The average person has no idea what the parts of an aircraft are or how they work to get a plane into the air. The fact is, each part of an airplane has a specific function and each part works together to help a plane fly. Although each part of an airplane has a specific function, each part has different maintenance requirements, with some parts being FAA mandated for regular maintenance and inspection. Aircraft engine maintenance is also very important, but here are the first things to look for as it applies to other aspects of the aircraft.
The airframe of an airplane includes the fuselage, wings and undercarriage but does not include the propulsion system. These parts of an aircraft are subject to a significant amount of stress when the plane is in flight that can lead to cracks and fatigue in various areas of the airframe. The FAA requires regular inspection of the airframe. In addition, aviation mechanics are trained to know where and how cracking will occur and how to detect fatigue before a crack forms. Corrosion can also be a problem as weather and extreme temperature changes during flight can cause rust and other forms of corrosion in seams and connections.
The power plant, or engines, of an airplane provide the thrust, hydraulic and electric power an airplane needs to fly. Aircraft engines are normally lightweight piston engines or gas turbines, depending on the type of aircraft. The power plant is actually not just one part of an airplane, but is made up of many different parts. Because the power plant is critical for the airplane to fly, there are many FAA regulations requiring special inspections and routine maintenance in order to keep the plane airworthy. The hydraulic and pneumatic systems have their own regulations regarding inspection and maintenance as well. Corrosion is also a factor in airplane engines due to the extreme changes in temperature they experience during flight.
The propeller on an airplane converts rotary motion from the engine to provide the force necessary for the plane to fly. This part of an airplane can become damaged, affecting the airworthiness of the plane. One of the main causes of propeller failure is corrosion as it threatens the strength and integrity of the propeller. Propellers can also become twisted or misaligned and the blades can also experience nicks or cracks. Not only can cracks occur in the blades, but the hub of the propeller can crack as well. For this reason, the FAA has strict requirements on propeller inspection, maintenance, repair and removal from service. Documentation is required to confirm that such inspections have been performed.
Although all parts of an aircraft require repairs, maintenance and inspection at some point, there are parts that must be reviewed more frequently to insure the safety of the aircraft and to meet FAA regulations. For all your expert needs when it comes to aircraft maintenance, contact Covington Aircraft, and we will take care of you!
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