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6 Answers

Inoperative Equipment and 91.205(c)

Asked by: 3838 views FAA Regulations

During preflight a fellow student found the landing light inop. Referring to 91.205(c) we are reguired to have it for hire. But from my understanding instruction is different than for hire and we are not required to have it. My next question involves the inop equipment. Per 91.213(d) if not req by 91.205, A.D., or equipment list it may be placarded and deactivated and determined not to constitute a hazard by a rated pilot or a certified mechanic. Can they fly legally? and if so, how?

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6 Answers



  1. Wes Beard on Aug 08, 2012

    It is important to distinguish between an aircraft for hire and a CFI for hire. This rule is talking about an aircraft for hire. If the student is renting the aircraft… the landing light is required. If they are flying their own aircraft with a hired CFI… the landing light is not required. Most aircraft list the landing light as optional equipment on the equipment list. Pull the circuit breaker, tie it off and you are legal.

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  2. John D. Collins on Aug 08, 2012

    If the flight is VFR during the day, the landing light is not a required piece of equipment and there is no legal reason for it to prevent the dispatch of the aircraft. I personally would not depart VFR at night with an inoperative landing light, regardless if the aircraft was for hire or not. Many aircraft don’t have a separate on/off switch and circuit breaker or they use a circuit breaker switch.or a CB that can’t be pulled to the off position. In any event, if a circuit breaker was pulled and tied off, there would need to be an appropriate maintenance record made, a placard indicating that it had been deactivated would be required, and the pilot would have to determine that the flight could be conducted safely. As simple as this task is (putting a tie wrap on a CB), it would not qualify as preventive maintenance and the maintenance record would have to be made by an authorized person.

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  3. hartwellm on Aug 08, 2012

    Does it change anything if it’s only a burned out bulb?

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  4. Wes Beard on Aug 11, 2012

    No. If the bulb is burnt out it it is inoperative equipment.

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  5. CFI Academy on Aug 16, 2012

    I have known a FSDO inspector who would question – “did you even think why the bulb burnt out in the first place? It might be a much bigger electrical problem behind it? So how can you simply pull out the circuit breaker and hang a placard and think it’s all cool?”
    But then again, if it wasn’t for him, I would never have obtained my A&P cert. 🙂

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  6. David on Oct 08, 2012

    Please correct me if this answer is wrong.
    – Day – not required any operations
    – Sunset to sunrise with some variations in Alaska and other countries:
    – Landing light not required for part 91 not for hire
    – Landing light required if carrying passengers at night for hire
    – Landing light required for most 135 and 121 operators per their operations specifications with some variances due to specific makes and models per MEL
    – Runway lights not required if part 91 not for hire
    – Runway lights required for 135 and 121 passenger operations with specific definitions of runway light variations defined by specific operations specifications.

    With my 121 carrier 50% of the runway lights can be inoperative or obscured by debris (think snow) for night flights. Since the B767 has multiple “landing” lights, a certain percentage can be inoperative for night operations per the MEL.

    However, there comes the question for part 91 flying about reckless endangerment and all that and you have to ask yourself, “Is this operation worth risking my career?” Yes, operating off an unlit grass strip at night without a landing light may be legal in some instances. But, try explaining the prudence of such an operation to Bambi’s father, the FAA after you hit the unlit deer, or a future employer.

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