except that they apply to large or turbine-powered aircraft and are therefore more complicated.
Like progressive inspection programs, they require approval by the FAA Administrator. The approval may be sought based upon the type of operation and the CFR parts under which the aircraft will be operated. The maintenance program for commercially operated aircraft must be detailed in the approved operations specifications (OpSpecs) of the commercial certificate holder.
Airlines utilize a continuous maintenance program that includes both routine and detailed inspections. However, the detailed inspections may include different levels of detail. Often referred to as “checks," the A-check, B-check, C-check, and D-checks involve increasing levels of detail. A-checks are the least comprehensive and occur frequently. D-checks, on the other hand, are extremely comprehensive, involving major disassembly, removal, overhaul, and inspection of systems and components. They might occur only three to six times during the service life of an aircraft.
Altimeter and Transponder Inspections
Aircraft that are operated in controlled airspace under instrument flight rules (IFR) must have each altimeter and static system tested in accordance with procedures described in 14 CFR part 43, appendix E, within the preceding 24 calendar months. Aircraft having an air traffic control (ATC) transponder must also have each transponder checked within the preceding 24 months. All these checks must be conducted by appropriately certified individuals.
ATA iSpec 2200
In an effort to standardize the format for the way in which maintenance information is presented in aircraft maintenance manuals, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) issued specifications for Manufacturers Technical Data. The original specification was called ATA Spec 100. Over the years, Spec 100 has been continuously revised and updated. Eventually, ATA Spec 2100 was developed for electronic documentation. These two specifications evolved into one document called ATA iSpec 2200. As a result of this standardization, maintenance technicians can always find information regarding a particular system in the same section of an aircraft maintenance manual, regardless of manufacturer. For example, if you are seeking information about the electrical system on any aircraft, you will always find that information in section (chapter) 24.
The ATA Specification 100 has the aircraft divided into systems, such as air conditioning, which covers the basic air conditioning system (ATA 21). Numbering in each major system provides an arrangement for breaking the system down into several subsystems. Late model aircraft, both over and under the 12,500 pound designation, have their parts manuals and maintenance manuals arranged according to the ATA coded system.
The following abbreviated table of ATA System, Subsystem, and Titles is included for familiarization purposes.
ATA Specification 100Systems
Sys. Sub. Title
The remainder of this list shows the systems and title with subsystems deleted in the interest of brevity. Consult specific aircraft maintenance manuals for a complete description of the subsystems used in them.
22 AUTO FLIGHT
Keep in mind that not all aircraft will have all these systems installed. Small and simple aircraft have far fewer systems than larger more complex aircraft.
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