4 Dos And 3 Don’ts Of Aircraft Maintenance
4 Dos And 3 Don’ts Of Aircraft Maintenance
Air transportation is one of the most commonly used modes of public transportation. It allows people to travel across domestic and international destinations. However, like any other transportation, aircraft accidents are inevitable. Globally, there were 0.23 fatal aircraft accidents per million flights recorded in 2017-2020. Pilot error, weather conditions, air traffic control, or mechanical failure often cause these accidents. Fortunately, aircraft accidents can be lessened and prevented through aircraft maintenance.
Aircraft maintenance comprises tasks carried out by aircraft mechanics to ensure an aircraft’s airworthiness. This includes inspecting the aircraft, making repairs and replacements as necessary, and keeping records of all the work done. As a highly-regulated field, aircraft mechanics in aircraft maintenance facilities, like a military aircraft hangar, are required to be adequately trained in the correct maintenance procedures. That said, whether you’re a pilot, mechanic, or just someone curious about aircraft maintenance, this article discusses some of aircraft maintenance’s vital dos and don’ts. Read on!
Dos Of Aircraft Maintenance
Here are some of the dos to be followed for proper maintenance operations:
- Do Keep The Hangar Clean
Keeping a hangar clean is one of the most critical aspects of aircraft maintenance. Not only does this make the environment more pleasant for mechanics and technicians, but it ensures workplace safety and prevents accidents.
There are a few ways to keep the hangar clean. Keeping the area organized is essential – ensure tools and parts are neatly stored and have proper inventory. Regular cleaning and immediate clearing of debris or clutter must also be observed. These will help reduce risks and hazards, such as the chance of slipping or tripping on anything left lying around. This also helps prevent foreign object debris (FOD) from accidentally entering and damaging aircraft components.
Overall, a clean area ensures mechanics can perform maintenance tasks without accidents or interruptions. Therefore, cleaning the hangar is necessary before conducting any maintenance tasks.
- Do Use The Proper Tools
When it comes to aircraft maintenance, having the proper tools and equipment is crucial. Not only do you need to ensure that the job is done accurately, but you also need to make sure that it is done safely to minimize the risk of accidents. Using the wrong tools could result in damage or an accident, so use the exact tool specified by the manufacturer for each job.
- Do Conduct Regular And Thorough Aircraft Inspections
Aircraft mechanics must routinely check the aircraft. A small tear in a wing can grow into a large hole if it’s not fixed promptly. Aircraft inspections are essential for safety and help keep any plane from emergencies due to malfunction.
The primary types of aircraft maintenance inspections include:
- Progressive Inspections: These inspections are conducted regularly, such as every 50 flying hours, to detect minor issues before they become big problems. Performing progressive inspections will help prevent mechanical failures, which can be dangerous in flight.
- Annual Inspections: These are required by law and involve extensive examinations of the aircraft’s systems and components to ensure the aircraft is safe for flying. This process may take several days, depending on the size and complexity of the aircraft.
- 100-Hour Inspections: Like annual inspections, 100-hour inspections are designed to ensure the aircraft is safe for flying but can be completed in less time than an annual inspection. These inspections are required by law if an aircraft has flown more than 100 hours within 12 months.
- Pre-Flight Inspections: This type of inspection is done before each flight. It helps ensure the pilot can fly safely and confidently by checking that all necessary components, including engines, brakes, windows, and doors, are working correctly.
When conducting inspections, following the procedures and having the proper checklist is crucial to avoid missing anything.
- Do Follow Workplace Protocols
One of aircraft maintenance’s most important do’s is following workplace protocols. An aircraft hangar has numerous hazards, making following workplace protocols critical to ensure safety. Therefore, even if mechanics are in a hurry, it’s crucial to follow the workplace protocols and standards that have been put in place to keep everyone safe and secure.
Don’ts Of Aircraft Maintenance
Aside from the dos, there are practices mechanics must avoid. Here are some don’ts to be observed:
- Don’t Forget To Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Wearing protective equipment is necessary. In the hangar and on the runway, mechanics should wear a protective mask and gloves while working on aircraft to avoid any dust particles that could get inside the engine. This also helps protect them from other potentially hazardous substances like oil and fuel.
Moreover, a hard hat and steel-toe boots must be worn for protection in case of a sudden accident or movement. Mechanics must also put on a reflective safety vest so those out on the runway can see them from a distance.
With proper protective equipment, aircraft maintenance personnel can properly and safely perform their duties confidently and accurately, ensuring aircraft fly safely every time.
- Don’t Proceed Without A Maintenance Management Plan
One of the most critical actions you should never do when it comes to aircraft maintenance is proceeding without a plan. An aircraft maintenance plan is crucial for ensuring compliance and uptime.
Furthermore, with a proper maintenance management plan, maintenance organizations get to streamline operations, keeping every team member on track and ensuring proper maintenance documentation and report. Overall, this helps provide an efficient maintenance workflow and proper and timely execution of tasks and operations.
- Don’t Forget To Check Weather Conditions Before Maintenance
Always make sure to check the weather conditions before attempting any maintenance on the aircraft. Depending on the weather, you may be required to change your plans or make additional preparations. The last thing you want is for your aircraft to sustain any damage due to inclement weather.
Aircraft maintenance is crucial in keeping an aircraft airworthy. By following these dos and don’ts, mechanics ensure the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft, ensuring safe flights from one destination to another.