Topics to consider for structural repairs

The leasing of an aircraft is a complex topic and an even more complex and very comprehensive review of the aircraft itself and the associated records.

While all the review is important, some areas have more potential impact than others due to their ability to impact cost or timelines significantly. Consider an out-of-date life vest Vs an engine that has damage revealed on a borescope inspection; of course, it is easy to see how one can be addressed with a small cost and time impact, and the other can have a significant impact on both.

It is why some topics are prioritized as they need to be addressed at an early stage so that the solutions can be considered, and a corrective action identified.

One example of when we would consider a key topic that can have a significant time impact is that of structural repairs. If you walk around the aircraft during a physical inspection then comparing damage identified to the documentation and noting recorded damage is very important –not only do we need to confirm the damage is recorded and its location is accurate, we then need to consider the dimensions noted and recorded compared to the details recorded on documentation.

Structural repairs require multiple processes to become approved and these steps should be evidenced. Typically,when you look at a repair we can think about:

  • The location of the repair.
  • The dimensions of the repair.
  • Is the repair covered by approved data (this is the reference used to judge the repair such as Structural Repair Manual).
  • Was any non-destructive testing (NDT) required and can it be evidenced.
  • Were materials used for a repair (sheet metal or fasteners for example).
  • Is the repair near any other repairs –thesecan have an impact depending on the vicinity.
  • Is there any recurrent inspections required for the repair.

These are of course only a few of the considerations and you can see how an awareness of the topic and thoughts of what you consider can impact how you might review an aircraft physically.

The impact of the considerations reaches into the heart of the review and often structures is prioritised as the consequence of noncompliance often means rework. This in turn needs access and takes time, which if identified early we can control or factor into a transition.

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