Blog posts tagged in Maintenance

SofemaOnline (www.sofemaonline.com) takes a look at what we understand when we talk about Murphy’s law!

Who & What is Murphy’s Law?

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born out of an event at Edwards Air Force Base USA in 1949.

It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, An exercise to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.

One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it.". The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law.

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SofemaOnline www.sofemaonline.com looks at the Roles & Responsibilities of an Aircraft Production Support Specialist

Maintenance of aircraft fleets typically poses significant challenges with multiple, and in some ways conflicting objectives relating to the delivery of effective maintenance with the minimisation of operational costs, whilst maintaining the desired level of Safety & Service.

Production planning could be described as the ability to utilize available resources to achieve the maximum output within the available maintenance slot period.

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) Considerations 

The Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) is a generic document issued by the Type Certificate Holder (TCH). The contents of the MPD are coordinated by the Industry Steering Committee (ISC) and Maintenance Review Board (MRB) using the (Maintenance Steering Group 3 Logic) MSG 3 process of analysis and task determination).

The MPD contains hundreds of tasks it is not a customised document and contains all necessary task Information to support all variations of both Modification Status and Aircraft Configuration.

The MPD may list a task as “pre mod” or “post mod” (Depends on Aircraft Configuration).

The MPD Also contains (either as a separate section or integrated within the document) Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI’s).

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Introduction 

Agreement was reached in relation to the extension of 145 certification approval between the European Community (European Aviation Safety Agency - EASA) and the USA (Federal Aviation Administration - FAA) and between EASA and Canada (Transport Canada Civil Aviation - TCAA).

Details of the agreements are issued in the form of two separate guidance materials known as Maintenance Annex Guidance and hereinafter referred to as the MAG. 

Maintenance Annex Guidance 

Is sub-divided into three Sections; 

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Objective

That only Maintenance Staff Qualified and Trained to certify CAT II & CAT III systems may return to serviceability following defect rectification.

All Company and Contracted technical personnel working on company aircraft must complete pre-authorisation training. “CAT II/III A” Awareness Course “Read and Sign Training” before working on, or managing, Company aircraft.

NOTE - This does not constitute Release authority for Auto-Land operations.

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Introduction

With modern aircraft the basic aircraft provides CAT II/CAT III as inherent functions of the basic design standard of the aircraft.

Therefore, typical related “Autoland” tasks are covered by the respective AMM Task driven from the maintenance program.

Typically, it is not necessary for the introduction of additional or special recommendations for scheduled maintenance tasks.

Never the less, operators are expected to demonstrate compliance with supplemental national requirements whenever applicable.

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Introduction

It is considered that errors and violations together form the unreliable part of our human performance. Moreover, that 70-90 percent of current aviation incidents & accidents are due to in some part to “human factors”.

Errors and violations contribute to accidents both directly and by making the consequences of other problems more serious. An accident typically involves several contributing factors, some usually being quite visible and others possibly latent in nature.

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Steve Bentley MD of SAS (www.sassofia.com) discusses the various areas where the Maintenance Planning Process was able to become a precursor contributing to potential maintenance.

EASA commissioned a “Study on the need of a common worksheet/work card system” to evaluate the impact of maintenance documentation on the Human Factor concern.

(Specifications N°: EASA/2006/OP/25 On demand of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), BUREAU VERITAS conducted a “Study on the need of a common worksheet/work card system” from January to November 2007. The present document presents the results of this study.)

The study aimed at providing further insights on the use of documentation, the common practices in place between operators and maintenance organisations and to assess whether current rules and practices may still contribute to incidents/accidents.

Among other results, the study produced a list of incidents/accidents related to the use of maintenance documentation.

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Introduction

Whilst currently (October 2018) EASA does not mandate the obligation to ensure CAMO & Maintenance Planning Staff receive HF training, the reality is that the potential for Human Factor Error knows no bounds and it is just as likely that a Human Factor (HF) error could originate from an exposure within the Maintenance Planning Environment as anywhere else within the “Aviation System”.

Currently some 80% of aircraft accidents are attributable to human error, however this is a situation where it is possible to manage and or address by managing the exposure.

Human Error is recognised as rectifiable through the process of raising awareness, implementation of effective process and procedure and effective communication within the workplace.

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Preparation for Entry Into the Fuel Tank

It is most important to ensure that all persons who are engaged in the process of Fuel Tank Entry are fully trained on all aspects of the following information to ensure that all precautions are taken and all risks minimised.

Steps which must be taken include the following:

a) Ensure the aircraft is electrically grounded

b) Ensure that Fire Extinguishers are available (typically CO2 would be used for a Fuel Fire

c) Deactivate all Electrical Systems on the Aircraft and suitable placard

d) Defuel the aircraft using the Aircraft Maintenance Manual Procedures

e) Deliver a safe atmosphere for maintenance personnel by ensuring the following:

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 4

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

Welcome to the final part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance.

In this article we look at what is not a maintenance activity.

ACTIVITIES WHICH ARE NOT MAINTENANCE

It is mistakenly believed that if something has the potential to cause harm to the aircraft or its operation, the activity should be covered as a maintenance activity. That perception probably has ties to the language that is used in the definition of a “major repair” in § 1.1: “Major repair means a repair: (1) That, if improperly done, might appreciably affect weight, balance, structural strength, performance, powerplant operation, flight characteristics, or other qualities affecting airworthiness…” This has led people to improperly classify some activities that could affect the airworthiness of the aircraft, if done improperly, as maintenance. These activities include:

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 3

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

Welcome to the third part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance?

This article provides an overview

REPLACEMENT OF PARTS

The replacement of parts is the removal and/or installation of parts on a product or article, and therefore, logically a maintenance task. However, there are some specific tasks that require further explanation.

Removing and Reinstalling the Same Part

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at typical performance indicators within an Integrated Operation

Flight Operation

Ground Operations

Maintenance

The following list serves as an introduction to a range of indicators which may be employed within your organisation to support the development of Key Indicators and to facilitate the measurement of Safety Performance across the business.

Using Data derived from the Compliance Quality Audit Program to support the Performance Metrics of the Safety Management System

1/ Internal audits/compliance monitoring: all non-compliances

a) Total number of findings per audit planning cycle & trend

b) % of findings which have a safety significance

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 2

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

Welcome to the second part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance?This article considers what makes up overhaul, repair and preservation.

OVERHAUL

An overhaul includes several separate maintenance activities to restore a product or article to a condition that will give a reasonable assurance of operation for a specified amount of time. The term “overhaul” is mentioned in several places in the FAR’s but this article uses the definition in 14 CFR section 43.2(a), which states that an overhaul consists of disassembly, cleaning, inspection, repaired as necessary, reassembly, and testing.

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The Elements of Aircraft Maintenance – Part 1

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

This is the first part of a four-part series that explains what constitutes maintenance from an FAA perspective and what are the differences between the elements that make up maintenance. 

The term “maintenance” is defined in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 1, §1.1 as “inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and the replacement of parts, but excludes preventive maintenance.”
While this definition has been around for a long time, differences between the five elements that make up maintenance (i.e., inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and the replacement of parts) is not always clearly understood. The definition of maintenance does not include the terms “rebuild” or “rebuilt”. Those functions are limited to the Design Approval Holder (DAH) (i.e., manufacturer) with Production Certificate (PC) approval using its approved design data.

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com considers an EASA Compliant Maintenance Planning Process. 

Maintenance has come a long way since the early days when maintenance programs owed more to the perception of the maintenance needs, as opposed to the analyzed and justified needs. In addition the role of the regulator was also minimal, and in part developed as a result of events, incidents and accidents. 

During the end of the first half of the 20th century regulations began to strengthen and the aircraft manufacturer was seen as the appropriate source of the maintenance program development. The early attempts at effective maintenance (in the 1960’s) saw time limits developed which resulted in aircraft being progressively dismantled, in what became know as Hard Time primary maintenance.

All hard time components were then routed through an overhaul process and after an appropriate restoration process were considered as zero timed. (Means they were considered as zero life and good to go again) - Following investigations into the effectiveness of the Aircraft Maintenance Process, by both the FAA and several airlines, a number of determinations were made.

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Bridging Checks Introduction

Why would we want to carry out a Bridging Check?

Typically because we have recently acquired a “new to our organisation” aircraft and it is on a different maintenance schedule.

A bridging check is normally required to address tasks which have either not been done by the previous operator (maybe they are not applicable for a particular operator) or alternatively the tasks may have been done at different intervals when directly compared with your existing Maintenance Programme or Schedule.

A ‘bridging check’ is not in itself a maintenance package; rather it is the result of a detailed analysis of the pre and post transfer tasks to identify any differences which need to be addressed during the transfer bridging check.

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It is not uncommon for the operator to require the CAMO to maintain the reliability program to essentially demonstrate the minimum compliance of the regulatory requirements. Missing the opportunity to foster a genuine desire to engage with a serious investigate process related to the understanding of negative trends and take efficient corrective measures.

Possibly a major reason for this behaviour is related to a lack of understanding by the operator regarding the philosophical reasons related to the effective implementation of a fully active statistical process control. Unfortunately, the focus is on “living and surviving from day to day” solving problems without spending sufficient time on dealing with the underlying causes.

The benefit of a fully integrated Reliability program is that it does not over react to single events rather the focus moves to trends and system related problems.

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Whilst the Operators CAMO is responsible for the delivery of an effective and viable maintenance planning process, it is the EASA part 145 Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) which has the responsibility to perform the maintenance in accordance with the work package.

EASA AMP Obligations

EASA requires Operator Reviews of Validity and Effectiveness of the AMP  - EASA Annex I – Part M - Subpart C - M.A. 302 Aircraft Maintenance Programme - (g) … The aircraft maintenance programme shall be subject to periodic reviews and amended accordingly when necessary. These reviews shall ensure that the programme continues to be valid in light of the operating experience.

Operators are able to strongly influence the success of a continuous development of scheduled maintenance program data but providing a virtuous circle of feedback to the Type Certificate Holder (TCH), A continuous review of TCH and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) service bulletins, reliability data, service letters, airworthiness directives provides source material for optimisations.

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When a maintenance program is developed, it includes tasks that satisfy the criteria for both applicability and effectiveness.

The applicability of a task is determined by the characteristics of the component or equipment to be maintained.

The effectiveness is stated in terms of the consequences that the task is designed to prevent. The basics types of tasks that are performed by maintenance personnel are each applicable under a unique set of conditions.

Tasks may be directed at preventing functional failures or preventing a failure event consisting of the sequential occurrence of two or more independent failures which may have consequences that would not be produced by any of the failures occurring separately.

Maintenance Program task types include:

(1) Inspections of an item to find and correct any potential failures;

(2) Rework/remanufacture/overhaul of an item at or before some specified time or age limit;

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