Short Answer Questions Essay Example
An aircraft has to operate to an extent of approved standards and limitations, the standards include the technical airworthiness and the operational airworthiness.
Aviation involves a constant trade-off between airworthiness and cost of operation. Explain this tradeoff using at least one technical airworthiness example and one operational airworthiness example.
The technical airworthiness is the standard aspects on the physical condition of the aircraft such as the design while the operational airworthiness relates to the aircraft being operated under approved roles and parameters (RMIT, 2014). An example of operational airworthiness is the cost the airline has to incur in employing qualified and competent pilots and engineers who are qualified and ensuring that it operates under approved roles. An example of technical airworthiness is the cost incurred in ensuring that the physical condition of the aircraft is good, e.g. the design of the aircraft and technological specifications are met. This means that a balance between the technical airworthiness and operation airworthiness has to be maintained by airlines to ensure financial wellbeing of the airline as well the safety of the passengers.
The implication for the trade-off is that an airline spends the amount of the money that is deemed only enough to attain a certain level of safety in either aspect of technical or operational airworthiness. The level of safety entails complying with regulations that are set by various regulatory organisations in terms of the technical and operational airworthiness. The technical airworthiness of an aircraft may entail design and technologies that relate to mechanical components of the aircraft. There are costs that are incurred in complying with the regulations in order to get certifications of technical airworthiness (Wei & Egbelu, 2000). Therefore, the airline has to decide on what amount of money that is reasonable for ensuring safety, compliance and conformance and what it has to charge its passengers in relation to costs incurred in ensuring both operational and technical airworthiness. The reasonable amount negates the notion of ‘safety at no cost’. The reasonable cost relates to safety that ensures that there is acceptable loss of life. For example the FAA reviews the operational airworthiness by testing the ‘value for money’ while CAMO approves the technical airworthiness by ensuring the aircraft is in good design to operate.
The certification of the technical airworthiness is normally based on specific operating role and specified environment. This implies that airworthiness of a specific model of an aircraft is limited and assured if the aircraft is to be operated in accordance to the assumed purpose during the certification (EASA, 2013). This means that an aircraft is technically designed to best operate in a given configuration, specified role and environment (CRE) of operation. If the CRE is not followed in the operation of the aircraft, the risk to airworthiness can increase. This risk is normally high if the style of the operation affects the fatigue life, the carriage design and pressurisation cycling.
Taking an example of the Bombardier Dash8-300, the Type Design was assumed that the aircraft should operate on short sectors ranging from 45 to 90 minutes, and the main assumption was that it was to take off and assume heights of 1800 ft and land. However, the plane has been used by Surveillance Australia to carry out custom patrol in the Extended Economic Zone of Australia. This implies that the assumptions in the Type Design are not always correct. However to minimize the risk to the airworthiness in relation to Type Design the usage of an aircraft for specified CRE is important in enhancing safety of aircrafts (Michaels & Woods, 2009). Due to the concept of the risk minimization, the CRE concept is very significant in the ADF Type Certification processes.
The CRE is a major issue especially if it concerns military aircrafts where different aircrafts are designed to withstand a particular style of operation. Using an aircraft Type Design that cannot operate under a given CRE, the technical airworthiness is compromised which may lead to increased risk. For instance, the CRE operation for A380 is very different from that of an air ambulance. This implies that the Type Certification can be crucial in reducing the risk to airworthiness. However, this does not mean that usage of an aircraft in CRE that does not match the intended assumption for type certification absolutely increases the risk (EASA, 2013).
There is a strong link between the Airworthiness of a particular aircraft operation and the original assumptions regarding Configuration, Role and operating Environment (CRE) that were made during the original type certification. Explain this link and risk to airworthiness that may occur if the intended CRE does not match the CRE assumptions used for type certification.
CAMO has the role of managing changes that relate to Build Standard. There are reasons for changes in design some which result from mandatory airworthiness and Directives coming from OEMs or service letters that come from OEMS. It is the role of CAMO to ensure the changes are managed professionally by emphasizing on upholding safety. CAMO reviews the details that need to be changed so as to ensure that they apply to the serial number of the aircraft that falls under CAMO responsibility (RMIT, 2014). CAMO also determines that the changes in data and the ICA changes are approved by the appropriate organizations; and establishes the time frame in which the change is supposed to be implemented. These changes are carried after CAMO has authorized a given organisation to conduct the change; it is the mandate of CAMO to ensure that the organisation implementing the change has the required and sufficient data and materials. CAMO also ensures that the change that has been done is correctly entered in the records of the aircraft.
In maintaining the airworthiness, CAMO has the key role of data and program maintenance and confirming effectiveness and managing changes. The operations of aircrafts rely on complex maintenance systems that are designed on basis of safety and reliability analysis. CAMO is tasked with the assessing whether the maintenance programs that are used by the fleet and the sub-fleets are effective. In order to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of the programs, CAMO authorizes pilots and engineers to carry out maintenance tasks, in so doing the limit hose tasks and the location (geographic) and procedures for management are clearly specified. CAMO also defines the inspections carried out by pilots before a flight, it defines the procedure of conducting that inspections and ways to record and document the inspections (RMIT, 2014).
Choose one or two roles of a CAMO and describe their importance is maintaining the airworthiness of the aircraft.
Aircraft maintenance is underpinned by approved standards, following approved processes by competent and authorized people in approved organisation; describe how these need to be supported by management and overseen by regulator to ensure the technical integrity of the aircraft is maintained.
The regulatory and management should always ensure that the facilities used in maintenance are suitable for the task being conducted. These overseeing ensure that the maintainer can safely carry their functions satisfactory. For instance, a failure by the management and the overseeing authorities to address the suitability of facility, the maintainers may not be in a position to undertake maintenance tasks satisfactory and there are increased chances of errors which may reduce Airworthiness (CASA, 1998). There are two types of maintenances that must be carried: the base management and the line management. The managers should ensure that the maintenance and defect ratification are carried out in accordance with the design and quality standards and that approvals from the appropriate authorities are taken.
The regulatory bodies overseeing the maintenance have to utilize the various audits that are aimed at verifying conformance (RMIT, 2014). For instance, there should be utilisation of DGTA-ADF system that contains audits that are full breadth. The overseeing regulatory organizations and the management should also engage in formal and informal visits that are supposed to verify conformance. These audits are supposed to identify instances when the aircrafts are at high risk depending on the hazard index matrix; it is through the audits that approvals for maintenance can be made.
The management needs to support the aircraft maintenance by ensuring regulations relating to the maintenance of the aircrafts are met. The managements need to ensure that there is both compliance and conformance to the minimum requirements as per regulatory authorities. For instance, in the change of Build Standards, the management should ensure that the guidelines set by the regulatory authority such as COMA are followed. To ensure the technical integrity, both the management and the regulator should ensure continued checks of the aircraft in relation to the records relating to maintenance (Ericson, 2005).
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