MEL or Minimum Equipment List

Dec 04, 2017

MEL or Minimum Equipment List

Minimum Equipment List,

Everybody Struggles With This One. Know the difference between the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and the MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List).

Have you struggled with this one? Don't feel bad, everybody has trouble with the equipment list, minimum equipment list, master minimum equipment list. The thing to remember is, if you're flying a smaller aircraft like an R22 or an Enstrom or a Schweizer, you do not have a minimum equipment list. You have an equipment list in the POH of every single aircraft. That equipment list comes from the factory when the aircraft is made and everything on that aircraft is in the equipment list in the POH. If the owner or operator changes anything on the aircraft, they have to update the equipment list. That is not to be confused with the minimum equipment list and master minimum equipment list.

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For our references, FAR 91.213, inoperable instruments equipment. FAR 91.405, maintenance required. Advisory Circular AC-91-67. Minimum equipment for general aviation operations under part 91.

First, let's go through what a master minimum equipment list is. A MMEL or Master Minimum Equipment List contains a list of equipment and instruments that may be inoperative on a specific type of aircraft, example a Beach Craft model 200. The Master Minimum Equipment List is requested from the local Flight Standard District Office, the FSDO, by the operator of an aircraft. This is a list of minimum equipment that has been determined can be inoperable on the type of aircraft and is still capable of safe flight.

Once the operator obtains the MMEL from the local FSDO, the MMEL is now the basis for the development of an individual operator's MEL. For an example of an MEL, the best I can tell you is first hand experience. As I start as a pilot, I'm flying the small aircraft, Robinson's, Enstroms, Schweizer's. When I later move to EMS, I start flying a larger more complicated aircraft. I flew BK117 and the EC135. Those are more complicated aircraft. They have two engines, two electrical systems, two hydraulic systems, multiple radios, along with a lot of other equipment. The company I worked for, Omni Flight Helicopters at the time, developed their MEL for the BK117 and also for the EC135 from the Master Minimum Equipment List. 

MEL or Minimum Equipment List

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