Within the last three years, I've reviewed maintenance records for various aircraft and noted missing entries regarding non-OEM-related equipment. It’s not the major maintenance and inspections that are missing from the logbooks, but rather the small unknown inspections and ongoing required programs that remain outstanding.
I strongly recommend when planning a maintenance event, consider having your maintenance provider perform a detailed logbook research as part of your maintenance package. Many times logbook research will uncover a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) with an ongoing inspection program that must be performed and properly documented. STC instructions for continued airworthiness can include items such as: portable fire bottles, smoke detectors, heater drain masts checks, defibrillator inspections, medical kits, batteries, smoke hoods, water treatment, water filters and antenna doubler inspections, among others.
A detailed research of the record may help to uncover odd inspections that may not coincide with normal Chapter 5 hourly and calendar events, such as serialized Chapter 5 inspections, Airworthiness Directives, nondestructive testing, landing or cycle inspection events.
Detailed logbook entries become critically important when an aircraft is in for life-limited component inspection, such as landing gear or the many parts within the landing gear that are life-limited. Were they overhauled? Repaired? Replaced? Was the replacement an overhauled component? How much life was remaining? What about Chapter 4 items? If these components are not properly recorded in your records, you have a part with unknown time, and that can be costly.
Anything that affects an aircraft requires documentation in the form of a logbook entry. Some call it the "dirty fingerprint" because if maintenance isn't documented in the records, it’s like it never happened. Duncan Aviation is one of a few Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) companies that can provide a customer with comprehensive aircraft maintenance service, thorough logbook research and maintenance tracking services.
Read more about how detailed logbook entries benefit your aircraft in the Duncan Debrief.
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