Aircraft Inspections – proposed for Part 43

Learn more about the inspections for aircraft being operated in private or aerial work once Part 43 is made and commences.

Who should read this

  • Registered Operators
  • CAR30 organisations
  • Part 145 Approved Maintenance Organisations
  • Licensed aircraft maintenance engineers
  • Aircraft maintenance engineers

Responsibilities of the Registered Operator

The registered operator (RO) of an aircraft is responsible for ensuring that an aircraft is regularly inspected either:

  • annually in accordance with Part 43
  • in accordance with the aircraft manufacturers recommended inspection schedule, or
  • in accordance with an approved inspection program.

Note: This requirement does not apply to an experimental aircraft, an aircraft that is operating under a special flight permit or a light sport aircraft. For information about these aircraft, refer to section 3.2 of the Part 43 manual of standards (MOS), US Federal Aviation Regulations section  91.327 on which the MOS is based, and the Maintenance of Amateur-built aircraft and Light Sport Aircraft information sheet.

The RO is required to make an entry in the aircraft maintenance records setting out the type of inspection that is applicable for the aircraft.

An inspection for the purpose of issuing a certificate of airworthiness for an aircraft will satisfy the annual inspection requirement.

Aircraft engaged in aerial work or flight training

If an aircraft is being inspected annually and is engaged in aerial work or flight training, it must also be inspected at 100-hourly intervals. A 100-hour inspection may be combined with an annual inspection, however a 100-hour inspection may not be substituted for an annual inspection unless it is recorded in the maintenance records as an annual inspection and approved for return to service by the holder of an inspection authorisation (IA). 

A 10-hour planning tolerance is permitted for 100-hourly inspections however if an inspection interval is extended under this provision, the next inspection interval must be reduced by the same amount of time. 

Annual inspections

An aircraft that is being inspected annually must be inspected in accordance with an inspection schedule which includes as a minimum, the scope and detail of Schedule 1 to Part 43 MOS. The annual inspection should be completed by the end of the twelfth month from when the previous inspection was completed.

For example, an aircraft that had an annual inspection released to service on 10 January 2020, will have the next inspection due on or before 31 January 2021. However, CASA has provided for a 10-day planning tolerance that may be utilised by the RO, in which case the previously described aircraft would be required to have the next annual inspection commenced by 10 February 2021. The extra days, if used, do not need to be ’paid back’ from the following calendar period.

Note: the 10-day planning tolerance does not permit an aircraft to exceed the flying time limitations described above if the applicable aircraft is also subject to 100-hourly inspections.

Progressive inspections

The RO may elect to have the aircraft inspected under a progressive inspection schedule. The progressive inspection schedule must contain details of the inspection authorisation (IA) holder who will oversee the inspections and set out the details of the various inspection tasks and the times at which they must be completed. The progressive inspection of the whole aircraft must be completed within a 12-month cycle and each inspection task in the progressive inspection schedule must be repeated within a 12-month cycle.

Large aeroplanes and turbine powered multi-engine aircraft

If an aircraft is a large aeroplane or a multi-engine turbine powered aeroplane, it must be inspected in accordance with an approved inspection program which covers the aeroplane, its engines, propellers, components and survival and emergency equipment.

A turbine powered helicopter may be inspected in accordance with Part 43 and Schedule 1, or in accordance with an inspection program which covers the helicopter and its engines, rotors, components and emergency and survival equipment.

If a helicopter is inspected in accordance with Part 43 and Schedule 1, additional requirements apply for the rotor components, drive shaft components, and main transmissions. These components must be inspected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Turbine engines in helicopters and single engine aeroplanes

Aircraft that are being inspected in accordance with Part 43 and Schedule 1 or under a progressive schedule are required to have their turbine engines inspected in accordance with a manufacturers’ recommended progressive inspection schedule or an annual checklist provided by the manufacturer.

Inspection program - requirements

An inspection program may be one of the following:

  • a system of maintenance approved under regulation 42M of the Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR)
  • a continuous airworthiness inspection program that is part of a continuous airworthiness maintenance program
  • an inspection program recommended by the aircraft manufacturer
  • an inspection program approved by CASA or an authorised person.

An inspection program that is submitted to an authorised person for approval must set out:

  • the details of the aircraft to which it applies and a listing of all required inspections, tests and checks
  • the schedules for performing the inspections, checks and tests expressed as operating time in service, calendar time, cycles or number of operations or any combination of these times, and
  • the details of the person responsible for scheduling or overseeing the inspections.

Note: Existing Systems of Maintenance or approved maintenance schedules will be preserved under the new regulations.

Disclaimer

The content provided in the information sheet is a guide only as to how the rules may work in practice once Part 43 is made and commences.

Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//search-centre/supporting-resource/aircraft-inspections-proposed-part-43
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