Plane Sense Chapter 9. The Service Difficulty Program

The Service Difficulty Program provides for the exchange of service experience with aircraft and aircraft products to aid in the detection of mechanical problems. The incentive. for early detection is to get a jump on corrective actions and ultimate solutions, thereby minimizing the effect of equipment failure on safety.

Aircraft owners, pilots, and mechanics are urged to report promptly all service problems, using FAA Form 8010-4, Malfunction or Defect Report, or any other form or format. Copies of these forms may be obtained free from any FSDO. No postage is required. [Figures 14 and 15] FAA Form 8010-4 is also available in electronic format on the internet. This version provides the advantage of electronic submission. The internet address is:

Each problem reported contributes to the improvement of aviation safety through the identification of a potential problem area and the alerting of other persons to it. This focusing of attention on a problem has led to improvements in the design and maintainability of aircraft and aircraft products.

How does reporting a problem help you? By pooling everyone’s knowledge about a situation, we can detect mechanical problems early enough to correct them before they might possibly result in accidents/incidents. This should make flying safer, more enjoyable, and certainly less expensive.

AC 20-109, Service Difficulty Program (General Aviation), contains additional information on this program.