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Reporting Squawks

Though our airplanes are well-maintained, occasionally they develop problems. Each Member is responsible for reporting maintenance issues (squawks) when they occur. Prompt reporting promotes safe flying and helps protect the Club’s assets.

FAR 91.7(b) The pilot in command of a civil aircraft is responsible for determining whether that aircraft is in condition for safe flight. The pilot in command shall discontinue the flight when unairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structural conditions occur.

FAR 91.103 Preflight action. Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight.

As Pilot In Command (PIC), you’re ultimately responsible for determining whether the aircraft is safe to fly. However it’s the responsibility of all Club Members to report issues so that each pilot can effectively make this determination.

Communication

All squawks should be entered in the AircraftClubs scheduler as soon as is reasonably practicable. This automatically notifies the appropriate Maintenance Officer of the issue and enables Members to see all squawks at a glance.

A note in the logbook is also recommended; this will ensure that the next pilot is aware. Lastly, the Maintenance Officers can be reached by phone (see Club roster) or by email at mx@chandelleflyingclub.com.

What to Report

When entering a squawk, please include the following with sufficient detail so that the issue can be identified quickly. This is particularly important for intermittent problems. The more details you can provide, the better.

What’s the problem? Be specific. DON’T report: “The trim is messed up.”; DO report the exact problem: “The trim indicator doesn’t move.”

When did the problem occur/get noticed? Pre-flight, in-flight, post-flight? Did it only occur at one airport (“The localizer doesn’t work for 17L at AUS.”)?

How severe is the problem? Did you cancel a flight? Did you have to walk home, or is it just something that bugs you? Did it keep you from flying though a particular airspace (e.g., transponder failure)?

Did you take any corrective actions? “I turned off COM2 to eliminate the electrical noise.”

How was the problem noticed? “ATC controller couldn’t hear me” or “Reported altitude doesn’t match observed altitude.”

What were the conditions at the time? What was the tach speed? What was the altitude? What phase of flight (e.g., taxi, takeoff, landing)? Was the weather freezing cold or burning hot? Was it raining?

Roles & Responsibilities

All Members should report squawks as soon as is reasonably practicable. If it’s an airworthiness issue, enter the squawk and contact the Maintenance Officer immediately. If you can’t reach a Maintenance Officer, send an email to any Officer. If the problem might affect the next pilot, contacting them directly is also recommended.

Per Article XV Section 4 of the Club bylaws, “Individual Members will be reimbursed for any expenditure not in excess of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000.00) plus fuel expenses when such expenditures are for Club aircraft repairs or maintenance necessary to safely complete a flight back to the home airport.”

Per Article XV Section 5, any repair greater than $1,000 require Board approval.

Maintenance Officers should take appropriate actions to return the airplane to service and notify the Club of the issue. If the airplane is not airworthy, then it should be blocked out in the scheduler.

Maintenance Items in the Aircraft

All aircraft should include the following items in the baggage compartment:

  • two quarts oil (Aeroshell 100W or Phillips XC 20W50)
  • spare spark plugs
  • jumper cables (see POH on proper use)
  • tie-down ropes
  • tools