CAMO – Aircraft Reliability; omitted items from consideration

CAMO – Aircraft Reliability; omitted items from consideration

When we review aircraft reliability we cover a large scope, for example you are considering component reliability, engines, technical delays, repetitive defects and many more.

As we saw last week in our post, we mentioned there are some components that you would not want to consider as a reliability issue – such as a worn tyre as we expect these items to wear, and we expect to replace them.

There are also some items which can cause delays and technical issues, but which we do not have control over, as such we need to consider the impact of these items on reliability monitoring and how best we consider them.

For example, consider do you include data from all flights regardless of their purpose (such as a crew training flight) or do you only record flights where revenue is impacted either directly or via a knock-on effect because of the technical delay from the non-revenue flight.

A technical delay report should be considered as the initial cause may need to exclude some events that are beyond our control. We can think about some examples which we cannot control and really, we cannot directly mitigate:

What about foreign object damage, lightning strike damage, bird strikes, ground damage, overweight or hard landings – there is little we can do to mitigate these items and as such should reliability be impacted by a delay such as noted above?

Delays due to inadvertent operation of emergency equipment not due to mechanical failure; it is designed to be used in an emergency and as such it’s accidental use would not directly affect the reliability of an aircraft or component.

What about when a delay has been caused by operational circumstances where it might now lead to a reduced downtime between fights to perform maintenance or address a technical defect; is the impact a reliability concern as there is not any option now to carry out the maintenance without impacting departure time?

Also, we can consider when drains and toilets are blocked by foreign objects – there is nothing we can do to mitigate someone putting inappropriate items in the toilet or sink, other than the already on-board signage.

You can see how a simple technical delay might not always affect the reliability of an aircraft and it is with careful consideration that the reliability programme should be constructed so we get meaningful information that we can use to improve the fleet.

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