Although maintenance entries are often viewed as only a necessary evil, they do, provide a very necessary service. Accurate maintenance entries provide a means to:
- Review work that was previously accomplished on the aircraft in case a discrepancy resurfaces.
Accurate and comprehensive maintenance entries in the logbook records not only help you spot recurring problems but can help in the troubleshooting of a problem if the issue resurfaces. This is especially important when more than one person works on the discrepancy and may not be aware of the maintenance history of the aircraft. Not only can this help identify exactly what was accomplished with respect to the problem itself, it can provide a point to begin new troubleshooting. It also may point to a discernable solution. The fact that work was recently performed on a specific component may lead technicians to investigate that same component, or the surrounding area in a seemingly unrelated problem. For example, a new radio installation may have inadvertently caused an electrical problem whose source is in the same area.
- Justify or defend the actions of maintenance personnel and/or a repair station that performed the work on the aircraft.
We live in a litigious society and when an aircraft is involved in an accident that causes damage, personal injury, or loss of life; chances are a lawsuit is going to follow. The plaintiff(s) will seek, through legal means, far reaching records of every associated repair station and company that has every touched the aircraft, and carefully inspect them for any violations of the FARs and/or company procedures. The maintenance records (or lack thereof) may either convict you, or absolve you, when the legal professionals come calling.
Provide a clear and accurate history of the aircraft which can be of significant value to a prospective buyer, thereby increasing the price/value of the aircraft at resell.
In addition to a condition survey of the aircraft itself, an aircraft’s records are the best indicator of how the aircraft has been maintained; and of the health, condition and airworthiness of aircraft, not only at the present time, but over the life of the aircraft.
Poorly maintained and inadequate records reflect a philosophy of poor maintenance and a poorly maintained aircraft.
The more detail included with each maintenance entry, the more professional the aircraft records appear. Very often, this simple fact justifies a small percentage increase in the sale price of the aircraft. But with aircraft valued at millions of dollars, this small increase adds up to significant money.
Detailed logbook entries help maintain the overall integrity of the aircraft you operate. Sufficient information and data are both necessary for the aircraft’s airworthiness and operation, and denotes care and professionalism from the maintenance personnel working on the aircraft.