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Get Your Floats Ready for the Season

Jason Erickson
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.
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