Flights on privately owned aircraft surpass that of all major airline flights scheduled. The category of general aviation includes personal aircraft piloted by private citizens, corporate jets, charter planes, air taxis, hand gliders, planes provided by flight instructors, and those used at flight schools. It also includes experimental planes, planes use for agricultural purposes, and medical emergency flights. There are a few different inspection types required, depending on the use of the craft. Most general aviation aircraft need an annual inspection that checks the altimeter, the emergency locator transmitter, and the transponders.
High usage craft are required to have either one-hundred hour inspections, or participate in a progressive inspection schedule. Planes that are used for hire, such as charter planes and air taxis, are considered high usage, as are planes used for instructions, either by a private instructor or a flight school. Progressive inspections are set up at smaller intervals to minimize the down time of the craft. The actual inspections take less time to complete, but are completed at more frequent intervals. The plan is acceptable, as long as the final inspection does not exceed the one-hundred hour requirement. That can mean four inspections at twenty-five hour intervals, or five inspections at twenty hour intervals. All inspections have to be performed and documented by approved mechanics. All Bonanza center of excellence companies have approved mechanics, as do Piper Maintenance Central Florida companies.
There are some exceptions to annual, one-hundred hour, or progressive plan inspections requirements. A special flight permit, for example, exempts an aircraft from an annual inspection. A current experimental certificate, or a provisional airworthiness certificate also exempts aircraft. A ferry permit can be obtained if an aircraft is passed due for inspection, but must be flown to another location to have the inspection completed. Pilots who do not have current documentation of a proper inspection can be subject to hefty fines and penalties, and risk having their plane impounded until an inspection can be scheduled. Have the plane inspected on time to avoid extended down time and paying penalties. Inspections can also alert pilots to minor repairs, and help keep the plane operating efficiently, both of which will save money.