Background image

What is an Annual Inspection?

24 February 2023

Every aircraft in the Collection is brought into the Engineering Workshop once a year in order for its annual inspection to be carried out.

An annual inspection is completed to ensure that the aircraft is airworthy and maintained in an airworthy condition.  Each aircraft is maintained in accordance with a schedule that is approved by the Civic Aviation Authority, or the Light Aircraft Association, depending on the specific aircraft.

Every three years, a slightly more in-depth ‘D’ Check is carried out, and in the case of some of the heavier aircraft, a nine year ‘E’ Check is also undertaken.   This is supplemented by Out of Phase items which might be due on flight hours.

An annual inspection can be categorised into three sections, these are:


The airframe condition is inspected as well as the wear and tear of components.  Some aircraft, such as the Chipmunk, have type specific inspections to carry out in addition to the basic annual inspection.


Servicing components helps to ensure continued airworthiness. Some of these might include lubricating flying control surfaces or the servicing of undercarriage legs.

Defect Rectification

Any defect that has been noted during the inspection needs to be rectified to keep the aircraft airworthy.  Defect Rectification can be things such as the changing of tyres, or repairs to the fabric covering.


All of the work is carried out by our dedicated staff and volunteers so that the aircraft can continue to fly during our annual air show season.  The Shuttleworth Engineering Workshop is open throughout the week, with a constant rotation of aircraft being brought in for their inspections.

To see the fascinating processes and challenges that go into maintaining these historic aircraft, pay us a visit, or pre-book your tickets online at: