Aviation companies in the United States create airline-generated documentation and ATA manuscript standards for maintenance programs. Notably, every corporation is responsible for making such regulations (Rahman & Hobbs, 2017). The certifications contain provisions for the way a firm conducts its activities. Often, these specifications adhere to the requirements outlined by the Federal Aviation Administration, a government agency that regulates air transport. Although some aviation guidelines are self-evident, inspection, technical policies, and procedure manuals are among the critical airline-generated documentation all technicians must strictly follow to enhance the safety and reliability of planes.
Technical Policies and Procedures Manual (TPPM)
Aviation technicians mostly use TPPM. Data contained in the manual is often generated from the manufacturer’s documentation. This document is divided into different parts, including warning and caution, preparation for a technical task, the proper procedure to complete it, and actions that should be taken after the process is finalized (Zafiharimalala, Robin, & Tricot, 2014). Airline technicians are expected to follow the manual when they conduct mechanical procedures. This practice facilitates passengers’ safety and reliability of the airline.
TPPM may be prone to errors during use. One of the most common mistakes is a technical misunderstanding, mainly occurring in non-routine situations (Zafiharimalala et al., 2014). To curb such faults, airlines frequently update their TPPM to match the manufacturer’s instructions. The manual may also be subject to procedure violations: routine or exceptional (Zafiharimalala et al., 2014). Routine violations happen when maintenance personnel fails to follow the established policies and procedures despite incorporating them in similar circumstances. On the other hand, exceptional violations occur when technicians tackle non-routine problems using the existing manual. Aviation companies can prevent this error by ensuring that sufficient guidelines are provided in their TTPM.
The inspection manual is also generated by the respective airlines. However, the information contained in this document is based on strict FAA requirements governed by Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR). The manual exemplifies inspection guidelines for experimental aircraft and small and large turbine-powered airplanes. Each company selects a manual that applies to the type of plane in operation.
Annual and 100-hour inspection is one of the programs that can be found in the manual. Under this program, aircraft are checked after every 12 calendar months to ensure that each component of the airplane remains in an airworthy state (Volume 6 Surveillance, 2017). Often, the manual is generated from information in the manufacturer’s documentation. The process helps determine the extent to which an aircraft has deteriorated over one year.
A progressive inspection program may also be included in the manual. The document is tailored from the manufacturer’s guide to fit an aircraft’s operation (Volume 6 Surveillance, 2017). The initial inspection begins after a 100-hour plane activity, while the progressive assessment is conducted depending on the airline’s schedule. Other factors that may affect the frequency of review include the manufacturer’s guidelines and the type of plane.
The inspection manual may also contain a manufacturer’s recommended inspection program. The guide provides recommendations on the ideal assessment rate based on the manufacturer’s perspective. This manual section may also be customized to suit an aircraft’s operation. For instance, the distance covered by a plane may differ from the manufacturer’s estimates. In such scenarios, the interval of frequency may not be applicable.
As the discussion shows, airline-generated documentation is essential for aircraft maintenance. The process provides details on technical policies, procedures, and inspection manuals. However, these manuals may be subject to violations. In such cases, the airworthiness of an airline may be jeopardized. Hence, technicians should strictly adhere to these guidelines to enhance the safety and reliability of planes.
Rahman, S., & Hobbs, V. (2017). Reading among aircraft maintenance personnel: Why and how they read. Proceedings of Academics World 64th International Conference, Putrajaya, Malaysia, 23-27.
Volume 6 Surveillance. (2017). Retrieved from http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/8900.1/v06%20surveillance/chapter%2001/06_001_002.htm
Zafiharimalala, H., Robin, D., & Tricot, A. (2014). Why aircraft maintenance technicians sometimes do not use their maintenance documents: Towards a new qualitative perspective. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 24(3), 190-209.