How to know if a plane is suitable to fly

How to know if a plane is suitable to fly


How to know if a plane is suitable to fly



The operator must ensure that the commercial air transport is airworthy, and the PIC must check the necessary forms and documentation to ensure the airworthiness of the airplane.

What do we have to check ?

1-. Status of the airplane :

For this we have the technical logbook. Where it says if the airplane is suitable to dispatch safely.

At the technical logbook the pilot must ensure that the maintenance have checked the airplane and signed the maintenance release ( also called daily check). The maintenance release must contained :

  • The basic details of the maintenance carried out.
  • The data where it was performed
  • The identity of the approved maintenance organization
  • The identity of the person who has performed the job.

Also at the technical logbook is written all the malfunctions that the plane has. That´s why it is mandatory to check the MEL in order to see if the airplane can be dispatched.

It is an example of technical loogbook (TLB)




What is the minimum equipment list (MEL)?


For explaining what is the MEL, I am going to explain first what the master minimum equipment list is (MMEL).

The MMEL is a book made by the manufacturer which says the minimum equipment that must be operative to perform a safe flight. Imagine we are going to a plane with one inoperative PACK. In this case if we check the MMEL, it says the conditions under we are allowed to fly, in this case probably fly lower as if it had the both PACKS operative.

The MEL it is almost the same as the MMEL, but the MEL is made by the operator and it is equal or more restrictive than the MMEL.

The MEL has 3 parts, How to use, MEL items, MEL operations.


  • How to use is the part of the MEL dedicated to the instructions.


  • In the MEL items part  are written all the errors and in which part of the MEL are.


MEL entries


  • In the MEL operations are the procedures to follow against a failure.



MEL entries


When is valid the MEL?

It is valid until the plane is able to move by itself. That means that if we are taxiing and suddenly we have a failure it is not applicable. However I strongly recommend to have a look on it before taking off.

 The different failures have different repairs intervals:

  • Repair interval A: No standard interval is specified, depends on the manufacturer.
  • Repair interval B: 3 consecutive days.
  • Repair interval C: 10 consecutive days.
  • Repair interval D: between 100-120 days.

It starts at 00:00 UTC on the calendar day following the day of discovery, and it finish 23:59 UTC .

For example we record a MEL item class B the 5th of February at 15:00 UTC. It must be repair within the 6th at 00 UTC and 23:59 of the 7th of february.  



2-. Documents that we must  carry in the plane:

  • The certificate of registration
  • The certificate of airwothiness
  • The Noise certificate
  • Air operator certificate
  • Aircraft radio license
  • Insurance

It is a model of aeronavegability certificate



Manuals to be carried :

  • Operation manual
  • Aeroplane flight manual
  • Minimum equipment list

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