Airworthiness Directive Compliance



Fact or Myth:

My aircraft has an Airworthiness Directive (AD) Note. If I chose not to comply my mechanic advises that this will void my insurance?



Non-compliance with an Airworthiness Directive (AD) renders your aircraft un-airworthy in the eyes of the FAA. As a result, your in-flight insurance coverage will no longer be valid under most insurance policies (nor is the aircraft legal for flight with the FAA).


The following information is current as of 8/9/19. For more information and the most current updates you can visit the FAA website section on AD compliance sourced directly from the FAA at:


How do I determine the applicability of an AD?


The AD subject line specifically identifies the Type Certificate Holder of the product(s) affected by the AD. Specific model(s) affected, and any special considerations such as specific installed part number(s) or modification(s), are listed in the AD applicability section.


How do I find all applicable ADs to a specific product?


In order to find all applicable ADs for a specific product, you must search ( ) for ADs on the product, for example, the aircraft, engine(s), propeller, or any installed appliance. If there are multiple series under the aircraft or engine model, you must also search for ADs applicable to the model, as well as the specific series of that model.


Who has to comply with ADs?


No person may operate a product to which an AD applies, except in accordance with the requirements of the AD. Furthermore, the owner or operator of an aircraft is required by 14 CFR 91.403 ( to maintain the aircraft in compliance with all ADs.


§91.403 General.


(a) The owner or operator of an aircraft is primarily responsible for maintaining that aircraft in an airworthy condition, including compliance with part 39 of this chapter.


(b) No person may perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations on an aircraft other than as prescribed in this subpart and other applicable regulations, including part 43 of this chapter.


(c) No person may operate an aircraft for which a manufacturer's maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness has been issued that contains an airworthiness limitations section unless the mandatory replacement times, inspection intervals, and related procedures specified in that section or alternative inspection intervals and related procedures set forth in an operations specification approved by the Administrator under part 121 or 135 of this chapter or in accordance with an inspection program approved under §91.409(e) have been complied with.


(d) A person must not alter an aircraft based on a supplemental type certificate unless the owner or operator of the aircraft is the holder of the supplemental type certificate, or has written permission from the holder.


When do I have to comply with an AD?


The AD specifies a compliance time that relates to the effective date of the AD. That compliance time determines when the actions are required.


airworthy aircraft

Editor: Lewis Austin