How Do You Get Flight Manuals?


Quick Answer

To get an approved aircraft flight manual, search on websites such as eFlightManuals.com, Mach One Manuals, or Flight Manuals Online, and purchase a digital or paper copy. Older aircraft may have their declassified manuals for free online, such as the SR-71 manual available on the website SR-71 Online. When someone purchases a plane, the seller should include the flight manual, because the manual is a record that the owner or mechanic regularly updates with manufacturer information.

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Full Answer

The manufacturer assigns the approved aircraft flight manual to a specific aircraft by serial number, and the flight manual has its own parts number. Sometimes the pilot's operating handbook can substitute for the original flight manual, but only if it contains a complete flight manual as part of the contents.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires that pilots have their approved aircraft flight manual, but there are some exceptions for planes flown before March 1, 1979 that weigh less than 6,000 pounds. Pilots should expect to show their manuals during standard ramp checks.

Informational or owners manuals are not a substitute for an approved aircraft flight manual. Manufacturers issued owners manuals before 1979. Combined with the placards and other markings on the plane, this owners manual served as appropriate documentation for older aircraft only. Newer aircraft may have informational manuals, also called pilots manuals, but they are not specific to a particular aircraft.

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