Airworthiness Notice - B062, Edition 1 - 2 May 2001
Review of Maintenance Requirements of Skis and Wheel/Skis Installed on Small Aircraft
The purpose of this notice is to remind aircraft owners, operators and maintainers of the requirements to ensure that seasonal equipment like skis and wheel/skis are included in their maintenance schedules. Canadian Aviation Regulation CAR 625.86 (6) states that maintenance schedules shall contain inspection requirements for equipment installed on the aircraft. As maintenance schedules for small private aircraft are not usually approved by Transport Canada (TC) there is no means to ensure that this is done. The responsibility to ensure these items are subject to an annual inspection is that of the owner/operator.
CAR 625 Appendix A allows owner/operators of private aircraft to install and remove straight skis, but not hydraulic wheel/skis, as elementary maintenance. During the annual inspection of the aircraft, which is often done during the summer months, the skis and wheel/skis are usually removed and stored at some other location. Often this results in the skis and wheel/skis being forgotten during the annual inspection.
Skis and wheel/skis require close visual inspection to determine if they are free of defects. These items are susceptible to cracking at the attachment links and, as a minimum, a close magnified visual inspection should be included as part of the annual inspection. Non-destructive inspection (NDI) is preferable. All attachment hardware and shock cords should also be inspected for condition. Standard industry practice recommends that the shock cords be replaced every five years and the tension values contained in FAA AC 43.13-1B be verified annually.
Applicable Canadian Aviation Regulations and Recognized Standards
The skis and wheel/skis form an integral part of the aircraft and as such, are subject to the requirement for scheduled inspection. The applicable CARs and recognized standards that may be applicable include:
Maintenance Release and Elementary Work
CAR 625.86 (6)
FAA AC 43.13-1B
Chapter 9-4 (b)
Recommended Shock Cord Replacement
FAA AC 43.13-1B
Inspection and Repair of Floats and Skis
FAA AC 43.13-2A
Section 3, para.73
Tension Required in Main Ski Shock Cords
Owners, operators and maintainers should ensure that their inspection check list time the scheduled maintenance is completed. They should also consider creating permanent technical records pursuant to CAR 605.92(2) for such equipment, to enable its inspection to be recorded separately. This will enable the installer to confirm that the equipment is not overdue for scheduled maintenance at the time of installation. Failure to follow an acceptable procedure for the scheduled maintenance of seasonal equipment will require the installer to perform the required inspections at the time of installation.