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Home > Owners and Pilots > Aircraft Owner Responsibilities
Aircraft Owners/Pilots
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Owner Responsibilities

Prior to taking the skies, make sure you are in compliance with the various documentation and certification requirements as listed below:

  • Documentation
  • Aircraft Registration
  • Log Book
  • Aircraft insurance
  • Aircraft Maintenance/Records

Documentation.ARROW is a handy reference for remembering the required documentation for carrying on board your aircraft at all times. Download an ARROW Checklist.

Aircraft Registration. If you purchase an aircraft and intend to operate in the National Air Space, you must register the aircraft with the Aircraft Registration Branch (AFS-750). Aircraft may be registered under a Certificate of Aircraft Registration or Dealer’s Aircraft Registration Certificate issued by AFS-750.The FAA Civil Aviation Registration Branch maintains registration records on individual aircraft and serves as a repository for airworthiness documents received from FAA field offices. As an aircraft owner, you are responsible for immediately notifyting AFS-750 of any change of permanent mailing address, the sale or export of your aircraft, or the loss of your ability to register an aircraft in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) art 47, section 47.41. Download an Aircraft Registration Checklist.

Log Book.Each aircraft has a unique set of logbooks that document historical data dating back to the manufacturing date of the aircraft. As an aircraft owner, you have a regulatory obligation to ensure that your logbooks are complete and kept up to date.

Aircraft logbooks enable the aircraft owner to keep records of the entire aircraft in chronological order including: inspections, tests, repairs, alterations, Airworthiness Directive (AD) compliance, service bulletins, and equipment additions, removals, or exchanges. Most logbooks also include sections for major alterations and altimeter/static system checks. Anyone performing maintenance on your aircraft will need complete aircraft logbooks to review the aircraft’s compliance history before performing maintenance on your aircraft. Information about aircraft maintenance and aircraft maintenance records can be found in chapters 7 and 8, respectively.

Aircraft Insurance. Aircraft insurance is an important consideration for any aircraft owner. The type(s) and amount of insurance you should carry on your aircraft are influenced by several factors, and you should discuss these decisions with an insurance agent familiar with providing aviation insurance policies. Depending on the usage of your aircraft and who might be flying the aircraft, you may need Owners, Renters and/or Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) insurance policies for your aircraft. Responsible aircraft owners always carry sufficient insurance on their aircraft.

Aircraft Maintenance. The purpose of maintenance is to ensure that the aircraft remains airworthy throughout its operational life. 14 CFR part 91, section 91.403, places primary responsibility on the owner or operator for maintaining an aircraft in an airworthy condition. Certain inspections must be performed on your aircraft, and you must maintain the airworthiness of the aircraft between the required inspections by having any defects corrected. General Aircraft maintenance includes, preventative maintenance, inspections, repairs and alterations.

Proper management of aircraft operations begins with a good system of maintenance records. A properly completed maintenance record provides the information needed by the owner and maintenance personnel to determine when scheduled inspections and maintenance are to be performed. An aircraft owner is required to keep airfcraft maintenance records for the airframe, engine, propeller and appliances. These records must contain a description of the work performed on the aircraft, the date the work was completed, the certificated mechanic’s signature, the type of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate, and the certificate number and signature of the person approving the aircraft for return to service.

Aircraft maintenance records must include:

  • The total time in service of the airframe, each engine, and each propeller;
  • The current status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance;
  • The time since the last overhaul of all items installed on the aircraft, which are required to be overhauled on a specified time basis;
  • The identification of the current inspection status of the aircraft, including the time since the last inspection required by the inspection program under which the aircraft and its appliances are maintained;
  • The current status of applicable Airworthiness Directives (ADs) including, for each, the method of compliance, the AD number, and the revision date. If the AD involves recurring action, the time and date the next action is required; and
  • A copy of the major alterations to each airframe, engine, propeller, and appliance.

Download a Maintenance Records Checklist..

To learn more about Aircraft Responsibilities and General Aviation Information, visit the Federal Aviation Administration website.