Due to the risks involved in flight, safety measures must be exhaustive, comprehensive, and followed obsessively. Determining the airworthiness of an aircraft is the responsibility of the pilot, flight crew, and the maintenance staff that work on the aircraft. The pilot or copilot is responsible for performing a preflight check, and the maintenance staff is responsible for managing the maintenance state of the aircraft and delivering that information to the flight crew.
The preflight check consists of an exterior walkaround and visual inspection of critical parts of the aircraft, such as sensors, probes, structural components, and exposed motors and cables. This is nowhere near thorough enough to spot every potential problem, but it is still a required part of flight, and has been enough to prevent some flights that should have never taken off from the beginning.
After the walkaround an interior check is conducted with tests of various systems such as fire detection, weather radar, warning lights, and many others. The nature of these tests varies depending on the systems mounted on the aircraft, and some aircraft can conduct these tests automatically.
Maintenance crews are responsible for performing interval checks throughout the aircraft’s lifetime as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, referred to as A-checks, B-checks, C-checks, and D-checks. The A-check is the least invasive and must be performed for every 500 hours of flying time. The D-check is the most thorough, occurs every six years or so, and can be so invasive and expensive that some airliners will retire the aircraft rather than deal with it. Additionally, the maintenance crew must keep an inventory of the operational state of all flight safety equipment aboard the aircraft. If the flight crews discover a fault, they need to notify maintenance, who will decide whether to take the plane offline to fix it, or defer it. This decision depends on the MEL, minimum equipment list, that the aircraft needs to adhere to in order to be airworthy. The pilot must review the MEL and deferred items before each flight to be aware of the maintenance state of the aircraft.
At Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the maintenance tools and equipment for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-509-449-7700.
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