Online Ground School (Private Pilot)

Lesson 9.1: Aircraft Documents 

Required Aircraft Documents

     Reference: ACS PA.I.B.K1, PHAK Chapter 9 

The acronym 'ARROW' is a good way to memorize what documents must be in the airplane at all times.

  • A - Airworthiness Certificate

  • R - Registration

  • R - Radio Certificate (international flying only)

  • O - Operators Manual 

  • W - Weight and Balance

Airworthiness Certificate 

Reference: FAR Part 91.203(b)

  • Good forever, unless the aircraft does not meet the annual or 100 hour inspections. 

  • Must be visible at all times.

    • located by the pilot's left foot in a clear pouch or on the back bulkhead in a clear pouch  


    Reference: FAR Part 47.40

  • Good for three calendar years. (last day of the month)

    • Example: Issued in December, good​ until Dec. 31st. 

  • Also must be visible at all times.

    • located with the Airworthiness Certificate.  

Radio Certificate

  • International fights only​​​

    • ​​ I.e. Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, etc.

Operators Manual

  • Is the book that comes with the aircraft from the manufacture.

    • NOT the POH (Pilots Operating Handbook)

  • Located ether in a seat pocket or under the seat.

Weight and Balance (W&B)

  • It is the actual weight and balance of the airplane.

  • Done by a certified A&P aircraft mechanic  

  • Some examples:

    • If a radio needs to replaced, then a new W&B must be done.

    • Airplane gets a new paint job, new W&B. ​


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