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Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
Aircraft Maintenance Technician Interview Questions

What does an Aircraft Maintenance Technician do? Answer
What is aircraft maintenance manual? Answer
What aircraft documents are required to be carried in the aircraft? Answer
How Does the FAA Certify Aircraft? Answer
What is the 14 CFR? Answer
What is component maintenance manual? Answer
What are the types of aircraft manuals? Answer
Why is aircraft maintenance manual important? Answer
What does an Aircraft Maintenance Technician do?
An aircraft maintenance technician is a certified mechanic who is responsible for inspecting aircraft, installing parts, performing preventive maintenance and conducting repairs. They should be familiar with aircraft engines, hydraulics, fuel pumps, starters, electronic parts, frames, landing gear and more. Aircraft maintenance technicians often work for airline companies, the government or the military on all types of airplanes and helicopters.

Working as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Working as an aircraft maintenance technician involves successfully being able to:
Maintain aircraft according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.
Remove, replace and install aircraft parts and components.
Perform tests to diagnose problems with aircraft parts and systems and report defects.
Perform routine inspections.
Keep detailed records of repairs and maintenance.

Aircraft maintenance technicians perform a variety of duties that include installing and removing aircraft components, conducting repairs, and performing routine inspections. Some 170 schools offer programs approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

What is aircraft maintenance manual?
Definition. The formal document which details the way in which all maintenance tasks carried out on an aircraft shall be accomplished. This includes items such as lubrication system functional checks and servicing of the airplane but usually excludes structural repairs and modifications.

What aircraft documents are required to be carried in the aircraft?
The letters stand for the documents that must be carried aboard an airplane. They are an airworthiness certificate, registration certificate, operating limitations, and weight and balance information.

How Does the FAA Certify Aircraft?
The Federal Aviation Administration’s ( FAA ) Aircraft Certification Service includes more than 1,300 engineers, scientists, inspectors, test pilots and other safety professionals.

What is the 14 CFR?
14 CFR Overview Title 14 is the principal set of rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) issued by the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration, federal agencies of the United States regarding Aeronautics and Space.

What is component maintenance manual?
A Component Maintenance Manual (CMM) is a formal document that details how to accomplish off-aircraft maintenance tasks on an aircraft component. It contains the data necessary to find and identify all parts of a component that can be disassembled for shop maintenance.

What are the types of aircraft manuals?
Types of Manuals Flight. Maintenance. Overhaul CMMs. Repair. Illustrated Parts Catalogs. Structural Repair. Wiring Diagrams.

Why is aircraft maintenance manual important?
Aircraft manuals contain required standards that, when maintained, help your aircraft achieve compliance with the aviation regulations.
Aircraft Mechanic Workshop Tool Cabinet (243 Tools)

Aircraft maintenance technician responsibilities may include:
    Diagnosing and resolving mechanical or electrical problems
    Keeping records of maintenance work
    Replacing worn parts with hand or power tools
    Submitting work for inspection
    Inspecting aircraft frames in addition to aircraft parts
    Climbing ladders and reaching from scaffolding in fast-paced environments


Aircraft maintenance technicians are expected to possess proficiency within their field of work, whether that is general or specialized aircraft maintenance. In order to effectively inspect aircraft on a regular schedule, a skilled aircraft maintenance technician will:
    Be able to perform physically demanding work on a regular basis
    Work outside on an airfield in inclement weather.
    Be able to work in high-stress environments
    Complete repair and maintenance tasks on a strict schedule

Guide to Aircraft Inspections
Annual Inspection
100-Hour Inspection
Progressive Inspections
Items Checked During Inspections
Emergency Locater Transmitter
Preprocurement/Prepurchase Inspection
Here are further guidelines.
Types of Aircraft Inspections
Two types of aircraft inspections are the 100-Hour Inspection and the Annual Inspection.

Both check the plane according to manufacturer guidelines, and FAA regulations. The difference is in who conducts the inspection.

100-Hour Inspections

The 100-Hour Inspection is scheduled according to flight hours.

A 100-Hour Inspection is required if the plane is used for commercial purposes. If you fly for hire or give flight instructions, you must have it inspected after 100 hours of flight time.

A qualified technician, like an Airframe and Power Plant mechanic, can perform the 100-Hour Inspection.

If you log over 200 hours a year it’s smart to have inspections every 100 hours, even if you don’t fly for hire. Annual Inspections

According to the FAA, all planes must have an annual inspection. The rule is that no one can operate a plane unless it’s inspected during the preceding 12 months.

Annual Inspections must be by someone with an Inspection Authority Certificate (IA). No other type of mechanic can approve the Annual Inspection Report.

If a 100-Hour Inspection for your plane is near an Annual Inspection, the Annual Inspection can replace it.

But, the 100-Hour inspection does not meet the requirements for an Annual Inspection.

Progressive Inspections

A pilot can ask the FAA for permission to conduct a Progressive Inspection. This is an alternative to the Annual Inspection.

The Progressive Inspection allows certain parts of the Annual Inspection to be done overnight. This reduces the downtime needed to perform the Annual Inspection.

Special Inspections

Beyond routine inspections that examine the entire plane, some systems need individual inspection.

The altimeter system, transponder, and flight instruments are inspected every 24 months. The special inspection checks data and efficiency.

Inspection Instructions

The manufacturer’s manual contains basic inspection instructions. But, all mechanics must review FAA service bulletins and updates. This keeps them current on inspection requirements. Plane logbooks and checklists are useful tools for aircraft inspections. The records confirm each inspection is performed and recorded on time.

Logbook Requirements

Every inspection must be recorded in the plane’s logbook.

Pilots, technicians, and mechanics write dates and details on repairs, parts, and maintenance.

Accurate record-keeping is key to the inspection process. The logbooks provide proof of inspection. The proof is required to obtain flight permits and meet FAA regulations.
Scheduled Aircraft Inspections
Unscheduled Aircraft Inspection

The Different Types of Aircraft Maintenance Inspections - Aero Corner

The backbone of air travel is the aircraft maintenance crew. The crew is responsible for ensuring that a plane is fit to fly. However, modern aircraft come with complex systems that require not only knowledge in maintenance procedures, functionalities, and policies but also mechanical skills.

Scheduled Aircraft Inspections
Unscheduled Aircraft Inspection

For example, the A380 model comes with millions of components that are integrated with advanced avionics technology. Its elements are incorporated with a layer of backup systems to ensure that a plane stays aloft for over 20 hours.

Types of aircraft inspections can be divided into two broad categories, which include scheduled and unscheduled inspections.

Both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and aircraft inspections are necessary for all aircraft to ensure that they are safe to fly and airworthy. Some inspections and maintenance schedules are known to both the cabin crew and aircraft technicians.

But some technical problems that are noticed by the AIP team during an inspection or by the pilot can be unscheduled and sudden. That’s why both the aircraft owners and cabin crew must understand the difference between the two types of aircraft maintenance inspections, which include unscheduled and scheduled checks.

Scheduled Aircraft Inspections

Scheduled aircraft inspection refers to any preventative maintenance that either the cabin crew or technicians perform at regular intervals. It includes annual examinations, 100-hour inspections, preflight checks, and progressive inspections to ensure that an aircraft is ready to fly and airworthy.

Annual Inspection

Annual aircraft inspection happens once every twelve months. It is necessary for all aircraft regardless of whether they are used for recreational purpose, flight instruction, or hire. The scope and details of the annual aircraft inspection are outlined in the FAR 43 Appendix D while the requirements for a yearly aircraft inspection can be found in FAR 91. 409a.

Annual aircraft inspections cover more details than preflight and 100-hours inspections. It includes all the examinations performed in other aircraft inspections such as flight controls and avionics checks, testing and inspecting the engine, review of all aircraft logbooks, and flight surfaces checks.

Aircraft maintenance crew usually notes down any problem or defect found in a plane during the annual inspection and repairs them to restore the airworthiness of the aircraft before it flies.

50 and 100 Hour Inspections

All aircraft that are operated for flight instruction or hire must undergo 50-hour or 100-hour inspections. However, aircraft owners and cabin crew should understand that the FAA doesn’t mandate the 50-hour maintenance. But aircraft technicians and owners should consider it, given that all aircraft have to change the oil every 50 hours.

Besides oil change, the 50-hour inspection can include inspecting the engine for wear and tear and gapping, cleaning, and examining the spark plugs. If the aircraft maintenance crew finds any excessive wear and tear, the damaged components are replaced to restore the airworthiness of a plane before it flies.

The 50-hour inspection is also an opportunity for the maintenance crew to address any minor maintenance or problem noticed by the pilot or the plane owner.

The FAA mandates all aircraft regardless of their use to undergo the 100-hour inspections. Aircraft owners and pilots can find those regulations under FAR 91. 409b provisions. The maintenance crew inspect all the major components of an aircraft and removes all fairings, cowlings, access doors, and inspection plates during the 100-hour inspection. The 100-hour inspection is the stage where the technical crew removes the windows, brakes, cargo and cabin doors, the skin and fabric of the fuselage, the tires, the flight control surfaces, the landing gear, and struts for inspection.

The technical crew then proceed to inspect the cockpit and cabin inside the aircraft to repair any potential issue, including malfunctioned seat belts and loose objects and controls. During the 100-hour inspection, fuel switches, battery, flight controls, yoke, and avionics are also tested and inspected for efficiency and safety.

Routine engine maintenance and inspection also happen during the 100-hour inspection. It involves the changing of oil and cleaning and repairing the spark plugs. If the technical crew finds any damage or defect on the plane, repairs are done to restore the airworthiness of the aircraft and ensure compliance with all applicable FAA regulations.

Preflight Checks

The cabin crew has to perform some preflight checks before the plane flies to make sure that nothing is malfunctioned or in a defect. Pilots and student pilots alike must use a checklist so that nothing is forgotten when performing a preflight check. The preflight plane inspection includes walking around the plane and inspecting any flight control surfaces and fuselage components for wear and tear and defects.

A pilot can also notice any other deformity that can impede a flight’s safety during a preflight check. During a preflight inspection, the cabin crew tests and checks the battery, cabin, avionics, and cockpit for proper functioning and operation of an aircraft. A scheduled flight is cancelled if anything abnormal is found on a plane; instead, the cabin crew grounds the plane and contacts the technical team for repairs.

Progressive Inspections

Also known as phase inspection, continuous inspection is utilized when an airplane with a tight flight schedule cannot take long in the maintenance hangar. Ongoing checks should take place at regular intervals. An aircraft owner can schedule a regular inspection every 25 or 50 hours.

Specific components of an aircraft are tested and examined for efficiency and safety during each continuous inspection session. The technical team performs this inspection orderly to allow for the completion of all the requirements for the annual and 100-hour review on time.

Unscheduled Aircraft Inspection

Unscheduled aircraft inspection can happen anytime a component is suspected of having malfunctioned. In short, unscheduled aircraft inspection refers to any unforeseen maintenance. Unscheduled aircraft inspection can happen after the cabin crew finds a problem with an aircraft during the preflight inspection. Unscheduled aircraft inspection can occur when a problem is found during the progressive, annual, or 100-hour inspection or after a flight malfunction.

Examples of unscheduled aircraft inspection could be anything from the sheared vacuum pump, low landing gear strut, in-flight issues to a worn tire. High magneto drop during the run-up and rough running engine are leading reasons why unscheduled aircraft inspection takes place.

Upon discovery, the cabin crew should report a potential problem to the technical team and fill out an unplanned inspection request. The aircraft will then be grounded until the technical team repairs the problem and ascertain that the plane is airworthy and ready to be flown.

Unscheduled aircraft inspection can mean trouble for the flight operators, and the technical team has to handle it before the plane is flown. Unscheduled aircraft inspection can; however, disrupt a flight and call the need for a spare aircraft to replace its scheduled routes. It might be required that the technical team drive or fly to where the malfunctioned aircraft is, or the aircraft be brought to their workshop. Both of these options can be costly and cause delay, but they are worth it.

A jet can’t fly for unscheduled inspection if it has a component that has not met the safety standards. While each flight has to be approved individually, sometimes the technical team can allow a ferry flight under specific conditions.

Aircraft inspection centers have access to all the servicing records of jets and choppers in their fleet. Manufacturers of aircraft usually publish procedures for repairs that specify the required components, operation checks, and time needed once an unscheduled inspection completes.

All aircraft inspection centers should have a predetermined team of troubleshooters with vast experience handling different technical cases for quick assembling of information. If an aircraft is not airworthy, the inspection team will fly or drive to where it is with all the needed equipment for repair.

An airline can either have a standing lease agreement with a company with small aircraft that the technical crew can use to fly to where a malfunctioned plane is. Having these small aircraft works well for airports where big airliners often get damaged or break down as they depart a taxiway or runway.

Some airports can speed up an unscheduled aircraft inspection by providing quick access to their equipment and facilities. These facilities can include crash recovery equipment that can lift and move the plane around and airstairs to get off and on an aircraft.

Unfortunately, there are no specific standards that an airline can take to be ready for an unscheduled inspection. Instead, the FAA expects all airports to have a continuing airworthiness program and be prepared for any unexpected breakdown. But the FAA has an advisory circular that outlines some guidelines regarding the use of contract maintenance for repairing unexpected breakdowns.

Anyone owning a fleet of aircraft is required by the FAA to outline the procedurals steps to take when directing and controlling an unscheduled aircraft inspection. Short notices for an unscheduled aircraft inspection do not void the responsibility of the aircraft owners to determine whether their inspection service has competent personnel, adequate equipment and facilities, or the manual for the work being done.

The FAA requires that all these determination be made before the aircraft inspection crew starts working on a plane. The determination methods and procedures for unscheduled maintenance should be in the manual of the aircraft manufacturer.

No aircraft is safe in the absence of an unscheduled maintenance and inspection program. Corrosion, wear, fatigue and deterioration with age are some of the factors that affect an aircraft. Unscheduled aircraft repair can be any quick action required for maintaining or restoring a plane in a serviceable state. It can include determination of an underlying condition, modification, servicing, inspection, overhaul, and repair.

In short, unscheduled aircraft inspection is any action necessary for restoring or sustaining the performance or integrity of an aircraft. It ensures that all components of an aircraft remain in its designed condition, perform its intended function, and meet the safety and reliability requirements.

Aircraft inspection helps keep an aircraft in a state in which it can be flown safely. While a plane can have a hangar environment, it has never been a necessity. The reasons for carrying out unscheduled aircraft inspection can include maintaining the airworthiness of the aircraft and keeping it in service. The availability of a plane matters a lot and ensures that it can meet all its scheduled trips.

Unscheduled aircraft maintenance also maximizes the value of the plane, including its components, engine, wings, propellers and airframe. Unscheduled inspection can be both corrective and preventive work. Precautionary work ensures that the plane has no undetected failures while unscheduled inspection monitors the performance of the plane and progress of the wear-out process. Unscheduled inspection can anticipate and prevent any possible faults.

Aircraft are subject to several key types of inspections, which are used to ensure their safety. These inspections don’t only promote safer aviation, they also improve compliance with guidelines concerning emissions, technology, and intended aircraft usage.

Annual Inspection:

This inspection must be done within the preceding 12 calendar months. If you accomplished it on the 2nd of April, it wouldn’t be due until the 30th of April next year.
This inspection must be done by an A&P mechanic with an Inspection Authorization (IA).
If your annual inspection is beyond 12 calendar months, you will need a ferry permit to fly it to another airport.

Annual inspection — The FAA requires all aircraft to undergo an annual inspection. Except for a few select cases, you’re not permitted to operate any aircraft unless it has received an annual inspection within the preceding 12 calendar months. A mechanic with an Inspection Authorization (IA) from the FAA must complete this inspection.

100 hour Inspection:

If you want to carry passengers for hire other than yourself, or give flight instruction for hire, you must complete a 100 hour inspection in addition to the annual inspection.
This rule only applies to the person providing the aircraft, not the aircraft. So, if a flight instructor provides the aircraft and teaches the student, the 100 hours is required, but if the student owns their own plane and only hires the CFI to fly with them, the 100 hour is not required.
Unlike the Annual inspection, the A&P mechanic does NOT need an “Inspection Authorization.”
You can exceed the 100 hour limit by 10 hours, but ONLY if the extra time is used to fly the aircraft to a place where the mechanic will work on it. You can’t fly an extra 8 hours and then fly the last 2 of the 10 hours to a maintenance base. You also lose that extra time you flew to the next inspection. So, if you flew an hour to a maintenance base, you now have 99 hours until the next 100 hour inspection.

100-hour inspection — Any aircraft that’s used to give instruction to or carry any person, other than a crew member, requires a 100-hour inspection. As the name implies, this type of inspection occurs after every 100-hour interval the aircraft is in service.

Additional Inspections:

Altimeter: if you want to operate in controlled space on an IFR plan, the altimeter must get checked every 24 calendar months
Transponder: you cannot use a transponder unless it has been tested within the preceding 24 calendar months.
Emergency Locater Transmitter (ELT): Installed ELTs must be inspected for “proper installation, battery corrosion, operation of the controls/crash sensor, and sufficient signal strength.” Usually it’s covered in the annual inspection because it’s required every 12 calendar months.

Altimeter (FAR 91.411)
Emergency Locater Transmitter (FAR 91.207)
Transponders (FAR 91.413)

For a checklist of items covered on a 100 hour inspection check out this easy-to-read pdf: 100/Annual Inspection Checklist. Note: this is just an example and is not kept updated. Go to the CFR Appendix D to Part 43 for the hard-to-read official list.
Last Updated: December 18, 2021