Many of you may be familiar with the requirements for documenting inspections that return an aircraft to service. But what happens when the inspection is completed without returning the aircraft to service? The latter situation raises questions about how and where maintenance entries must be made following an annual inspection with resulting discrepancies that are not corrected.
For discussion purposes, let’s assume an aircraft owner brings his or her aircraft in to a mechanic holding an inspection authorization (the “IA“) for an annual inspection. During the inspection the IA discovers several airworthiness discrepancies.
However, rather than have the IA correct the discrepancies and approve the aircraft for return to service, the aircraft owner instructs the IA to sign off on the annual inspection with discrepancies as permitted under 14 C.F.R. § 43.11(a)(5). The aircraft owner then wants to obtain a special flight permit (often referred to as a “ferry permit”) from the FAA.
With the ferry permit, the owner will fly the unairworthy aircraft to another facility. There the the discrepancies will be corrected and the aircraft then returned to service in an airworthy condition.
In order to arrange for the ferry permit, the aircraft owner asks the IA to make the § 43.11(a)(5) entry on a self-adhesive sticker rather than in the aircraft maintenance logbook. The entry must include words to the effect that
I certify that this aircraft has been inspected in accordance with an annual inspection and a list of discrepancies and unairworthy items dated ____ has been provided for the aircraft owner or operator.