What do you do when the skies are gray, and the weather isn't tempting for a flight? Schedule an annual inspection for your airplane. Being on a winter cycle isn't a bad thing for us here in the Pacific Northwest.
Every airplane is required to have an annual inspection, and the aircraft's manufacturer has a maintenance manual that spells out what must be included. A certified aircraft mechanic and/or facility does the work. Here in Bellingham, John Ring, owner of Whatcom Territory Aero Service, and his chief mechanic Joe take care of things for us.
Aircraft owners can do some items in preparation for the annual inspection or assist along the way. But for us, we develop a "squawk list" to let the mechanic know about problems we are experiencing in addition to the airworthiness directives for inspections, parts replacement and components that have reached their end of life.
There are two exceptions to an annual inspection. The first is for aircraft used to carry persons for hire or flight instruction. They are required to have a more frequent inspection every 100 hours of engine time. The other exception is a progressive inspection that results in a total inspection of the airplane within a calendar year.
Flying is a very safe activity when all flight safety and maintenance precautions are taken. Wayne maintains very detailed records for 997 to make sure we are ready to go when good weather finally arrives. -- Margy