Aging Aircraft Case Study

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In 1903 the Wright Brothers first built their first aircraft thus was the beginning of aging aircraft. There is no single criteria that defines an aircraft as ‘old’ (Kizer, 1989). As much maintenance put in to the upkeep of the aircraft, the airframe itself cannot be replaced only repaired. Since the Wright brothers created that first aircraft, the demand for aviation has increased tremendously. Since the beginning of the aircrafts life cycle there are many things that will increase the age of the aircraft including, the number of flight cycles, and the number of flight hours. The number of repairs on the aircraft also increases the age by the varying components installed. There have been many instructions enacted to combat aging aircraft…show more content…
Age does not directly cause the measured workload patterns. It is only a correlate of many other material-deterioration and maintenance-response processes that change over time (Pyles, 2003). A major discrepancy with old aircrafts is corrosion. At each of these inspection intervals corrosion must be treated and prevented, otherwise it can be catastrophic. As such was the Aloha Incident of 1988 where corrosion caused the upper fuselage to rip off during flight. This accident was the beginning of the Aging Aircraft Act and is what prompted all the safety inspections required today. Since then many other accidents have happened with aging aircraft including TWA flight 800, on 17 July 1996, where it was found that the wiring in the wing center section was deteriorated and led to the fuel tank explosion killing everyone aboard. In 2000 and 2001, it was found in Ansett Australia’s Boing 767 aircrafts had structural cracks in the engine pylons and empennage which caused a massive impact in making these aircraft grounded. These accidents and incidents have highlighted the safety implications resulting from aircraft ageing and have demonstrated the importance of effective continuing airworthiness programs (Australian Transport Safety Bureau
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