Minimum Equipment List (MEL)


Contrary to its name, a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) is a list of items that may be inoperative and still allow an aircraft to be considered airworthy. There are many benefits of using a MEL. First, operations with inoperative equipment are simplified since there is a single reference document which contains everything needed to "defer" a piece of equipment. Furthermore, for each item, the MEL will briefly describe how the operation of the aircraft will be affected and if there are any other systems affected by that deferral. In addition, aircraft operators can customize MELs to suit their operational needs. Lastly, a MEL document is easily-scaled for large fleets of aircraft.

Despite the benefits, it is rare for general aviation aircraft owners to possess an MEL for their aircraft. The process of creating an MEL is a lengthy and costly process that typically is not necessary or useful for anyone who is the owner or operator of general aviation aircraft.



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