Tag Archives: Parts of Aircraft

Parts of Aircraft that Need Regular Maintenance Part 2

Although all parts of an airplane require regular maintenance, some parts are mandated by FAA regulations to be inspected and maintained routinely.  These inspections and maintenance requirements insure that the plane is airworthy and safe for passengers. Covington Aircraft will be there for your aircraft engine maintenance needs, but these are other important parts of aircraft that need regular maintenance as well.


The altimeter measures the altitude of an aircraft when it is in flight.  As altitude increases, air pressure decreases.  In an airplane, an aneroid barometer measures atmospheric pressure from a static port on the outside of the plane and this information is given to the pilot by the altimeter.  As one of the most critical parts of an airplane, the FAA has very strict regulations regarding altimeter tests and inspections.  The tests normally involve removal of the altimeter and altitude encoder with bench testing performed.  After the altimeter is reinstalled in the aircraft, a static system leak test must also be performed since leaks in the static system can cause errors in altitude and airspeed reporting.


Officially known as the transmitter-responder, a transponder is an electronic device used to identify the aircraft on radar and to assist in the airplane’s collision avoidance system.  If the transponder is out of alignment, it can cause incorrect altitude readouts, duplicate targets or show no target at all.  Because this part of an airplane identifies an aircraft to air traffic controllers and has a connection to the collision avoidance system, the FAA requires that all transponders undergo inspection and maintenance regularly.  The tests are relatively simple and can be performed in about 30 to 45 minutes.

Emergency Locator Transmitter

The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is the part of an airplane used to track an airplane, normally if the aircraft is in distress.  The FAA requires that the ELT be permanently attached to the aircraft.  The ELT may be automatic portable, which means it must be readily removable in case of an emergency or automatic deployable, which means it would automatically deploy after a crash in water.  The FAA requires that the battery in the ELT be replaced prior to the expiration date and must be inspected within 12 calendar months after the last inspection.  During the inspection, batteries must be checked for corrosion and the unit activated per manufacturer instructions to be sure it is working properly.

Although the altimeter is the only of these parts of an airplane that actually aids in the flight of the plane, the transponder and emergency locator transmitter are crucial for the safety of passengers.  For all your expert needs when it comes to aircraft maintenance, contact Covington Aircraft, and we will take care of you!