Considering an Organizational Definition of a Recurring Defect

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Sofema Online (SOL) considers the key elements related to the management of Recurrent Defects.


The complexity of the Maintenance Control Administrative system which is used to control defects, including rectification and deferral, will vary according to the type of aircraft operated and the size and nature of the operation.

The same will apply to the methodologies related to the identification & handling of recurrent defects:

» Note 1 – Such control processes will typically include policies and procedures for the use of an approved Minimum Equipment List (MEL).

» Note 2 - The pilot in command (PIC) must know the status of the aircraft in order to make an informed decision on its serviceability for the intended flight.

- Additional crew workload must be taken into consideration if defects are deferred.

Continuing Airworthiness Management Exposition will contain documented procedures for the Management of Recurring Defects including details of the methods used to detect and report recurring defects.

Use of the Aircraft Minimum Equipment List (MEL)

The MEL allows for aircraft to be operated with equipment inoperative under certain conditions and with certain restrictions.

The CAME should include procedures to ensure that aircraft are not operated with unserviceable equipment unless the defect can be deferred.

Definition of Recurrent Defects

The purpose of specific procedures for identifying recurring defects is to avoid ineffective methods of repair and to ensure the defect will not reoccur.

One example describes a recurrent defect as follows:

(Note however that determination of this criteria is the choice of the operator and will relate typically to flying hours and Utilisation.)

» A recurring defect is one that is repeated 3 times on a particular aircraft within 15 flight segments.

Example Statement related to Defect Control and Rectification:

» The company will not operate aircraft with defects or unserviceable equipment unless the defect has been recorded and deferred in accordance with the procedures contained in this manual.

» Any aircraft with defects that cannot be deferred will be immediately removed from service for rectification of the defect.

» All defects will be entered in the Aircraft Technical Log by the person who discovers the defect. (This will be done as soon as possible but no later than before the next flight.)

Maintenance Control Defect Engineering will support the assessment in the event that the defect cannot be immediately rectified in accordance with the Aircraft Maintenance Manual AMM whether the defect can be deferred or if it must be rectified.

Note - The final authority to reject an unsafe aircraft rest with the pilot.

Next Steps

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Sofema Aviation Services ( and Sofema Online ( offer EASA Regulatory Compliant and Vocational Training across a range of Aviation Areas – please see our Websites or email for additional details

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