Documents carried onboard

Documents to be carried onboard an aircraft

It is well known that there are three legal documents required onboard an aircraft when it is being flown, and a pilot must not operate an aircraft unless these documents are carried in the aircraft. These three documents are the current airworthiness certificate, the aircraft flight manual, and the technical log. However, this number is not correct, at least not in New Zealand. There are five documents that are required in the aircraft when it is being flown. Civil Aviation Rules Part 91 states the following for New Zealand registered aircraft (CAA, 2008 1):

91.111 Documents to be carried onboard New Zealand aircraft (except as provided in Parts 103, 104, and 106):

  • (1) the current airworthiness certificate or a certified copy of the current airworthiness certificate (except when rule 91.101 (c) applies)
  • (2) the aircraft flight manual or an equivalent document acceptable to the Director
  • (3) for New Zealand registered aircraft:
    • (i) the technical log required under rule 91.619 (unless for aircraft operating under an air operator certificate from a fixed base an alternative means acceptable to the Director is used to inform the pilot of the maintenance status of the aircraft)
    • (ii) a completed form CAA 2173 Weight and Balance Data or equivalent
    • (iii) a completed form CAA 2129 Aircraft Radio Station Equipment Approval Levels

Therefore there are a total of five documents that a pilot must carry for each and every flight. They are the current airworthiness certificate, the aircraft flight manual, the technical log, the Weight and Balance Data and the Aircraft Radio Station Equipment Approval Levels. These five documents should be checked prior to flight for their presence in the aircraft, as well as the dates written on them to ensure that no document has expired. It is advisable to check all of the documents both during pre- flight, as well as before the door close prior to each flight for confirmation.

1. NZ CAA Part 91 (2008). Part 91: General Operating and Flight Rules. Retrieved from on 05 January 2009.

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