Adhering to proper maintenance practices is of utmost importance in the Aerospace industry. No aircraft is so tolerant of neglect that it is exempt from deterioration in the absence of inspection and maintenance programs. Corrosion, wear and tear, natural fatigue, and chance failures all contribute to the overall functioning and safety of aircraft.
Proper maintenance and repair techniques isn’t only about replacing a damaged part; it is about the repeated proactive actions required for restoring or maintaining a plane. Methods used to keep an aircraft in serviceable condition includes inspection, overhaul, servicing, and determination of condition. The different stages of aircraft maintenance involve light, heavy, and shop maintenance with each one focusing on separate areas of the vehicle.
Light maintenance refers to a large portion of pre-flight inspections and routine checks. This also encompasses any servicing that is carried out before the flight to ensure the aircraft is fit for the intended flight. The light maintenance process involves checking fluid levels, troubleshooting, repairing any defective components, as well as replacing malfunctioning components. This type of maintenance also focuses on minor repairs and modifications that do not require extensive disassembly and can be accomplished rather quickly; heavy maintenance involves more in-depth work.
Heavy maintenance, also known as base maintenance, consists of repairs or servicing that is generally more invasive and require longer time frames. Although these tasks involve heavy repairs, they occur more infrequently. Airliners and private pilots tend to contract outside assistance for these situations as they require specialized tools/equipment. Heavy maintenance repairs often involve the removal of defective components, technology upgrades in the cockpit, cabin reconfiguration, as well as painting the aircraft. If a plane needs in-depth servicing to the engine, aircraft wings, or tail, it will be destined for shop maintenance.
When an aircraft needs major maintenance, or an overhaul, shop maintenance is required. This includes engine dismantle and repair, wing servicing, cabin maintenance, fuselage upgrades, window replacement, or any other major service. Often times this maintenance can be performed under the same conditions as heavy maintenance; however, this typically requires a hangar or a place to station the aircraft.
Proper upkeep on your aircraft contributes to extending the life of the plane, reinforcing passenger safety, maintaining excellent performance, and avoiding costly aircraft repair parts. Be sure to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedules for your vessel and its components to ensure the longevity of the aircraft.
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