Get Your Floats Ready for the Season

As maintenance professionals we are challenged
with keeping our customer’s aircraft
and floats in top condition. Periodically I run
into an alarming situation regarding the installation
of straight and amphibious floats on
various aircraft: the floats were installed without
an annual/100-hour inspection. Also,
we see aircraft through our facility that go
three to four years without the floats being
inspected, yet the aircraft had received the required
inspections during that timeframe. We
all know your aircraft needs to be inspected
yearly per FAR 91.409 which cites FAR43,
Appendix D. What sometimes is forgotten is
the very small notation in Paragraph E (10) of
Appendix D: "Floats and skis ? check for insecure
attachment and obvious or apparent defects." The body of Appendix D
also talks to all the systems you would find in amphibious floats such as brakes,
tires, hydraulic lines, hardware, etc. The best source of information is found
from the manufacturer or STC holder. Most of them have websites with free
maintenance information, including service and parts manuals, bulletins, and
any other service information that would be useful. Check out www.wipaire.
com. Be sure you are compliant when signing off an aircraft annual when the
floats are installed, as well as make sure you are reinstalling airworthy floats.