The types of aircraft maintenance
Aircraft maintenance is becoming more complex with the passing of time and scheduled inspections are more important than ever. A scheduled aircraft inspection refers to any preventative repair or maintenance that a cabin crew or technicians undertakes at planned intervals. The main types of scheduled maintenance are annual inspections, 50- and 100-hour inspections, preflight checks, and progressive inspections. These are all designed to ensure the functionality and airworthiness of the aircraft.
Taking place once a year, annual inspection is necessary for any aircraft whether its uses are recreational, instructional, or commercial. Annual inspections are more detailed than preflight or 100-hour inspections and encompasses checks of flight controls, avionics, engine, logbooks, and flight control surfaces. Maintenance crews will note any defects during inspection and repair them before the aircraft is able to fly again.
50- and 100- hour inspections are important for fixing minor wear and tear and addressing smaller issues. Unlike 100-hour checks, 50-hour checks are not actually FAA mandated, but they are a good idea since oil must be changed every 50 hours anyway. 50-hour checks can include engine inspection as well as gapping, cleaning, and examination of the spark plugs. 100-hour checks are more in depth and include inspection of all major components of an aircraft as well as removal of control surfaces, brakes, tires, landing gear, struts, and access doors for examination. Additionally, the crew will inspect the cockpit and cabin as well as the fuel switches, battery, flight controls, yoke, and avionics.
Pre-flight checks and progressive inspections are typically less intensive than other maintenance. Pre-flight checks are performed by the cabin crew to ensure that nothing has been compromised. The crew often possesses a checklist of components that need to be inspected before every flight. Progressive inspections, also known as phase inspections, are frequent but lighter, less thorough inspections that occur when tight flight schedules make it unrealistic for intensive repairs. They typically occur after every 25-50 hours of flight time.
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