AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B Accredited

Aircraft Inspections and Optimization Strategies

A systematic and optimized approach to aircraft inspection leads to improved safety and economic outcomes. In addition to familiarity with the FAA-mandated inspection list, operators may also benefit from implementing regular process improvement strategies. Whether the improvements involve checklist optimization, work order tracking, or the generation of customizable reports, it is critical to approach each with cost and efficiency in mind. In this blog, we will discuss the principles of aircraft inspection while also describing some strategies that may enhance operations.

Before discussing how to develop an improvement plan, it is first necessary to review the nuances associated with each type of potential inspection.

50-Hour Inspection

After every 50 hours of flight time, a thorough inspection of the engine should be made, looking particularly for any signs of wear or loose components. This is also the recommended time for spark plug removal and examination. If there are any obvious signs of damage or they are nearing their manufacturer-recommended intervals, they should be promptly replaced. Although varying for some planes, the general recommendation for oil replacement on most engines is at the 50-hour mark, making this inspection type a convenient reminder. It is important to note that if the maintenance crew finds any signs warranting part replacement, the aircraft must be grounded until such operations are complete.

100-Hour Inspection

The FAA-mandated 100-hour inspection is a detailed gamut of testing which is fully outlined in FAR 91-409b. These inspections generally start with a brief taxiing period, in which one crew member will operate various controls to ensure they move smoothly and without too much resistance or give. Simultaneously, another maintenance member will visually inspect the various flight control surfaces as they are actuated, looking for symmetry and continuity. The rest of the inspection involves the removal of all cowlings, hood, and fuselage panels, as this will allow personnel to better visualize internal components. Although there is no minimum time for completion, most 100-hour inspections vary from 10 hours-2 days, depending on the size and complexity of the aircraft.

Pre-Flight Inspection

Before every flight, cabin crews work diligently to ensure the cabin and exterior elements are free from discrepancies. They will also ensure that the proper documentation is contained within its assigned place. Such documentation includes the registration, operating handbooks, weight and balance data, and radio station licenses. Additionally, pilots will run tests on the various avionics systems as part of their pre-flight checklist, making sure all are responsive and set to the correct position. Finally, an exterior team will visually inspect the aircraft for any visible damage and loose components while also checking tire pressure and fuel quantity.

Optimization Techniques

Like most fields, aircraft inspection teams can be made better through the power of statistics. Through the detailed documentation of data, managers can create tangible metrics as goals to aim for. Such metrics may include person-hours, costs, and the number of aircraft completed, among other quantities. Another critical strategy which may immediately lead to a more streamlined process is the implementation of aircraft management software. This software allows crew members to record details on a mobile app instead of paper, enabling rapid documentation and sharing. Finally, inspectors should be encouraged to share experiences and issues with other personnel, particularly when operating on a new aircraft for the first time.


When you are in need of high-quality aviation inspection equipment with rapid lead times, look no further than Aviation Sphere. As a leading distributor, we carry over 2 billion new, used, and obsolete items for the civil and defense aviation industries. We invite you to explore our numerous offerings by exploring our website today, keeping in mind that any item listed is available for immediate purchase. To begin, simply complete an Instant RFQ form as found on our database, and one of our expert account managers will provide you with a customized solution within 15 minutes or less.


Recent Twitter Posts

Semiconductor's Certifications and Memberships
The only independent
distributor with a
  • All Orders are Fulfilled in the U.S.A
  • All shipments must comply with U.S.A export laws.
  • No exceptions.

“We Proudly Support Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund that serves United States Military Personal experiencing the Invisible Wounds of War : Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Please visit website ( and help in their valiant effort”.

Thank You for Visiting.

We Hope that You Will Visit Us Again the Next Time You Need NSN Parts and Make Us Your Strategic Purchasing Partner.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you an amazing experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.