Why Are Aircraft Records Important?

© 2014 by

Edward Wetzel, President

Aviation Maintenance Support, Inc.

The value of an aircraft is based on many factors.  These factors include, but are not limited to; age of the aircraft, total time on the aircraft, general structural condition, the condition of the exterior paint, general condition of the interior fabrics/carpeting/wood and metal plating of fixtures, interior configuration, cabin amenities, avionics equipment, aircraft damage history, maintenance history, current status of the inspection schedule & time controlled components and the condition, organization and completeness of the maintenance records.  For many, records are considered a bother, a distraction, a necessary evil and only really thought about when an aircraft is bought or sold, or worse, an incident. 

The value of an aircraft, as with many things, is also determined by what the buyer is willing to pay.  Some of this value will be based on the perception, be it true or false, of how well an aircraft was cared for in general.  A beautiful, well maintained aircraft will leave questions in a buyers mind if the records are of poor quality and/or unorganized.  Difficulty in locating desired records items will lead to frustration and cast doubt on the overall status of the aircraft.  Generally, in the case of an FAA visit, the FAA has little patience if they have requested a particular record and the operator has difficulty in producing it.       

Aircraft Maintenance Records are the documents that backup and support the statement of airworthiness of an aircraft and its component parts; thereby supporting the market value of the aircraft.  A time controlled component that is missing certification documents in the records is considered an unairworthy part.  You could have the best looking, best equipped aircraft on the market, but if the maintenance records fail to completely document the advertised, implied status of the aircraft, the general value and perceived condition of the aircraft to the buyer is diminished and the cost to the seller is increased.  Even the legal airworthiness of the aircraft could be in peril. 

Well organized, easily retrievable, protected maintenance records and documentation provide required evidence of the legal airworthiness of the aircraft.  Well organized records are a time saver for the maintenance technicians doing research, can save money by making warranty status of components easily reviewable and will protect the investment of the owner.


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Contact us if you'd like more information regarding the value of aircraft records.