What Is Preventive Aircraft Maintenance?
To say that effective aircraft maintenance is important is likely a bit of an understatement. Not only is it crucial for staying compliant, but it also plays a huge role in terms of efficiency. The better maintained the aircraft is, the longer it can stay operational without issue - thus avoiding costly delays and periods of potentially unexpected downtime.
All told, preventative maintenance is the key to keeping an aircraft in solid condition for as long as possible. By identifying small problems now, you can address them adequately before they have a chance to become much bigger ones down the road - which in and of itself is the most important goal of all.
What is Preventive Aircraft Maintenance?
While the actual process will vary depending on the specific aircraft in question, preventive maintenance typically covers both the replacement or preservation-related tasks that themselves do not involve complex assembly. Some of these tasks can include but are certainly not limited to running tests to check on the status of the aircraft's components, checking for wear, lubricating and cleaning various components and more. Replacing acceptable items would also usually fall under this general category.
Who Can Perform Preventative Maintenance?
You would never want to take your vehicle to get serviced by someone who wasn't a trained, knowledgeable and certified professional - the same concept is true of aircraft maintenance, just on a much larger scale.
Therefore, preventative maintenance should only be performed by someone qualified to diagnose and fix any issues that are found. This includes the owner or operator, provided that they have their pilot certificate. This can also include certified technicians.
It's important to note, however, that pilots cannot perform maintenance themselves under 14 CFR Parts 121, 127, 129 or 135. There are other situations where pilots are authorized to conduct maintenance, but it isn't always the best choice for the aforementioned reasons.
What Does Preventative Maintenance Include?
Again, this will likely vary depending on the aircraft in question but many preventative maintenance programs do share a number of common characteristics.
Chief among these will be preflight checks. This is when the pilots themselves will look for any obvious issues and run through a checklist to guarantee safe operation.
50 and 100 hour inspections are also pivotal in terms of safety when it comes to aircraft that are used for hire or flight instruction. Even though the FAA doesn't technically require 50 hour inspections, they are still typically conducted at the same time an oil change occurs - which themselves are mandated to occur every 50 hours. Therefore, it makes sense from an efficiency standpoint to do both at the same time.
Another element of these programs comes down to annual inspections. Every 12 months, most aircraft are required to go through a thorough inspection to check for more serious instances of wear or damage.
Finally, progressive inspections are always recommended. This is particularly true in terms of high use aircraft, FBOs and aircraft that are used in flight schools. These happen every 25 to 50 hours depending on the situation.
The Benefits of Preventative Aircraft Maintenance
By far, the most important benefit of preventative aircraft maintenance is one of safety. By catching problems early and thoroughly addressing them, the craft - and thus the people on it - remain as safe as possible.
This also goes a long way towards improving the reliability of the aircraft, which in turn translates to significant cost savings over time. An aircraft that is running at peak efficiency costs less to maintain.
Finally, one of the biggest benefits comes by way of efficiency. If you're dealing with fewer unplanned repairs, planes can continue to operate without unexpected issues. This itself is really the primary goal for all of this.
Blue Line Technical Aircraft Maintenance
At Blue Line Technical Services, we have a 50,000 square foot, state-of-the-art aviation complex at JNX. Not only are we equipped with our own hangar, we also have an observation area and even a rooftop restaurant.
Our trained, passionate team of experts are available for all of your maintenance needs - from inspections to emergency situations to regular maintenance and everything in between.
So if you'd like to find out more information about the benefits of preventative aircraft maintenance, or if you just have any additional questions you'd like to discuss in a bit more detail, please don't delay - contact Blue Line Technical today.
Blue Line Technical Services is one of only a handful of Diamond Authorized Service Centers in the country. Every mechanic is highly trained with a level of expertise to service any and all of your aircraft's maintenance needs with a particular focus on Diamond Aircraft and other airplanes made within the last 20 years. Whether you are flying in once a year for a yearly inspection or are in need of a full-service overhaul, Blue Line Technical Services can provide your maintenance needs with a sense of safety, accountability, and excellence. If you hate being grounded, come to Blue Line, where we can service your aircraft on time, every time, and get you back in the air.