How to write an MEL (part 3)

This post is the third in a series of posts that cover the process for developing an MEL. Click here for the start page for this topic.

MEL Front-End Section

The first section of the MEL contains several necessary pieces of information. These first pages are often given too little attention during the development of an MEL, which can lead to difficulty getting the document approved. Careful attention to detail here can ensure that the MEL is approved easily and that employees who use the MEL are provided with the information they need to use the MEL effectively. The basic format of the Administration section of the MEL will include the following elements:

Cover page (optional)
A cover page is recommended, though optional. I recommend that you don’t put anything on the cover page that could change or require approval by the FAA.

Typically the cover page should state:

  • The name of the operator
  • The text “Minimum Equipment List”
  • Aircraft type
  • Aircraft registration number

Table of Contents
A table of contents (TOC) is a required item for the MEL to be approved. That said, the amount of detail and complexity of the TOC is flexible. At a minimum, it needs to list the various elements of the MEL and the page number where that element starts.

When specifically considering the TOC for an MEL, it is not necessary to list every individual MEL item and the page it is listed on in the table of contents. The starting page for each aircraft system should be good enough.
For example, the TOC for an MEL might look like this excerpt:

System Page
Air Conditioning      21-1
Auto Flight                22-1
Communications     23-1

Or alternately, you could list the range of pages for a specific aircraft system:

System Page
Air Conditioning      21-1 to 21-4
Auto Flight                22-1 to 22-2
Communications     23-1 to 23-8

Revision Log page
This is a required element of the MEL.
Don’t confuse the revision number of the MMEL (published by the FAA) with the revision number that you will put on the MEL (developed by the operator).

Suppose you are going to write an MEL for a Beech King Air 90. Suppose the MMEL on the FAA website is on revision 9, for example. When your company first develops your King Air 90 MEL, you would give it revision “original”, since this is your first King Air 90 MEL. The revision status of the MMEL doesn’t have any connection to the revision status of your MEL.

The revision log page must also have a current revision date and revision number listed somewhere on the page for proper revision control.

Control Pages
Control pages (sometimes called a List of Effective Pages or Effective Page List) are a required item for an MEL.

Each page within the MEL must have a revision number and date on that page. The Control Pages list each page or section and the revision status of that page or section.

Part 4 of this series will continue the discussion of the Administration section of the MEL.