We're excited to be attending the Airline & Aerospace MRO & Flight Operations IT Conference on 12-13 September in Miami. Meet us on Stand 54
The Role of Inspections during Aircraft Transitions
We're excited to be attending the Airline & Aerospace MRO & Flight Operations IT Conference on 12-13 September in Miami. Meet us on Stand 54

The Role of Inspections during Aircraft Transitions

A Comprehensive Guide to Pre-Transition Inspections

As an aircraft lease term or sale draws near, an operator’s approach to the preparations required becomes vital to ensure a smooth transition. Inspections, covering structural, interior, avionic, and safety aspects along with cross-checking of the main assembly data plates play a pivotal role in this process. This blog looks into the significance of aircraft inspections, during lease returns, while recognising their equal importance when preparing an aircraft for sale. It highlights the critical role they play in proactively detecting issues for timely rectification and preventing unforeseen delays during the final maintenance input. 

Structural Inspection

The first cornerstone in the pre-transition inspection process is the structural examination. Beyond the Dent and Buckle Chart, operators must thoroughly inspect the aircraft’s physical condition. Any unforeseen damage, absent from current records, must be accurately documented, and rectified in line with correct maintenance procedures. Conducting this inspection well in advance of the transition date allows operators the crucial time needed for addressing anomalies, issues, or queries before the acceptance inspection during the final maintenance input. 

Emergency Equipment

Inspecting emergency equipment is pivotal to ensuring compliance with the aircraft’s Emergency Equipment Drawing. From life jackets to oxygen generators and first aid equipment, every item must be present, correct, and in line with safety regulations. This inspection confirms that the aircraft is prepared for any unforeseen events, aligning with the lessor’s or next buyer’s expectations. 

Interior & Burn Certification

A detailed inspection of the aircraft’s interior, covering the flight deck, galley, lavatories, and cargo bays, is essential. The Layout of Passenger Accommodation (LOPA) must be adhered to, along with meeting the lease/sale conditions. Special attention to soft furnishings, ensuring they are flammability test compliant, ensures that the aircraft is presented in optimal condition as per the agreement. 

Avionics Equipment

A critical aspect of the pre-transition inspection is the scrutiny of avionics systems. Each computer data plate installed must be recorded where possible to confirm fitment and identify issues such as any unrecorded removals. Confirming that all components align with the lease/sale agreement is paramount. 


Throughout an aircraft’s operational life, various modifications may be introduced to change or upgrade specific functions or systems of the aircraft, or to match the configuration of the operator’s fleet. A comprehensive review of the lease/seller’s agreement during the inspection is imperative to identify any modifications requiring removal. This foresight ensures that ample time is allocated for uninstalling any components not meeting the agreement’s specifications. 

Engaging Independent Service Providers

Consideration should be given to engaging independent service providers for inspections to eliminate potential bias and identify genuine issues that may require further review. Using highly experienced staff for aircraft inspections, coupled with a flexible approach to travel and on-site support, reduces the risk of unplanned maintenance costs stemming from preexisting defects discovered post-acceptance. 


In the intricate process of aircraft transitions and sales, the importance of thorough inspections cannot be overstated. From structural integrity to avionics precision, emergency preparedness to interior aesthetics, and adaptive modifications, each facet plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition. By embracing these comprehensive inspections, operators can mitigate risks, uphold agreements, and pave the way for a successful aircraft transition or sale.