Seasoned and inexperienced pilots or aircraft mechanics need to be aware of how necessary proper airplane maintenance is. Why? Routine maintenance ensures the aircraft is operational and free of potentially fatal issues.
According to FAA regulations, every aircraft must undergo at least one assessment annually. However, you must do additional checks if the plane carries passengers besides the crew. These examinations guarantee your aircraft's airworthiness and safety.
Periodic inspections are a great option for heavily used airplanes. Although they shorten regular inspection intervals, more checks will be made all year long. For instance, a business jet might undergo checks every 25 hours of operation.
These pointers will help you keep your aircraft in top operational and safety condition:
#1: Schedule regular maintenance checks
Every pilot must make sure to periodically complete necessary aircraft maintenance activities. The procedure for performing maintenance inspections is the same whether it's a modern airplane or an older aircraft. Aircraft maintenance refers to the routine checks that all commercial and private pilots must conduct on their planes after a predetermined number of flights.
Since the aviation sector is heavily regulated, each nation's aviation authorities require its commercial flight operators to fully comply with its continuous inspection procedures. For instance, the aviation industry in Canada is governed by Transport Canada, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for the United States.
All aircraft operators must establish continuous airworthiness maintenance programs (CAMP) in their operations descriptions, including frequent and thorough air-assets inspections. These comprehensive inspections are also known as "Checks"; A and B checks denote small evaluations, while C and D checks indicate comprehensive checkups.
Aircraft technicians can cut down on expensive downtime and avoid future equipment failures by streamlining the maintenance procedure for airplanes. Additionally, anticipating malfunctions enables them to fix or replace important aircraft components — like engines, fuel tanks, and airboxes — in a timely manner.
#2: Use software to track and plan maintenance
Despite regulations governing maintenance procedures, many aircraft fleets aren't operating as effectively as they should. Information delivery delays lead to communication bottlenecks, which can delay the utilization of an aircraft.
Airplane maintenance management software enables your staff to communicate easily, allowing you to solve maintenance problems before they become serious. You don't want piles of paperwork to slow you down when your aircraft needs maintenance.
Your team can start working immediately if you use maintenance software to generate work orders. You can track service work from beginning to end and make sure your assets and machinery are ready for use by using specific line items.
In addition to planning and carrying out maintenance on airplanes, it's essential to be able to monitor data and generate reports — this will allow you to allocate your resources effectively.
#3: Enhance the reliability of aircraft components
Aircraft components need to be inspected and checked often to avoid failure. Simple aging-related degradation is not the most frequent reason for component failure. 90% of common parts fail gradually over time or randomly.
Factors that determine how often you should check aircraft components are flight hours, aircraft age, regulation requirements, and manufacturer’s instructions.
Choose one of these tried-and-true preventative maintenance techniques to ensure the longest possible lifespan for components:
Hard time: this procedure calls for a replacement when a component reaches the end of its factory-determined lifespan and it is the least cost-effective option.
Functional checks: make sure a part still performs a specific function before replacing it. The most extensive solution is functional verification. It examines every aspect of a component, including those that the crew might not notice during a flight.
Component maintenance entails several processes. Start with regular lubrication and replace any worn-out parts. Visual inspections can reveal whether a malfunction has occurred.
#4: Work with reliable MROs
Maintenance companies are a crucial component of an airline's business plan. These teams are a direct extension of the internal teams in charge of running the airlines. It goes without saying that the quality of the relationship between the airline and the MRO supplier is vital.
Airlines must exercise all appropriate due diligence. Finding an MRO supplier who is aware of the airline's requirements and expectations is essential to establishing a productive and fruitful partnership.
Successful airlines consistently adapt and stay ahead of the competition while fostering solid alliances to support them in achieving their goals in such a rapidly evolving and competitive sector.
Rapid technological improvements, particularly in cloud computing and predictive maintenance, can allay some of the fears raised by the labor crisis in the aircraft maintenance sector. The aviation sector must exploit these technological potentials to address future challenges.
Regular inspections and repairs literally save lives. It keeps the planes in the air safely, enhancing the operator's profit line, and providing passengers with a piece of mind.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.