The Minimum Equipment List (MEL) is intended to permit operations with certain inoperative items of equipment for the minimum period of time necessary until repairs can be accomplished. It is important that repairs are accomplished at the earliest opportunity in order to return the aircraft to its design level of safety and reliability.                                          The MEL is based on the MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List), a document published by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for each aircraft and later customized by an Operator to its specific operation and type of fleet. Once customized, the Operator`s MEL is submitted to the FAA for approval.                     For large operators (with large airplanes and many redundant systems) the use of the MEL may save a significant amount of money and resources due to factors like:  -The aircraft can complete a regular scheduled passenger flight with inoperative systems and reach a maintenance station where the part needed to repair the defered item is available. This procedure permits a reduced allocation of parts at every station.                                         -Flight delays and cancellations can be avoided by deferring last minute reported discrepancies.                                                                                                                -Only parts that are needed for “no go” items (systems that are not listed in the MEL) are stocked at line stations.                                                                            When inspecting aircraft operating with an MEL, the AMT or A&P should review the document where inoperative items are recorded (aircraft maintenance record, logbook, discrepancy record, etc.) to determine the state of airworthiness with regard to those recorded discrepancies.                                                                         Inspections of aircraft with approved MELs will be in accordance with 14 CFR under which the MEL was issued. Those MELs specifying repair intervals through the use of A, B, C, D codes require repairs of deferred items at or prior to the repair times established by the letter designated category. In such instances, some items previously deferred may not be eligible for continued deference at the inspection or may require additional maintenance.    Where repair intervals are not specified by codes in the MEL, all MEL authorized inoperative instruments and/or equipment should be repaired or inspected and deferred before approval for return to service.                                                     Aircraft established on a progressive inspection program require that all MEL-authorized inoperative items be repaired or inspected and deferred at each inspection whether or not the item is encompassed in that particular segment.    When inspecting aircraft operating without an MEL, 14 CFR part 91, § 91.213(d), allows certain aircraft not having an approved MEL to be flown with inoperative instruments and/or equipment. These aircraft may be presented for annual or progressive inspection with such items previously deferred or may have inoperative instruments and equipment deferred during an inspection. In either case, the AMT or A&P is required by 14 CFR part 43, § 43.13(b) to determine that:                              a. The deferrals are eligible within the guidelines of that rule.                                    b. All conditions for deferral are met, including proper recordation in accordance with 14 CFR part 43, sections (§§) 43.9 and 43.11.                                                    c. Deferral of any item or combination of items will not affect the intended function of any other operable instruments and/or equipment, or in any manner constitute a hazard to the aircraft.                                                                                            When these requirements are met, such an aircraft is considered to be in a properly altered condition with regard to those deferred items.                                                 It is of the outmost importance to use the reversal procedure of the MEL deferral instructions once the discrepancy is repaired and the MEL item removed. This means to return the aircraft to the original configuration. CB`s (circuit breakers) opened and collared must be closed, placards must be removed, etc.

Minimum Equipment List