Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance on aircraft involves simply replacing some components with exact replacement parts and doing some lubrication. Here are a few of the things a pilot can do on a noncommercial aircraft:

  • Remove, repair, and install landing-gear tires.
  • Replace or service some landing-gear components.
  • Lubricate components that don’t require disassembly.
  • Replace defective safety wiring or cotter keys.
  • Make simple fabric patches that don’t require part removal.
  • Refinish exterior surfaces that don’t require disassembly or removal.
  • Apply preservative or protective coating on components that don’t require disassembly or removal.
  • Repair upholstery and other decorative interior furnishings.
  • Repair nonstructural cover plates or fairings.
  • Replace seat belts.
  • Replace prefabricated fuel lines.
  • Clean fuel and oil strainers.
  • Check battery fluid levels and test specific gravity.
  • Replace batteries.
Number of Take-Offs Equals Number of Landings (Hopefully)
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The FAA says you can perform these and some other preventive maintenance tasks yourself without supervision or certification. These tasks are those that don’t change the flight characteristics of the aircraft, but do help keep it flying safely. And you have to explain what you’ve done in one or both of the two logs each aircraft has. Again, check CFR 14-43 for the specifics.

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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