Every year as part of preparation for the aircraft’s annual inspection most diligent owners of certified aircraft will go to the TC website and search for the Airworthiness Directives (ADs) that are applicable to their aircraft.
This is accomplished by going to the TC AD page on their Continuing Airworthiness Web Information System (CAWIS) entering the aircraft’s registration into the search box and then checking the AD list that the CAWIS system produces. The list has to be checked for applicability, as not all ADs will apply to your individual aircraft serial number, but pretty quickly you can pare the list down to those that need doing.
So if you do that search by aircraft registration you should get all the ADs, right? Wrong!
The list that you just searched will give you all applicable ADs for your airframe, engine and propeller. It does not give you the ADs that are applicable to anything else, such as carburetors, seat belts or any after-market STC installed equipment, such as auto-pilots, doors or fairings. Those items are contained in a separate Miscellaneous Equipment AD List. Because TC has no way of knowing which accessories are installed on your aircraft, you have to check this list to see which ones are applicable. As of August 2006 there were 543 ADs on that list! Many are items like escape slides for Boeing 777s, but some are definitely equipment that could be found on small aircraft.
A good example is AD 98-01-06. This is a repetitive AD on all Precision/Facet/Marvel Schebler MA-3,-3A,-3PA,-3SPA, MA4-SPA carburetors. These are commonly installed on small Lycoming and Continental engines. You won’t find this AD without checking the accessory list.
TC is aware of this problem and is working with COPA to find a means to link those accessory ADs that are applicable to specific engines and aircraft to them when a registration search is done. Until that is solved owners will need to check the Miscellaneous Equipment AD List to make sure no ADs are missed. The Miscellaneous Equipment AD List on the TC CAWIS system can only be found by clicking on “Advanced Search” and then “List Miscellaneous Equipment ADs” – “All ADs”.