What documents do pilots need to carry on board the aircraft when flying?

GoFly8 Jul, 2022

What documents do pilots need to carry on board the aircraft when flying?

It is important for all pilots in Australia to know what documents they must legally have on board the aircraft when flying. It can be quite confusing understanding the legal requirements and where to find the most up to date legislation in relation to documentation requirements.

As the pilot in command, knowing these requirements will not only ensure you meet your legal obligations but also give you peace of mind should you get a ramp check or spot audit from CASA or Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAUS).

Here is a list of items that need to ALWAYS be carried on an aircraft when flying in Australia for day VFR flights. These references can be located on CASR 91.105, 91.110 and the Recreational Aviation Australia Operations Manual and VFRG.


Flight Crew licence

A Pilots Licence holder must have a valid Flight Crew licence on them at all times.

If they have a Recreational Pilot Certificate with RAAUS,  while it is a good idea to have the Certificate on you, it is not a legal requirement. As per the RAAUS Ops Section 2.03, Recreational Pilot Certificate holders only have to produce the documentation within 72 hours of being requested by RAAUS or CASA.


Medical Certificate

For a CASA pilot licence holder, it is a requirement to have your Medical Certificate on you at all times.

For a Recreational Pilot Certificate, if you are required to have a medical certificate, then once again, as per the RAAUS Operations Manual, the pilot has 72 hours to produce  the document if requested by RAAUS or CASA.


Photographic ID

All pilot licence and certificate holders are required to have photographic ID on them at all times. This can be a passport, an ASIC card or a driver’s licence.


Flight Manual or Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)

The aircraft Flight Manual or Pilot Operating Handbook must be on board the aircraft at all times.


Minimum equipment list for the aircraft type 

If your aircraft type has a minimum equipment list, this equipment must all be onboard the aircraft. This list is often contained in the flight manual or Pilot Operating Handbook or could be a requirement for a particular commercial air operation.


Not required if doing aerobatics

There is an exemption from having to carry these documents if you are performing aerobatics and the documents could interfere with the safe operation of the aircraft.


Recreational and light sport aircraft 

As per CAO 95.32 and 95.55 and the RAAUS Operations Manual, each aircraft must have a means of ascertaining current registration and valid airworthiness. This would normally mean a registration certificate on board and a type certificate, or for LSA aircraft, a special Certificate of Airworthiness on board the aircraft.



Other exemptions 

As per CASR 91.110, the documents below are exempt from being carryied on board an aircraft, providing the flight is conducted within 50NM of the departure aerodrome flying within or traveling to and from a training area. These documents include 

  • Technical Log or Maintenance Release 
  • Authorized aeronautical information for the flight 

If we look at this another way, if you are planning to depart from the departure aerodrome for more than 50NM or outside a training area then the aircraft must carry its Maintenance Release sheet. The aircraft must also have the relevant aeronautical information such as maps and other documents required to safely conduct the flight.

Do pilots need to have their Logbook with them?

As per CASR 61.345 and RAAUs Ops Manual 2.03, a pilot logbook is not required to be carried on board an aircraft. However, for Pilot Licence holders, the logbook must be presented to CASA within 7 days if requested by CASA. For RAAUS Pilot Certificate holders, the logbook must be presented within 72 hours if requested from Recreational Aviation Australia.

Documentation checklist 

It is a good idea to have your own documentation checklist which is particular for your licence or certificate type, that you check every time you go flying. The checklist will also vary depending on whether you are flying within 50nm or the training area.


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