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What Does Aircraft Maintenance Involve?

What Does Aircraft Maintenance Involve?

Aircraft maintenance is, in essence, the upkeep of an aircraft and its components. Not only is maintenance mandatory under regulations, it is also crucial in ensuring safe flight operations. Maintenance includes inspection, overhaul, part replacement, repair and preservation.


Source: Dviation Group

Primarily, aircraft maintenance is required to preserve the serviceability of an aircraft’s structures and components, to uphold the aircraft in an airworthy condition. An aircraft must undergo frequent maintenance to remain in a reliable and serviceable state. Maintenance also ensures the compliance of all regulatory requirements.

Regulatory Compliance

Apart from maintaining safe flight operations, maintenance tasks are carried out to ensure compliance with Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins. Airworthiness Directives are notices to certified aircraft owners and operators, informing that there is a known safety deficiency in a model of aircraft or its components, and must be corrected. Service Bulletins are documents that communicate details of modifications, which can be applied to the aircraft.

Inspections


Source: Dviation Group

The maintenance process of an aircraft generally begins with inspections – visual examinations and manual checks that help technicians determine the condition of the aircraft components. Technicians are required to perform a range of inspections, sometimes as detailed as using x-ray or ultrasonic instruments to check the conditions of the component. How detailed an inspection is, depends on the type of maintenance checks. In Dviation’s line maintenance station, for example, technicians and licensed aircraft engineers perform initial general visual inspections.

Overhaul


Source: www.airforcemag.com

The process of intensive inspection, maintenance and repair of an aircraft’s parts are collectively known as an overhaul. In an agreement between the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), an overhaul means ‘a process that ensures the aeronautical article is in complete conformity with the applicable service tolerances specified in the type certificate holder’s, or equipment manufacturer’s instructions for continued airworthiness, or in the data which is approved or accepted by the Authority.’ A component that is undergoing an overhaul must be ‘disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired as necessary, reassembled and tested’. Generally, certain components have a Time Between Overhaul (TBO) set by the manufacturer. This means that once the component has reached a certain number of hours, it must be overhauled.

Part Replacement


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The replacement of parts is carried out by removing and installing components. Replacement does not always involve installing a new part; it can also refer to the removal and installation of the same part, after repair.

Repair


Source: www.ainonline.com

This procedure involves the restoration of an aircraft and its components to its original, or acceptable altered condition. Repair bears similarities to part replacement, but involves more complex operations, such as fabrication and material substitution. For example, a replacement that requires welding is classified as a repair rather than part replacement. Repairs include strengthening, reinforcing, and splicing.

Preservation

Preservation is carried out to maintain the design capabilities of a component. This involves lubrication, protective coating and the application of preservatives, among other forms.

Non-Maintenance Activities


Source: anglophonetribune.com

Some activities do not fall under the umbrella of aircraft maintenance, namely, , loading software and routine cleaning. While these activities keep the aircraft in serviceable condition, they are not known as maintenance activities.

Dviation offers top-quality aircraft maintenance solutions, as well as training for maintenance personnel (such as technicians and Licensed Aircraft Engineers). Visit www.dviation.com for more info!

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