July-August 2022 - 49

The Way We've Always Done It
Newton's 1st Law of Thermodynamics says that an object at rest stays at rest,
and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.
And so, it is with aircraft records today. Newton's
1st Law of Thermodynamics is fully realized in business
aviation. Because no outside force has been
applied to change the way we record the maintenance
history of an aircraft since the earliest days of aviation,
aircraft maintenance records remain the same.
With the advent of the computer and the internet
in the 1990s, computerized maintenance tracking
systems and electronic maintenance manuals were
finally developed to assist in planning and managing
aircraft maintenance. However, maintenance accomplished
on the aircraft, signature approvals needed for
the aircraft's return to service, and the maintenance
history of the aircraft itself remain unchanged.
Paper records continue to be created, managed
and stored in the same manner as we have been doing
for decades. Unfortunately, the cost of using paper to
accomplish and record maintenance on modern business
aircraft is enormous. Costs to business aviation
have been estimated at over $125 million ($5,000 per
aircraft) every year, due to things like: lost or missing
information from the record, shipping and storage
charges, travel time for aviation personnel to review
the records, maintenance research and clerical time
necessary to administer paper records, etc.
At a time when we are beginning to see the devastating
effects of increasingly limited personnel
resources in our industry, our use of paper equates
to over 1,100 full-time employees per year, just to
handle the extra work paper records require.
But, paper records are business aviation's way of
doing things. In order to change what has become a
costly and dysfunctional MO, we'll need to change
our well-established precedent of using paper to
record maintenance on an airplane in the first place.
The only real attempt at advancement in aircraft
record keeping in recent years is the relatively new
concept of backing up the paper records electronically
by scanning them. And, only a handful of operators
are even attempting to do this. Unfortunately,
many of these same aircraft operators incorrectly
believe that making electronic copies of their paper
records provides all the backup they need. This colossal
misconception mainly rests with maintenance
tracking companies' omission of the truth concerning
the collection of electronic copies of maintenance
entries typically referred to as e-logs.
Nevertheless, there are several additional reasons
why electronic images alone are not a suitable
1. For one, stored pdf images on a computer without
AC120-78A compliant security measures in
place are an issue. Without AC120-78A qualifications,
reprinting an electronic copy requires
a licensed A&P technician to certify that the
reprinted images are an exact copy of the original
paper record. Unless he or she is certain that
the electronic images are an exact replica of the
paper entries, the A&P signing the validation of
the copy is at substantial risk of violating FAR
43.12, and suspension of license, fines, imprisonment,
and everything that comes with it.
2. Unless the operator can guarantee that every
entry in the paper record has been copied correctly
into an electronic image, and that every
electronic image has been included in the aircraft's
e-log repository, the operator doesn't
really know if the aircraft's electronic repository
represents a comprehensive backup of the
records or not.
3. And finally, electronic images of logbook entries
are typically not listed in chronological order.
Reprinting them to restore a logbook requires
the operator to open and print each image, then
spend hours amassing the images into a chronologically
correct order to form a consistent and
organized record.
In our modern world we communicate and send
documents electronically every day using modern
technology. So, why do we accept using such an
antiquated technology as paper documents in our
world of business aviation? Isn't it time we change
our Modus Operandi, and begin moving from our
long-time dependency on paper records to digital?
In the future we will have no choice but to incorporate
electronic copies as the standard backup to the
paper record keeping system. But as an industry, we
can do better right now. We can start by incorporating
electronic recordkeeping into our operations. We
have the technology. We just need the will.
www.AviationPros.com 49
By Larry Hinebaugh
Larry Hinebaugh
is the executive
director of the nonprofit
The Foundation for
Business Aircraft
Records Excellence. He
is a 40-year veteran of
the business aviation

July-August 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July-August 2022

A Southern Gentleman and a Great Man
Industry Inspection
AMT 40 Under 40 Maintenance Professionals Award Winners
Adopting and Maintaining Effective Safety Management Systems
If Everything is Important Then...
PPG to Break Ground on New Toulouse-Base Aerospace Application Support Center
The Way We've Always Done It
Anyone Fits
MRO Package Tracks and Manages Aircraft Maintenance and Inventory Control
Advertiser’s Index
July-August 2022 - 1
July-August 2022 - 2
July-August 2022 - 3
July-August 2022 - A Southern Gentleman and a Great Man
July-August 2022 - 5
July-August 2022 - Industry Inspection
July-August 2022 - 7
July-August 2022 - 8
July-August 2022 - 9
July-August 2022 - 10
July-August 2022 - AMT 40 Under 40 Maintenance Professionals Award Winners
July-August 2022 - 12
July-August 2022 - 13
July-August 2022 - 14
July-August 2022 - 15
July-August 2022 - 16
July-August 2022 - 17
July-August 2022 - 18
July-August 2022 - 19
July-August 2022 - 20
July-August 2022 - 21
July-August 2022 - 22
July-August 2022 - 23
July-August 2022 - 24
July-August 2022 - 25
July-August 2022 - 26
July-August 2022 - 27
July-August 2022 - 28
July-August 2022 - 29
July-August 2022 - 30
July-August 2022 - 31
July-August 2022 - 32
July-August 2022 - 33
July-August 2022 - 34
July-August 2022 - 35
July-August 2022 - 36
July-August 2022 - 37
July-August 2022 - Adopting and Maintaining Effective Safety Management Systems
July-August 2022 - 39
July-August 2022 - 40
July-August 2022 - 41
July-August 2022 - If Everything is Important Then...
July-August 2022 - 43
July-August 2022 - 44
July-August 2022 - 45
July-August 2022 - 46
July-August 2022 - 47
July-August 2022 - PPG to Break Ground on New Toulouse-Base Aerospace Application Support Center
July-August 2022 - The Way We've Always Done It
July-August 2022 - Anyone Fits
July-August 2022 - 51
July-August 2022 - MRO Package Tracks and Manages Aircraft Maintenance and Inventory Control
July-August 2022 - 53
July-August 2022 - 54
July-August 2022 - 55
July-August 2022 - 56
July-August 2022 - 57
July-August 2022 - Advertiser’s Index
July-August 2022 - 59
July-August 2022 - 60