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Maintenance record keeping

Jim Meade

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What do you use and like for a maintenance records system for a single, one-owner airplane?


Is there a neat way to track ADs, SBs and other maintenance alerts to show that you have considered and accomplished them? I'm wondering if one should print them, put them in a binder, and have them available for reference or is this overkill?


Is there a nice computer program that can format and print maintenance records on sticky paper for inclusion in log books? Or just use something off the shelf?


When I take the 120 hour course, will it help me better define and refer to the regulations that one wants to cite to indicate a repair or maintenance has been done in accordance with the regs?

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Hi Jim,


The paperwork should be the easier part for mechanics, but is the absolutely most neglected and poorly documented. Too many mechanics are too lazy to do a proper job.


First your plane should come with an engine and aircraft logbook.

I just posted the FD website links for all the FD and Rotax SB's out on CT's, but they can be found on the FD website. The answer is yes you should have a copy of anything that pertains to your plane. Get a three ring binder and start an SB and maint log. You need to do 100 hr required inspections and the Annual Condition Inspections. You can combine these and not have to duplicate them. You should fill out and keep a "Discrepancy List" and technically required by Rotax, it is just standard practice for me at my shop since day one. I just posted an example of this on the forum. Each inspection print a Rotax inspection sheet from their Line Maint manual and an FD Inspection sheet from the FD Maint Manual. Make sure you sign them and keep them. Make sure you sign each entry. Make sure you do a good job on the logbook entry. If you did anything document it. The FAA and the courts say if it isn't written or documented you didn't do it, period. During my career in the Fire Department I went to court many times. I document very well and never had an issue in court, but I have seen the courts tear people apart, embarrass them and loose cases because they said they did something, but as far as the courts and the FAA go if you didn't write it down you didn't do it. I would make a list in the back of your aircraft logbook of the SB's that apply and the date they were accomplished. That just makes everyones job easier when it comes time to check and see what's been done on SB's. That's not the mechanics job, but the owners. The mechanic just documents it in his or her regular documentation after the maint work is done.

The bottom line, it is ultimately the owners responsibility to make sure all SB's are complied with and yes the mechanic is supposed to check, too.

After each inspection I come home and spend 2-3 hours of paperwork time for each of my clients.

Keeping your SB's that apply to you and the well documented inspection records are just a "standard of care" practice even though some don't follow this very well it is the standard and it's not over kill, it's the right thing to do.

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My main logbooks are at my hangar, but I found some Avery labels that work well - I've apparently used both 2"x4" and 3"x4" in the past and settled now on the 2"x4".


I've got a Mac, and still use AppleWorks to print my text in the upper left corner of a document. To get alignment right, you can initially print all your trials on plain paper and just hold them up to a light to be sure all the text makes it onto the label - saves lots of wasted labels.


Here's the only one I have here at the house - I now have a different Airframe logbook:



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