Tag: Helicopter Mechanics
Ever wonder how many times you signed your name and A&P number after the word “airworthy.” For me, it’s in the thousands. So, how does a mechanic define it?
For some, the definition is rigid: the aircraft must be in like-new condition with a pristine record trail. For others, it’s a gray area of personal decision, defined by an aircraft’s use, age, and regulatory compliance.
Regardless of interpretation, the airworthy condition of an aircraft is the core function of a mechanic. Yet, an official FAA definition of this fundamental word is lacking within our maintenance regulations and guidance material. Let’s try to find one.
Numerous articles, papers, and FAA documents offer various descriptions of airworthy. The common accepted version today requires an aircraft to conform to its type design and to be in a condition for safe operation.
Looking to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), essential terms and their definitions are usually given at the beginning of a chapter, part, or section, along with an applicability clause. FAR Part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations, applies to “Subchapters A through K of this chapter,” so it seems it would be a logical place to find a definition for airworthy, since our Part 43 falls under Subchapter C.
Unfortunately, the definition is not listed in FAR Part 1, or Part 43, or Part 65 for that matter. Given its significance, you would think airworthy, or airworthiness, would have its own part in the FARs. [Read More...]
How to Operate a Helicopter Mechanic by William C. Dykes
A long, long time ago, back in the days of iron men and wooden rotor blades, a ritual began. It takes place when a helicopter pilot approaches a mechanic to report some difficulty with his aircraft. All mechanics seem to be aware of it, which leads to the conclusion that it's included somewhere in their training, and most are diligent in practicing it.
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