How to Write an MEL (part 2)

This post is the second in a series of posts that cover the process for developing an MEL. Click here for the start page for this topic.
There are, in most cases, three sections to an MEL. There can be more or less, depending on whether you combine things together, but we will assume that you follow the basic format as explained below:

Administration Section

I consider the first part of the MEL to be the administration section. Why “admin”? Well, this is not an official FAA term, but the term does serve to describe the basic boilerplate and control pages (effective page list) that an MEL must have. This section can also contain any specific policies and procedures that the operator would like to include.

The basic components of the administration section are:

  • Cover page (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • Revision Log page
  • Control Pages (sometimes called a List of Effective Pages)
  • Definitions
  • Preamble
  • MEL item management policy (recommended that this be placed in the company operations manual instead of the MEL)
  • Any specific instructions or policies that the 135 operator would like to include

Main Section

This section is developed almost entirely from the MMEL that you download from the FAA website. It is left to you to handle the MS word formatting and how you would like to deal with any changes that add or delete pages. Generally, the less you change the source document, the better off you will be. More detail will be provided in a post dedicated to this section of the MEL.

Procedures Section

This section contains any specific operations (O) or maintenance (M) maintenance procedures necessary to defer an item using an MEL. Typically, the operator must develop most of this section on their own. The specific aircraft maintenance manual can be an excellent resource, and a mechanic who has good systems knowledge of the aircraft will probably be needed to complete this section of the MEL. Some aircraft manufacturers provide a separate document designed to provide these procedures. More detail will be provided in a post dedicated to this section of the MEL.

Part 3 of this series will discuss the Administration section of the MEL.