Airworthiness Directive


  • Airworthiness Directives (ADs) are legally enforceable regulations issued by the FAA in accordance with 14 CFR part 39 to correct an unsafe condition in a product
  • Part 39 defines a product as an aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance

Airworthiness Directives:

  • 2 types of ADs:
    • Emergency and Standard issue
    • Emergency issues are effective immediately
  • Issuance:
    • When an unsafe condition exists or may develop
  • Compliance:
    • All ADs are mandatory
    • An aircraft cannot overfly an AD
    • Usually require an inspection or conditions and limitations you must comply with
    • Operations specifications give some operators authority to operate including a provision that allow them to fly their aircraft to a destination to do that work
  • Airworthiness Directives may also have intervals:
    • One-time AD: requires a one-time modification
    • Recurring AD: requires a check or service to be performed on an ongoing basis at specific intervals
    • N/A AD: a "not applicable AD," but is still noted to sohw awareness of its existence

Special Flight Permit:

  • Must submit a statement in a form indicating:
    • The purpose of the flight
    • The proposed itinerary
    • The crew required to operate the aircraft and its equipment
    • The ways, if any, in which the aircraft does not comply with the AD
    • Any restrictions the applicant considers necessary
    • Any other information


  • Remember the owner or operator is responsible for airworthiness