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From the Flight Deck: Minimum Equipment Lists

Oct 5, 2016 | Private Jet Travel, SOAR Magazine

From the Flight Deck features insights from the core of our aviation family – our pilots! This edition, learn about Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL) with Mike Kopp, Jet Linx Aviation Director of Operations.

Mike Kopp tannedProper aircraft maintenance and repair is a top priority for Jet Linx pilots and maintenance team members. It is a regular topic in safety audits and FAA inspections. Record keeping practices and timeliness of repairs all contribute to best practice, safety and aircraft reliability. Mandatory scheduled maintenance and servicing are tracked electronically and scheduled in advance.

However, on occasion the need for unscheduled maintenance occurs. Major components and safety-critical items will always be repaired before further flights take place, but in some cases the aircraft may continue to be operated with inoperative equipment for a limited time and under pre-determined conditions to complete the mission and get the aircraft to a location where repairs can be made. Deferring maintenance is a function of both Maintenance Control and the Flight Crew and follows the guidance set forth in the Minimum Equipment List (MEL).

The MEL is a document created by aircraft operators to provide relief from the requirement that all components on an aircraft be operative prior to flight. The ability to defer maintenance of specific items allows an operator to continue a flight or series of flights safely until the inoperative equipment can be repaired.

Aircraft Operators write their MEL based on the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) which is written with input from the FAA Aircraft Evaluations Group (AEG) and the Aircraft Manufacturer (OEM) for a specific make and model of aircraft. The AEG and OEM list equipment in the MMEL that the aircraft can be safely operated without. They write special conditions and limitations specific to each component and specify when the operator must develop procedures either Operational (O) Procedures or Maintenance (M) Procedures in order to safely operate the aircraft. Items critical to safe operations are not listed in the MMEL – i.e., engines and flight controls.

The Jet Linx MEL use policy and procedures ensure that our aircraft are operated to the highest standard of safety with minimal impact to operations and schedules when unscheduled repairs are required.