Aircraft maintenance inspection requires an in-depth knowledge about it. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. Boarding on an aircraft becomes dangerous when you don't inspect it properly.
Aircraft maintenance inspection involves a process that requires periodic inspections. The crew is responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft. Any problem can arise in an aircraft before, during, or after a flight.
Thus, it becomes crucial to know about the different types of aircraft maintenance inspections. They are necessary to ensure a safe flight every time.
Scheduled Aircraft Maintenance
Scheduled aircraft maintenance is carried out at regular intervals. Whether you are choosing to fly or not, scheduled maintenance is necessary to ensure that your aircraft is ready at all times. This includes pre-flight inspections, annual inspections, progressive inspections, or 100-hour inspections.
Annual maintenance inspection happens once a year, and is mandatory for all aircraft. Annual inspections are more detailed than a 100-hour inspection. It involves the processes of:
- Inspecting and testing the engine
- Weeding out unacceptable parts
- Checking flight avionics
- Checking flight controls
- Reviewing all aircraft logbooks
Crew members are chosen to do this annual inspection who have an in-depth knowledge of aircraft parts. The mechanic hired for the annual inspection must be capable of performing a thorough inspection. He must also be able to keep track of materials and time.
Annual inspections apply to most aircraft involving:
- Having an experimental certificate
- Having a special flight permit
- Airworthiness certifications
50 And 100 Hour Inspections
All aircraft for flight purposes undergo 50 or 100-hour inspections before flight. It is mandatory for planes who carry passengers. However, the aviation administration doesn’t mandate it for other aircraft. But, it is wise to consider an oil change every 50 hours for all planes.
Other things that 50 and 100-hour inspections include are:
- Examining and cleaning spark plugs
- Oil change
- Checking for wear and tear issues
- Proper checking and inspection of the cockpit
- Checking for seatbelt malfunctions
- Checking the cabin
In a 100-hour inspection, technical crews remove cargo, cabins, brakes, fabric of fuselage, flight control surfaces, and struts.
Also known as phase inspection, progressive inspection involves regular intervals. Phase inspection occurs every 25-50 hours. Only certain components are examined during this inspection, making it ready for a safe flight. This inspection involves removing access, panels, screens, and some other disassembly to complete the inspection.
Progressive inspection is necessary for the high usage of fleets, such as corporate uses or flight schools. It also reduces downtime as an aircraft would complete a 100-hour inspection in four phases of 25 hours each.
Pre-flight inspection is carried out just before the flight is to take-off. The cabin crews inspect the plane to check for any malfunctions or problems. This involves inspecting flight control surfaces and fuselage components for any defects.
Pre-flight inspection has two main categories.
1. Cabin Inspection
Checking the cabin requires you to have the necessary documents such as:
- Registration certificate
- Airworthiness certificate
- Operating handbook
- Weight and balance data
- Radio station license
Next, it ensures that the cockpits valves and switches are in the right position. You must also check and record fuel gauge readings for later use. Perform cockpit cleaning. Make sure that the magnetos are off, and there are no unsecured tools there.
2. Exterior Inspection
Exterior inspection requires pilots to walk around the plane and check its exterior. They can check for:
- Loose rivets, bolts, and nuts
- Check tires for wear and flats
- Check propellers for oil leaks
- Clean the windows
- Check the fuel quantity
- Check the exhaust pipes
- Testing rigged controls
Unscheduled Aircraft Maintenance
Unscheduled aircraft maintenance is unforeseen maintenance that can happen anytime whenever a problem occurs. It doesn’t have any specific timing. Rather it can occur when a problem is found before, during, or after a flight.
Mitigating with unscheduled maintenance requires special technical skills. Otherwise, it can be dangerous, especially if it is during the flight. Examples can include in-flight issues to tires, problems with the vacuum pump, low-landing gear strut, or more.
The cabin crew must report the problem to the technical team. During the flight, they will have to land the plane at the nearest airport. The technical team will then repair the problem and verify when the plane is ready.
When looking for an aircraft maintenance consultation contact Acorn Welding. We are an aviation welding company based out of Edmonton.