AV1ATE is an acronym for remembering the various types of inspections that a general aviation aircraft must have current in order to be legally operated in the United States. There are various systems that must be checked as well as the aircraft's general annual inspection. I learned this from various prep sheets for the private pilot oral examination published by the FAA and various helpful types. As always, don't take my word for this stuff to do actual flying - look it up. You probably want to start with FAR Part 91.409 - 'Inspections.'

A - Annual inspection (once per year, as the name implies). A general check of the entire airplane to ensure that it is airworthy and that any relevant and required ADs (Airworthiness Directives - required maintenance items or change orders from the aircraft manufacturer) have been properly applied.

V - VOR (every 30 days). This applies to IFR flights - in order to fly in IMC, the VOR receivers on board must have been tested within the past 30 days. This test can be done by the pilot either in flight or at a designated VOR test facility on an airport.

1 - 100 hours. If the aircraft is operated for hire (i.e. it is carrying anyone other than crew, for compensation, or is being used for flight instruction) it must have had an annual or a 100-hour inspection within the previous 100 hours of flight time. In other words, you don't need to get your 100-hour if your annual has been done within the last 100 tach hours.

A - Altimeter and static air system (every 24 months). The FAR says in Part 91.411(a)(1) that in order to fly IFR, "within the preceding 24 calendar months, each static pressure system, each altimeter instrument, and each automatic pressure altitude reporting system has been tested and inspected and found to comply[.]"

T - Transponder (every 24 months). FAR Part 91.413 tells us that no person may use an Air Traffic Control transponder unless that transponder has been tested and inspected within the preceding 24 months. Since the transponder is required for VFR flight in Class B and C airspace (and IFR operations in class A) as well as anywhere over 10,000 feet of altitude or within 30 nautical miles of a Class B primary airport, let's just go ahead and state that nearly all general aviation pilots in the United States, even flying VFR, will need this (FAR Part 91.215 dictates when transponders are required if you're curious).

E - ELT (every 12 months, or after 1/2 the listed battery lifetime or after 1 hour of continuous use). The Emergency Locator Transmitter must be maintained, tested and inspected on the schedule listed. FAR Part 91.207 discusses this.

And there you have it. AV1ATE.

(IN5 3/30)

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