Aircraft maintenance is a vital component in the aviation industry as it determines the safety of every flight including passengers, crew and cargo on board. Aircraft mechanics and technicians need to have deep aviation knowledge and experience to successfully conduct rigorous inspections, repairs and maintenance on aircraft.
Mechanics also need a particular set of skills to work with different aviation equipment and other specialized aircraft maintenance tools such as vibration meter. It is a demanding career that requires a high level of expertise to execute such a sophisticated aircraft operation.
Aircraft Maintenance and Repair
Maintenance programs are comprehensive and evolve with time as new aircraft get introduced. This is an ongoing process that ensures an aircraft is thoroughly inspected and maintained to check for faulty systems and replacement of integral parts as stated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In situations where aircraft maintenance technicians are dealing with new aircraft materials, components and structures, more time is dedicated to learning the new features until a satisfactory level of confidence is attained. Technicians use maintenance programs of high quality to effectively get the work done.
Elements of an Effective Maintenance Program
- Sustained aircraft safety standards and reliability as mandated by FAA
- Offers error management solutions, reliability and safety recovery measures when deterioration occurs
- Provide data for design and system improvement when inherent reliability is compromised.
- Minimizing the cost of repair and maintenance but ensuring the service of high quality
Forms of Aircraft Maintenance
Maintenance for aircrafts is further categorized into two parts, structural maintenance and component maintenance.
1. Aircraft Structural Maintenance
Aircraft structural maintenance involves general and specific inspection of structural design, components and replacement of vital parts to ensure inherent reliability and aircraft structural integrity.
Structural maintenance also involves damage tolerance and fatigue analysis, assessment of service experience and pertinent test results.
Benefits of Aircraft Structural Maintenance
- Identify sources of structural deterioration
- Identify structure susceptibility
- Identify the negative impact of structural deterioration
- Assess accidental and fatigue damage as well as environmental deterioration
- Identify the importance and applicability of techniques used to identify structural deterioration.
2. Aircraft Component Maintenance
Aircraft components and hardware suffer deterioration over time. Therefore, it’s important to consider component maintenance and some of the common parts to cover include electrical, mechanical and avionic components. Elements of performance component maintenance include aircraft component repair, component overhaul, and component modification.
Maintaining an aircraft ensures the components are reliable at all times. When the inherent reliability of a component is compromised, major design modifications are necessary to counter the problem
Lastly, conducting regular detailed inspection and maintenance, fatigue damage analysis and improved components designs can help the aircraft attain performance of high quality and lasts longer.