Any machine is only as good as its moving parts, and when it comes to aviation, nothing could be truer. Your aircraft equipment must be working at its very best to ensure the safety and reliability of your aviation operations and compliance with regulatory standards.
General aviation alone has become hugely popular, with more than 340,000 general aviation aircraft globally today. According to recent statistics, U.S. pilots are operating 204,000 of them. Whether it comes under military, commercial or general purposes, every aircraft out there requires many specialized moving parts for travel.
It All Begins at Pre-flight
Most people think aviation safety only pertains to planes in flight, but there is much to consider before any runway take-off. For example, pre-flight inspections are conducted to spot any potential safety issues. There are many key components to check and recheck before flight. Some of these would include avionics, which examines the pilot’s navigation, weather radar and radio communication equipment.
There are also the engines, landing gear fuel systems and more, right down to pushback tugs for aircraft. Pushback tugs are indispensable to the aviation industry and feature low-profile vehicles that ground-handle aircraft safely. These amazing units push an aircraft backward away from its parking position at an airport gate until it’s ready for departure, etc.
An aircraft is a very expensive investment, and its lifespan can vary. When properly taken care of, a plane can still fly for 30-plus years. When it comes to commercial aircraft, experts will study the number of hours flown and, most importantly, the number of pressurization cycles as they determine the longevity of older airplanes.
Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
Aviation equipment is quite complex, and that is why the role of an aircraft maintenance engineering (AME) professional is essential in this business. Not only do these experts perform routine maintenance and inspections via strict industry guidelines, but AME specialists are also highly proficient in troubleshooting and diagnostic skills.
Any kind of malfunction or system failure can occur at some point, and AME pros use specialized tools and equipment to pinpoint an issue accurately. For instance, the following can develop if preventative aircraft maintenance is ignored:
- Systemic failure
- Structural damage
- Instrument failure
- Malfunctioning hardware
- Fuel starvation
- Inspection failure
These techs also work alongside other engineers and pilots to solve these intricate problems. Also, these experts may be highly skilled in a particular type of aircraft or in working on a specific part of an aircraft. Some techs specialize in the frame, wings, engine, electrical systems or aviation software applications. It requires a large team of know-how to keep an aircraft functioning properly.
Processes of Repair and Overhaul
It’s no secret that today’s incredible technology has designed aircraft with many, many moving parts, both big and small. In today’s commercial planes, you would find millions of parts that equal the whole aircraft. For instance, Lufthansa, the second-largest airline in Europe, once said in an interview that it required 6 million parts to build its Boeing 747-8.
The fuselage, wings, stabilizer, engine and landing gear make up the five most important aircraft part categories. Then, you have to consider that these parts also contain tinier components that range in the thousands.
AME experts have been thoroughly trained in repair problems that can be of an electrical, engine or structural nature. All records of inspection, maintenance and repair are done with meticulousness for adherence to safety regulations and standards.
Winter Weather Impact on Planes
Once the winter season strikes, airline maintenance, engineering, flight and de-icing personnel perform key steps to keep the equipment properly functioning for safe winter operation. These procedures feature deicing, anti-icing, cold weather maintenance and flight operations.
Flying an aircraft in cold weather conditions can cause challenging problems because of the effects of frost, ice, snow, slush and low temperatures.
Talk about pushing the limits of science and technology. These extraordinary vessels of flight have developed into incredible machines that have been refined through countless alterations. Aircraft equipment is indeed the backbone of any aviation operation today.