Updating aircraft equipment list

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And, with a little additional assistance from your local aviation maintenance technician (A&P mechanic), there is not much you can't do yourself. Before you head off to the airport with wrench in hand to fix all those annoying little maintenance items you noticed on your last flight, it is important to fully understand your privileges and responsibilities as a certificated pilot in performing routine maintenance.

The Federal Aviation Regulations spell out in some detail what pilots (who are not certificated airframe and powerplant mechanics or repairmen) may do to maintain their aircraft.

You'll be more likely to get it again in the future that way.

This publication has been developed by AOPA staff pilots and mechanics in order for pilots to better understand what is permitted under the privileges of preventive maintenance and the obligations that are imposed when performing maintenance.

The opportunity also exists to save a substantial percentage of the annual maintenance costs associated with aircraft ownership.

Many aircraft owners, however, never attempt to work on their aircraft for a variety of reasons.

This means quite simply that before you set about performing preventive maintenance items on your airplane, you must first have the proper maintenance manuals available.

And remember, your mechanic is trying to earn a living, so compensate him for his time and advice.

Probably the most common reason for pilots not to perform their own routine maintenance is the belief that the FAA will permit only such a limited amount of work to be handled by the owner that it is not worthwhile to even attempt it.

In fact, there is a rather broad array of tasks that we as owners and operators of type certificated aircraft can legally perform without the ongoing supervision of an aviation maintenance professional.

Chief among these is a general sense of intimidation by the complexity of the airplane.

Another is the fear of doing something wrong and running afoul of the local FAA inspector.

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