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Is Your Airplane Safe To Fly? Check These 7 Things

Is your airplane airworthy? Checking these 7 things will help you find out.

1) Annual Inspection

Unless your airplane was recently issued a new airworthiness certificate, you'll need to make sure the annual inspection was completed in the previous 12 calendar months.

Swayne Martin

2) 100 Hour Inspection

If the airplane you fly is operated for hire or flight instruction, you'll need to make sure it's gone through a 100 hour inspection.


3) Altimeter-Static System (IFR)

If you're flying IFR, make sure the altimeter-static system was inspected in the previous 24 calendar months.

Jim Raeder

4) Transponder

The transponder also requires and inspection in the previous 24 calendar months.


5) ELT

The inspection must be made within 12 calendar months of the last inspection. In addition, the battery must be replaced after 1 hour of use, 50% of its useful life, or the expiration date stamped on the battery itself.


6) Navigation And Communication System Inspections

If you're flying something that's GPS equipped, a G1000 for instance, make sure the databases are up to date. Don't forget to look for navigation checks, like a VOR check, which is required within the previous 30 days for IFR flying.


7) Part-Specific Inspections

This is a little more tricky and you might need a mechanic or A&P to help out. Many of the parts on your airplane have an inspection or useful life period. For instance, the nose-gear bolt on a Piper Arrow needs to be inspected after 500 flight hours.


Lots of this comes down to reading through the aircraft maintenance logs and recent discrepancies to see what inspections have been made and what problems have been resolved.

What are some other things that determine if your airplane is safe to fly? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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