MELs, ADs and Logs
The Airmen Certification Standards for Private Pilot require that an applicant “exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with airworthiness requirements, including airplane certificates.” The applicant is also supposed to be able to “locate and describe airplane airworthiness and registration information.”
When I speak with an applicant before a checkride I tell him to be sure to bring the maintenance logbooks. I tell him that I will be asking about airworthiness and suggest that he sit down with his instructor and tab the required entries so he can easily show them to me when I ask.
When I do ask during the test I often discover that the applicant has never seen the logbooks before. This comes to light because he can’t find the current inspections. The tabs were put in by some other applicant a long time ago and the marked inspections are now outdated. The applicant proceeds to get nervous and frustrated, and things go downhill from there. When I ask the applicant why he didn’t do as I suggested I get answers like “we couldn’t get the logbooks until this morning”, or “my instructor told me the pages were already tabbed.” The truth is the instructor just blew his student off when it came to showing/explaining what’s in the maintenance logs. Depending on how bad it gets, sometimes the applicant has to go back to the instructor and learn about all the inspections in excruciating detail before he comes back to me for the retest. I hope he gives his instructor heck for the oversight; it will go along with the earful I will have already given the instructor on the phone.