If you’ve ever tried to better understand what’s required to be in an aircraft’s logbook by reading the FARs, then you’ll know the frustration many of us have experienced in trying to use the regulations as a source for this knowledge.
To even begin to get an understanding of what the FARs say on the subject, requires a deep dive into several different areas within the FARs; and the ability to sort out the information that you find important vs the total amount of information available.
The reason: as is typical with Federal Regulations, it’s almost impossible to understand information as it pertains directly to your operation, because the information in the FARs is produced for everyone, and in so much detail that you’ll literary spend hours of time just trying to determine what pertains to you and what does not.
Knowing how confusing the FARS are with respect to Maintenance Records, the FAA issued an Advisory Circular AC 43-9C to “help” us to better understand this important subject. But like many of the documents the FAA writes, AC43-9C is still quite complicated (it is, after all, still eleven pages long).
The complexity of it all is why many aircraft owners and operators turn to professional maintenance technicians familiar with auditing aircraft records when the stakes are high, say during a pre-purchase Inspection.
These technicians will typically undertake the task of determining how the aircraft shapes up records-wise, and if the record is complete enough to assure a potential buyer that he or she is buying a quality aircraft, and not just a problem. However, this type of inspection only serves as a finite point in time that the aircraft and records prove the machine to be Airworthy and worth its potential value in the marketplace.
On-going, it’s important for the technicians who maintain the aircraft to be able to look back in the record and understand what has been done to the aircraft and what information they need to include in the record on a continuous basis.
Download our free book Common Logbooks Mistakes for insight into some of the common logbook mistakes seen in the industry.
Unfortunately keeping a well-managed logbook with all the necessary data, without including the unnecessary stuff, is not easy when your obligated to take the “do it this way” or “we’ve always done it this way” path.
Many technicians resort to including every document associated with the aircraft in a logbook, to ensure that, at least, the important information is there when needed.
But including all this paper does two things: It makes for an extremely voluminous record that is hard to find important information when needed, and collecting such an array of unnecessary information instead of taking the time to properly document the work is like telling someone you remodeled your house by showing them the receipts for all the construction materials that were purchased.
The bottom line is this: at the end of the day every aircraft maintenance professional should know what needs to be included in an aircraft logbook. It’s that simple.
See Business Aircraft Record’s article entitled “What’s Important To Have In An Aircraft Logbook?” for a more in-depth look at what the FAA says a quality logbook must contain.