Avionics News May 2022 - 17

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
United States
Airworthy
Question: I recently had a conversation with an
AEA member company about the term " airworthy. "
So what exactly is the definition and description of the
term " airworthy? "
Answer: The following information is from a June
17, 1988, legal interpretation regarding the definition
and description of the term " airworthy. "
Your letter of Aug. 14, 1987, addressed to the
administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, has
been referred to this office for reply. You indicate
that you are an A&P mechanic with an inspection
authorization and call our attention to the fact that
the Federal Aviation Regulations do not contain a
definition of the word " airworthy. "
Over the years there have been various proposals,
from both within and without the FAA and predecessor
agencies, to define " airworthy. " For basically two
reasons, such proposals have not been implemented:
first, there is no single definition that covers usage of
the word in the different FAR parts, and second, no
need for a new definition has been shown.
The word " airworthy " has a very limited usage in the
regulations, and in the few places that it does occur,
it is clearly used as a summarizing or shorthand
term denoting the aggregate of requirements that are
concurrently spelled out.
Thus, for example, with reference to issuance of
airworthiness certificates, Section 21.183(d), the
requirements are conformity to type design and an
appropriate inspection to determine condition for
safe operation. With these conditions met, it is clear
that the required finding of " airworthy " follows.
Section 15 of FAA Order 8309, which you cite without
comment, merely paraphrases the rule.
In a similar manner, in the maintenance context, where
Section 43.11 requires a post inspection certification
that an aircraft is found to be airworthy, it is clear that
the finding of airworthy derives from the inspection
where the scope and performance rules of the
inspection are spelled out in detail.
Likewise, in the pilot/operator context, the regulations
require operation of an aircraft that is in an airworthy
condition. However, as in Section 91.29, the pilot's
responsibility for operating an airworthy aircraft is
further defined by the standard of determining that
the aircraft is in condition for safe flight. Thus, the
term " airworthy " is effectively otherwise defined for
purposes of that section without the need for an allencompassing
Part 1 definition.
Inherent in the connotation of " airworthy " is a
necessary flexibility that allows administrative
discretion in enforcement situations. It is our position
that since the substantive regulations provide specifics
for aircraft certification, maintenance, and operation,
any augmentation by way of definition of " airworthy "
is extraneous when that word is used concurrently.
" Airworthy " really has no separate meaning apart
from the specific requirements of the FAR part in
which used. Any definition of " airworthy " would of
necessity have to include all the facts that go to its
determination in any given setting; and would thus be
lengthy and repetitive.
In your letter, you state that you would like to see
the word " airworthy " defined in Part 1 of the
Federal Aviation Regulations. Requests for changes
or additions to the Federal Aviation Regulations are
processed as petitions for rulemaking in accordance
with the procedural rules of FAR Part 11. Because
your letter does not set forth the text or substance of
the proposed definition, we are unable to consider
it as such a petition. However, if you so desire and
submit a complete petition for rulemaking to include
a new definition in FAR Part 1, it will be processed
in accordance with the applicable procedural rules.
We are enclosing for your ready reference a copy
of Subpart B of Part 11 and direct your particular
attention to Section 11.25.
I trust this information will prove helpful.
Sincerely,
John H. Cassady
Assistant Chief Counsel
Regulations and Enforcement Division q
avionics news * may 2022 17
Updates continued on following page

Avionics News May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News May 2022

Avionics News May 2022 - Intro
Avionics News May 2022 - Cover1
Avionics News May 2022 - Cover2
Avionics News May 2022 - 1
Avionics News May 2022 - 2
Avionics News May 2022 - 3
Avionics News May 2022 - 4
Avionics News May 2022 - 5
Avionics News May 2022 - 6
Avionics News May 2022 - 7
Avionics News May 2022 - 8
Avionics News May 2022 - 9
Avionics News May 2022 - 10
Avionics News May 2022 - 11
Avionics News May 2022 - 12
Avionics News May 2022 - 13
Avionics News May 2022 - 14
Avionics News May 2022 - 15
Avionics News May 2022 - 16
Avionics News May 2022 - 17
Avionics News May 2022 - 18
Avionics News May 2022 - 19
Avionics News May 2022 - 20
Avionics News May 2022 - 21
Avionics News May 2022 - 22
Avionics News May 2022 - 23
Avionics News May 2022 - 24
Avionics News May 2022 - 25
Avionics News May 2022 - 26
Avionics News May 2022 - 27
Avionics News May 2022 - 28
Avionics News May 2022 - 29
Avionics News May 2022 - 30
Avionics News May 2022 - 31
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Avionics News May 2022 - 33
Avionics News May 2022 - 34
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Avionics News May 2022 - 36
Avionics News May 2022 - 37
Avionics News May 2022 - 38
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Avionics News May 2022 - Cover3
Avionics News May 2022 - Cover4
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