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Questions tagged [aircraft-maintenance]

Use this tag for questions pertaining to the maintenance of aircraft, including owner-performed maintenance and required inspections (annual, 100-hour, etc.)

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Why is tape being applied to this jet engine?

When I read this question asking for identification of the aircraft, my immediate question was: What is that duck tape for? Whether you call it duck tape or duct tape, why is it being applied to the ...
34
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7answers
6k views

Do any aircraft carry spare parts for making repairs?

I was curious to know, are there (or were there) any aircraft that regularly carry spare parts to be used for replacement or repairing the aircraft itself? If so, what are those spare parts? I'm not ...
34
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2answers
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How often should an engine be run, to stay mechanically sound?

It's winter time and many light aircraft are sitting idle. This can be detrimental to an engine's health. What is a good rule of thumb for how often a piston engine should be exercised, and for how ...
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9answers
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Why are dirt and bugs on an aircraft so bad?

It's noted in many POHs to keep your aircraft clean all the time, but is there a reason to this? Dirt hardly add any sort of weight to the aircraft, bugs are extremely small and other things such as ...
30
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1answer
4k views

Why are aircraft coloured in yellow during construction, repair or overhaul?

Why are aircraft usually coated with "yellow", while either during construction or repair and overhaul? What exactly is the purpose of it?
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1answer
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Can the emergency slide be re-used after it has been deployed?

Can the emergency slides be re-used and re-packed after they have been deployed, assuming no damage is done? For example, I heard of a case where the slide was accidentally deployed due to opening of ...
28
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5answers
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What is ETOPS and how does it work?

According to this press release by Boeing earlier this year, the 747-8 has received its ETOPS 330 rating. This is required by all 4-engined planes made after February 2015 to fly beyond 180 minutes ...
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3answers
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What are the typical facets of ownership costs, for a single engine aircraft?

It's easy to go online and look at prices of a Cessna 172, but what are some examples of how to break down the real world costs of ownership? How much other maintenance should you plan for? How much ...
26
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3answers
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Why do aircraft piston engines consume so much oil?

This question is related to single/twin piston engine aircraft. After flying in a Cessna 152 and a Piper Dakota I have noticed that they both consume a lot of oil. Oil check is an integral part of the ...
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4answers
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Where do extra planes come from?

Last night, I had to change planes at LAX because the United Airlines B737 that I was flying on had radio problems and thus could not fly over the ocean. One of the hi-frequency radios had problems, ...
23
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6answers
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Why would a C150 tachometer bounce so much that the needle fell off?

On a long flight in a C150E, the tachometer started bouncing a little bit and the severity of the bouncing gradually increased until it was extreme: The tachometer was spinning in loops and making a ...
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5answers
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Could most commercial jet engines today run on ethanol without any problems?

Most commercial jet engines today would be those large jet engines on large passenger craft like a Boeing 747. Can these run on straight ethanol without any problems? Would more maintenance be ...
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4answers
8k views

How is metal fatigue detected in an aircraft?

There have been many accidents involving metal fatigue. How do the engineers, maintenance team, etc. know if an aircraft has metal fatigue? What is done to "minimize" metal fatigue or repair it?
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2answers
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How often is a passenger jet aircraft painted?

I just read an article (published in 2012) telling the special livery for British airways' A320 to celebrate the Olympics game is made to last one year. I assume this mean those aircraft are painted ...
21
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9answers
8k views

Why isn't there a “check engine” light in airplanes?

Why don't small airplanes (like Cessna or Cirrus) have "Check Engine" lights, like cars do? For the most part, the people flying these airplanes don't know much more about the plane than they do ...
21
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4answers
3k views

How do you repair a grounded aircraft at a remote location?

If a large passenger airliner needs repair at a remote airport without services, are there "flying repairshops" that can swoop in and do the work on site?
21
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3answers
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What happens when the logbook of an aircraft is lost?

If the logbook for an aircraft is lost, how does one replace it? Is the airplane still airworthy?
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1answer
3k views

Why are cabin doors outlined with a different color than the fuselage?

On almost all airliners I have seen, the doors are painted inside a rectangle which appear to reflect more light. This is the case whether in the aircraft has its manufacturer's paint or an airline's ...
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3answers
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Why is the aircraft boneyard in Tucson, Arizona still active?

I understand that an aircraft boneyard is an amazing tourist attraction for aviation enthusiasts. However, the number of planes that the boneyard in Tucson has accumulated today is mind-boggling. I ...
20
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1answer
31k views

What is the difference between Hobbs Time and Tach Time?

Over in this answer there's a description of Hobbs Time versus Tach Time, and how the Hobbs counts hours while the tach time is equivalent to "hours at cruise RPM". How do these two "clocks" work, ...
18
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4answers
1k views

How do airlines dispose of a passenger jet when it's no longer airworthy?

When a plane is finally considered to not be airworthy, what happens to them? Do they take them apart bit by bit? Do they sink them offshore to make them into reefs? Are parts stripped and sold as ...
17
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3answers
13k views

How much does it cost to give an airliner a fresh coat of paint?

Just a random thought I had: the weather gives a jet's paint job a battering; meaning they need to be resprayed approximately once every 5-10 years. (See How often is a passenger jet aircraft painted?)...
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2answers
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What are the must-checks for purchasing an airplane?

I've always dreamed of buying my own plane. Turns out, they can be had for $20,000 on eBay. This sounds too good to be true. What checklist of items are essential to prevent my new purchase from ...
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2answers
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What are these aircraft at AMARG? Why are they dismantled this way?

At the AMARG boneyard (Tucson desert, Arizona), there are tons of aircraft, but a limited number of models are dismantled according a special way: wings or tail or both separated from the fuselage: ...
16
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2answers
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What is the difference between a Mechanic and a Repairman?

In reviewing some of the data published by the FAA, I noticed that they make a distinction between a mechanic certificate and a repairman certificate. What is the difference?
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1answer
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What is the purpose of aluminium foil on the wheels?

I saw this plane on a remote ramp at BKK today. What is the purpose of aluminium foil on the wheels? Does it mean the plane is in mothball? I don't see other planes, even in maintenance, with ...
16
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2answers
567 views

What's the inspection/repair procedure following damage from severe hail?

Delta 1889 was forced to make an emergency landing last Friday (August 7th, 2015) after being battered by hail in a severe thunderstorm. The picture in the news shows the two leading segments of the ...
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5answers
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How are off-wing jet engines transported?

One of the optional services in Rolls-Royce TotalCare is "Engine Transportation" This service includes routine transportation of engines between the customer’s main base (or designated station) and ...
15
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6answers
4k views

Why are older airplanes still in use?

It is normal to see older planes (20+ years) quite frequently. In fact, a few months ago I saw a plane over 50 years old (not in a museum but on a runway, about to take off). Comparing to cars, there ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Is a single-engine ferry flight allowed with a twin-engine plane?

If a twin-engine aircraft has an engine problem and could fly somewhere for maintenance, is a single-engine ferry flight ever allowed? If so, do airlines or pilots ever decide to do this?
14
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2answers
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What's the reasoning for safety wire on aircraft, and the reasoning behind the way it's routed?

I'm assuming saftey wire is used near propeller assemblies where a lot of vibration occurs, or where the different speeds and altitudes aircraft are at could cause expansion or contraction based on ...
14
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1answer
348 views

Can an A&P who is also a private pilot receive compensation for conducting maintenance test flights?

Related to this question. Suppose a repair is made to an airplane and a maintenance test flight is required. Suppose the A&P who works on the aircraft is also a private pilot. That person ...
13
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4answers
1k views

How do airlines manage routes when respective aircraft undergo B,C or D checks?

While playing some airline management simulation games, I found all these checks to be some real kind of mess. If suppose I have a fleet of about 10 A-320s then if one them goes for any check, then I ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it an overkill to request to see airplane maintenance logs at a new flight school?

I'm getting a checkout at a new flight school, so I don't know anything about the maintenance records of their airplanes other than this school has been in operation for some time and so I assume ...
13
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3answers
704 views

Is the old paint removed before applying a new one?

I've heard that paint on large airplanes weigh 250+ kg. When an aircraft gets a new owner, do they remove the paint that was previously on or simply paint over it? If it is removed, how is it ...
13
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2answers
3k views

How frequently are airplane windows cleaned?

When you’re driving on the highway, after sometime unwanted insects and dirt accumulate on your windshield. When you stop over at a gas station, you might clean it off. It’s likely the case for ...
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2answers
8k views

Can I work on my own airplane without formal mechanic's training?

Suppose I am not planning to be a career A&P mechanics, but would like to get some hands-on skills for airplane maintenance, for reasons of both cost and hobby. Say my basic goal is to perform ...
13
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3answers
4k views

What should I wash my plane with?

What should I wash my airplane off with? As a new aircraft owner, any help would be appreciated. I am pretty sure using dish washing detergent is not the best here as we are told not to use the ...
13
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2answers
4k views

How does maintenance differ for military fighters/bombers vs. commercial airliners?

And why do military fighters/bomber require so many maintenance hours compared to commercial airlines, which seems like just kicking the tires? What do they actually do? How does maintenance differ ...
13
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2answers
430 views

How to replace two propellers on the same aircraft reaching the time limit?

When both propellers of the aircraft reach the time limit (60 month) and need to be replaced, can both propellers be replaced at the same time and perform only one flight test to reduce time on ground ...
12
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1answer
419 views

How did the US get the necessary knowledge to maintain their MiGs?

I read a book entitled America's Secret MiG Squadron by Gaillard Peck some time ago. Just occurred to me though, how exactly did the US maintain these birds? Did we write any tech data? Did we acquire ...
12
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1answer
3k views

How much does a D-check cost compared to a new aircraft?

As I understand from those videos, a D-check basically consists in disassembling the whole aircraft, inspecting every little piece, and then reassembling it. For me, the last part seems to be more or ...
12
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2answers
3k views

What is a 'Wing Loop Fault' on an A320 series Aircraft?

I was recently involved in a flight that had issues before take off. The plane was an Airbus 321. It was explained to me as being a "wing loop fault". The problem was that the ECAM messages were ...
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1answer
1k views

What is an Airworthiness Directive?

Aircraft which have been in service for a long time often have a lot of entries in their logbooks for Airworthiness Directives (ADs). What are they, and why are they important?
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1answer
702 views

How are fuel tanks cleaned out?

One episode of the BBC series "Engineering Giants" featured a BA 747 undergoing a multi-week "D check". Here the inside of a fuel tank was surprisingly clean and dry (to me): ...
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5answers
7k views

Is there any limit by FAA on the age of aircraft to be operational?

Is there any restriction by FAA that one can not fly a plane older than 'X' years? If someone is maintaining an older plane (e.g. from 1990s), are there any regulations which prevents or restricts ...
11
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1answer
486 views

What is this substance on these pipe fittings?

In this picture from a different question I noticed some kind of colored substance across many of the fittings. It is in several different colors and looks like it might be sticky. (The pink kinda ...
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3answers
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How much lag does an Attitude Indicator experience?

How much lag does an Attitude Indicator exhibit when it is working as designed? Other than well-known problems like tumbling beyond certain limits in pitch and roll, and precession errors from the ...
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5answers
7k views

What are the requirement for electrical grounding of aircraft in hangar storage?

When an aircraft is being stored in a hangar between flights, are there any requirements to have the aircraft connected to an earth ground? I believe that there is (although I'm looking for the ...
11
votes
1answer
289 views

Do FDRs & CVRs (black boxes) have an in-service life span?

Do Flight Data Recorders (FDRs) and Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVRs), aka black boxes, have an in-service life span? Is it necessary to replace them over time? If so, are there any regulations ...