When the CARs were introduced on October 10th, 1996 they included a new requirement for all aircraft, except hang gliders and ultralights, to have a maintenance schedule. CAR 605.86 spells it out clearly – a maintenance schedule is required for all certified and amateur-built aircraft, including airplanes, balloons, helicopters, gliders, airships and gyrocopters.
The CAR Standard 625 that goes with that rule tells you how to accomplish that. That standard even contains a Transport Canada pre-approved maintenance schedule that private aircraft owners can use.
It is all contained in CAR 625: “Owners of non-commercially operated small aircraft and balloons who choose to comply with Parts I or II of Appendix B as applicable, and Appendix C, need not submit any documents to the Minister for formal approval. The schedule is considered to be approved for their use by the Minister. Owners need only to make an entry in the aircraft technical records that the aircraft is maintained pursuant to the maintenance schedule.”
Well, reading that, it looks like all you have to do is make a logbook entry specifying that you will use CAR 625 Appendix B & C and you can forget about maintenance schedules for as long as you own the airplane, right?
Some AMEs have recently pointed out that while making that logbook entry makes the airplane completely legal, it doesn’t go very far in helping you or your AME maintain your airplane properly. Just making that required logbook entry wouldn’t tell your AME when that fire extinguisher in the plane needs replacing or whether there are any outstanding ADs applicable. What you and your AME need to see is a real schedule that shows when everything that has a time limit on it is due for inspection or maintenance.
CAR 625 Appendix B & Appendix C are a great place to start in making up a usable schedule, as they list all the items that need to be covered in the annual inspection (Appendix B) and those items which are “out of phase” with the annual inspection (Appendix C).
A great aid in making up a real maintenance schedule is a spreadsheet program, such as “Excel” or “Lotus” that allows you to create a table of numbers. Database programs, such as “Access” work well, too. Of course you can easily do it on paper just as well. Many small commercial operators use a wallboard in the hangar work area.
There are lots of ways to draw up a maintenance schedule. The approach many owners take is to have columns for the item to be completed, the date or airframe hours last done, the “periodicy” or time between inspection or replacement and the date or hours next due. Some items will specify a date when they are due and others will be an airframe or engine time. Some specify both a calendar date and airframe hours, so your system will need some flexibility. Many owners convert engine or component times to
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