Aeronautical publications are the sources of information for guiding aviation mechanics in the operation and maintenance of aircraft and related equipment. The proper use of these publications will greatly aid in the efficient operation and maintenance of all aircraft. These include manufacturers’ service bulletins, manuals, and catalogs; FAA regulations; airworthiness directives; advisory circulars; and aircraft, engine and propeller specifications.

Manufacturers’ Service Bulletins/Instructions

Service bulletins or service instructions are two of several types of publications issued by airframe, engine, and component manufacturers.

The bulletins may include: (1) purpose for issuing the publication, (2) name of the applicable airframe, engine, or component, (3) detailed instructions for service, adjustment, modification or inspection, and source of parts, if required and (4) estimated number of manhours required to accomplish the job.

Maintenance Manual

The manufacturer’s aircraft maintenance manual contains complete instructions for maintenance of all systems and components installed in the aircraft. It contains information for the mechanic who normally works on components, assemblies, and systems while they are installed in the aircraft, but not for the overhaul mechanic. A typical aircraft maintenance manual contains:

  • A description of the systems (i.e., electrical, hydraulic, fuel, control)
  • Lubrication instructions setting forth the frequency and the lubricants and fluids which are to be used in the various systems,
  • Pressures and electrical loads applicable to the various systems,
  • Tolerances and adjustments necessary to proper functioning of the airplane,
  • Methods of leveling, raising, and towing,
  • Methods of balancing control surfaces,
  • Identification of primary and secondary structures,
  • Frequency and extent of inspections necessary to the proper operation of the airplane,
  • Special repair methods applicable to the airplane,
  • Special inspection techniques requiring x-ray,
  • ultrasonic, or magnetic particle inspection, and
  • A list of special tools.

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