Long before the plane is deemed operable for use, the pilot goes through a small but critical list to ensure that their passengers enjoy a safe flight. They review a list known as the MEL or the minimum equipment list, a list necessary for all private jet users.
What is the Minimal Equipment List?
All airplanes have a minimal equipment list, which is a part of their operations manual.
This list is basically a checklist for all the equipment installed in the aircraft. It allows the pilot to make sure that everything is working as it should. This list is usually referred to at the time-of-flight. It details all the equipment that should be working during flight and what shouldn’t, and is a method required of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
The MEL lists are airplane specific, so each aircraft has its own exact set of rules. The list is obtained from the MMEL which is the Master Minimum Equipment List. This list is created by the manufacturer of the private plane and is approved by them during the certification process for the plane.
Equipment Critical According to the MEL
Some examples of MEL items that are necessary for a safe flight are:
- Door seal/pressurization
- Indicator for landing gear position
- Air speed indicator
- Altitude indicator
How to Ensure all Equipment on the MEL is Working
The MEL also details which equipment is permitted to be inoperable as well, and gives specific instructions on how the pilot can maintain airworthiness under such conditions. However, if the aircraft does not comply with the MEL, the pilot is not allowed to use the aircraft.
The pilot must instead, report the piece of inoperable equipment in the aircraft’s maintenance logbook.
Maintaining Aircraft Operation
In order to maintain all aircrafts, it’s important that companies and owners of said aircrafts equip themselves with all items necessary. Clients should be educated about flights and how safety can be maximized.
Even with a private plane, it’s important to have proper aircraft maintenance ladders and work stands. Companies such as Industrial Man Lifts offer customized maintenance platforms for different aircrafts. This allows for easy and safe access to any component of the plane.
Learning about Aircraft Maintenance
The MEL makes all the difference between a safe and unsafe flight. For any aircraft owner, it is important that they have all the information at hand, and a qualified pilot to implement that information so they can enjoy safe travel.