While aircraft maintenance requirements can be convoluted, the basics are relatively similar. The entirety of a plane and its parts must be regularly inspected according to the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) standards. Aircraft inspection typically involves assessing the condition of various parts and systems especially aircraft brake parts. To ensure an aircraft is fully compliant, one might seek out maintenance practices outlined by the manufacturer, the aid of repair stations, and/or maintenance technicians.
Routine inspections as outlined by the FAA, include a multitude of time-sensitive evaluations. The frequency of evaluations required is dependent on but is not limited to, calendar specifications, flight hours, and/or flight cycles. A flight cycle refers to the particular series of operations that each component of the aircraft encounters on one full flight.
Checks, depending on the aircraft, might include the servicing, cleaning, or troubleshooting of hydraulics, fuel systems, pneumatic systems, avionics, and more. An important tip to remember: each system has its own specified flight cycle limit or lifetime limit. When reached, the part, and/or system, requires immediate replacement. Aviation maintenance professionals should be cognizant of the flight cycle limits specified to a particular aircraft.
For private plane owners, inspection parameters are outlined by a maintenance review board (MRB) upon manufacturing of the aircraft. The final scope of requirements should be published and available to the consumer upon production.
In the case of commercial airliners, civil aircraft are subject to the specifications listed by FAR part 121 subpart L. An MRB must also develop an FAA approved Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP). This series of measures describes the frequency of checks required, time allotted between each inspection, and part replacement guidelines. Over time, this will include a comprehensive survey of the aircraft. A standard survey will likely include inspection of the engine mounts, fuselage, landing gear, avionics, corrosion risks, wear and tear, and more.
Repair station aircraft maintenance and operations requirements are outlined under Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) part 43. This section outlines parameters for maintenance, preventative maintenance, and standards for alteration of aircraft, aircraft systems, and aircraft articles. Aircraft maintenance technician’s (AMT’s) must be certified by the FAA. These professionals are regulated by FARs as well, and the requirements applicable to their certification can be accessed under part 65.
Comprehensive maintenance is integral to the longevity and safety of an aircraft. From avionics to landing gear, you can see that each aircraft system has predetermined requirements that help keep maintenance in compliance with the FAA.
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