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Inspection Check List for Amateur Built Aircraft

The following checklist was generated by M. K. Blalock, (D.A.R.) for use during my
inspection of Amateur Built aircraft. Feel free to print it out and share it with your friends. This is NOT an official source of information. Always contact your local FAA office for official information.

Phone (501-327-4339) E-mail
  This document has been developed by Kenny Blalock as a Designated
  Airworthiness Representatives (DARs) as a basic inspection guideline for certification of
  amateur-built aircraft. It is not intended to be all-inclusive for every variation of experimental
  amateur-built aircraft. But, it is general enough in scope to show that the certification inspection is
  not to be a detailed Annual/100 hour type inspection since the builder/applicant has already declared
  that the aircraft is "airworthy" by signing the application for the airworthiness certificate and making
  a signed log book statement. The DAR issues the special airworthiness certificate for operating the amateur-built
  aircraft. The use of the following guide, you should be able to perform what amounts to an in-depth
  pre-flight that should reasonably assure that the aircraft will operate as intended.


Builder: ________________ Model _______________ S/N ________________

Date of Inspection_____________________ Inspector ____________________

Regulatory Prerequisites & Placards

Satisfactory /Unsatisfactory Item


____ ____ 1. Meets 51% rule, has invoices, plans, pictures and building records

____ _____ 2. Presents notarized statement FAA Form Eligibility Statement

____ _____ 3. Presents FAA Form 8130-6 Application for A/W Certificate properly

filled out

____ _____ 4. ID data plate is fireproof (steel), has Builder's name, model, serial


____ _____ 5. ID data plate is installed in proper external location per FAR 45. 11(a).

____ _____ 6. N-Numbers installed, block letters, 3" proper location per FAR 45.25,

or 12 inch, if a/c has cruise speed over 180 Knots CAS.

_____ _____ 7. Word Experimental Displayed, 2" min size, proper location per FAR


____ _____ 8. Passenger warning placard (not required for single place) ".This

aircraft does not meet U.S. safety standards for certified aircraft..."

____ _____ 9. Registration certificate available in aircraft. (NOT pink slip!)

____ _____ 10. Builder makes statement in logbook that aircraft has been inspected

____ _____ 11. A/C Weight and balance done, and shows within designer's limits.

FAR 91.9 Placards

____ _____ 12. ALL controls - flight and engine, marked as to use.

____ _____ 13. Markings for :

______Throttle- open-closed

_____ Carb Heat- pull on

_____ Flaps- Up- Down, Degrees/Inches Take Off Setting Marked

_____ Trim Tab- Nose Up, Nose Down, Take Off setting

_____ Trim Tab- rudder left, rudder right, neutral

_____ Mixture- Push rich

_____ Fuel On-Off levers

_____ Fuel quantity and type marked on or near each cap

Cockpit interior

_____ _____ Seat Belts function, and angle is slightly rearward

_____ _____ Shoulder harness function, and angle is -5 to + 30 degrees

_____ _____ Seat Belt Anchor Points firm, no interference

_____ _____ Shoulder Harness Anchor Points firm, no interference

_____ _____ Seats and seat tracks o.k., stops on aft of rails

Instruments and required equipment

___ ____ 14. ELT meeting TSO-C91A properly installed, with remote switch and

battery date current and recorded in aircraft records (See Checklist

explanations Page) for details FAR 91.205 and others

_____ _____ 15. Fuel gauge each tank, has been calibrated and calibration in

records showing unusable fuel

_____ _____ 16. VFR Day requirements: * Note: All instruments should be marked

with green/red line ranges

____ Altimeter

____ Airspeed indicator

____ Tachometer

____ Oil Pressure

____ Oil Temperature

____ Compass

_____ For retract gear aircraft, indicator of up/down gear

____ ______ 17. VFR Night Requirements- Day VFR plus:

____ Position Lights

____ Anti collision strobes/rotating beacon which meets FAA standards

____ Spare fuses

____ Electrical energy sufficient for duration of aircraft range, plus reserve

____ _____ 18. IFR Requirements Day & Night VFR, plus:

___ Working two-way radio (See Checklist explanations Page)

___ Gyroscopic rate of turn indicator (Turn & Bank or Turn Coordinator)

___ Slip / Skid indicator

___ Sensitive altimeter

___ Artificial horizon

___ Directional gyro

___ Clock

___ Vacuum gauge, if vacuum powered, or volt and amp meter, if electric (See

Checklist explanations Page)

___ Heated Pitot

___ Generator or alternator

___ Alternate Static Source (See Checklist explanations Page)


Wire type and size is appropriate for load being carried, and connections are solid. All installed systems perform as



____ _____ Battery & Electrical System, wiring adequate size and secure

____ _____ Switches marked for operation, and wired properly

____ _____ Circuit Breakers or fuses labeled for value and function, and wired


____ _____ Ground on battery to airframe, or wired into place properly

____ _____ Ammeter

____ _____ Voltmeter

____ _____ Landing Lights / Position Lights wired correctly

____ _____ Cockpit lights/ Instrument lighting

____ _____ Battery case and battery securely mounted

_____ _____ Battery vented overboard


_____ _____ Antennas are properly installed, and have proper support/doubler


_____ _____ Coax Cable secured, with slack enough to prevent disconnection

_____ _____ Radios/Avionics and cooling fans are mounted securely

_____ _____ Avionics gear is wired properly, and functions

_____ _____ Transponder "Mode C" check done, and in aircraft records

Fuel System

_____ _____ Caps fit, and are vented on all tanks

_____ _____ Fuel drains installed at lowest portion of tank, and at lowest point in

fuel lines

_____ _____ Fuel Vent System contains no loops which would block venting

_____ _____ Shutoff valve/ Selector switch ease of operation, and clearly marked for

intended operation (Must be operational from the cockpit--pilot position)

_____ _____ Fuel Line routing proper material and diameter for intended fuel


_____ _____ Fuel Strainer functional and safety wired

_____ _____ Fuel Lines protected from chafing, and secure from "catching a

foot."(Checklist explanations Page)

_____ _____ Fuel line routing avoids areas of heat

Gear/Wheel/Brake Systems

_____ _____ Retractable Gear functions- Operations check

_____ _____ Emergency gear extension test

_____ _____ Clearance in wheel wells

_____ _____ Brake System line routing, reservoir, pumps

_____ _____ Brake & Wheel installation secure

_____ _____ Taxi test on gear toe in/ toe out o.k.

_____ _____ Tires are clear of pants or struts, including clearance of "mud

scraper", no binding

_____ _____ Wheel Pants are secure

_____ _____ Tail Spring secure, well designed, and is clear of rudder

Control Surfaces

A. Designers Recommended limits: This Plane Measures:

Aileron Up travel: ______ Degrees/Inches _______ Degrees/Inches

Down travel : ______ Degrees/Inches _______ Degrees/Inches

Elevator Up travel: ______ Degrees/Inches _______ Degrees/Inches

Down travel: ______ Degrees/Inches _______ Degrees/Inches

Rudder Left/Right ______ Degrees/Inches _______ Left

_______ Right

General Condition- Fuselage, Wing, Tail Assembly

_____ _____ Skin condition, wrinkles, rivets, or tape

_____ _____ Vertical Fin, movement and condition

_____ _____ Elevator assembly, movement and condition

_____ _____ Trim Tabs function, no binding, heavy structure to reduce flutter


_____ _____ Control Travel "Stops"

_____ _____ Control Cables Safety Wired Correctly

_____ _____ Counterweights secure

_____ _____ Doors close securely and open properly, if open in flight, markings

_____ _____ Windows secure, and markings for distance if open in flight

_____ _____ Canopy secure

_____ _____ Canopy emergency release marked red and copper safety wired

_____ _____ Canopy locks/door locks work

Flight Controls

_____ _____ Proper tension of cables

_____ _____ Safety wiring of cables

_____ _____ Clearance on controls/no hitting panel or floorboards

_____ _____ Freedom of movement


_____ _____ Is everything safetied?

Engine Compartment

_____ _____ Engine Compression in Logs 1=___ 2=____ 3=____ 4=____ 5=____

6=___ 7=____8=____9=____

_____ _____ Throttle cables anchored and functional, spring open

_____ _____ Clearances in engine compartment

_____ _____ Carb Heat Control- Functional

_____ _____ Mixture Control- Functional, spring full-rich

_____ _____ Fuel Hose routing to avoid heat & bends (Firesleave preferred)

_____ _____ Fuel strainer safety wired

_____ _____ Fuel Hose diameter sufficient for engine

_____ _____ Fuel and Oil Hoses proper material

_____ _____ Oil System Hose & Cooler installation

_____ _____ Prop Governor. Functional, proper lines

_____ _____ Firewall steel, no openings

_____ _____ Engine Mount secure, no cracks

_____ _____ Alternator, belts, accessories properly installed

_____ _____ Heater hoses proper material

_____ _____ Heater design minimizes CO poisoning chances

_____ _____ Baffles appear correct

_____ _____ All electrical and ignition wires appear correct

_____ _____ Cowling secure, (INSTALL IT NOW).


_____ _____ Propeller nicks

_____ _____ Safety Wired Bolts of sufficient size

_____ _____ Bolts torqued properly

_____ _____ Bolts clear engine, proper length

_____ _____ Prop clears ground in takeoff attitude by >7"

_____ _____ Prop Spinner o.k., clear of cowl, not uneven spin

_____ _____ Ready for Run-up.


Test Run Engine

Note: At least one hour of runup should have been done previously, and logged in the aircraft logbook. The engine

compressions should also be recorded after one hour of runup. Some may be low on a fresh overhaul engine, but it

is important to get this information as a base line!

_____ _____ Engine starts easily

_____ _____ Oil Pressure comes up quickly to proper level

_____ _____ Oil Temp comes off cold peg

_____ _____ Check all instrument operations/tach/oil/volts/ etc.

Record all data five minutes after startup here



_____ _____ Carb Heat Functions, RPM Drop is ________

_____ _____ Mag Drop, Left is ______ Right is _______

_____ _____ Fuel Gauges show calibrated

_____ _____ Mixture/Throttle/Prop controls work

_____ _____ Fuel Shutoff works

_____ _____ No abnormal vibration

_____ _____ Propeller tracks within specs

Airworthiness Directive Compliance

_____ ______ Engine AD's which apply have been complied with, and how

(Attach list if necessary) ________________

_____ ______ Equipment AD's which apply have been complied with, and how

(Attach list if necessary)



_____ ______ Logs present and builder records the following statement:

I certify that I have built this aircraft for my own education and recreation, and I have inspected it fully, using FAR 43 Appendix "d" as a guide. I am the manufacturer, and I consider it eligible for issuance of an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate for the purpose of operating amateur-built aircraft under provisions of FAR 21.191(g).

_____ Discuss operating limitations with applicant, flight test areas, and flight test


_____ _____ Airworthiness application properly filled out and signed?

_____ Sign Logbook and issue certificate, if applicable.


______ Provide list of deficiencies to applicant, if applicable

Unsatisfactory Conditions

N_______ Owner __________

The following unsatisfactory conditions were noted in your inspection. It is your responsibility to correct these conditions prior to obtaining an airworthiness certificate. Please correct the deficiencies and return this list, with evidence of the corrections, to the certificating inspector.

  1. Condition:______________________________________________
Corrective action taken: ___________________________________


2. Condition: ____________________________________________

Corrective action taken:


Signed: _________________________