I was talking to a new plane owner and he was wondering how you keep track of all the different times when you need to do inspections. The annual is pretty easy to remember, but other things often get out of sync with the annual. e.g. ELT, transponder check, IFR check, Aspen check.
I suggested that since he uses a Google calendar for scheduling his plane with others who fly it, that he just go through the logbooks and schedule when things that require an A&P/IA or avionics guy are due. Alternatively, he could just schedule all of the biennial items at the same time as the annual and not have to worry about it.
This is my list of items that an aircraft owner needs to keep up with.
Check tach time to see if an oil change is needed. Recommended time is 35-50 hours.
Lube yoke and hinges.
Lube seat tracks.
Check tire pressures.
Check brake fluid level
Inspect brake pads and tires for wear.
You could do the VOR check if you need an excuse to fly.
Current Registration – You should get a postcard in 2 years to renew.
100 Hour AD items – You might want to put a sticker next to your tach.
You can do the Bendix switch AD. A&P probably has to do the rest.
Transponder – 24 months
ELT – 12 Months Inspection, Replaced at 24 months or 50%
Have them checked at the annual even if you have a few months left and you are good for two years.
Airworthy Aircraft for IFR
Altimeter- 24 months
Pitot/Static- 24 months
Your avionics guy can do the transponder and IFR check at the same time on the ramp.
My transponder and IFR check are way out of sync with the annual since I usually schedule them the first day of the month after they expire. I get 25 months that way instead of 24. Yes I’m cheap.
GPS Database Current (New version every 28 days.)
Only need this if you are doing RNAV approach or departure.
VOR check within 30 days
The pilot of a plane with two VORs can do this in the air if they are going to use VORs or an ILS for the approach. I only have one VOR in my IFR plane, so I check it every month and log it when I do my GPS update.
I looked up the Aspen inspection items (Instructions for continued airworthiness) and it looks like the IA can do them at annual. Note that they are recommended items, not required by the STC. The document gives guidelines for the inspection.
Other avionics may have required or recommended inspections, so you’ll need to look them up in the documents for your particular installation. For example, I fly a plane with a Sandel HSI and the bulb needs to be replaced at regular intervals.