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Taking a look at Airworthiness Directives

This page gives you a close up look at a few Airworthiness Directives (AD) to give you better insight into how to find all the pertinent information contained within an AD.

In order to get a good idea of just how complex an AD can get, it is important to use these two historical Airworthiness Directives as a training tool. AD87-03-06 and AD 87-22-01 show you clearly how complex an AD can get, and will give you a better understanding of the various procedures and ramifications related to the compliance.


Unless you have had some previous training on how to read and understand ADs, and just how complex they can become, it is easy to miss something that could be critical to compliance. 


We hope you find these videos informative. 

Airworthiness Flowchart


We have found that people learn in different ways. Some learn better by reading the material themselves, others by watching a video. We have set up this website so that you may choose weather to watch the videos, read the material or both. They both contain all the information some however, demonstrate how to navigate and understand the material contained in the documents on the FAA's website. We feel that they both have their own benefits.

You can choose which way you would like to precede. 

FAA  AC 39-7D  procedures and ramifications related to the compliance of Airworthiness Directives.

FAA AC 39-7 is the Advisory Circular that describes the various procedures and ramifications related to the compliance of Airworthiness Directives, including how to comply with them, and how to record compliance, and the like – everything an IA needs to know about compliance can be found in the Advisory Circular.

Airworthiness Directive,  AD 87-03-06 .

AD 87-03-06 is a great example of a complex Airworthiness Directive. At this point you should open AD 87-03-06 on the FAA's website and follow along with it. The narrative is also listed directly below the video. 

AD 87-03-06 Demo

Inspection Authorization Refresher Training

Narrative for AD 87-03-06

First, understand that all ADs are formatted exactly the same way. 

Starting at the top of the AD you see the AD number 87-03-06 R1.
The 87 is the year the AD was issued, 1987. 03 stands for the 3rd bi-weekly issue of 1987.  The 06 stands for the 6th AD in sequence issued in the 3rd bi-weekly. R1 indicates that this is the 1st revision to the AD

Then you find the Effective Date of the AD. In this case it’s March 12, 1987

Then comes the actual FAR 39 Amendment number to the FAR. In this case it’s Amendment 39-5513, which was the original AD, as amended by 39-5557, which is revision 1. 

Each amendment to FAR 39 is an actual revision to the statute. 

Then comes the applicability statement. It defines the product to which the AD applies, and usually includes specific serial numbers and other identification information. This is also where you find the Category of certification information such as Standard, Restricted, Experimental, and the like. If it refers to a product in ALL categories, then all categories of certification are included. 

Then comes a Compliance statementNext, there is a statement as to why the AD was issuedFollowing is the body of the AD including any inspections involved, repairs or alterations involved. Then comes a statement, if it requires a recurring inspection, as to how recurring inspections may be discontinued. Then a statement as to whether or not the aircraft can be ferried? Possibly a statement next as to adjusting inspection intervals. Then the possibility of suggesting and having an approval for some other way of complying with the AD. And finally a statement describing who issued the AD along with there name, address, phone, and the like if you want to contact the issuing FAA office. This AD is complex in that it requires some out-of-the-ordinary procedures. It uses the expression “whichever comes later” with respect to Time-in-Service. It also requires a mandatory replacement of bolts in place of rivets at a specified time. This will be a Major Alteration when that occurs requiring a FAA Form 337 because the replacement of the rivets with bolts is a major change in type design. It is also a major change to a primary flight control. The AD however, is always FAA approved design data so any additional data approval is not required. However, if a mechanic wanted to use Hilok bolts instead of the regular bolts mentioned in the referenced Beech Service Bulletin, an FAA approval as an alternate method could be approved. Always remember, the AD and any data referenced in an AD are always considered FAA approved. Be sure you use only the revision of referenced data cited in the AD.

AD 87-22-01 is a really complex AD with numerous

important compliance requirements.

Now we will take a look at AD 87-22-01 to get an idea of how complex it is, and how to properly read and understand it, and comply with the requirements. At this point you should open AD 87-22-01 on the FAAs website and follow along with it. The narrative is also listed directly below the video.

AD 87-22-01 Demo

Inspection Authorization Refresher Training

AD 87-22-01 is a really complex AD with numerous important compliance requirements.

This is revision 1 (R1) of this 1987 AD, bi-weekly issue 22, and the first AD of that issue. It is a recurring inspection AD especially related to specific aircraft models. 

The first important compliance issue is related to the fluorescent penetrant inspection. The AD mandates that the inspection be accomplished in accordance with Beech Service Bulletin 2102, however it also specifies that it be revision I, revision II, or revision III of specific dates. 

Reviewing SB 2102 as required indicates that persons who perform the NDT be appropriately trained. In an AD, where specific training and specifications are mentioned, persons performing must comply. Otherwise there is a violation of the AD. 

The AD goes on to require that, if the fork must be replaced, the replacement fork is immediately subject to the AD. The recurring inspections are only discontinued when the improved fork is installed. 

In conclusion, always pay particular attention to TIS requirements when compliance times occur either at an earlier or later TIS, recurring inspections required, and any training requirements on the part of the person accomplishing specific inspections. It is always very helpful to use a highlighter on all important parts of any AD just as it is when reviewing a Type Certificate Data Sheet.

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