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5 Answers

Magnetic Compass Correction Card

Asked by: 481 views FAA Regulations, General Aviation

The magnetic compass correction card in our plane is so faded that it's not legible. Do you know how I can easily go about getting a replacement? I'm afraid I will need this before my checkride (I'm a student pilot)?

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5 Answers



  1. Steve on Oct 24, 2017

    See AC-43-215 where swinging the Compass is defined as a maintenance procedure. The card is available from multiple sources – quick internet search shows Skygeek offers one for $0.66

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  2. Matthew Pollack on Oct 24, 2017

    You are right in that you will need a completed compass correction card prior to your checkride. Typically, you need a mechanic who can “swing” the compass and fill out the correction card. The process doesn’t take too long, but you may need to chat with a few mechanics before you find one that can perform the necessary work.

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  3. Best Answer


    KDS on Oct 24, 2017

    This isn’t my area of experience, so please don’t take what I’m suggesting as “the last word” on the subject.

    Reading Advisory Circular 43-215 leads me to believe that a new compass card can be created by an airman if it is merely a matter of copying the card. The swinging and data collection requires a mechanic. There is also a requirement for a maintenance logbook entry. But, I don’t see a requirement where the filling out of the card has to be done by a mechanic. However, a counterargument could be made that it isn’t specifically listed as one of the owner / operator maintenance items.

    My suggestion would be to call the FAA and ask to speak to an airworthiness inspector. Ask that person if the procedure would be acceptable. Assuming it is, I’d make a maintenance logbook entry (signed and with airman certificate number IAW FAR 91.417(a)(1)) and tape the old card into the logbook.

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  4. Sarah A on Oct 25, 2017

    Thanks so much for the great advice. I’m going to follow your direction and talk to the FAA. As the owner of the plane, this seems like the easiest and most cost effective approach.

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  5. RickS on Oct 25, 2017

    Or, you could just make one in Word, like I did, and put it in the little holder. Unless you’re actually planning on accurately navigating a long trip with just the mag compass, in which case I’d have it checked out and swung.

    PS… is it completely unreadable? Mine was pretty much unreadable, but when held under a bright LED flashlight at different angles, I could just make out the numbers, and recreated it from that.

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