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Knowledge and Experience Issues:

FAA's Data Organization Methods: For years the FAA has divided the aircraft world into two realms: "Large Aircraft" and "Small Aircraft". Recently the distinction has become a bit difficult. Originally the dividing-line was at 12,500 lbs. gross weight and all helicopters were in "Small Aircraft". They also divided Engines and Propellers in the same manner (Large and Small). So a Large Engine was one that was installed on a Large Aircraft (over 12,500 lbs.) Anyone can see that this is not going to work very well for very long. A single aircraft Type Certificate has models both above and below 12,500 lbs. and several engines are installed on different aircraft both above and below 12,500 lbs. So now there is a large overlap in the data files at the boundary between Large and Small.

The words "Make", "Model" & "Series" have special (and different) meanings to the FAA, depending on where they are used.

  • Piper PA-28 Series: Means all Piper PA-28 (Cherokees)
  • Piper PA-28-200R: Means -- Make=Piper; Model=PA-28;
    Series=200R Not too difficult if you think about it for a while.
  • Boeing 747 Series: Means all B-747s -- 1969 to present. Thet's a lot of very different airplanes!!

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