You are on page 1of 300


1. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS..........................................................................1
1.1 compressed gas................................................................................1
1.1.1 Purpose of The Gases........................................................1
1.1.2 Gas Cylinder Identification..................................................1
1.1.3 Safety Precautions.............................................................3
1.1.4 Charging Rigs ...................................................................3
1.1.5 Cascade Charging..............................................................3
1.1.6 Before Use Checks.............................................................3
1.1.7 Aircraft Compressed Gas Charging ...................................4
1.1.8 Aircraft Gas Charging Valves.............................................4
1.1.9 Typical Gas Charging Precautions.....................................5
1.2 electric shock....................................................................................5
1.3 fire precautions.................................................................................6
1.3.1 Classification of Fires..........................................................6
1.3.2 Fire Extinguishing Agents...................................................6
1.3.3 Fire Extinguisher Identification............................................7
1.3.4 General Precautions...........................................................8
1.3.5 Procedure On discovering a fire in the Work-Place............9
1.3.6 Action to be Taken in the Event of Engine Fires.................9
1.3.7 Action to be Taken in the Event of Brake Fires...................9
1.4 the need for safety............................................................................9
1.5 working around aircraft......................................................................10
2. WORKSHOP PRACTICES........................................................................1
2.1 care & use of tools............................................................................1
2.2 use of materials.................................................................................1
2.3 dimensions........................................................................................2
2.4 ALLOWANCES & Tolerance.............................................................3
2.5 calibration of tools & equipment........................................................3
3. TOOLS......................................................................................................1
3.1 common hand tools...........................................................................1
3.1.1 Marking Out Tools..............................................................13
3.2 common power tools.........................................................................19
3.2.1 Electric Hand Drills.............................................................19
3.2.2 Pneumatic Tools.................................................................19
3.2.3 Care of Air Operated Tools & Safety Precautions...............23
3.3 precision measuring tools.................................................................24
3.3.1 Micrometers........................................................................24
3.3.2 Using Micrometers..............................................................26
3.3.3 Vernier Measuring Instruments...........................................27
3.3.4 Purpose..............................................................................31
3.3.5 Oil 31
3.3.6 Greases..............................................................................31
3.3.7 Limitation of Oils and Greases............................................31
3.3.8 Lubrication Charts..............................................................32
4. ENGINEERING DRAWING.......................................................................1
4.1 drawing types....................................................................................1
4.1.1 NOTES ON DRAWING.......................................................4
4.2 symbols.............................................................................................4
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 1
4.2.1 Welding Symbols................................................................5
4.2.2 Surface Finish.....................................................................6
4.2.3 Standard Conventions........................................................7
4.3 dimensions........................................................................................9
4.3.1 Leader, Projection & Dimensioning Lines...........................11
4.3.2 Redundant Dimensions......................................................11
4.3.3 Holes & Radii......................................................................12
4.3.4 Angles & Chamfers.............................................................12
4.4 tolerance.........................................................................................13
4.4.1 Limits and Tolerances.........................................................13
4.4.2 Geometric Tolerance..........................................................13
4.4.3 Indicators of Geometric Tolerance......................................14
4.5 projections........................................................................................14
4.5.1 Orthographic Projection......................................................14
4.5.2 Pictorial Projections............................................................16
4.6 title block information........................................................................17
4.6.1 Borders & Frames..............................................................17
4.6.2 Amendment to Drawings....................................................17
4.7 micro-film & micrO-fiche....................................................................18
4.8 computerised presentations..............................................................18
4.9 ata 100 specification.........................................................................19
4.10 aeronautical standards....................................................................25
4.11 wiring diagrams...............................................................................25
4.12 schematic diagrams........................................................................25
5. FITS & CLEARANCES..............................................................................27
5.1 Sizes of Holes...................................................................................27
5.2 Classes of Fit....................................................................................27
5.2.1 Clearance Fit......................................................................27
5.2.2 Interference Fit...................................................................27
5.2.3 Transition Fit.......................................................................28
5.3 common systems of fits & clearances...............................................28
5.3.1 Shaft and Hole Basis..........................................................28
5.3.2 Unilateral and Bi-lateral......................................................29
5.3.3 Limit System.......................................................................29
6. AIRCRAFT WEIGHT & BALANCE...........................................................1
6.1 purpose.............................................................................................1
6.2 jar ops requirements.........................................................................1
6.3 principles of weight and balance.......................................................1
6.4 definitions..........................................................................................2
6.5 weight and centre of gravity schedule...............................................3
6.6 principles of aircraft weight and balance...........................................4
6.7 preparation for weighing....................................................................6
6.8 weighing on aircraft jacks..................................................................6
6.9 standard mean chord (s.m.c.)...........................................................8
6.10 changes in basic weight..................................................................8
6.11 examples of alterations to basic weight...........................................9
6.12 loading of aircraft............................................................................10
6.13 documentation................................................................................12
7. AIRCRAFT HANDLING & STORAGE.......................................................1
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 2
7.1 taxiing / towing & associated Safety Precautions..............................1
7.1.1 Moving Methods ..............................................................1
7.2 jacking / chocking securing & associated safety precautions............11
7.2.1 Special Considerations.......................................................11
7.2.2 Aircraft Jacks......................................................................11
7.2.3 Jack Maintenance & General Notes...................................14
7.2.4 AIRCRAFT Jacking Precautions.........................................14
7.2.5 Jacking Procedure..............................................................15
7.2.6 Lowering Aircraft.................................................................15
7.2.7 Trestles...............................................................................16
7.2.8 Lifting Tackle......................................................................16
7.3 parking & securing AIRCRAFT..........................................................17
7.3.1 Securing / Picketing / Mooring............................................18
7.3.2 Typical Small Aircraft Procedure.........................................18
7.4 ground de-icing & anti-icing...............................................................20
7.4.1 Ground De-icing of Aircraft.................................................20
7.4.2 De-Icing and Anti-Icing.......................................................20
7.4.3 Methods of De-Icing...........................................................20
7.4.4 Safety Notes.......................................................................22
7.4.5 Anti-icing.............................................................................22
7.4.6 De-icing Paste....................................................................25
7.4.7 Inspection After De-icing Operations .................................25
7.5 storage..............................................................................................26
7.6 refuelling & defuelling........................................................................29
7.6.1 Refuelling Aircraft...............................................................29
7.6.2 Refuelling Safety Precautions ............................................29
7.6.3 Checking Fuel Contents.....................................................30
7.6.4 typical aircraft FUELLING information (bae 146)................30
7.7 ground supplies.................................................................................40
7.7.1 Electrical.............................................................................40
7.7.2 Hydraulic............................................................................41
7.7.3 Pneumatic..........................................................................41
7.7.4 Effects of Environmental Conditions on Aircraft Handling &
8. INSPECTION & REPAIR TECHNIQUES...................................................1
8.1 corrosion assessment & reprotection................................................1
8.1.1 Preventative Maintenance..................................................1
8.1.2 Corrosion Removal.............................................................1
8.1.3 Corrosion Of Ferrous Metals..............................................2
8.1.4 Highly Stressed Steel Components....................................2
8.1.5 Prevention Of Corrosion ....................................................2
8.1.6 Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys........................................3
8.1.7 Alclad..................................................................................3
8.1.8 Typical Painted Corrosion Treatment Sequence................3
8.1.9 Permanent Anti-Corrosion Treatments...............................4
8.1.10 acid spillage......................................................................5
8.1.11 Alkali Spillage...................................................................5
8.1.12 Mercury Spillage...............................................................5
8.1.13 Identification of Metals......................................................6
8.2 non destructive testing......................................................................7
8.2.1 introduction.........................................................................7
8.2.2 Basic Methods....................................................................7
8.2.3 optical NDT methods..........................................................7
8.2.4 dye penetrant testing..........................................................8
8.2.5 Penetrant Testing...............................................................9

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 3

8.2.6 ultra sound testing..............................................................10
8.2.7 eddy current testing............................................................12
8.2.8 magnetic particle testing.....................................................13
8.2.9 radiographic & Misc. testing................................................14
8.2.10 Misc. Techniques..............................................................16
8.3 TYPES OF DEFECT AND visual inspection techniques...................17
8.3.1 Inspection...........................................................................17
8.3.2 What Type of defects..........................................................17
8.4 trouble shooting techniques..............................................................19
8.4.1 Confirmation/identification of the fault.................................19
8.4.2 Fault Finding Techniques...................................................19
8.4.3 On BoarD Maintenance Systems........................................19
8.4.4 Fault Isolation Manual/Trouble Shooting Manual................20
9. ABNORMAL EVENTS...............................................................................1
9.1 Introduction.......................................................................................1
9.2 Types of abnormal occurrence..........................................................1
9.3 Type of damage................................................................................1
9.4 lighting strikes & hirf penetration.......................................................1
9.4.1 Effect of a Lightning strike..................................................2
9.4.2 Inspection...........................................................................2
9.4.3 High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF)................................2
9.4.4 Protection Against HIRF.....................................................2
9.5 Typical Manufacturers Information (Boeing 757)...............................3
9.5.1 General Information............................................................3
9.5.2 Basic Protection..................................................................3
9.5.3 Strike Areas........................................................................3
9.5.4 Signs of Damage................................................................3
9.5.5 ExternalComponents..........................................................4
9.5.6 Electrical Components........................................................5
9.5.7 Examination of External Surface.........................................5
9.5.8 Functional Tests.................................................................6
9.5.9 Examination of Internal Components..................................6
9.5.10 Return The Aircraft to Service...........................................7
10. MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES............................................................1
10.1 modification procedures..................................................................1
10.1.1 design modifications.........................................................1
10.2 stores procedures...........................................................................5
10.2.1 Approved Parts.................................................................5
10.2.2 Goods Inward procedure..................................................5
10.2.3 storage conditions............................................................10
10.2.4 batch number....................................................................11
10.2.5 authorised release documents .........................................11
10.2.6 bogus parts.......................................................................12
10.3 Certification/Release Procedures....................................................15
10.3.1 Introduction.......................................................................15
10.3.2 Certificate of Release to Service.......................................15
10.3.3 CRS Statement (What does a signature signify?).............15
10.3.4 What if you are Certifying another person’s work?............16
10.4 maintenance planning.....................................................................17
10.4.1 Technical Records............................................................17
10.4.2 Job Number......................................................................17
10.4.3 WORKSHEETS................................................................18
10.4.4 WORKPACKS..................................................................18
10.4.5 Planning...........................................................................18
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 4
10.5 Maintenance Inspection..................................................................21
10.5.1 Introduction.......................................................................21
10.5.2 planning the maintenance schedule.................................21
10.5.4 Condition Monitoring Maintenance...................................27
10.5.5 The Maintenance Steering Group (MSG) Approach ........29
10.5.6 The Maintenance Schedule..............................................1
10.5.7 Information in a typical Schedule......................................2
10.6 interface with aircraft operation ......................................................5
10.6.1 AIRLINE SCHEDULING...................................................5
10.6.2 Maintenance Opportunities ..............................................6
10.6.3 Maintenance - Ideal production requirements...................6
10.7 quality control / quality assurance...................................................8
10.7.1 How is quality checked.....................................................8
10.7.2 External Verification..........................................................8
11. AIRCRAFT CABLES...............................................................................9
11.1 applicable requirements..................................................................9
11.1.1 Airworthiness codes..........................................................9
11.1.2 Design responsibility.........................................................9
11.1.3 Approval of cables............................................................10
11.1.4 Modification & repair.........................................................10
11.2 cable classification..........................................................................11
11.2.1 Airframe cables.................................................................11
11.2.2 Interconnect cables..........................................................11
11.2.3 Equipment wire.................................................................12
11.2.4 Fire resistant cables..........................................................12
11.2.5 Fireproof cables................................................................12
11.2.6 Multi-core, Screened and Jacketed cables.......................12
11.2.7 Data Bus...........................................................................12
11.2.8 Ignition cables...................................................................13
11.2.9 Thermocouple cables.......................................................13
11.2.10 Co-axial cables...............................................................13
11.3 specification & cable type identification...........................................13
11.3.1 British Standards Specifications.......................................13
11.3.2 UK Military Specifications.................................................14
11.3.3 US Military Specifications.................................................14
11.3.4 Constructor’s Specification...............................................14
11.3.5 International (including European) Standards...................14
11.3.6 Cable Manufacturer’s Specifications.................................15
11.4 cable performance..........................................................................15
11.4.1 Application........................................................................15
11.4.2 Temperature.....................................................................15
11.4.3 Cable size.........................................................................16
11.4.4 Voltage rating...................................................................16
11.4.5 Current rating....................................................................16
11.4.6 Flammability & toxicity......................................................17
11.4.7 Wet Arc Tracking..............................................................17
11.4.8 Mechanical properties.......................................................17
11.4.9 Fluid contamination..........................................................17
11.5 cable construction...........................................................................18
11.5.1 Conductors.......................................................................18
11.5.2 Conductor Plating.............................................................18
11.5.3 Dielectric materials / cable types......................................18
11.6 cable failure.....................................................................................20

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 5

11.6.1 Wet Arc Tracking..............................................................20
11.6.2 Minyvin.............................................................................20
11.6.3 BMS 13-28........................................................................20
11.6.4 Abrasion...........................................................................20
11.6.5 Conductor 'Knuckling through'..........................................20
11.6.6 Red Plague.......................................................................21
11.6.7 Glycol Fires.......................................................................21
11.6.8 Poor Solderability.............................................................21
11.7 caa approved cables.......................................................................21
11.7.1 B.I.C.C..............................................................................22
11.7.2 Rists Wire and Cable Ltd..................................................24
11.7.3 Raychem Limited..............................................................25
11.7.4 Societe Filotex..................................................................27
11.7.5 Kabelwerke Reinshagen Gmbh........................................28
11.7.6 Huber and Suhner AG......................................................28
11.8 caa obsolescent cables...................................................................29
11.8.1 B.I.C.C..............................................................................29
11.8.2 Fothergill and Harvey Limited...........................................29
11.8.3 Rists Wire and Cables Ltd................................................29
11.8.4 Societe Filotex..................................................................29
11.8.5 Fileca................................................................................29
11.9 cable identification..........................................................................30
11.9.1 Manufacturers’ identification marks..................................30
11.9.2 Country of origin identification marks................................30
11.10 identification of installed cables.....................................................31
11.10.1 Basic cable coding system.............................................31
11.10.2 Manufacturers coding.....................................................34
12. CABLE INSTALLATIONS.......................................................................1
12.1 support of cabling............................................................................1
12.2 lacing..............................................................................................1
12.3 protecting cables.............................................................................2
12.3.1 Synthetic rubber sleeves..................................................2
12.3.2 Heat Shrink Sleeving........................................................2
12.3.3 Wrapping..........................................................................3
12.3.4 Rubber beading & grommets............................................3
12.3.5 Conduits...........................................................................3
12.3.6 Cable seals.......................................................................3
13. TERMINATING CABLES........................................................................1
13.1 crimped terminations.......................................................................1
13.1.1 Crimping ring, tag and spade type terminations................1
13.1.2 Erma crimping machine....................................................8
13.1.3 Crimping of connector pins & sockets...............................9
13.1.4 Terminating screened cables............................................10
13.2 soldering.........................................................................................14
13.2.1 Soldering Irons.................................................................14
13.2.2 Solder...............................................................................15
13.2.3 Flux...................................................................................15
13.2.4 Heat Sinks........................................................................16
13.2.5 Anti-Wicking tool...............................................................16
13.2.6 Soldering procedure.........................................................17
13.2.7 Inspection of soldered joints.............................................17
13.2.8 Common soldering faults..................................................18
13.2.9 Desoldering methods........................................................19
13.3 wire-wrapping of electrical connections...........................................21

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 6

13.3.1 Types of Wire-Wrap..........................................................21
13.3.2 Tools.................................................................................21
13.3.3 Wire-Wrapping procedure.................................................22
13.3.4 Incorrect Wire-Wrapping...................................................23
13.3.5 Modification and Repairs..................................................23
13.3.6 Methods of inspection.......................................................24
14. INTERCONNECTING CABLES..............................................................25
14.1 terminal strips..................................................................................25
14.1.1 SBAC terminal blocks.......................................................25
14.1.2 Plessey terminal blocks....................................................26
14.1.3 Ward Brook terminal blocks..............................................26
14.1.4 Terminal Junction Module.................................................27
14.2 connectors......................................................................................28
15. MEASURING INSTRUMENTS................................................................1
15.1 basic moving coil type.....................................................................1
15.1.1 Construction.....................................................................1
15.1.2 Principle of operation........................................................2
15.1.3 Damping...........................................................................3
15.1.4 Parallax error....................................................................3
15.1.5 Meter position...................................................................4
15.1.6 Extending the meter range...............................................4
15.1.7 Meter loading....................................................................5
15.1.8 Ohm’s per volt..................................................................5
15.1.9 Measuring resistance........................................................6
15.2 ratiometer type instruments.............................................................7
15.2.1 The Bonding tester...........................................................7
15.2.2 The Insulation Resistance tester.......................................9
15.2.3 Carrying out an insulation resistance test.........................10
16. AIRCRAFT MANUALS............................................................................1
16.1 large commercial aircraft.................................................................1
16.1.1 ATA 100...........................................................................1
16.2 light aircraft manuals.......................................................................7
17. CIRCUIT SYMBOLS................................................................................8

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 7

Intentionally Blank

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 8

Aviation engineers frequently work in potentially dangerous environments.
Virtually every aspect of aircraft maintenance can be potentially hazardous. It is
obvious that engineers must be trained to be aware of these potential dangers so
that precautions can be taken to minimise them. Each part of your training will
emphasise particular hazards associated with the subject. In this section we will
look at the particular care that should be taken when working with compressed
gasses, electricity oils and chemicals. We shall also consider the safety
precautions and procedures relevant to fire in the workplace.


Compressed gases are in common use in aviation. They are required during
normal day to day aircraft maintenance. Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen
are all usually present on the flight line.
Nitrogen is used for aircraft tyre inflation, aircraft hydraulic system accumulators,
fuel tank inhibiting and shock strut inflation.
Carbon Dioxide is used in fire extinguishers and for life jacket and other safety
equipment inflation bottles.
Oxygen is used for aircraft emergency breathing for aircrew and passengers.
Acetylene is used in gas welding equipment.
It is vital that a gas cylinder must be positively identified to prevent possible
disastrous results of charging a system or component with the wrong gas. In the
past, the accepted practice was to paint the cylinder in a distinctive colour and
also to paint the name of the gas on the cylinder in letters of a contrasting colour.
In the UK, gas cylinders are normally supplied by The British Oxygen Company
(B.O.C.). The cylinders are colour coded in accordance with British Standard
381 C, but it is no longer compulsory for the suppliers or users of compressed
gases to follow it's requirements. The only positive method of identifying the
contents of a gas cylinder is to read a label on the neck of the cylinder, showing
the cylinder contents, the gas pressure and any special safety requirements. It is
compulsory for this label to be attached to the cylinder during transportation of
the cylinder. If colour coding is used, the normal convention in the UK is as
Colour Light Grey with Black neck
Lettering - Nitrogen in BlacK
Use – Charging aircraft accumulators, tyres, shock absorbers,

Colour - Black with White neck
Lettering - Oxygen in White
Use - Aircrew & Passenger breathing

Carbon Dioxide
Colour – Black
Lettering - Carbon Dioxide in White
Use - Fire Extinguishers and Safety Equipment

Colour - Maroon
Lettering - Acetylene in White
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 1
Use - Gas Welding

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 2

The storage or “transport” cylinders supplied by BOC are large (approximately 6ft
long) and contain gas at a pressure of 4,000 - 6,000 pounds per square inch
(p.s.i.). Extreme care must be taken when working with gas at this pressure. If
the bottles are dropped or damaged they could explode or propel the cylinder at
high velocity like a rocket projectile. Gas at pressure as low as 100 p.s.i. can
inject into the skin and cause serious, even fatal injuries. Some gasses support
combustion and will make fires burn much more fiercely. Oxygen is particularly
dangerous as it is also capable of causing explosions when in contact with oils or
greases. Oxygen safety precautions will be dealt with in more detail in module


Aircraft gas cylinders contain gas at a much lower pressure and so the gas is
decanted from the larger “transport” cylinders. A charging trolley is often used,
this being generally a towed trolley with one, two or even four high-pressure gas
cylinders, a flexible supply hose, a supply shut-off valve, and pressure gauges
showing supply pressure and storage cylinder pressure. Some rigs are also
fitted with a pressure regulator, by means of which the supply pressure can be
limited to the maximum required by the component or system. Alternatively a
fixed charging rig may be used.

This is a procedure that should be adopted when gas charging to avoid wastage
of gas. If not used, the result could be a set of four gas bottles, each with a
substantial amount of gas at slightly lower pressure than the maximum system
pressure. In this process fully charged cylinders in a set, are not used for the
initial part of a charge. Partially exhausted cylinders are used initially and higher
pressure cylinders to complete the process. Example: A large capacity system
needs to be charged to 2,000 p.s.i. The current pressure is 500 p.s.i. There are
four gas bottles on the charging trolley have pressures of 3,500, 1,800, 1,500 and
1,000 p.s.i.. You might be tempted to connect the bottle with 3,500 p.s.i. to the
system and charge it with that one only. Cascade charging saves gas, first
charging from the 1,000 p.s.i. gas bottle, then the 1,500 p.s.i. gas bottle and so
on until the aircraft system is at 2,000 p.s.i. conserving gas for more charges.


Before charging with gas, ensure the following:
• Is the gas the correct type? - Refer to identification markings and/or the label
on the neck.
• Make sure the transport cylinders are correctly fitted and secure on the trolley
or rig.
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 3
• Ensure the cylinders contain enough pressure for the charge.
• Make sure the delivery hose is in good condition and clean.
• If Oxygen gas is being charged, there should be no oil or grease around the
charging connections or the charging rig.


Any system or component containing compressed gas must be handled and
serviced carefully, because the sudden release of gas under pressure could have
disastrous consequences. Oxygen systems are an additional hazard in that the
gas supports combustion and that oil and grease are prone to spontaneous
combustion in the presence of undiluted oxygen. The gas pressure in some
components varies according to the ambient temperature, and in order to ensure
that the correct pressure is maintained, the relationship between temperature and
pressure is generally presented in the form of a graph, both in the Maintenance
Manual and on a placard adjacent to the charging point. In the case of tyres or
shock absorbers on larger aircraft, the required gas pressure may vary according
to the aircraft weight. Since rapid compression of a gas results in an increased
temperature, gas pressure will also increase. On cooling down, the pressure will
drop and may result in an inaccurate reading. This effect can be minimised by
charging slowly. A sudden release of gas produces the reverse affect i.e.
lowering the temperature. This is particularly important when deflating a tyre, as
ice may form and block the valve, giving the impression that the tyre is fully
deflated when it may be partially inflated. This may prove disastrous if the next
step was to attempt to dismantle the wheel. Prior to work on any unit from which
the gas has been exhausted, the charging valve should be completely removed.


These may be of two types. One is a needle type valve that opens and closes
automatically when pressure is applied or released (Schrader valve). This type
of valve is identical to the valves used in car or bicycle wheels. The other type of
valve has a nut which must be unscrewed partially before the gas may be
released. In both types, a valve cap should always be fitted to prevent entry of
dirt and moisture. The cap should be removed when the system requires
charging. The cap may be attached by a chain, thus preventing it from being
lost. On no account should the valve body be unscrewed while the system or
component is pressurised, since this could result in the valve blowing out,
causing damage or injury.

Charging Panel Charging Valves

A typical aircraft gas charging panel will comprise a charging valve and pressure
gauge. There is sometimes a temperature graph to show how the pressure varies
with temperature.
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 4
Charging a component with compressed gas should be carried out carefully
observing the following precautions:
• The charging pressure should be checked from the maintenance manual.
Also make sure of the pressure units. Most UK engineers are familiar with
pounds per square inch (p.s.i.), but some gauges are calibrated in other units
such as bars (a bar is approximately 15 p.s.i.). Consideration should also be
given to the ambient temperature and that the environmental conditions will
not contaminate the system conditions (rain, snow or dust).
• The supply connection (charging hose) should be clean, dry and free from oil
or grease; any contamination should be wiped off with a lint-free cloth. This
is vitally important when charging oxygen.
• The same care should be taken to ensure the system charging point is clean,
after removing the blanking cap.
• Generally the charging hose should be purged, by allowing gas to escape at
low pressure from the hose, prior to connection. This ensures there are no
foreign bodies or moisture in the hose. Again this is vital in the case of
oxygen charging.
• The aircraft system should be charged slowly, so as to minimise the rise in
• When the required pressure is reached, the shut off valve should be closed
and the system pressure allowed to stabilise after cooling down.
• The pressure should be re-checked and adjusted as necessary.
• The supply hose should not be disconnected unless the shut-off valve and
the charging valve on the charging rig are closed. On some rigs provision is
also made for relieving pressure from the supply hose before disconnection.
• Blanking caps should always be fitted to the charging valve and the supply
hose after disconnection.
• When charging oxygen systems, adequate and properly manned fire-fighting
equipment should be positioned, and if illumination is required, it should be
explosion proof.


This is an obvious occupation hazard for both avionic and mechanical aircraft
engineers. Much of the systems and maintenance equipment is electrically
powered. The main dangers associated with use of electricity are:
• Electric shock which may be fatal.
• Arcing caused by inadequate insulation. This could lead to a fire.
• Overheating which again could lead to a fire.
Most of the personal dangers can be prevented by following a few simple rules:
• Wear the correct clothing. Personal jewellery, especially rings and metal
strapped watches should not be worn as they may get caught in machinery or
act as a conductor.
• Ensure all electrical and radio equipment, power tools etc. is properly
earthed. All portable electrical equipment should be PAT (Portable Appliance
Test) tested at regular intervals by a trained and qualified PAT test person.
• Ensure all test equipment is properly connected.
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 5
• Ensure that all interlocks and other safety devices are serviceable and not
tampered with or over-ridden.
• Do not work on equipment that is switched on. Operate or remove the
appropriate circuit protection devices (circuit breakers or fuses).
• Always switch off power before replacing components.
• If using machines that have emergency stop buttons, ensure all personnel
know their locations.
• Where possible, ensure a second person is present in case of an accident.


Fire is the product of a chemical reaction in which fuel mixes with oxygen and
releases heat and light. Three things are required before a fire can occur:
• There must be a Fuel
• Oxygen must be present (or air, which contains oxygen)
• The temperature must be raised high enough for the fuel and oxygen to
To extinguish a fire, you must either cool it or exclude the oxygen.
Fire is probably the most dangerous of the hazards associated with aircraft
maintenance. Aircraft carry large quantities of fuel and other combustible
materials. There is also a large amount of electrical equipment on aircraft, so
there is a high risk of fire.

Fires are classified into four categories. Extinguishers suited for each
classification of fire are marked with the classification letter as shown in the
following table:

Fire Classes Letter Designation

Ordinary combustibles - paper, cloth, wood A
Flammable liquids – Fuel, Oil B
Energised electrical equipment C
Combustible metals – Brake units D


Fire extinguishing agents should be selected appropriate to the type of fire on
which they are effective.
• Class A - fires with such fuels as paper, wood or cloth (often called solid
fuel), can be extinguished with a water spray. This cools the fuel to a
temperature below that at which it can burn.
• Class B - fires are best put out with an extinguisher that excludes the oxygen
from the burning fuel. Dry powder agents break down in the presence of heat
to produce carbon dioxide that displaces the oxygen. Carbon Dioxide
extinguishers displace the oxygen directly. Foam is also used, which
blankets the fire and excludes the oxygen. Water should not be used
because the burning fuel will float on top of the water.

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 6

• Class C - fires should be treated carefully because of the risk of contact with
high voltages. Water should definitely not be used as it will conduct
electricity. Dry powder would be effective, but it is not the best choice as it
leaves a sticky residue that makes cleanup difficult. Carbon dioxide is very
effective when sprayed via a non-metallic horn. The best extinguishers are
halogenated hydrocarbons or halons.
• Class D - fires should never have water sprayed on them as it intensifies the
fire and may cause an explosion. Dry powder is the best choice for
extinguishing metal fires.


The extinguishers should be clearly marked with the appropriate class letter
Many extinguishers in current use are colour coded to indicate the type of
extinguisher. The old colours are as follows:
• Water Gas Red
• Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Black
• Foam Cream
• Dry Powder Blue

Fire extinguishers used in workshops and hangars should now be coloured Red.
It is however, unlikely that everyone will be using the new colour cylinders for a
long time, so be aware of the old codes. Note the fire extinguishers pictured
above use the colour coding. Water Gas Fire Extinguishers

These contain water, anti-freeze and a carbon dioxide bottle. When the carbon
dioxide gas is released, the water is ejected through a nozzle so that the
temperature of the fire is lowered.

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 7 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers
CO2 is an inert gas that is stored in a cylinder under pressure. When it is
released it expands and it’s temperature drops. It blankets the fire and excludes
oxygen, so the fire is extinguished. It is available in various sizes from small
hand held units to larger trolley mounted units. The state of charge is normally
determined by weighing the cylinder and comparing it’s weight with the weight
stamped on the cylinder neck. This extinguisher is most suitable for use on flight
lines for engine starting, fuelling and general use. May be available complete
with various length hoses and application nozzles for external use on a/c
engines. Dry Powder Extinguishers

Dry powder agents such as bicarbonate of soda, ammonium phosphate and
potassium bicarbonate are effective against class B, C and D fires. When the
agent is heated by the fire, carbon dioxide is released which excludes oxygen
from the fire. The dry powder is propelled from the cylinder by a charge of
compressed nitrogen. These extinguishers are particularly effective on brake
fires, because they do not cool the brakes as would CO2, foam or water gas. Foam Fire Extinguishers

Foam extinguishers are particularly effective for liquids such as fuel or oil fires.
Two chemicals are stored separately within a cylinder. When these chemicals
are mixed, a large volume of foam under pressure is produced. This foam, when
directed onto the burning liquid, blankets the fire and starves it of oxygen. Should
not be used for electrical fires. Fire Blanket

Stored in a RED cylindrical container. Usually asbestos or some other good
insulator. As it's name suggests, it may be used to blanket the flames.

The following general precautions should be observed to minimise the risk of
fires and their affect:
• Smoke only in designated areas.
• Observe and obey No Smoking signs on flight lines.
• Do not carry matches or any other source of combustion.
• Do not wear studded or steel tipped footwear.
• All flammable liquids such as paint, dope, hydraulic fluid etc. should be stored
in an approved store outside the hangar.
• Supervisors should ensure that all reasonable fire safety precautions are
taken and all fire apparatus is serviceable.
• Personnel engaged in maintenance should be fully conversant with the use
and operation of fire protection equipment. They should also know the action
to be taken in the event of a fire i.e. escape routes, fire alarms, position of fire
appliances and assembly points.
• When fuelling a/c electric's should not be switched on or off.
• Aircraft should always be bonded when being worked on.
• When fuel tanks are empty there is probably a greater risk of fire than when
they are full.
Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 8

• Shout "Fire" Loudly.

• Operate the nearest fire alarm or get someone else to.
• Attempt to extinguish the fire with the nearest suitable fire appliance. Do not
attempt this if your actions will endanger your own life or your chance of
• Ensure fire brigade is called. Give location of fire i.e. Building and position in
building, also type of fire, Fuel or Electrical etc.
• Close all doors and windows if possible (Reduce fire spreading)
• Proceed to assembly point.


• Aircraft engines are mostly susceptible to fires on start-up. The following

points will minimise the risk of damage due to an engine fire.
• Always have a fire extinguisher of the correct type available prior to starting
the engine. A CO2 extinguisher should be close to hand for each engine
• A safety person should be available, conversant with the operation of the fire
appliance and aircraft procedures.
• In the event of a fire, the fuel supply and ignition should be turned off before
attempting to extinguish the flames.
• If possible see if the fire stops after fuel and ignition is cut. If not, apply
extinguisher agent via the fire access panels, do not run engines with
cowlings open or removed.


Brake Fires occur mainly due to overheating after a heavy landing or excess
operation of the brakes. They may also be a result of a hydraulic fluid leak onto a
hot brake. A brake unit may not catch fire immediately after an incident. The unit
may burst into flames a long time afterward a landing. Care should be taken
approaching a wheel or brake unit. Never approach in the direction of the axle,
always approach in line with the tyre i.e. from the front or rear of the aircraft.
Only attempt to extinguish a brake unit if it is on fire. If it is only overheated it is
best left alone to cool. A Dry Powder extinguisher is the most effective as it does
not rapidly cool the unit. If a dry powder extinguisher is not available, a CO2 or
Foam extinguisher can be used by application of the extinguisher agent onto the
GROUND near to the unit. This will allow the agent to warm up before coming
into contact with the brake unit.


It is fairly obvious from the previous comments that a maintenance engineer
needs to be both knowledgeable concerning the safety requirements and alert
when working around aircraft. Various other factors will also have an effect on the
level of safety. Human factors such as noise, lighting, fatigue and work pressures
are also relevant. Some of these will be discussed in Module 9 Human Factors.

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 9

Many aspects of working on aircraft will be unsafe if the correct safety
precautions are not observed. Even walking around aircraft will be dangerous if
you are not aware of the dangers. Typical dangers will be as follows:
• Sharp objects such as probes, wing-tips, propellers, aerials
• Working around engine intakes and exhausts is particularly dangerous
(often fatal) when the engines are running.
• Working around propellers especially when rotating.
• Damage to ears from constant exposure to noise.
• High pressure gases can cause explosions.
• Working with many tools, especially power tools.
• Working around electricity in general.
• Hydraulically operated controls or other systems.
• Dangers due to risk of fire.
This list could be extended considerably. The safety aspect of working around
aircraft should be emphasised at all times. Engineers tend to become over-
confident as experience increases. They should be alert at all times to the
possible dangers. Anyone who has been in the aviation maintenance business
for a reasonable time will be able to recount at least one instance of a serious
injury or fatality due to a safety related incident. Ask your lecturer!

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 10

Page Intentionally Blank

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 11



In order to perform his duties competently and speedily, the Licensed Aircraft
Maintenance Engineer needs to provide himself with an adequate tool kit,
maintain it properly and add to it as he progresses from one aircraft to another in
the pursuance of his career. It is obvious, therefore, that knowledge of tools is an
essential part of his overall field of learning. In this topic we shall consider some
aspects of the provision and safe keeping of both personal tools and some
special tools. The provision of special tools is usually undertaken by the
organisation for whom the engineer works, but their proper use and safe keeping
is very much the responsibility of those who use them.
The care of tools, their correct usage and safe keeping is an aspect of the
engineers work which must be approached with the same degree of responsibility
as all other facets of his work. Worn tools, e.g. spanners with spread jaws,
screwdrivers with incorrectly ground blades etc. will damage the equipment on
which they are being used, as well as risking injury to the user. To minimise the
risk of loose articles being left on aircraft, many engineering organisations now
use 'Shadow Boards' for tool storage. A black wooden board carries painted
silhouettes of all the tools attached by spring clips to that particular board. At the
end of a particular period, a brief glance will show which tools are still in use of
have not been returned to their storage. This method has contributed very
effectively to a reduction in the number of accidents due to loose tools left in
Despite some organisations using shadow boards, many only use them for
specialist tools therefore in many companies the mechanic / technician will be
expected to supply and control his own personal tool kit.


Many different materials are used on aircraft and most of them need to be
approved for aircraft use. A few examples of the different materials are:
• Sheet metal, rivets and fasteners for repairs
• Adhesives, sealants and jointing componds.
• Cleaning materials, these may be water based or solvent based.
• Painting materials – etch primers, thinners, paint and paint removers.
• Fuels, engine oil and hydraulic fluid.
• Fluids for a variety of purposes including acids, alkaline fluids.
These and many more will be discussed during the rest of the course. It is most
important for you to realise that many of the materials need special care to avoid
both damage and injury. The maintenance or repair manuals will always specify
the recommended material for a specific task. Sometimes an alternative will be
identified, but if not so identified the recommended material must be used. Each
of the materials will normally be identified by a part number or identification code.
This code number may be a manufacturers code or an internationally standard
code. For example many aircraft sheet metal skins are made from an aluminium
alloy called durallumin. This may be coded 2017, 2117 or 2024, each being a
slightly different specification.

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 1

One of the main tasks an engineer has to perform is to identify if the aircraft
conforms to its design specifications. Much of the maintenance work involves
carrying out some form of inspection. This will often involve measuring to check if
dimensions are correct.
An engineer will be required to take measurements in a variety of different
circumstances, using a variety of measuring devices. The following list gives
some of the situations where a measurement may be made:
• Measuring tyre tread depth to ascertain if tread wear is excessive
• Checking the up and down movement of a control surface – this may involve
measurement of an angle or a dimension
• Measurement of thickness of brake pads
• Determining the dimensions of damage to aircraft structures
• Measurement of the overall length of an electrical actuator
• Measurement of the volume of fuel during a fuel flow check
• Accurate measurement of the dimensions of a hydraulic cylinder

In each of the previous cases a different method of measurement may be used.

In the first example, a tyre depth gauge might be used. In the second the
measurement might be carried out with a steel rule or a special tool supplied by
the aircraft manufacturer.
Accuracy of Dimensions
As well as using different types of measuring device, the measurements may
need to be carried out to a greater degree of accuracy. In all cases it is true to
say the dimension cannot be measured exactly. It is only possible to measure to
the accuracy of the measuring device used. As well as this, the measuring device
will not be totally accurate.

The scale of the rule shown is in millimetres, with the smallest sub-division
representing 5mm. The line A is between 30mm and 35mm. You should not
estimate the value of A as 33mm (or 34mm). Its value can only be accurately
stated as 30mm. If you need to measure more accurately, you need to use a
more accurate measuring device such as a vernier caliper.

Another way of giving a false indication of the accuracy of a measurement or

dimension is to specify too many decimal places in your measurement. For
example, if you measure a dimension of 4inches with a rule calibrated in eight’s
of an inch, you might be tempted to state the dimension as 4.125” as this is the
decimal value. This implies that you have measured to an accuracy of 0.001”
rather than .

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 2

When components are manufactured, it is impossible for them to be
manufactured to exact dimensions. Part of the reason for this is much the same
as we have already stated. The best accuracy we can achieve is dictated by the
accuracy of our measuring devices. The ability of a machine to produce identical
parts also comes into play. A cutting tool will wear and so will produce slightly
different parts each time. If a part is rolled or extruded, the rollers or die will not
produce the same results each time. It is essential that components are
interchangeable so that they may fit together. The parts are therefore made to a
specified limit so that each may be slightly smaller or larger than the stated
“nominal” size. A tolerance is the permitted variation tolerated and is a measure
of the accuracy or standard of workmanship. If for example a part should be
25mm in diameter (nominal size), it may be considered acceptable if it is within
the limits 25.02mm (high limit) and 24.98mm (low limit). The difference between
the two limits is the tolerance, in this case 0.04mm. It is more difficult (and more
expensive) to produce items with very small tolerances. We often use the term
close tolerance in this case. Aircraft components are usually manufactured to
closer tolerances than in other engineering applications.
The allowance is considered when we have two mating parts such as a shaft
and a hole. The shaft is obviously designed to fit into a hole. Each will have a
high and a low limit. The allowance is the difference between the high limit of the
shaft and the low limit of the hole.


Gauges and precision measuring instruments need to be checked against a
Standard Value on a periodic basis to ensure accuracy within a given range. If a
particular measuring device is designed to be accurate to say 0.001”, it will not
give the required accuracy if care is not taken when it is used. It is also common
practice to check it every time it is used to confirm it’s accuracy. A micrometer
would, for example be checked for its zero ready every time it is used. It is not
always essential for the device to give the exact value as long as it is known how
inaccurate the device is. Precision gauges should normally be checked and re-
calibrated at least every six months.

Torque Wrench Calibration Gauge

Tools and equipment requiring regular calibration checks would include:

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 3
• Micrometers – both external and internal
• Vernier measuring tools
• Tyre pressure gauges
• Torque wrenches
• Cable tensiometers
• Electrical measuring gauges such as multi-meters
• Specialised Non-Destructive equipment
• Avionic Test equipment
When calibrated, it is necessary to keep a record to ensure that it is known when
the equipment will need re-calibration. Where necessary it should be identified
how accurate the equipment is over the complete measuring range. Sometimes a
chart will indicate how much the instrument varies from the stated value over the
complete measuring range.

Maintenance Practices B1 by COBC Page 4



A good aircraft engineer will most probably have a very extensive (and
expensive) tool kit. Initially the toolkit will be small and the engineer will need to
be selective about the number of tools bought and their quality. The engineer will
need to be familiar with many different types of tools. Other than a basic
knowledge pf the different types of tool and their use, it is necessary to describe
or “classify” tools. By this we mean how to identify the different types of a tool.
For example there are many different types of screwdriver. They differ both in the
type of screws they are used on and in the size of the screwdriver. Most tools are
available in a variety of sizes and types. At the very least the engineer will need
to be able to describe the tools when it comes to buying them.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Screwdrivers. Classified by length and type of blade e.g. 10" common, 8"
Phillips, the blade being made of alloy steel with a wooden or plastic handle. In a
good quality tool the blade will be cold rolled to produce great strength and
resistance to twist, and the tip drop forged and finally ground to the correct
profile. Variations of the common or 'standard' screwdriver include Phillips,
Posidrive and Reed & Prince, these being the type with a cruciform configuration
blade (commonly termed 'Cross Point'). It is important to select the correct type
of cross point driver for the particular screw in use, for although they may look
alike at the first glance, the angles and shape of the cruciform slot are different.
In the case of the common screwdriver, for use on normal slotted screws, the
working tip of the blade should be ground flat to prevent slipping in the slot and
the tip should bottom in the slot. Further variations of screwdriver include
Ratchet, Pump-action, Changeable-tip (Snap-On) and stubby, this latter type
being used in the restricted spaces frequently found in aircraft maintenance work.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Pliers. Classified by type of jaw and overall length e.g. 6" Fine Nose, 8" Slide
Cutting, etc. Made of steel, forged to impart strength to their relatively light and
slender form, with the jaws and side cutting section hardened. Care should be
taken to use only a pair of pliers capable of coping with the job in hand, since the
jaws can easily be twisted or damaged by mishandling. Specialised pliers
include those for wire stripping, removal and fitting of circlips and wire locking.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Hammers. Classified by weight and type of head. The head is made of medium
carbon steel with the working faces hardened and tempered, whilst the eye for
attachment of the handle is left soft. After long service a hammer may tend to
become unsafe due to small jagged pieces breaking off the edge of the striking
faces. When this happens, the head should be discarded and a new one fitted,
ensuring that the steel retaining wedge is secured in position. The head normally
has one flat striking face and one of a variety of shapes. The non flat face is
called a “pein”. Hence when we classify a hammer we call it a ball pein, cross
pein or straight pein hammer. The flat surface is normally used for normal
striking or hitting work such as bending a bar of metal or using a drift, whilst the
peins are used for specialised forming operations. When the use of a hammer is
necessary on finished surfaces, a soft hammer is used, the head consisting of a
detachable plug of rawhide, nylon or similar material. Lead or copper heads are
in use for similar reasons.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Files. Probably the most frequently used tool in the fitting trade, files are
classified according to their length, section, type and cut of teeth. The length
does not include the tang. Files are made of forged high carbon steel, the tang
on which the handle is fitted being reduced in hardness so that it is less brittle
than the working part. The teeth of the file may be single or double cut, whilst the
grade or tooth spacing may be classed as rough, bastard, second-cut, smooth or
dead smooth. These terms describe the number of teeth or 'cuts' to the inch and
this will vary with the length of the file. Representative figures for a 12" flat file
will be:
Bastard 21 cuts / inch
Second Cut 26 cuts / inch
Smooth 40 cuts / inch
Dead Smooth 72 cuts / inch

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Commonly used files include:
• Flat. Parallel for most of it's length, tapering in both width and thickness at
the end. Double cut on both faces, single cut on both edges.
• Hand. Parallel in width throughout it's length, but tapers in thickness at the
end. Double cut on both faces, single cut on one edge, the other edge is left
un-cut and is known as the 'Safe Edge'. This is used for filing in corners
where one side is left untouched.
• Half Round. Double cut on flat face, single cut on curved face. N.B. Curved
face is not a full half circle in section. Used in the formation of filed radii.
• Triangle or Three Square. May be single or doubled cut on all faces. Used
for work on awkward corners.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Precautions using Files
• Never use a file without a handle.
• Never use a file as a lever, since due to it's brittle nature it may break with
jagged pieces flying off (into eyes!).
• When filing soft metal (Aluminium, Copper), the teeth end to clog. The file
should be frequently cleaned by using a file card consisting of short wire
bristles on a fabric backing.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Chisels. The engineers chisel is called a 'Cold Chisel' because they are
specially hardened and tempered for cutting cold metals. Consider the
requirements of a chisel. Firstly it must be harder than the metal it is cutting, and
yet it must be tough and not brittle if it is to withstand repeated hammer blows.
For these reasons they are made from high carbon steels or alloy steels heat
treated to induce the properties that give them a satisfactory working life.
Classified by length and section of working blade. The most common types are
flat, cross-cut, round nose and diamond-point. The angle of the cutting edge
varies with the properties of the metal to be cut, e.g. a larger angle for tough and
hard materials, say 65 - 70º for steels, while for cutting softer materials like
aluminium a fairly sharp angle is needed, say 30º.
Typical uses for various shapes of chisels are:
• Flat. General fitting work, chipping away large areas prior to filing, removal of
rivet heads during repairs.
• Cross cut. For cutting grooves, key-ways on shafts and to divide up flat
surfaces into strips prior to cutting with flat chisel.
• Half Round. For cutting an oil groove in a bearing.
• Diamond Point. For cutting a hole in a plate, forming sharp corners, or for
moving the centre of a drilled hole which has started to run off-centre.
Scrapers. Used for final surfacing work to correct slight warping and distortion
and for blending out damage due to corrosion etc., common types can be flat and
half round. These can be locally produced by grinding a flat file with a slightly
curved cutting edge and finished to a high degree of sharpness with an oil stone.
Used in conjunction with marking fluid (e.g. engineers blue) and bearing in mind
that the surface to be worked on must be very nearly true initially, a scraper can
be a most useful addition to the aircraft engineers tool box. For instance, the
high spot of a bearing can be removed and the correct fit of the shaft can be
obtained by scraping first the lower half, testing the fit with marking fluid with the
shaft in position, then repeating the operation on the top half.

Hacksaws. Classified by frame size and type (fixed, adjustable, tubular etc.).
The blade is tensioned by either tightening a wing nut or the handle itself.
Lengths vary from approximately 8" - 14", frequently 10" and the blade will be
made from carbon or alloy steel. Hacksaws may also be fitted with a round blade
for cutting in all directions (useful for cutting out damaged structure in sheet
metal). Usually the blade teeth only will be hardened, but the blade may be
hardened throughout. Number of teeth vary, 18 T.P.I. (teeth per inch) being
satisfactory for general cutting use, while 30 T.P.I would be preferable for cutting
thin sheet or tubing and 14 T.P.I. is suitable for cutting solid brass or copper. The
main cause of accidents to operators using hacksaws is blade breakage,
resulting in hands coming sharply into contact with the work. Breakage is usually
due to either insufficient tightening of the blade, excessive downward pressure or
excessive twisting of the blade on the forward stroke. Special care is necessary
when cutting thin sheet or tube, only a slightly downward pressure is required.
Note: The blade is designed to cut only on the forward stroke, with the blade
installed correctly, i.e. teeth forward.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Spanners. These are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes and are
intended for tightening or slackening a nut on a screw thread. Their length is
related to the size of the nut for which they are designed and any misuse (e.g.
extending the length with a tube) will certainly result in damage to both thread
and spanner. Similarly, a hammer blow imparted to the end of the spanner to
move a stubborn nut will also reduce the working life of the spanner. Properly
maintained and used, with a light smear of oil to protect their surface finish,
spanners will last for many years, and the practical engineer can never have too
many of them. Generally made from Vanadium Steel, heat treated to provide
hard, long lasting jaws combined with an extremely tough, resilient handle, the
traditional double ended (i.e. open jaw) type of spanner is the most common.
The jaws are usually set at 15º, 30º or 60º to the shank, so that for a relatively
small handle movement a useful turning moment is attained at the nut simply by
turning the spanner even when working space is limited.
The size of the spanner is clearly marked at or near the jaw and will be
expressed as a B.A. number or a Whitworth, A.F. or Metric size. Spanners
intended for Unified threads have their size marked on the jaw expressed as a
figure correct to two decimal places, but the decimal point is omitted e.g. 50
would be 1/2" across the flats, 25 would represent 1/4" etc.
• Ring Spanners. These would be used in preference to open jaw spanners
since they apply the load equally to all faces of the hexagon. In practice, most
modern ring spanners have a 12 point configuration to the head and are
referred to as bi-hexagonal. This makes for greater versatility where
movement is restricted, permitting a nut to be turned when only 30º of
movement is possible.
• Combination Spanners. These combine the best features of both open
spanners and ring spanners as they have one head of each type, both being
the same size. The heads may be off-set to the handle and to each other,
and in some cases the ring spanner may be deeply off-set to allow the head
to be fitted to a nut in a shallow countersink.
• Socket Spanners. These are produced in two parts, i.e. the socket, placed
over the nut or bolt head and the handle which is attached to the socket,
usually by a square driving shaft. A wide variety of handles are available,
such as 'T' handle, ratchet, screwdriver grip and speed-handle (rather like a
car wheel brace). The square drive, usually 1/4", or 3/8" or 1/2" square
incorporates a spring loaded ball which engages in a groove in the socket.
This should ensure that the socket lifts off the nut when the operator wishes
to reposition the socket on the nut, and prevents the socket becoming
detached, possible in an awkward position. Refinements to the basic socket
and handle include extension rods to fit between the socket and handle,
universal drive joints, flexible rods, posidrive bit adapters, crows foot
attachments and converter adapters enabling one to use handles with small
square drives to connect to sockets with large drives or vice-versa. Note:
Care should be taken not to over torque a socket when using a handle with a
large square drive with a socket with a small square drive. Socket sets are
available in all current size ranges and the practical engineer will be well
advised to equip himself with the best quality, most comprehensive set he
can afford. Cheap tools of inferior material have very limited life and may
damage the component on which it is being used.
• Allen Keys. Certain screws or bolts have a hexagonal recess in their heads.
An 'Allen Key' is used to tighten or slacken the screws. The basic tool is of
hexagonal cross section (to suit the recess) and is cranked through 90º to
form an 'L' shape. They are made of hardened and tempered steel, tough
enough to withstand fracture and abrasion / wear. Allen keys are also made
in straight lengths to fit into socket bits. Allen keys are classified by their
dimension across their hexagon flats.
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Special Spanners. Included in this category are 'C' spanners, Torque Spanners,
Peg Spanners etc. 'C' spanners are used on round nuts, pipe connections etc.
where the nut has a series of notches around it's periphery. The spanner usually
has a curved articulated arm with a hook on the end. This hook is intended to
engage into one of the notches on the nut. Peg spanners are similar except that
a peg (or two) engages on a hole in the edge or face of the nut.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
In the absence of special jigs or fixtures which locate the work and provide some
means of guiding the cutting tool, most work necessitating removal of metal
involves the scribing of guidance lines to indicate the positions of finished
surfaces or the centre lines of holes. Some of the tools used are as follows:
Rules. Engineering workshop rules are used for general measuring and are
made from high carbon steel suitably hardened and tempered. They are usually
graduated in Imperial and Metric systems of measurement and classified by
length. Rules should be kept free from rust and never subjected to rough usage
or careless handling. The end of the rule in particular should be carefully treated
since it generally forms the basis of one end of the measurement being taken.
One common malpractice if the use of steel rules to de-burr sheet metal. This
may not only damage the rule, but it removes good metal from the sheet metal as
well as the burr.
Scribers. Scribers are used for marking guidance lines on the surface of work;
they are made of high carbon steel, suitably hardened and tempered and are
classified by length. Scriber points like those of dividers, must be kept keen and
fine, and they should be fully protected when not in use.

Dividers Fitters Square

Dividers. Dividers are used to set out distances and to scribe arcs and circles.
Their legs are made of high carbon steel, hardened and tempered, with a spring
steel spring. Dividers are classified by the length of the legs. The points should
be kept keen and of equal length, by stoning on the outside. Grinding, unless
done very carefully will change the temper of the points and render them soft.
When the dividers are not in use, the points should be protected by sticking them
into a cork.
Fitters Squares. Fitters Squares are used for setting out lines at right angles to
an edge or surface, and for checking right angular work for truth. Squares are
made of high carbon steel, hardened and tempered and are classified by the
length of the blade. The square is made to very fine limits and this initial
accuracy must be preserved by careful handling and keeping it in the box
provided when not in use.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The blade and stock have their opposing edges ground truly parallel with the
limbs set at exactly 90º to each other. This accuracy must be checked from time
to time. This can be done by checking the square for truth against a master
square or against a V - block. An alternate test (see diagram to the right) is to
place the stock against a flat surface, using the outside edge of the blade as a
guide. The square is then turned over and the outside of the blade checked
against the line. The test should be repeated using the inside edge of the blade.
Combination Set. A combination set (see diagram below) is virtually three tools
in one, consisting of a blade or rule and three 'heads'; the blade is made from
high carbon steel, hardened and tempered, while the heads are of close-grained
cast iron. The blade is graduated in inch and metric scales, and a central groove
along it's entire length accommodates a clamping screw fitted to each of the
heads, thus enabling a head to be secured at any desired position along the

The details of the three heads are as follows:

• Square Head. This head is provided with two working faces, one at 90º and
the other at 45º to the blade, thus enabling the tool to be used both as a
square and as a mitre. A spirit level is incorporated into the head and a
scriber is provided.
• Centre Head. This is used in conjunction with the blade to locate the centre
of a round bar or the centre line of a tube.
• Protractor Head. Used in conjunction with the blade for checking or setting
up any angle up to 180º. A spirit level is often incorporated.

Calipers. The types of calipers are as follows:

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
• Inside & Outside. These are used in conjunction with a rule or other
measuring instrument for measuring distances between or over surfaces, or
for comparing dimensions. Inside calipers are used for measuring inside
dimensions and outside for external dimensions. To set the calipers, set
nearly to size by hand and then tap one leg (not at the point) to make the final
adjustment. When calipers are used for comparison purposes, the results
obtained largely depend on the sense of feel of the user.
• Odd Leg Calipers. This tool is really half caliper and half dividers. It may be
used for scribing lines parallel to an edge or for scribing arcs on cylindrical
bars to aid in finding the centre. These tools are often referred to as 'jenny
Marking Off (Surface) Table. Used to support work for marking out and to form
a base for measurements. Made from close grained cast iron, strongly ribbed for
rigidity. The working surface is accurately machined to give a true, flat surface
and square edges. After use, the working surface should be protected with oil
and the protective cover replaced. No work other than marking or measurement
should be carried out on the table.
Surface Plate This may be used in place of the marking out table for relatively
small work. It is much smaller than the table and the finish is at least equal to
that found on a good table. Surface plates are usually portable and used on a
work-bench. To test a flat surface for accuracy, the plate is smeared with
engineers blue and the surface to be tested rubbed on the plate. The amount of
marking transferred will indicate its flatness.

Vee Blocks These are used on a marking table or surface plate to support round
work. They are made of cast iron or case hardened mild steel, are supplied in
identical pairs, each unit of a pair being stamped with the same identification
number. All surfaces are accurately machines and the Vee angle is exactly 90º.
Vee blocks are classified by the maximum diameter of the work which can be
held. The clearance slot at the base of the Vee allows objects to be set firmly.
Scribing Blocks (see diagram below). A scribing block is used to mark out lines
parallel to a true surface, such as the working surface of a marking off table or a
surface plate. The accurately machines base is made of cast iron, or case-
hardened mild steel, the scriber is of high carbon steel, hardened and tempered
and the pillar angle, scriber height and angle are all adjustable. A fine
adjustment is provided for the pillar and dowels in the base can be pushed down
so that lines can be scribed parallel to the edge of the surface table or plate.
Scribing blocks are classified by the height of the pillar.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Key-Seat Rules These are sometimes termed 'box squares', and are used for
marking lines parallel to the axis on the surface of tubes and round bars. These
rules are usually graduated and are classified by their length.

Key Seat Rule Use of Feeler Gauges

Feeler Gauges 'Feelers' are used to measure small clearances or gaps; they
consist of a series of thin flexible steel blades in graduated thickness varying in
most cases from 1.5 to 15 or 25 thousandths of an inch. The blades are secured
in a protective metal scabbard by a fulcrum pin and all blades not in actual use
should be withdrawn into the scabbard to prevent accidental distortion. Feeler
gauges are classified by the length of the blades. When not in use, the blades
should be lightly smeared with oil to prevent rusting.
Centre Punches A centre punch is used to make a small indentation for locating
the cutting edge of a drill at the start of a drilling operation. Centre punches are
made of high carbon steel, the point being hardened and tempered. A sharp
point should be maintained by careful grinding and should have an angle of 90º
for general work or 60º for light work, such as marking out. Automatic centre
punches are available which are spring loaded and simply require pushing down
to give an indentation. The depth being determined by the spring setting.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Use of a Centre Punch
Examples of Marking-Out Work
There will be many instances where it is necessary to fabricate aircraft parts.
Some of the skills required in measuring out prior to fabrication of parts are
described below.
Marking-off Rectangular Work (Blocks or sheet metal)
File one face of the metal true (check with steel rule or straight-edge) and square
one edge to the true face; the work will then stand firmly on the surface table (or
plate). Parallel lines can then be scribed across it's face using a scribing block.
If marking sheet metal, the sheet can be placed against a V-block. Height
marking can also be carried out using a vernier height gauge.
Squaring up End of Round Bar or Tube.
The diagram below shows a simple method of marking-off for squaring the end of
a bar. The bar or tube is supported in a pair of V-blocks which set it up parallel to
the table and a third V-block laid on its side prevents axial movement. The
scriber is firmly clamped in the scribing block at a height and angle which brings
the point in a suitable scribing position. The cutting line is then marked by
rotating the bar against the scriber point.

Finding Centre of Rough Bar

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Open out the legs of 'Odd Leg' calipers until they are set at rather less than the
radius of the bar. Scribe four short arcs on the end of the bar shown in the
diagram (see diagram to the right). The centre of the bar is then in the centre of
the small figure. The position may be estimated by eye and centre popped.

Marking-Out - Summary

• Only boundary lines and cutting lines should be scribed on Light Alloy sheet.
Scribed lines on this type of material may give rise to cracks. Any lines other
than cutting lines should be marked with a soft graphite pencil (all traces
should be removed afterwards) or a wax crayon (not black - it may contain
• The points of scribers and dividers must be kept clean to produce very fine
scribing lines. Thick lines lead to inaccuracies.
• Scribing lines must be clear and distinct; prior to marking out, it may be
advantageous to apply chalk or white wash to the surface. Bright steel
surfaces should be coated with copper sulphate or engineers blue.
• When the scriber is used in a scribing block, it must be clamped rigidly and
scribing should be done firmly so that there is no necessity to retrace lines.
The scriber point should be set as close as possible to the pillar, thus
reducing the tendency of the point to whip.
• Always trail the point when using the scriber so that it does not dig in to the
An accuracy of 0.010" is often accepted for marking out although more accuracy
may be obtained using a vernier height gauge.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Sometimes hand tools are not practical for reasons of speed and accuracy. A
variety of power tools are used during aircraft maintenance. Cutting tools used in
an aircraft environment are generally pneumatically operated. Electrically driven
cutting tools would be dangerous as they produce sparks which may ignite fuel
vapours. The power for the pneumatic tools is supplied via a compressor that
supplies air at around 80 p.s.i. The compressor normally incorporates a water
trap so that the air is as dry as possible. The air supply is normally supplied via
metal pipelines to a quick release coupling. The engineer will normally connect
the power tools to the coupling via a plastic or rubber flexible hose. Many
different types of pneumatic power tools are used, mainly by the airframe and
engine engineers. The most common tools used are pneumatic (windy) drills,
rivetting hammers for solid rivets, blind rivetting tools, pneumatic shears,
pneumatic sanders, rivet croppers and millers.


(See diagram below). These may be dangerous to use unless they are kept in
good condition and handled carefully.
1. Always check the condition of the lead and plug. Do not use the drill if it is
damaged in any way.
2. Make sure the job is firmly secured in a vice or on the drill platform.
3. Use a lubricant to keep the point of the drill cool; kerosene is suitable for most
4. Do not force feed or the drill may break.
5. If swarf builds up at the drill point, stop the machine before attempting to clear
it away.
6. Always wear goggles to protect your eyes.

Electric Drill Drill Stand

These are used mainly in structural repair work.
Air Operated (Windy) Drills (see diagrams below). These are available in either
straight or pistol grip form. They will, depending on size, accept drills up to 8mm
diameter. Angled and off-set drills are provisioned for drilling holes in restricted
positions. These drills require a separate collet for each size of drill.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Rotary Saw. Used primarily for cutting sheets of metal both on and off aircraft.
It may also be used for cutting plywood and plastic. The tool illustrated can cut
steel and alloy of thickness 0.8mm and 2mm respectively.
Pneumatic Shears This tool is designed to cut sheet material up to 14 SWG in
mild steel or 12 SWG in light alloy. Cutting is achieved by the action of a
reciprocating shear blade against a stationary anvil blade. Stellite tipped blades
are available for cutting stainless steel or titanium alloy.
Pneumatic Riveting Hammers. Many types are available to suit a variety of
solid rivet sizes. They all operate on a similar principle as shown in the diagram
below. The air pressure supply controlled by the throttle button or lever, causes
the piston to oscillate rapidly backwards and forwards in the barrel. The piston
delivers blows to the rivet via the interchangeable snap. An adjustable air
regulating screw varies the maximum rate and power of the gun. A typical rate is
1,500 blows per minute.

Pneumatic Blind Riveters. These are designed for easy forming of various
types of blind rivets. There is usually a special riveter for each type of rivet.
Sometimes the riveter is air operated, but many incorporate a hydraulic
intensifier. Many types exist, so only a selection is shown below.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Mandrel Cropping Tool. The air operated cropping tool is used to cut off the
protruding mandrel stems of Avdel rivets after they have been set. The tool
incorporates two cutting jaws which sever the rivet mandrel when the control
button is pressed. The cut mandrel will still need to be milled down with the
milling tool, to give a clean finish.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Rivet Miller. This air operated tool is used mainly for milling down protruding
Avdel rivet mandrels. It usually has telescopic legs and a micrometer adjustment
to that the depth of cut can be accurately set.


When used, maintained and stored correctly, air operated tools have a long and
trouble free life. Their great enemies are lack of lubrication and the entry of
moisture and foreign particles introduced via the air supply. These effects can be
reduced as follows:
1. Drain the compressor oil and water traps at least daily and more often if the
tools are in prolonged use.
2. Ensure that both male and female parts of the air supply couplings are clean
before connections are made.
3. Before using a tool, introduce about six drops of the specified lubricant into
the air supply opening.
4. Before storage, carry out the oiling procedure again, operating the tool slowly
to distribute the oil.
The broaching action of most expansion riveting tools is dependent of the grip of
their serrated jaws. If the jaws start to slip, stop riveting and clean out the jaw
Safety. These tools should be perfectly safe during normal use but they all can
be dangerous if handled incorrectly or carelessly. Before connecting a power
tool to it's supply, you should be aware of it's potential dangers and plan how to
avoid them. Warning notices often give some indication of potential dangers and
they should be obeyed. Other precautions include:
• Keep your hands, hair and clothing clear of the moving parts of tools.
• Wear goggles, ear defenders and protective clothing as the circumstances
• Do not leave an unused tool connected to the power supply.
• Always operate riveting hammers against a resistance, especially when
testing it's action.
Note. Most accidents occur due to inexperienced operators fooling around with
power tools.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
In order to achieve the accuracy required in many aircraft engineering
applications, it will be necessary to use equipment capable of measuring to a
greater degree of accuracy than a steel rule. The maintenance manual will
specify the dimensions to be measured. In many instances, an accuracy of
0.001” (one thousandth of an inch), 0.01 mm (one hundredth of a millimeter) or
greater will be specified. Precision measuring instruments are used to achieve
this objective. It is necessary for all engineers to be familiar with their use and be
able to measure with them to the required degree of accuracy.

Micrometers are used for measuring both internal and external dimension to a
normal accuracy of 0.001” or 0.01mm. In the Imperial micrometer shown, the
spindle and barrel threads have a pitch of 0.025” (40 threads per inch), therefore
one complete turn of the spindle and sleeve will advance the spindle by 0.025” or
25 thousandths of an inch. The sleeve is sub-divided into 25 equal divisions and
so rotation of the sleeve by one division will move the spindle 0.025/25 = 0.001”
or 0ne thousandth of an inch.
A metric micrometer uses the same principle except that the thread pitch is
0.5mm and the sleeve is divided into 50 equal divisions. Movement of one sleeve
division is therefore equal to 0.5/50 = 0.01mm.

The diagram below shows an example of a micrometer reading made up of:

Number of main divisions on the barrel 2 = 0.200”
Number of smaller divisions of 0.025” each 1 = 0.025”
Thimble divisions (coinciding with axis line) 6 = 0.006”

Total Reading = 0.231”

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000 Vernier micrometers
The degree of accuracy of a micrometer can be further improved by adding a
vernier scale as shown above right. This type of imperial micrometer has an
accuracy of 0.0001” or one ten thousandth of an inch. The thimble is graduated
into 25 divisions as before and 25 half divisions. A vernier scale is then engraved
on the barrel. The line on the vernier scale that coincides with a line on the
sleeve gives the final accuracy. In the example shown above:

Number of main divisions on the barrel ............ 4 = 0.4000”

4 Number of smaller divisions of 0.025"" each ........ 2 = 0.0500”
2 Thimble divisions (coinciding with axis line) ...... 19 = 0.0190”
Further half division on the thimble 1 = 0.0005”
Coinciding Vernier line Four 4 = 0.0004”

Total reading = 0.4699”

Other gauges of the micrometer type are in use as precision measuring
instruments. Some are described as follows: Internal Micrometer

This instrument has a

similar scale to the
external micrometer, but
as the name suggests, it
is used for measuring
internal dimensions with
the same accuracy. The
micrometer may be used
for a range of
measurements by fitting
fixed length extension

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000 Depth Micrometer
This is used to measure the depth
relative to the base plate which is
ground and square to the spindle
axis. The scale will be zero when the
end of the spindle is flush with the
base. Three Point Internal micrometer

This is used to give more accuracy to internal measurement of bores. The
standard internal micrometer might not be square and therefore not be at the
bore's widest part. The three symmetrically positioned anvils of this micrometer
ensures an accurate reading.


The main scale of an imperial micrometer is one inch long, and so external
micrometers are available in a variety of sizes. The standard size is 0-1”, but 1-
2”, 2-3” and so on are available to measure larger external sizes. As explained
previously, accurate extension pieces are available for the internal micrometers.
Before using an external micrometer, the zero reading should be checked. This is
done with the O - 1” instrument by closing it right up and checking the 0 on the
thimble is in line with the axis. A machined distance piece is inserted in the larger
sizes to check for their zero. Accuracy depends on cleanliness; both of the
instrument and the component you are measuring. Micrometers may be fitted
with a ratchet so that a uniform result may be obtained.
Adjustment of the zero setting may be achieved by moving the barrel within the
frame with a “C” spanner, or by adjusting the anvil. Compensation for wear of the
thread is often available by having a tapered thread on the barrel screw thread
that can be adjusted for tightness.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Many measuring instruments use the vernier principle. One of the most common
being the Vernier Caliper shown below. The instrument consists of a beam on
which is marked a main scale, similar to that of a steel rule. There are two jaws,
one of which is integral with the main scale. The other jaw slides along the main
scale and has the vernier scale mounted on it. The movable jaw is also
connected to a clamping device (termed the fine adjustment clipper). This should
be locked at the approximate measurement and final adjustment made with the
fine adjustment screw. After setting, the jaw locking screw should be used to
ensure an accurate reading is obtained. For measurement of internal dimensions,
some calipers have "nibs". The width of both of the nibs is usually marked on one
of the nibs and this dimension should be added to the reading obtained. Some
calipers have "Targets" or small indentations, from which dividers may be
accurately set. Before using the calipers, they should be checked for zero, by
closing them up and checking the zero line on the main scale coincides with the
zero on the vernier scale. Reading the Metric Vernier Scale

On the top metric scale, the distance from 0 to 1 is 10 mm. This is divided into 10
parts (1 mm). Each mm is further divided into two (0.5mm). The lower sliding
scale has 25 divisions and gives us an accuracy of 0.5/25 = 0.02 mm.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Refer to the diagram below and follow the steps to determine the reading of the
metric vernier caliper.

Upper scale reading coinciding with the 0 on the sliding scale is 30.50
The 14 mark on the sliding scale exactly coincides with a mark
on the upper scale. This represents 14 x 0.02 mm 0.28
Total Reading = 30.78 mm Reading the Imperial Vernier Scale

On the top scale, 1” is divided into 10 parts and each part is further divided into
four parts. Each division has a length of ¼ of 1/10” = 1/40 = 0.025”. On the lower
sliding scale there are 25 divisions and this gives us our accuracy of 0.025/25 =
In the example shown an upper scale reading coinciding with the 0
on the sliding scale is 3.075
The 11 mark on the sliding scale exactly coincides with a mark
on the upper scale. This represents 11 x 0.001” 0.011
Total Reading = 3.086”

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000 Vernier Height Gauge
This instrument is used in conjunction with a surface table or surface plate. It will
provide a method of accurate measurement from the surface table to the moving
jaw. It may also be used to scribe or mark metal cut lines when used with a vee
block or other square work.

Vernier Protractor
This is used to take angular measurements and consists of a solid base or stock,
with an adjustable straight edge attachment which can be set at an angle relative
to the base. Angular movement of the straight-edge rotates a disc on which is
mounted a circular protractor scale graduated in degrees. This scale is read in
conjunction with a vernier scale which gives an overall accuracy of 5 minutes or
5’. Dial Gauges (Dial Test Indicator)

This measuring instrument may be used to gauge the depth of dents or surface
damage relative to the normal surface. It would be typically used to ascertain
depth of corrosion on air aircraft skin panel. It may also be used to check for
deviation of a crankshaft etc. The gauge is usually clamped rigidly in a stand and
a zero reading obtained with reference to a neutral point. If checking values
about a mean, the gauge should be pre-loaded more than one dial revolution and
then the outside dial rotated to set the instrument to zero.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
There are two types of
DTI instruments in
common use:
Plunger type
An example of this type
is shown. A gear train is
used to magnify the
displacement of the
plunger, and the
magnitude of it's
displacement is indicated
by the pointer and scale.
The small pointer counts
the number of complete
revolutions made by the
main pointer.
Lever Type
In this type, a lever and
scroll is used to magnify
the displacement of the
stylus. This type of
instrument has a limited
range compared with the
plunger type. However it
is more compact and the
scale and pointer are
more easily read.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The lubrication of an aircraft and its component parts, is one of the most
important aspects of aircraft servicing. It must be carried out regularly, and to
prescribed schedules, in order to reduce friction between moving parts and to
minimise the risk of component failure.

When two parts are moving in relation to each other, particularly when they are
heavily loaded, the friction between them will generated heat. A lubricant applied
between the two surfaces will provide more than one function. It will:
• separate the two surfaces and thus reduce the friction.
• help dissipate the heat built up due to the friction
• form an anti-corrosive barrier
There are many, and varied lubrication tasks, ranging from a simple access panel
hinge requiring lubrication with light oil, to a wheel bearing on which a high
melting point grease is used. A wide range of lubricants is needed to satisfy the
requirements of modern aircraft. The lubricant will normally be oil or grease, but
there are many specialised forms of oils or greases.

There are three main types of oil :
• Mineral Oil is refined from crude oil
• Vegetable Oil is manufactured from vegetable based products e.g. Rape
seed (Duckhams)
• Synthetic Oil May be mineral or vegetable based, but does not fit into
specifications for the other types.

These normally consist of a petroleum base oil thickened with gelling agents and
modified by filling agents. Typical gelling agents are Sodium or lithium which are
used in high temperature greases, Aluminium gives a grease adhesive properties
and Calcium give water resistance. Typical applications for grease would be
wheel bearings, Engine and flying control joints, universal joints and screw
threads. Grease may be used instead of oil for the following reasons:
• Less prone to leaking out of the component.
• They generally give better protection.
• Longer lasting.


No one oil or grease will be suitable for all purposes. An oil may be used to
lubricate the moving parts of an internal combustion engine and due to the
specific requirements for this use, it would have properties to suit the loading and
operating temperature. It may be completely unsuitable for lubrication of a flap
screw jack or as a wheel bearing lubricant. The following points should be
considered concerning choice of oils or greases.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
This is the term used to determine the thickness of the oil or it’s resistance to
flow. A thin oil will have a low number and a thick oil, a high number. Aeroshell 80
for example is thinner than Aeroshell 100.
Temperature Effect
An increase in temperature will reduce the viscosity of an oil. A thick or high
viscosity oil may protect heavily loaded parts when it is warm and circulating.
When cold, the oil may not flow and oil starvation may cause premature failure.
Oil Additives
These are substances which are added in small quantities to improve the
properties of the oil. The oil may contain one or more additives such as:
• Detergents They enable the oil to hold sludge in suspension and give a
cleaner system.
• Extreme Pressure (E.P.) Used in heavily loaded gear trains e.g. helicopter
• Anti-Corrosive Reduces the corrosive effects of acids in oil.
Methods of Application
There are a number of different methods of lubricating aircraft components.
Lubrication may be carried out before assembly of a component, or during
maintenance. It is essential that the correct lubricant and the correct method of
application is used for every lubrication task. The basic methods used are:
• Oil Can Lubricating oil is commonly applied by the use of an oil can. Some
parts have oil-ways machined into them, whilst others rely on application of
oil directly to the moving parts.
• Pre-packing Many bearings and similar parts are lubricated with grease
and sealed during manufacture. The lubricant packed into the bearing is
sufficient for it’s working life, and no further lubrication should be required.
• Grease Guns Greasing is normally carried out with a hand operated
grease gun which injects grease into bearings and joints under pressure.
Parts lubricated this way have special nipples which permit pressurised
grease to pass directly to the bearing surfaces. The correct amount of grease
is normally shown by new grease coming out of the bearing. It is important
that the excess grease is cleaned off, to avoid dirt being collected by the
grease and thereby introduced into the bearing surface.
• Hand Lubrication may be carried out by smearing oil or grease directly onto
the bearing surfaces by hand.

These are often used in the Maintenance Manual to indicate aircraft parts
requiring lubrication. As can be seen in the following diagrams, symbols used on
the chart may indicate the frequency lubrication is required, the type of lubricant
required and the method of application. Alternative lubricant specification code
numbers are often given. Alternatives are sometimes given in handbooks
published by the major oil suppliers such as Shell, Mobil etc. The diagrams on
the following pages illustrate the use of charts in aircraft Maintenance Manuals.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The incorporation of a repair scheme or modification on an aircraft usually
demands that the engineer responsible should work to requirements laid down in
engineering drawing, or, even more frequently, in a series of drawings. The
drawing can therefore be said to contain information which the drawing office and
stress engineers wish to impart in other that the work done on the aircraft shall be
carried out correctly and without possibility of misrepresentation.
A good engineering drawing should therefore convey its message clearly, simply
and without ambiguity. Dimensions must be easy to read and the scale used
must be clearly indicated. Limits and fits, materials specification, surface finish
etc. must be quoted for each item, where necessary, to which the drawing refers.
The production of engineering drawings is a highly specialised task with many
conventions that must be clearly understood if the drawings are to be interpreted
correctly. In this respect it should be appreciated that these notes are intended
as a guide to the interpretation of drawings and not to their production.
Authority for the Drawing
Civil aircraft manufactured in the UK are constructed of parts and components
manufactured in compliance with approved drawings. To ensure correctness and
suitability of design, approved drawings and associated documents must be
produced by a Design Organisation approved by the CAA in accordance with
Section A of BCAR.
Section A further describes that all calculations on which the airworthiness of the
aircraft depends, must be independently checked, thus the design drawing itself
is subject to a system of inspection as are the parts produced to its requirements.
The approved Inspection Organisation or the Certifying Engineer should ensure
that the drawings are approved and that the parts are correct to these drawings
and associated documents. Any deviation from the drawings and their
associated documents must be covered by a suitable concession procedure as
given in CAP 562.
Most approved design organisations now work in accordance with BS308:1984
which standardises the abbreviations, symbols and conventions used in
engineering drawing, and these notes have been written in conformity with that
Drawing Pencils & pens
Drawings are made using pencils or specialised pens. The 2H grade pencil is
generally used for thin line work, dimensions, centre lines, hidden detail etc. the
H grade is used for thick line work, visible outlines etc. The HB grade is used for
lettering, numerals and sketching. H grades of lead are hard. B grades soft.
Specialist pens are available in thickness of 0.7mm (thick lines) and 0.3mm (thin


Drawings may be divided into 5 main categories:
• Detail
• Sub-assembly
• Main assembly
• Installation
• General arrangement
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Each set of drawings generally contains a schedule of parts involved. Thus, the
complete set of drawings and any associated documents (referred in the
drawings) present a complete record of information required to manufacture and
assembly every part of an aircraft. Such drawings also form part of the complete
inspection record.
Where a component consists of a number of items fitted together, it may often be
impractical to draw all the items on one sheet of paper. Several sheets may have
to be used to show all the items concerned and three main types of drawings will
be found on those sheets.
• Detail Drawing. This type of drawing shows one item or detail only. This
type of drawing shows all the information necessary for the item to be
manufactured. It will contain information such as material specification, heat
treatment, surface finish and all dimensional information required. There may
also be cross-references to other drawings or documents necessary in the
manufacture process.
• Assembly Drawing. This type of drawing shows two or more items or details
fitted together to form an assembly. It will not contain dimensions or other
details of the individual items. It will contain instructions necessary to
assemble the items. These instructions may include special treatments
required. The assembly drawing will refer to the individual parts by part
number or drawing number.
• General Arrangement. This type of drawing, frequently referred to as a GA,
shows a complete component and can be said to show a number of
assemblies fitted together. The following diagram (' GA Assembly of Lever
and Bracket') is a drawing which shows not only the assemblies and their
relationship to each other, but also any instructions to be followed during
assembly and dimensional checks afterwards. Some standard items are
used in this GA and these are again referred to by part numbers only.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Relationship Between Drawings. As a complete component often requires
several detail and assembly drawings for its production, it is necessary to ensure
that all drawings are connected by a system of cross-referencing. This ensures
that the drawings for all the details which comprise an assembly, and for all the
assemblies which comprise the GA, can be obtained by direct reference to the
Information of the GA. Each GA must have its own individual drawing number
for identification purposes, and also a title. A schedule of the assemblies that
make up the GA must be provided, either on the GA itself or on a separate sheet
which must be identified by cross reference with the GA.
It is common practice to number the assemblies consecutively on the schedule,
and to repeat the numbers on the GA "double balloons" which are connected by
"leader lines" to the assemblies concerned. Detail parts have their reference
numbers in "single balloons". Double and single balloons are used in the
previous diagram "General Assembly of Lever and Bracket".
Information on the Assembly Drawing. Each assembly drawing, just like the
GA, must have its own individual drawing number and also a title. A schedule of
the details which comprise the assembly must be provided, either on the
assembly drawing itself or on a cross-referenced separate sheet.
It is again common practice to number each detail consecutively in the schedule,
and to repeat the numbers on the assembly drawing in single balloons which are
connect to the details concerned by leader lines. This is shown in the previous
diagram "Assembly of Bracket and Bush" and "Assembly of Lever and Spindle".
The assembly drawing must also carry a cross reference to the GA of the
complete component.
Information of the Detail Drawing. As a detail in a single item which cannot be
further subdivided, a schedule is not necessary on a detail drawing. The
information of the drawing will include its own individual drawing number, title and
a cross reference to the assembly drawing on which the detail appears.
Part Number. In some cases the drawing number of a detail, assembly or GA, is
used as a part number for the item concerned. If the part number is different
from the drawing number, it must be quoted on the appropriate drawing.
The Approval of a Drawing. The regulations prescribe that all design work
carried out on an aircraft must be produced by an approved design organisation.
During the design stage of a modification or repair scheme the work will,
therefore, be checked, stresses calculated and final approval given by a
responsible person, usually the Chief Draughtsman. It is therefore vital to ensure
that all drawings are checked for approval before they are used to carry out work
on an aircraft. This approval is stipulated on all drawings used in this section.

The advantages of using symbols are:
• The use of symbols and boxes eliminates lengthy descriptive notes.
• Symbols are international.
• Brief and precise.
• One type of Geometric Tolerance can control another.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
These are used on a drawing to mark and identify the position and type of a weld.
All welding terms and symbols are contained in BS499. The following notes
highlight the methods used to represent the difference types of welding joint.
The Welding Sign. The features of a welding sign are:
• An arrow which normally points to the position of the weld.
• A reference line, above or below which is placed.
• A welding symbol which indicates the types and position of the weld.

Definitions and Interpretations.

• The side to which the arrow points is termed the 'arrow side'.
• The side opposite the arrow side is termed the 'outer side'.
• The weld symbol indicates the type of weld and it is importance to note
whether it is placed above or below the reference line.
• If the weld symbol is suspended from the reference line, the weld is made on
the arrow side of the joint.
• If the weld symbol is placed on top of the reference line the weld is made on
the other side.
• If the weld symbol is on both sides of the reference line then the welds are
made on both sides of the joint.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
A controlled surface texture is necessary on many aircraft components not only
on mating surfaces, but also on exterior surfaces. Structural parts made from
high tensile steel and high strength alloys, require the smoothest possible finish
to improve resistance to fatigue failure and corrosion.
Surface texture is defined as those irregularities, with regular or irregular spacing,
which tends to form a pattern on the surface. Although a surface may appear
smooth, when magnified it can be seen to form a series of peaks and valleys.
The method which has been adopted internationally as the standard means of
grading surface texture is known as the arithmetical mean deviation and is
termed the Ra parameter. RA represents the average roughness of the surface
over a given sampling length.
The RA value may be determined by electrical probes or by graphical
Ra (µ m) =
where Vm = vertical magnification of scale

The surface texture required is expressed in µ m (micro metres) using one of the
following symbols (this is not a comprehensive list and is only provided as an

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The following are a selection of the various types of lines in current use:

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Conventional Representation of Common Features. One way of reducing the
time to produce and interpret drawings is to use conventional symbols for details
which occur frequently. When users of drawings understand the meanings of
these symbols, the drawings themselves are often much easier to read because
they are not cluttered by tedious detail. The diagram below illustrates some of
the most common features encountered on aircraft drawings.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
In addition to symbols, abbreviations are frequently used in Engineering
Drawings, a few of the most common and their meanings are as follows:

Term Abbreviation Term Abbreviation

or symbol or symbol
Across flats A/F Number NO.
Assembly ASSY Pattern number PATT NO.
Centres CRS Pitch circle diameter PCD
Centre line L or CL Pneumatic PNEU
Chamfered CHAM Radius (in a note) RAD
Cheese head CH HD Radius (preceding a dimension) R
Countersunk CSK Required REQD
Countersunk head CSK HD Right hand RH
Counterbore C'BORE Round head RD HD
Cylinder or cylindrical CYL Screwed SCR
Diameter (in a note) DIA Sheet SH
Diameter (preceding a dimension)... Ø Sketch SK
Drawing DRG Specification SPEC
Spherical diameter (preceding a
Spherical radius (preceding a
Hexagon HEX Spotface S'FACE
Hexagon head HEX HD Square (in a note) SQ
Hydraulic HYD Square (preceding a dimension)......
Insulated or insulation INSUL Standard STD
Internal INT Undercut U'CUT
Left hand LH Volume VOL
Long LG Weight WT
Material MATL Taper, on diameter or width
Maximum MAX
Minimum MIN


Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Each dimension required for the complete manufacture of an engineering part is
given on the drawing, and to avoid confusion, appears once only. Each is a
direct measurement and not one that has to be worked out by the addition or
subtraction of others. Where possible, the thin dimension lines are placed
outside the actual outline of the object. To do this, thin lines are projected from
the particular points and surfaces, and the dimension lines drawn between them.
Small arrowheads at the ends of each dimension line touch each of the projected
lines to show precisely where the dimension applies.

Where a number of dimensions are to be given from a common datum surface,

line or point, one of the methods shown in the diagram below should be used.
The normal method should be used wherever practicable. There are instances,
however, where the alternative method has definite advantages, e.g. where
space is restricted. Where the alternative method is used, a large dot should be
placed centrally on the datum line. In both methods it adds clarity to the drawing
if the dimensions are placed near the appropriate arrowhead.

Chain dimensioning should only be used where the possible accumulation of

tolerances does not endanger the functional requirements of the part (see
diagram below)

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Leader lines are used to point to parts requiring identification.
They are terminated in a dot if whole part is subject to be described
such as part number, if the surface is subject matter the
termination is an arrow head. (If the leader line ends on dimension
line termination is without arrow dot). Projection lines are drawn as
an extension from the part to enable identification of distance to be
dimensioned. A gap is always left between the component and
projection line. Dimension lines are used to give the length of
feature indicated. They are never broken even if item is
'foreshortened', smallest are shown nearest to the outline. Arrow
heads are normally shown inside the limits of the dimension, but
where space dictates may be shown outside.

Where an overall dimension is shown (as in the diagram below) one of the
intermediate distances is redundant and should not be dimensioned. Exception
may be made where redundant dimensions would provide useful information, in
which case they should be given as 'auxiliary' dimensions. Where all the
intermediate dimensions are shown, the overall distance should generally be
given as an auxiliary dimension (see both diagrams below).
Auxiliary dimensions should not be toleranced but should be included in
parentheses (….) as in the diagrams below. Auxiliary dimensions do not govern
acceptance of the product.

The figures used to denote each dimension will normally appear, in millimetres or
inches, beside the appropriate dimension or leader line. All figures are
positioned so that they can be read from the bottom on the right-hand side of the
drawing. Some examples of how dimensions should be shown are given below:
• Sixty-one and a half millimetres - 61.50mm
• Half a millimetre - 0.5mm
• Twelve Thousand, Three Hundred millimetres - 12 300mm
Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69
Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
• Five and Three Quarter inches - 5¾" or 5.75"
• Two feet, half an inch - 2'-0½" or 2'-0.5


Complete circles are always dimensioned by their diameter. Consequently, a
dimension indicating the diameter of a hole of a cylinder bore, is always preceded
by the diameter symbol 0. The precise position of a hole is located by two centre
lines, and a dimension indicating the distance between holes is always measured
from the hole centre. Small arcs, such as those formed by rounded edges and
fillet radii, are dimensioned by leader lines, the actual size of the radius being
preceded by the letter 'R' as shown in the diagram below.


Although the radian is the preferred SI unit, angular dimensions on engineering
drawings are shown as degrees, minutes and seconds. They appear, for
example, as: 22º30', 0º15'30". The diagram below shows how these angular
dimensions and the usual 45º chamfers are indicated.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000


It is the aim of modern engineering production methods to make parts swiftly and
to an acceptable degree of accuracy. No engineering component can be made,
or needs to be made, exactly to size. By using high quality machine tools and a
certain flexibility in dimensions, parts can be made at a tremendous rate and at
the same time be guaranteed to be fully interchangeable. This is done by
adopting a system of limits which, in practice, defines how much bigger or
smaller than the basic size an item can be and yet still be considered acceptable.
Examples of how a basic linear dimension of 25mm might appear as shown
The examples show that, although ideally the required size is 25mm in practice,
provided that its actual size falls between the extremes shown, the item is
acceptable. The upper dimension is the maximum permitted size of the 'High
Limit' and the lower dimension if the maximum of the 'Low Limit'. The difference
between these high and low limits of size is called the 'tolerance'.
On engineering drawings, each dimension may be individually toleranced, the
limiting dimension being shown either as two dimensions or as a single
dimension plus or minus a tolerance (see diagram below). When an overall
general tolerance is applied to the majority of dimensions, a general note to this
effect is used.

25 + 0·05

+ 0·01
25 0

25 - 0·01

We have already covered dimensional tolerance (i.e. size) however, there are
circumstances when this is not sufficiently precise to control form, attitude and
Geometric tolerance is defined as the maximum permissible overall variation of
form, or position. To eliminate the need for descriptive notes geometric
tolerances are indicated on drawings by symbols, tolerances and datums - all
contained in compartments of a rectangular frame as shown in the diagram
below in the next section.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The diagram below illustrates the symbol for straightness in the left hand box.
The other box gives the maximum permissible variation. The diagram below also

illustrates the symbol for squareness, the tolerance and the datum to which true
position relates.



• First Angle Projection. The First Angle Projection is a true engineering

drawing in that the item in the drawing may be shown in several different
views, each view augmenting the information contained in the other.
Normally, three views are considered to be sufficient, but complex items may
require additional views to clarify the situation, while simple items may be
shown in two views or one in some cases. It is a characteristic of the First
Angle Projection that each view shows what would be seen by looking on the
far side of an adjacent view.
In the first angle projection, the object always comes between the eye of the
observer and the projection plane or view, as shown in the diagram below.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The symbol used on drawings to indicate first angle projection is derived from
views of a circular taper as shown the diagram below. The symbol shows a from
view and left view of the circular taper in first-angle projection.

• Third Angle Projection. In this projection the layout of the drawing is usually
rather different from that of the First Angle Projection.
It is a characteristic of the Third Angle Projection that each view shows what
would be seen by looking on the near side of an adjacent view.
The First Angle Projection is the traditional method of representation in this
country, but it is being replaced gradually by the Third Angle Projection, this
latter system being preferred by draughtsmen. Both projections are
commonly encountered and the drawing must clearly indicate which
projection is used.
In a Third Angle Projection an object is positioned in the space of the third
angle quadrant, between two principle planes. The planes are imagined to be
transparent and the projected views of the object are viewed through the
planes as shown in the diagram below. The symbol used to indicate third
angle projection on drawings is derived as for the first angle projection but the
views are positioned differently as shown in the diagram below.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
• Auxiliary Views. These views have a similar purpose to sectioning in that
they clarify the information given in the main drawing. They are usually views
taken at right angles onto a surface which is inclined in the main drawing and
show the true shape of the surface.


• Isometric Projection. A simple item such as a plain shear pin could quite
easily be drawn on a single sheet of drawing paper, as with the bracket in the
diagram below. In this case the bracket is drawn in pictorial fashion in a
method called Isometric Projection.
This method is quite acceptable for simple parts and is often used to give an
engineer an idea of what an item looks like. Like other similar projections, this
projection is not normally suitable for production purposes. It uses as its
basis, a flat surface represented in the diagram above by the outline OABC,
which is tilted so that its sides OA and OC form an angle of 30º with the
horizontal. The item to be drawn is shown placed on the flat surface and is
reproduced without perspective.
Dimensions are difficult to show on an Isometric Projection unless the item is
an extremely simple one, and this is one of the reasons for the limited
suitability of the projection for production purposes.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
• Oblique Drawings. Oblique projection is probably the simplest method of
producing a pictorial drawing since surfaces directly in front of the observer
will be similar in appearance to the front view in an orthographic presentation.
The projection which gives depth to the drawing are parallel to each other
and may be at any angle, but the angle of 45º is generally used. There are
two specific forms of oblique drawing, Cavalier and Cabinet projection. Note
that in both circles on the receding surfaces appear as ellipses, therefore it is
advisable (where possible) to orient an object so that circular features appear
in the frontal plane.
• Cavalier Projection. In a Cavalier projection the front and rear
projections are shown in true size, the disadvantage with this method is
that the rear projections give the impression of distortion.

• Cabinet Projection. So named because it was used by cabinet

makers to draw furniture where the front face is generally more
important than the sides. In a Cabinet projection the frontal plane is
shown in true size and the receding faces at half scale, this tends to be
more popular of the oblique drawings.



It is recommended that all sheets should include a frame to enclose the drawing
area together with the title block and other standard information. The frame
should be symmetrical with the edges of the sheet. A minimum width of … for A3
sheet and … for A4 sheet, should be left for the border. Lines forming the frames
should be continuous and a minimum thickness of 0.5mm.

An alteration of a drawing may be necessary due to any one of a number of
reasons, e.g. a change in specification of material, a variation in a dimension etc.
Whatever the reason, alterations to a drawing must be authorised by a qualified
person in an approved design organisation only, and no attempt must be made to
vary the requirements of a drawing without first obtaining the necessary authority.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Once the alteration to a drawing has been approved, it is carried out and then
recorded by the drawing office in a list on the drawing itself. The nature of the
alteration is shown together with the date. Each alteration is numbered or
lettered consecutively, the number or letter being known as the Issue Number of
the drawing. It is most important to ensure that the drawing in use bears the
correct issue number and date. In this respect it should be noted that a
modification or repair may call for work to be carried out to a drawing with an
issue number prior to the latest one. Generally speaking however, the drawing in
use should normally be to the latest issue number. If you are not sure if the
drawing is the correct issue and date, you should refer to the design authority
that issued the drawing. A typical alteration is shown in the diagram below. If a
drawing amendment affects interchangeability of the item, the part number is


Micro-fiche drawings are miniature drawings on film. This system has been used
extensively throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s and is still one of the main methods
of viewing Maintenance Manuals and Illustrated Parts Catalogues (IPC’s). In
order to produce the films, each page of the manual is photographed, reduced in
size and placed on a reel of film or an A5 sheet film. The miniature film is viewed
with an optical viewer (reader) and most can reproduce a copy of the required
pages on A4 sheet. The complete maintenance manual for a modern large
aircraft can be produced on two or three micro-fiche cassettes. When an
amendment is necessary, a new set of cassettes are sent by the manufacturer.
These readers, particularly the cassette versions are very expensive and often
un-reliable especially when old.


Since the mid 1990's many aircraft have manuals and I.P.C.'s have been
digitised and reproduced on CD Roms. They can be viewed and printed using a
standard Personal Computer (P.C). They are significantly better than micro-films
because they are easier to copy and more reliable. They are also easier to
amend. The technology is available for the Design Authority or Manufacturer to
link directly to the Operator or maintenance base via the internet.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
In order to make it easier for engineers to use maintenance publications, a
standard identification system has been developed. Before this system existed,
each aircraft manufacturer used a different system of manuals. The ATA 100
system was developed by the Air Transport Association of America and most
modern manuals will conform to this specification.
The Air Transport Association of America (A.T.A.) issued the specifications for
Manufacturers Technical Data June 1, 1956.
"This specification establishes a standard for the presentation of technical data,
by an aircraft accessory, or component manufacturer required for their respective
"In order to standardise the treatment of subject matter and to simplify the user's
problem in locating instructions, a uniform method of arranging material in all
publications has been developed".
One of the main aims of the specification is to ensure that all the information
needed by an operator is included in one or other of the manuals provided by the
aircraft manufacturer, except accessory overhaul data which is covered in vendor
overhaul manuals. This is in contrast with some other specifications, which
require not only the use of manuals supplied by the aircraft manufacturers but the
extensive use of vendor manuals for descriptive, servicing and maintenance data
on accessory equipment.
ATA specification 100 calls for the following manuals
Maintenance Manual
Wiring Diagram Manual
Illustrated Parts Catalogue
Overhaul Manual
Structural Repair Manual
Tool and Equipment Lists
Weight and Balance Manual

Additional Manuals which may be published:

Crew Manual
Maintenance Schedule - generally included in the Maintenance
The Specification calls for one other medium for information Service
Bulletins. These Bulletins provide two quite different types of
information. Some Bulletins provide a quick path for any urgent `once
only' inspection that may have been highlighted by a fault discovered
on another aircraft of the same type; others provide quick information
on modifications, explaining their purpose and giving the method of
According to the specification, the manufacturer's recommended time
limits for inspections, tests, and overhaul should be provided in a
separate manual called the "Maintenance Schedule".

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The ATA 100 Specification `breaks' an aircraft down into its major
systems, such as air conditioning, electrical power, and landing gear
etc. and then allocates these systems chapter numbers. Thus, Air
conditioning is Chapter 21; Electrical Power, Chapter 24, the Landing
Gear, Chapter 32. The various systems chapters are arranged
alphabetically, there being no natural order or precedence or
importance. A feature of the Specification is that where
applicable the various Chapter Numbers are the same in all the
For example information on Landing gear is found in Chapter 32 in
the Maintenance Manual, Wiring Diagram Manual, Overhaul Manual
and in the Illustrated Parts Catalogue. Should it be necessary to issue
a Service Bulletin referring to the landing gear, the bulletin would carry
the prefix `32'. Fuselage structure data, covered in Chapter 53, is
found under Chapter 53 in the Maintenance Manual, Illustrated Parts
Catalogue and in the Structural Repair Manual.
Most systems are too complex to be covered in one go, and Some
sub-systems may be sufficiently complex to require further
sub-division. Thus, `Main gear' could be broken down into `Main leg',
`Side stay assembly' and `Fairings', these being allocated reference
numbers such as 32-10-11, 32-10-21 and 32-10-31 respectively.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
ATA. Spec. 100 - Systems

Sys. Sub Title

Sys. Sub Title
21 Air Conditioning
25 Equipment / Furnishings
00 General
00 General
10 Compression
10 Flight Compartment
20 Distribution
20 Passenger Compartment
30 Pressurisation Control
30 Buffet / Galley
40 Heating
40 Lavatories
50 Cooling
50 Cargo Compartments / AG
60 Temperature Control
Spray Apparatus
70 Moisture / Air Contaminate
60 Emergency
70 Accessory Compartments
22 Auto Flight
26 Fire Protection
00 General
00 General
10 Autopilot
10 Detection
20 Speed-Attitude Correction
20 Extinguishing
30 Auto Throttle
30 Explosion Suppression
40 System Monitor
27 Flight Controls
23 Communications
00 General
00 General
10 Aileron and Tab
10 High Frequency (HF)
20 Rudder / Ruddervator & Tab
30 Elevator & Tab
30 Passenger Address &
40 Horizontal Stabilisers /
40 Interphone
50 Flaps
50 Audio Integrating
60 Spoiler, Drag Devices &
60 Static Discharge
Variable Aerodynamic
70 Audio & Video Monitoring
24 Electrical Power 70 Gust Lock & Dampener
80 Lift Augmenting
00 General
10 Generator Drive 28 Fuel
20 AC Generation
00 General
30 DC Generation
10 Storage
40 External Power
20 Distribution / Drain Valves
50 Electrical Load Distribution
30 Dump
40 Indicating
29 Hydraulic Power
00 General
10 Main
20 Auxiliary
30 Indicating

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Sys. Sub Title Sys. Sub Title
30 Ice & Rain Protection 35 Oxygen
00 General 00 General
10 Airfoil 10 Crew
20 Air Intake 20 Passenger
30 Pilot & Static 30 Portable
40 Windows & Windshields
36 Pneumatic
50 Antennas & Radomes
60 Propellers / Rotors 00 General
70 Water Lines 10 Distribution
80 Detection 20 Indicating
31 Indicating / Recording 37 Vacuum / Pressure
Systems 00 General
00 General 10 Distribution
10 Unassigned 20 Indicating
20 Unassigned 38 Water / Waste
30 Recorders
40 Central Computers 00 General
50 Central Warning System 10 Portable
20 Wash
32 Landing Gear 30 Waste Disposal
00 General 40 Air Supply
10 Main gear 39 Electrical / Electronic Panels
20 Nose Gear / Tail Gear & Multipurpose Components
30 Extension & Retraction, Level
Switch 00 General
40 Wheels & Brakes 10 Instrument & Control Panels
50 Steering 20 Electrical & Electronic
60 Position, Warning & Ground Equipment Racks
Safety Switch 30 Electrical & Electronic Junction
70 Supplementary Gear / Skis / Boxes
Floats 40 Multipurpose Electronic
33 Lights 50 Integrated Circuits
00 General 60 Printed Circuit Card
10 Flight Compartment & Assemblies
Annunciator Panels 49 Airborne Auxiliary Power
20 Passenger Compartments
30 Cargo & Service 00 General
Compartments 10 Power Plant
40 Exterior Lighting 20 Engine
50 Emergency Lighting 30 Engine Fuel & Control
40 Ignition / Starting
34 Navigation 50 Air
00 General 60 Engine Controls
10 Flight Environment Data 70 Indicating
20 Attitude & Direction 80 Exhaust
30 Landing & Taxing Aids 90 O1
40 Independent Position 51 Structures
50 Dependent Position 00 General
60 Position Computing

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Sys. Sub Title Sys. Sub Title
52 Doors 61 Propellers
00 General 00 General
10 Passenger / Crew 10 Propeller Assembly
20 Emergency Exit 20 Controlling
30 Cargo 30 Braking
40 Service 40 Indicating
50 Fixed Interior
65 Rotors
60 Entrance Stairs
70 Door Warning 00 General
80 Landing Gear 10 Main Rotor
20 Anti-torque Rotor Assembly
53 Fuselage
30 Accessory Driving
00 General 40 Controlling
10 Main frame 50 Braking
20 Auxiliary Structure 60 Indicating
30 Pates / Skin
71 Powerplant
40 Attach Fittings
50 Aerodynamic Fairings 00 General
10 Cowling
54 Nacelles / Pylons
20 Mounts
00 General 30 Fire seals & Shrouds
10 Main Frame 40 Attach Fittings
20 Auxiliary Structure 50 Electrical Harness
30 Pates / Skin 60 Engine Air Intakes
40 Attach Fittings 70 Engine Drains
50 Fillets / Fairings
72 (T) Turbine / Turboprop
55 Stabilisers
00 General
00 General 10 Reduction Gear & Shaft
10 Horizontal Stabilisers / section
Stabilator 20 Air Intake Section
20 Elevator / Elevon 30 Compressor Section
30 Vertical Stabiliser 40 Combustion Section
40 Rudder / Ruddervator 50 Turbine Section
50 Attach Fittings 60 Accessory Drives
70 By-pass Section
56 Windows
72 (R) Engine Reciprocating
00 General
10 Flight Compartment 00 General
20 Cabin 10 Front section
30 Door 20 Power Section
40 Inspection & Observation 30 Cylinder Section
40 Supercharger Section
57 Wings
50 Lubrication
00 General
73 Engine Fuel & Control
10 Main Frame
20 Auxiliary Structure 00 General
30 Plates / Skin 10 Distribution
40 Attach Fittings 20 Controlling / Governing
50 Flight Surfaces 30 Indicating

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Sys. Sub Title Sys. Sub Title
74 Ignition 79 Engine Oil
00 General 00 General
10 Electrical Power Supply 10 Storage (Dry Sump)
20 Distribution 20 Distribution
30 Switching 30 Indicating
75 Bleed Air 80 Starting
00 General 00 General
10 Engine Anti-Icing 10 Cranking
20 Accessory Cooling
81 Turbines (Reciprocating Eng.)
30 Compressor Control
40 Indicating 00 General
10 Power Recovery
76 Engine Controls
20 Turbo-Supercharger
00 General
82 Water Injection
10 Power Control
20 Emergency Shutdown 00 General
10 Storage
77 Engine Indicating
20 Distribution
00 General 30 Dumping & Pumping
10 Power 40 Indicating
20 Temperature
83 Remote Gear Boxes (Eng. Dr.)
30 Analyser
00 General
78 Engine Exhaust
10 Drive Shaft Section
00 General 20 Gearbox Section
10 Collector / Nozzle
20 Noise Suppressor
30 Thrust Reverser
40 Supplementary Air

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Civil aircraft manufactured in the UK are constructed of parts and components
manufactured in compliance with approved drawings. To ensure correctness and
suitability of design, approved drawings and associated documents must be
produced by a Design Organisation approved by the CAA in accordance with
Section A8 of British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR’s).
Section A8 further describes that all calculations on which the airworthiness of
the aircraft depends, must be independently checked, thus the design drawing
itself is subject to a system of inspection as are the parts produced to its
The approved Inspection Organisation or the engineer should ensure that the
drawings are approved and that the parts are correct to these drawings and
associated documents. Any deviation from the drawings and their associated
documents must be covered by a suitable concession procedure as given in CAP
Most approved design organisations now work in accordance with BS308:1984
which standardises the abbreviations, symbols and conventions used in
engineering drawing, and these notes have been written in conformity with that



Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
Intentionally Blank

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000


It has already been stated in part 2 of these notes that it is impossible to
manufacture aircraft parts to exact dimensions. In this section we will look at
sizes of holes required in aircraft parts. Aircraft fasteners such as rivets or bolts
come in a variety of sizes and types. The nominal diameter of a rivet may be
3.2mm. An aircraft wing attachment bolt may be 50mm in diameter. The question
is, what size of hole do we need for these fasteners. The obvious answer is
3.2mm for the rivet and 50mm for the wing attachment bolt. If this were the case
we might find it difficult to fit the rivet or bolt in the hole. There is also the
possibility that the rivet or bolt diameter may not be exactly 3.2mm or 50mm. The
size of the hole may also be smaller or larger than specified.
If the rivet or bolt is slightly smaller than the hole the joint made may be slack or
loose. If exactly the same size, the joint will be more rigid. If we now consider
examples of a shaft in a hole, the same will apply. We may also require, by
design variations of looseness or tightness of the shaft in the hole. For example:
• If the shaft must rotate in the hole the shaft must always be smaller than the
• If the shaft has to drive a gear wheel and the wheel is held onto the shaft by
friction, the shaft must always be slightly larger than the hole (and the shaft
will be hammered into the hole)


In both of the previous examples given we can identify the type or class of fit.

The first example where the shaft is required to
rotate in the hole is classed as a “clearance fit”. It
is also sometimes called a “running fit”. If we use
a nominal size of 25mm and ensure that the hole
is made between 25.00 and 25.02mm, the shaft
must always be made slightly smaller, for
example between 24.96 and 24.98mm. This will
give a minimum “clearance” of 0.02mm and a
maximum clearance of 0.06mm.

In the second example we want the shaft to drive
the wheel and so the shaft must not rotate in the
wheel. This is called an “interference fit” or
“driving fit”. In this case we again use a nominal
size of 25mm and ensure that the hole is made
between 24.98 and 25.00mm, the shaft must
always be made slightly larger, for example
between 25.02 and 25.04mm. This will mean that
the shaft will always be at least 0.02mm larger
than the largest hole size.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
In many cases it is not important
that the shaft is a clearance fit or
an interference fit. The shaft and
hole sizes may vary so that
sometimes the shaft is slightly
smaller than the hole and
sometimes slightly larger. A solid
rivet may sometimes fit easily into
a hole and sometimes it has to be
driven in. This type of fit is called a
“transition fit”. If the shaft size is
between 24.98 and 25.02mm and
the hole size is given the same
tolerance, sometimes the shaft is
the biggest and sometimes the hole.


When we have designed a system so that one component chosen at random will
assemble correctly with any mating component and give the required clearance
as necessary we call it an interchangeable system, limit system or system of
limits and fits.
As already mentioned it is necessary to classify the various types of fit. We have
already identified clearance, transition and interference. Other common
classifications are as follows:
a) Running Fit - a smooth easy fit for the purpose of a moving bearing
b) Push Fit – Can be assembled with light hand pressure (locating pins and
c) Driving or Press Fit – Can be assembled with a hammer or with medium
pressure. Gives a semi-permanent fit such as necessary for a keyed pulley
on a shaft.
d) Force Fit – Required great pressure to assemble and gives a permanent fit.
Used for wheels and hubs on shafts from which they are never likely to be
These may be further subdivided by adding fits such as “slack running” and
“close running” or “light driving” and “heavy driving”.
The variation in shaft and hole size that gives the required fit is called the
allowance and this may be obtained by either:
a) Keeping the hole constant and varying the shaft diameter to give the
appropriate fit or
b) Keeping the shaft constant and varying the hole diameter
Keeping the hole constant is called the hole basis and keeping the shaft constant
is called the shaft basis.
All modern limit systems favour the hole basis because most holes are produced
with a fixed size drill or reamer, while shafts are turned using an easily adjustable
tool such as a lathe. It is therefore easier to adjust the shaft to the hole rather
than the hole to the shaft.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000
The difference between high and low limits given in dimensions is called the
“tolerance”. Sometimes the tolerance is only allowed on one side of the nominal
diameter e.g. 25.00 + 0.02 - 0.00. This is called a “unilateral” tolerance. If the
tolerance is allowed on both sides of the nominal e.g. 25.00 +/- 0.02 the tolerance
is called “bilateral”.
An effective limit system must allow for different classes of fit, different nominal
sizes of hole and shaft and also different qualities of product. If the limits are too
close, a better control of fit is possible, but the cost will increase. Wider limits will
cheapen the cost, but not give a satisfactory fit.
The limit system commonly used in the UK is set out in British Standard (BS)
4500. This was introduced in 1969 and allows for 27 types of fit and 18 grades of
tolerance. In the system the 27 possible holes are designated by capital letters
ABCDE … ect, and the shafts by small letters abcde … ect. The 18 accuracy
grades are covered by numerals 0, 1, 2, 3, ect. To specify any particular hole or
shaft the rule is to write the letter followed by the numeral e.g. H7 for a hole and
f7 for a hole. A fit involving these two elements would be written H7 – f7 or H7/f7.
A copy of the BS 4500A data sheet shows a selection of the ISO Hole based fits
over a range of hole sizes from 0 – 250 mm.
The general trend for the shafts is that the range a to g have both limits less than
the nominal size and tend to give clearance fits. The h shafts have their nominal
size as their upper limit and tend to give a close running fit when associated with
H holes. The j shafts have their limits disposed above and below the nominal and
tend to give a fit between a clearance and interference (transition fit). The k to z
range lie above the nominal and give varying forms of interference fit.

Maintenance Practices (CE) by COBC Page 11-69

Issue 1 - 4 April 2000

The main purposes of aircraft weight and balance are to maintain safety and to
achieve efficiency in flight. The position of loads such as passengers, fuel, cargo
and equipment will alter the position of the Centre of Gravity (C of G) of the
aircraft. Incorrect loading will affect the aircraft rate of climb, manoeuvrability,
ceiling, speed and fuel consumption. If the C of G is too far forward, it would
result in a nose heavy condition which could be potentially dangerous on take-off
and landing. If the C of G is too far aft, the tail-heavy condition will increase the
tendency of the aircraft to stall and make landing more difficult. Stability of the
aircraft will also be affected with the C of G outside the normal operational limits.
Provided the C of G lies within specified limits, the aircraft should be safe to fly.


An aircraft operator shall ensure that the loading, mass and centre of gravity of
the aeroplane complies with the limitations specified in the Flight Manual or
Operations Manual if more restrictive.
An operator must establish the mass and the centre of gravity of any aeroplane
by actual weighing prior to initial entry into service and thereafter at intervals of 4
years if individual aeroplane masses are used and 9 years if fleet masses are
used. The accumulated effects of modifications and repairs on the mass and
balance must be accounted for and properly documented. Furthermore,
aeroplanes must be re-weighed if the effect of modifications on the mass and
balance is not accurately known.


Principle of Moments - A moment is the product of a force and the distance
(moment arm) at which the force acts. In aircraft weight and balance terms we
are concerned with the force produced by the masses on the aircraft acting at a
distance from a specific datum point on the aircraft. The sum of all moments
about any point can be shown to be equal to the moment of the resultant force
about that datum point. As the entire weight of the aircraft may be considered to
be concentrated at the C of G, the total moment of the aircraft about the datum is
the aircraft weight times the horizontal distance between the C of G and the
The following definitions are in common use:
• Datum - The datum is an imaginary vertical plane from which horizontal
measurements are taken. The locations of baggage compartments, fuel
tanks, seats, engines, propellers, etc. are all listed in the aircraft
specifications. There is no fixed rule for the location of the datum. The
manufacturer will normally specify the nose of the aircraft, but it could be at
the front main bulkhead or even forward of the aircraft nose.
• Arm - This is the horizontal distance from an item or piece of equipment to
the datum. The arm's distance is usually measured in inches and may be
preceded by a + (plus) or - (minus) sign. The plus sign indicates that the
distance is aft of the datum and the minus sign indicates distances forward of
the datum.
• Moment - This should have been covered in Module 2 (Science). To recap,
a moment is the product of a force multiplied by the distance about which the
force acts. In the case of weight and balance, the force is the weight (in
pounds) and the distance is the arm (in inches). A weight of 40 lbs 120
inches aft of the datum will have a moment of 40 x 120 = 4,800 lbs.inches.
Note:It is important to consider whether a value is +ve or -ve when moments are
calculated and the following conventions are used:
• Distances horizontal (+) aft of the datum, (-) forward of the datum
• Weight added (+), weight removed (-)
• Centre of Gravity (C of G) This is the point about which all of the
weight of the aircraft or object is concentrated. An aircraft could be
suspended from this point and it would not adopt a nose down or tail
down attitude.
• Basic Equipment - This term is used to include the un-consumable fluids
(e.g. coolant and hydraulic fluid), and equipment that is common to all roles
for which the operator intends to use the aircraft.
• Dry Operating Mass - This is the total mass of the aeroplane ready for a
specific type of operation excluding all usable fuel and traffic load. This mass
includes crew and crew baggage, catering and removable passenger service
equipment and potable water and lavatory chemicals. Note: This is a new
term as specified in JAR OPS. The terms 'Basic Weight' and ‘Variable
Weight’ has previously been used, and both of these combined would be the
same as ‘Dry Operating Mass’.
• Traffic Load - This includes the total mass of passengers, baggage and
cargo, including any non-revenue load.
• Maximum Structural Take Off Mass - The maximum permissible total
aeroplane mass at the start of the take-off run.
• Maximum Structural Landing Mass - The maximum permissible total
aeroplane mass upon landing under normal circumstances.
• Centre of Gravity Balance Limits. - For normal operation of the aircraft the
Centre of Gravity should be between the Forward and Aft limits as specified
by the manufacturer. If the C of G is outside these limits, the aircraft
performance will be affected and the aircraft may be unsafe.
This document is used extensively in the UK and details the Basic Weight and C
of G position of the aircraft, and the weight and lever arms of the various items of
load, including fuel, oil and other fluids. The schedule is normally divided into
Part A - Basic Weight, Part B - Variable Load and Part C - Loading Information
(Disposable Load). The following is an extract from BCAR's relating to weight
• A Weight and Centre of Gravity Schedule shall be provided for each aircraft
where the MTWA Maximum Total Weight Authorised) exceeds 2730 kg.
• For aircraft not exceeding 2730 kg MTWA, either a Weight and Centre of
Gravity Schedule shall be provided or alternatively a Load and Distribution
Schedule which complies with BCAR Section A, Chapter A5-1, para 6.1.
• For new aircraft which exceed 2730 kg, but do not exceed 5700 kg, the
information contained in Parts B and C of the Schedule may be given as part
of the Weight and Balance Report.
• A Weight and Centre of Gravity Schedule must provide the following. Each
Schedule must be identified by the aircraft registration marks or the
constructors serial number. The date of issue must be on the Schedule and
signed by an authorised representative of the CAA, and if applicable a
statement shall be included indicating that the Schedule supersedes all
earlier issues. It is also necessary to refer to the date or reference number
(or both) of the Weight and Balance Report, or other acceptable information
on which the Schedule is based.
Operators must also revise the Weight and Centre of Gravity Schedule when it is
known that the weight and C of G has changed in excess of a maximum figure
agreed by the CAA. If the aircraft has not been re-weighed, the revised Weight
and Centre of Gravity Schedule must state that it has been calculated on the
basis of the last Weight and Balance Report and the known weight and C of G
changes. A record of the calculations should be retained for future reference.
A copy of the Schedule is retained by the operator and a further copy sent to the
CAA Airworthiness Division which shall include any related list of Basic
Equipment. For aircraft of MTWA not exceeding 5700 Kg, a copy of the Weight
and C of G Schedule must be included in the Flight Manual. If a Flight Manual is
not a requirement, the Schedule must be displayed or retained in a stowage in
the aircraft. A similar arrangement is often used in larger aircraft.
Aircraft must be weighed to determine the Basic Weight and the C of G position
when all the manufacturing processes have been completed. Aircraft, with
MTWA exceeding 5700 kg (12500 lb) must be re-weighed within two years of the
date of manufacture, after this, a check weighing must be carried out at intervals
not exceeding 5 years and at times laid down by the CAA. Aircraft below MTWA
5700 kg must be re-weighed as required by the CAA.
In making decisions on weighing, the CAA considers the history of the aircraft, it's
flying performance, and the probable effect on the weight after a major overhaul,
or major modification, repair or replacement.
Certain types of aircraft may be weighed on a sampling basis (i.e. a
representative aircraft, as weighed would be acceptable for others of the same
standard) by agreement with the CAA.
An alternative to the periodic check weighing is for the operator to establish a
fleet mean weight (i.e. Basic Weight) and fleet mean Centre of Gravity position.
The initial fleet mean weight is based on the mean weights of all the aircraft of
the same type in the fleet. The figure may be revised annually by sample
When an aircraft is weighed, the equipment and other items of load, such as fluid
in the tanks must be recorded. This recorded load should not differ significantly
from the Basic Equipment List associated with the Weight and Centre of Gravity
Schedule. In circumstances where there is a significant difference between the
Basic Weight of the aircraft and the operating weight (i.e. Basic Weight plus the
Variable Load) not accountable to structural changes brought about by
modifications/repairs, the CAA may require the actual weights of the Variable
Load items be ascertained.
All records of weighing, including calculations involved, must be available to the
CAA. Records are retained by the aircraft manufacturer, overhauler or operator,
and when the aircraft is weighed again, the previous records must not be
destroyed, but retained with the aircraft records.
Operators must retain all known weight and C.G. changes that occur after the
aircraft has been weighed.
Before issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness for a prototype, prototype (modified)
or series aircraft, MWTA exceeding 5700 kg, a Weight and Balance Report must
be prepared by a CAA Approved Organisation. This Report is intended to record
the essential data to enable a particular aircraft to be correctly loaded, and to
include sufficient information for the operator to produce loading instructions in
accordance with the provisions of the A.N.O. The report applies to the aircraft in
the condition in which it is delivered from the constructor to the operator. The
Weight and Balance Report must include the following items:
• Reference number and Date.
• Designation, constructors number, nationality and registration marks of the
• A copy of the Weighing Record.
• A copy of the Weight and Centre of Gravity Schedule, including the Basic
Equipment List of this is separate from Part A of the Schedule.
• A diagram and a description of the datum points used for weighing and
loading, and an explanation of the relationship of these points to fuselage
frame numbering systems and, where applicable, to the Standard Mean
Chord (SMC) or Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC).
• Information on the lever arms appropriate to items of Disposable Load. This
will include the lever arms for fuel, oil and other consumable fluids or
substances in various tanks (including agricultural materials); also lever arms
of passengers in seats appropriate to the various seating layouts and mean
lever arms of the various baggage holds or compartments. These lever arms
may be shown by means of diagrams or graphs as appropriate.
• Details of any significant effect on the a/c C of G of any change in
configuration, such as retraction of the landing gear.


The position of the C of G of any system may be found using the following
1. Calculate the moment of each load, i.e. by multiplying the weight by the arm
(distance from the reference datum).
2. Calculate the total weight by adding the weight of each load (plus the weight
of the beam).
3. Add ALL of the moments. (Total moment).
4. Divide the Total moment by the Total weight.
In the example shown, the reference datum is at the left of the beam. A mass of
200 lbs. is 10" from the datum and another mass of 400 lbs. is 80" from the
datum. The mass of the beam is 500lbs and the length of the beam is 100". To
find the position of the Centre of Gravity.

Item Mass (Lbs) Arm (Inches) Moment (Mass X Arm)

Mass 1 200 10 2,000
Mass 2 400 80 32,000
Beam 500 50 25,000
Total 1,100 59,000 lbs. inches

Centre of Gravity position = Total Moment/Total Mass = 59,000/1,100 = 53.64

So the position of the centre of Gravity is 53.64 inches to the right of the datum.
Calculation of Aircraft Weight and Centre of Gravity

The weight and C.G. position of an aircraft is calculated in much the same way
as the previous example. The Basic Weight or 'Dry Operating Mass' of the
aircraft corresponds to the weight of the beam, and is usually found out by
weighing the aircraft. The variable and disposable loads or 'Traffic Loads', such
as fuel, crew, passengers and cargo correspond to the beam loads. Before each
flight, the weight and moment of these items should be determined so that the
aircraft weight and position of the C.G. can be determined prior to flight to see if
they are within the approved limits. The operational limits for the fore and aft
positions of the C.G. are defined in the aircraft flight manual or other document
associated with the Certificate of Airworthiness, such as the Owners Manual.
Weighing Equipment may consist of weighbridge scales, hydrostatic weighing
units or electrical/electronic weighing equipment based on the strain gauge
principle. The capacity of the equipment must be compatible with the load so
that accurate measurements may be obtained. All weighing equipment should
be checked, adjusted and certified by a competent authority at periods not
exceeding one year and the zero indication checked before any weighing
commences. The weighing equipment may consist of one of the following:
• Weighbridge Scales - This consists of a separate weighing platform for
each wheel or bogey, the weight at each reaction point being indicated
directly on the balance arm or on a dial indicator. Large aircraft may be
weighed in a hangar using portable weighbridge scales or on a weighbridge
set permanently into the floor.
• Hydrostatic Weighing Units - The operation of these units is based on the
principle that fluid pressure in a cylinder in which a piston is working depends
on the area of the piston and the load applied to it. The units are placed
between the lifting jacks and the aircraft jacking points and the weight at each
position recorded on a gauge. The gauge may be calibrated directly into
weight units or a conversion may be required to obtain the correct units. It is
important that the jacks used with these units are vertical and the units
correctly positioned, otherwise side loads may be imposed on the units and
inaccurate readings obtained.
• Electrical or Electronic Weighing Equipment - Equipment of this type
incorporates three or more weighing cells using metallic resistance elements
or strain gauges, whose resistance varies with change in length due to elastic
strain. These strain gauges are either incorporated into cells between the
aircraft and the jacks, or they are used in portable weighbridge platforms
placed beneath the aircraft wheels. The output may be measured with a
galvanometer, or sent to an instrumentation unit which adds all of the
platform values and digitally displays the aircraft load.


• The aircraft should be in the condition described in the Weight and Centre of
Gravity Schedule with fuel and engine oil partially or completely drained in
accordance with the manufacturers requirements and equipment positioned
as required.
• Weighing should be carried out in a closed hangar, and it is recommended
that the aircraft be positioned several hours before weighing so that an even
temperature can be assumed and the aircraft is free from moisture. If
weighing in the open is unavoidable, it should be carried out on firm, level
ground with minimal wind, when the aircraft is not affected by frost or dew.
Several readings should be taken at each reaction point to obtain a reliable
average reading.
• The aircraft should be placed into 'Rigging Position' so that consistent results
are obtained.
• Some light aircraft with tail wheels, have a negative load on the tail when in
rigging position as a result of the C.G. being forward of the main wheel
centres. In such cases, it may be possible to use a jack at the nose. If not, a
spring balance may be anchored to the ground and attached to the tail wheel.
The reaction thus obtained will be a negative reaction and its value deducted
from the aircraft weight and treated as a minus quantity when calculating
C.G. position. The weight of the rope and spring balance must also be added
to the spring balance reading.


• Jacking should be carried out i.a.w. the Maintenance Manual procedures
and suitable jacking adaptors fitted at the jacking points.
• Weighing units of sufficient capacity should be fitted to the jacks and the
jacks positioned at each jacking point.
• Zero indication of each weighing unit should be verified.
• The aircraft should be raised evenly until the aircraft is clear of the ground
and then the aircraft should be levelled.
• Readings should be made at each weighing point and to ensure
representative readings are obtained, a second reading obtained.
• When electrical weighing cells are being used, they should be switched on
30 minutes before weighing to enable the circuits to stabilise.

If the aircraft configuration is as shown in the C.G. is obviously forward of the

main undercarriage, we can use the position of the main undercarriage as a
reference datum and the C.G. can be found by using the following formula:
Where A = distance between front and rear reactions
B = Weight at nose wheel
C = Basic weight (sum of reactions)
Thus = = = 7.82 in
So the C.G. is 7.82 in forward of the main wheel centre-line.
It is not always advisable to use the main wheel axis as a reference datum. I n
the following example, the previous aircraft details are shown, but with a
Reference datum between the nose wheel and the main wheels.

Relative to Reference Datum

In this case we use the formula C.G. = Total Moment (TM)
Total Weight (TW)
Total Weight (TW)
Remember AFT of Reference +ve Forward of Reference -ve
Weight (lb) Arm (in) Moment (ib in)

Left main wheel 1995 × (+) 100 = (+) 199 500

Right main wheel 2005 × (+) 100 = (+) 200 500
Nose wheel 220 × (-) 50 = (-) 11 000
Totals 4220 (+) 389 000

TM = 389 000 lb in = 92.18 in

TW = 4220 lb
So C.G. = (+) 92.18 in i.e. 92.18 AFT of Reference Datum.


Since the position of the C.G. is an aerodynamic consideration, it's position is
sometimes specified as a percentage of the S.M.C. of the wing, measured AFT
from the leading edge. The percentage S.M.C. may be calculated as follows:
x 100
Where A = distance of the C.G. from the Ref. datum
B = distance of the S.M.C. leading edge from Ref. datum

C = length of the S.M.C.

× 100 = × 100 = × 100 = 16.6 %

Percentage (S.M.C.)


When an item of basic equipment is added, removed or re-positioned in an
aircraft, calculations must be made to determine the effect on both basic weight
and C.G. In the case of modifications, where the total weight and moment for
additional parts is not quoted in the appropriate modification leaflet, the additional
parts must be accurately weighed and their moments calculated relative to the
reference datum. In order to find the new Basic Weight and moment of the
aircraft, the weight and moment of the equipment added or removed must be
considered as follows:
• When equipment has been added, the weight must be added to the original
Basic Weight; if the arm of the new equipment is +ve i.e. aft of the C.G.
Reference datum, then the moment must be added to the original moment. If
the arm is -ve i.e. forward of the C.G. Datum, then the moment must be
• When equipment has been removed, the weight must be deducted from the
original weight. If the arm is positive the moment must be deducted from the
original moment and vice versa.
• The new C.G. position is calculated by dividing the new total moment by the
new Basic Weight.


The following examples are for an aeroplane whose:
• Basic Weight is 14,800 lb.
• C.G. Reference Datum is at Fuselage Station 100 i.e. 100" aft of fuselage
station zero.
• C.G is at station 125 i.e. + 25" aft of the Reference Datum.
Example 1: A Radar System is installed in the aircraft comprising:
• A radar transmitter weight 28 lb at fuselage station 130
• A radar controller weight 4 lb at fuselage station 45
• A scanner weight 24 lb at fuselage station 15

Weight (lb) Arm (in) Moment (ib in)

Original Aircraft 14,800 + 25 + 370 000

Transmitter 28 + 30 + 840
Controller 4 - 55 - 220
Scanner 24 - 85 - 2 040

New Basic Weight & Moment 14,856 + 368 580

With the New Basic Weight and Moment, The C.G. can be calculated as follows:
C.G. = TM = 368,580 = 24.81"
TW 14,856
The revised Weight and Centre of Gravity Schedule will state:
Basic Weight : 14,856 lb.
Centre of Gravity : 24.81" aft of the Reference Datum
Example 2: Janitrol Heating unit of weight 145 lb. is removed from fuselage
station 65 and re-fitted at station 170.
Weight (lb) Arm (in) Moment (ib in)

Original Aircraft 14,800 + 25 + 370 000

Item removed - 145 - 35 + 5 075
Item replaced + 145 + 70 + 10 150

New Basic Weight & Moment 14,800 + 385 225

With the Basic Weight unchanged, the C.G. position will be:
TM = 385 225 = 26.03”
TW 14 800


The Commander of an a/c registered in the United Kingdom must satisfy himself
that the load carried is of such a weight and is distributed and secured so that it
may be safely carried on the intended flight. To ensure this, the Variable and
Disposable Loads must be added to the Basic Weight of the a/c and the Total
Weight and C.G. position calculated. If the a/c exceeds 5700 kg MTWA or has a
seating capacity of 12 or more persons, the loading is based on assumed
weights for persons and baggage, otherwise the actual weights must be used.
Large Passenger and Cargo Aircraft. With these aircraft the moment of items
such as fuel, passengers and cargo are considerable and calculation of C.G.
complicated. In addition to longitudinal C.G. calculation, it may also be necessary
to distribute fuel and cargo in a transverse direction. Most airlines will employ a
specialist section dealing with loading calculations, producing a load sheet for
each flight. A typical load sheet is reproduced below:
Weight (lb) Arm (in) Moment CG
(lb in/100) (SMC)
Basic Weight 100 000 210 21000.00 29.2

Variable Load
Pilot 165 100 16.50
Navigator 165 100 16.50
Engineer 165 120 19.50
Steward 165 300 49.50
Crew Baggage 100 110 11.00
Passenger Seats 50 1st 450 170 76.50
100 Tourist 600 280 168.00
Drinking Water 250 130 32.50
Life-raft 300 410 123.00
Emergency Transmitter 30 120 3.60
Service Equipment (food etc.) 200 400 80.00
Operating Weight 102 590 211 21 596.60 30.0
Disposable Load
Passengers 1st class (35) 5 775 160 924.00
Tourist (83) 13 695 270 3697.65
Cargo No 1 hold 500 100 50.00
No 2 hold 450 200 90.00
No 3 hold 500 280 140.00
No 4 hold 400 350 140.00
Zero Fuel Weight 123910 215 26638.55 33.3
Fuel Nos 2 and 4 tanks 10000 150 1500.00
Nos 1 and 3 10000 200 2000.00
Reserve tanks 5000 240 1200.00
Take Off Weight 148910 210 31338.55 29.2

Typical Load Sheet

Calculate the Weights, C of G position and % SMC in the Load Sheet. The SMC
length is 120" and the leading edge is 175" aft of the datum.


Aircraft need to be moved on the ground, between flights, for a variety of
reasons, including:
• Moving aircraft into, or within hangars for maintenance
• Re-positioning a/c for ground running or storm protection.
• Emergency removal of aircraft from taxy-way.
It is important that the aircraft is moved correctly, with the correct equipment so
aircraft damage does not occur. Preparation for the reception of the aircraft
should be made in advance of it's arrival. There should be adequate space
available for the a/c with consideration given to clearances for jacking, access for
cranes etc. as required. All equipment required for servicing should be available
and serviceable. Many cases of damage to aircraft occur because of inadequate
preparation for aircraft moves and poor knowledge of the correct procedures.
• The aircraft should be in a fit condition to move. The brakes should be
serviceable and electrical power should be available if required, for lights and
indications in dark or poor light.
• The route of the proposed move should be free from obstructions such as
servicing platforms, passenger steps, vehicles and any other servicing
equipment. Consideration should also be given to foreign objects along the
route, that may be picked up by tyres and cause damage (F.O.D.)
• Moving aircraft is a team effort and members of the moving team should be
fully conversant with their assigned tasks. They should be adequately briefed
as to their individual responsibilities by the person in charge (I/C) the move.
This applies equally to re-positioning a light aircraft in the hangar or moving a
747 around Heathrow.
• The equipment and method of move should be correct. The maintenance
manual will list the correct equipment to use.
• All towing limitations should be observed. These should be stated in the
maintenance manual under "ground handling". Examples of limitations
include Minimum turning radii and disconnection of nosewheel steering
system on certain a/c.
• Clearance from Air Traffic Control may be required for the move.

Normal moving methods of moving aircraft on the ground are:
• By hand by pushing and steering arm.
• By tractor, using a towing arm or bridle and steering arm.
• Taxiing. Moving by Hand with Steering Arm
This method is generally used for moving small aircraft small distances. Care
should be exercised during the move to avoid damage to the structure,
particularly on aircraft constructed from wood and fabric. On aircraft fitted with a
nose-wheel, a steering arm is fitted to guide the aircraft and the moving force
applied to strong parts of the aircraft. It is generally better to push the aircraft
backwards, since the leading edges are stronger than the trailing edges. It is also
permitted to push at the undercarriage struts and wing support struts. Area's to
avoid include flying controls, propellers and wing and tailplane trailing edges. On
aircraft with steerable nose wheels, connected to the rudder pedals, care should
be taken not to exceed the towing limit, which may be marked on the
undercarriage leg. On this type of aircraft the rudder controls should not be
locked during towing. If the aircraft is fitted with a tail skid, it is customary to lift
the tail clear of the ground, ensuring the propeller is positioned horizontally and
does not strike the ground. Moving using a Bridle and Steering Arm

This method is sometimes used when the aircraft is to be moved over uneven or
soft ground. This would cause an unnecessary strain on the nose undercarriage
if normal towing procedures are used. In this method a special bridle is attached
to specific points on each main undercarriage and a steering arm is attached to
the nose undercarriage. The aircraft is normally towed backwards using a tractor
attached to the bridle. It is normal to tow the aircraft backwards as this reduces
the stress on the weaker nose undercarriage. If towing points are not available,
ropes may be passed round the legs as near to the top as possible, taking care
not to foul on adjacent pipes or structure. A separate tractor should be
connected to each main undercarriage and steering carried out using the steering
arm. Towing Aircraft

This is the normal method used on large aircraft. The aircraft is normally towed
with a suitable tractor or tug and the correct towing arm. A person familiar with
the a/c brake system should be seated in the cockpit to apply the brakes in an
emergency. The brakes should not normally be applied unless the aircraft is
stationary. The Maintenance Manual will normally specify details of the towing
arm and any limitations on towing. On many aircraft with nose-wheel steering, it
is normal practice to disconnect the aircraft steering before towing. This enables
the aircraft steering limits to be exceeded. Precautions to Observe when Towing Aircraft

• Towing speed should be kept to a safe level at all times (walking pace is a
safe limit)
• A steering limit is often imposed so that the radius of turns is kept within
specified limits. This will minimise tyre scrubbing and reduce the twisting
loads on the undercarriage. It is usual to tow the aircraft forwards in a
straight line after executing a turn, to relieve stresses built up in the turn. The
steering limit is often shown by marks painted on the fixed part of the nose
leg, but may sometimes be overcome by disconnection of a pin joining the
torque links
• Personnel (suitably briefed) should be positioned at the wing tips and tail
when manoeuvring in confined spaces, so obstructions may be avoided. One
person shall be supervising the aircraft movement (not the tractor driver) and
should be positioned so that all members of the team may be observed.
• Particular care should be given when towing swept wing aircraft to 'wing tip
growth'. This is the tendency of the swept wing to 'grow' in a turn.
• Before commencing the towing operation, the brake system should be
checked and brake accumulator charged if necessary. Brake pressure
should be carefully monitored during the move.
• Large multi-engine aircraft will usually be towed with special purpose tug and
a suitable towing arm fitted with a shear pin, designed to shear if a
pre-determined towing load is exceeded.
• In an emergency it may be necessary to move an aircraft from the runway
while it has one or more deflated tyres. Provided there is one sound tyre on
the axle the aircraft may be towed to the maintenance area, but sharp turns
must be avoided and towing speed kept to a minimum. If there are no sound
tyres on the axle, the aircraft should only be moved the shortest distance to
clear the active runway and serviceable wheels fitted before towing. After
any tyre failure, the associated wheel and other wheels on the same axle
should be inspected. Taxiing Aircraft

If an aircraft is to be taxied rather than towing or pushing a qualified pilot will
normally be used. It is unusual for aircraft to need taxiing. Sometimes it would
be required to confirm a problem with the landing gear or to test that a wheel
vibration problem. The main contact an engineer has concerning taxiing is to
give signals to the pilot. We call this marshalling'.
Marshalling is a technique used to pass information in the form of signals to the
pilot, assisting him/her to taxy or park the aircraft safely. The pilot remains in
charge of the aircraft. The aim of marshalling is to assist in safe manoeuvring of
the aircraft on the ground. Marshalling signals are also used during ground
running of engines and when towing aircraft. To do this effectively, the
marshaller must:
• Understand the aircraft's manoeuvring limitations (Refer to Maintenance
• Appreciate the aircraft size and understand swept wing growth (If
• Give clear and correct signals.
• Never take risks. General Marshalling Points

• Marshalling signals may be given with hands or marshalling bats by day or

marshalling wands, by night.
• Marshall's should identify themselves to the pilot by raising their hands and
waving them in a circular motion. Identification may also be assisted if the
marshaller wears distinctive coloured garments. Typically, a marshaller may
wear a yellow or 'Day-glow' waistcoat or white overalls. Once the attention of
the pilot is gained, the marshaller should direct the pilot with a series of clear
standard signals.
• Marshall's should position themselves forward of the aircraft and in line with
the port wing-tip, within the pilot's vision.
• It is safer for the marshaller to be positioned well forward of the aircraft and
allow the aircraft to taxi on to him/her. A marshaller walking backwards would
be unaware of what is going on behind.
• If the area has obstructions, wing tip safety personnel should indicate
clearance by use of standard signals.
• When marshalling at night with wands, always carry a spare wand. If one
wand fails, the other should be switched off and the pilot should stop until the
unserviceable wand is replaced and marshalling recommences. Marshalling Signals

There are marshalling signals for many situations and types of aircraft. Some of
the important signals all aircraft engineers need to know are as follows:
• Start Engines - Left hand overhead with appropriate number of fingers
extended to indicate engine to be started. Circular motion of right hand at
head level.
• Stop Engines (Cut engines) - Either arm and hand level with shoulder,
hand moving across throat, palm downward. The hand is moved sideways
with the arm remaining bent.
• Move Forward - Arms a little apart held out in front at shoulder height and
repeatedly moved upwards and backwards (beckoning)
• Turn Left (Pilot's Left) - Point right arm downwards. Left arm moved
repeatedly upwards and backwards, speed of movement indicating rate of
• Turn Right - Point left arm downwards. Right arm moved repeatedly
upwards and backwards etc.
• STOP - Arms crossed above the head with palms facing forward. Urgent
stop would be indicated by repeated crossing and uncrossing.
• Brakes On - By day, arms above head with palms forward and fingers
raised. Then fist closed again with palms towards aircraft.
Aircraft may need to be jacked for a variety of purposes. These may include
component changes, retraction tests, weighing of the aircraft and aircraft rigging
Aircraft Jacking Points Care needs to be taken when jacking, to avoid damage to
aircraft or equipment, jacking points are provided in the wings and fuselage, at
strong points, to enable the whole aircraft to be lifted, and, usually at the nose
and main undercarriages to enable individual wheels to be changed. Some
aircraft require a Jacking pad to be fitted to each jacking point, while in some, the
jacking pads are built into the structure. Special jacking adapters and beams
may be available to lift individual axles. In all cases, the Maintenance Manual
should be consulted so the correct equipment and procedures may be used.

Because of the position of the jacking points, the C of G of some aircraft may be
well behind or in front of the main jacking points. It may be necessary to add
ballast forward or rear of the jacking points or to check the fuel load of the
aircraft, to bring the centre of gravity within safe limits as specified in the
Maintenance Manual.
Each jacking point may have a load limit which, if exceeded, could result in
structural damage. To avoid exceeding this limit it may be necessary to fit
hydraulic or electric load cells. Any special requirements should be listed in the
Maintenance Manual.
Micro-switches fitted to the undercarriage legs and operated by the extension of
the shock absorbers (weight-on switches), are used to operate various electrical
circuits. This operation may not be desirable so circuits should be isolated, by
tripping circuit breakers or removing fuses as necessary.
Aircraft should always be as structurally complete as possible before jacking, It is
essential that any stressed panels which have been removed are re-fitted.
Failure to do this may result in distortion or failure of the structure.

Aircraft jacks are intended for raising and lowering loads and should not be used
for supporting the loads for long periods. Where a load must remain raised for a
long period, it should be supported on blocks or trestles after it has been jacked
to the required height. The most common types are the pillar, trolley, tripod,
bipod and quadruped hydraulic jacks. There are several sizes of jack with
capacities from 4 - 25 tons or more.
Pillar Hydraulic Jack - The jack consists of a cylinder assembly, fluid container
and a hydraulic pump, which when operated, forces fluid from the container into
the cylinder and raises the ram. A release valve is fitted which, when opened
causes the fluid in the cylinder to return to the container and the ram to descend.
Because of possible hydraulic failure, some jacks are provided with a mechanical
locking collar which when wound down will prevent the jack from lowering. An
air/filler valve which vents the return side to atmosphere may also be provided.
This should always be open when the jack is operated.
Standard Pillar or Bottle Jack Tripod, Bipod and Quadruped Jacks

These jacks are used to raise an aircraft for various servicing operations. Their
method of operation and hydraulic mechanism is similar to the pillar jack. They
consist of a hydraulic unit supported by a number of legs in the configurations
shown. Because of the problems involved in raising an aircraft and to avoid
injury to personnel or damage to the aircraft, care should be taken to use the
correct type of jack as stated in the maintenance manual. Each jack should be
used with the correct adapter head.
The tripod jack comprises a hydraulic unit with three equally spaced legs. The
jack is designed for a vertical lift only and not for a lift involving lateral; movement
of the jack, such as raising one side of the aircraft for a wheel change. The
resulting side thrust may cause any one of the following:
Serious damage to the ram due to the bending load
• Distortion of the Jack legs
• Damage to the aircraft due to jack head slipping out of the jacking pad
• Shearing of the jacking pad fastener
• The serviceable tyre may be dragged sideways
To change a single wheel, a pillar jack may be used, two tripod jacks may be
used to raise the complete aircraft or a bipod jack may be used. The bipod
arrangement overcomes the limitations of the tripod jack for an 'arc' lift. On this
type of jack, two fixed legs provide the support and a third trailing leg follows the
lift and steadies the load during the lift. The maximum angle of arc should not be
more than 6 degrees.
The quadruped jack is used more commonly as it possesses the advantages of
both types of jack. Two legs are fixed and two adjustable. This jack may be
used as a bipod jack by removing adjustable leg, or an adjustable stable jack with
the extra leg added. All four legs may be locked solid by slight adjustment of
both adjustable legs. Transportation wheels are often permanently attached to
large jacks or as detachable units on other jacks. These facilitate easy
movement of the jacks that would otherwise need to be dragged around the
hanger. Alternatively, jacks can be dismantled for transportation.
Uses of other jacks on aircraft are shown in the diagram below.

• The jacks should always be positioned correctly and the load raised and
lowered gradually.
• All jacks should be stored in the fully retracted position.
• Keep jacks clean and free from corrosion. Lubricate moving parts regularly
and exercise the jack if not used frequently.
• Jack replenishment is usually through the air valve up to the level of the
bottom of the air valve. Low oil level is indicated by inability to lift to
maximum height. Over filling is indicated by leakage of oil when the jack is
fully extended.


As a safety precaution, small aircraft should normally be jacked inside a hanger.
Larger aircraft may be jacked outside provided they are headed into wind, the
jacking surface is level and strong enough to support the weight and any special
instructions stated in the Maintenance Manual observed. There should also be a
maximum wind speed stated for jacking outside. The aircraft to be jacked should
be chocked fore and aft and the brakes off. If the brakes were left on, stress
could be introduced to the landing gear or aircraft structure as the aircraft is
The following procedure will generally ensure satisfactory jacking of most aircraft,
but account should be taken of any additional precautions specified in the
manual. One person should co-ordinate the operation and one person should
man each jacking point. On larger aircraft a levelling station will also need to be
manned and all members of the team may need to be in radio or telephone
communication with the co-ordinator.
1. Check that the aircraft weight, fuel state and centre of gravity are within the
specified limits.
2. Head the aircraft into wind if it is in the open, chock the main wheels fore and
aft and release the brakes.
3. Ensure that there is adequate clearance above every part of the aircraft and
that there is clearance for lifting cranes or other equipment that may be
4. Connect earth cable to the earth point on the aircraft.
5. Install the undercarriage ground locks
6. Fit jacking pads to the jacking points and adapters to the jacks as required.
Fit load cells if needed.
7. Position the jacks at each jacking point and check the jacks are adjusted
correctly i.e. release valve closed, jack body vertical and weight evenly
distributed about the legs when the adapters are located centrally in the
jacking pads and the weight of the aircraft is just being taken by the jacks.
8. Remove the chocks and slowly raise the aircraft as evenly as possible.
Whilst jacking, the locking collars should be wound down keeping them close
to the body of the jack. When the aircraft is raised to the correct height, the
locking collar should be tightened down.
9. Place supports under the wings and fuselage as indicated in the
Maintenance manual.
10. A pillar (bottle) jack and an adapter are often used for raising a single
undercarriage for changing a single wheel. Alternatively a trolley jack or
stirrup jack may be used. The remaining wheels should be chocked to
prevent aircraft movement, and it may be specified that a tail support is
located when raising a nose undercarriage. The jack should be raised only
enough to lift the unserviceable wheel clear of the ground.

Before lowering the aircraft to the ground, equipment, work stands etc. should be
moved clear of the aircraft to prevent inadvertent damage. The wheels should be
rotated by hand to ensure the brakes are off. The jacks should be lowered
together by opening their release valves, and, the locking collars (if used)
unscrewed whilst the jacks are lowered, and kept within 2" of the jack body. The
jacks should be fully lowered after the aircraft is resting on it's wheels and the
release valves closed.
Safety Note - On no account should the top of the jacks be handled until the
jack is clear of the aircraft. It is common for the aircraft shock absorbers to stick
and suddenly collapse resulting in damage to equipment or serious injury to parts
that might be between the aircraft and jack. After the aircraft is lowered and the
jacks removed, the jacking pads and adapters should be removed and the
chocks placed in position. Any fuses or circuit breakers should be re-set in their
correct position.
These are provided to support to aircraft structures (main planes, fuselages etc.)
and may also be used to support the complete aircraft. Various types are
available including plain wooden trestles that are purpose built and not
adjustable. Trestles should only be used at designated strong parts of the
structure. It will normally be shown in the Maintenance Manual where they
should be positioned. Lines are often painted on the aircraft to show where the
trestle beam is positioned.
Universal Trestle - This trestle is made up from lengths of angle iron, bolts and
nuts, and has two jacking heads. By using different lengths of angle iron, trestles
of various sizes can be produced. The wooden beam across the jacking heads
may be replaced by a wooden former, cut to the curvature of the component it
supports. Padding is normally attached to the former to prevent damage to the
aircraft finish. The two jacking heads, which are hand operated screw jacks,
enable the beam to be adjusted to suit the angle of the component.
Note: Although the trestles have 'jacking heads', they should only be used for
supporting a load, not for attempting to raise parts of the aircraft. Damage may
be caused to the aircraft if attempts are made to to do any more than support the
Tail Trestle - This trestle is not suitable for heavy loads and must only be used
for supporting a load vertically. Adjustment in height may be made by rotating
the windlass type nut. As in the universal trestle, the beam may be replaced by a
shaped former to suit the contours of the aircraft.
Slinging - Slings may be required for lifting various parts of an aircraft during
maintenance, repair, dismantling and assembly. Sometimes a complete aircraft
may need to be lifted for transportation or to clear a runway quickly.
The use of the correct equipment for lifting aircraft parts will minimise the risk of
damage to the aircraft and personnel. A list of special equipment is usually in the
front of the maintenance manual. This list will usually include special slings to be
used on the aircraft and any other special equipment or tools required.
Slings may be of the three-point type as used for lifting-main planes; other types,
used for lifting engines, fuselages or other large items may be fitted with spreader
bars or struts. Before removing a main plane, the opposite main plane must be
supported with trestles. To attach a sling, some aircraft have special slinging
points with threaded holes in the airframe which are used to fit the eye or fork-
end bolts of the sling. These holes are normally sealed when not in use with
removable plugs. As an alternative to screw in fittings, some slings are used in
conjunction with strong straps that pass under the component to be lifted.

Wire rope, chain or fibre rope may be used for lifting purposes. Before use, the
tackle should be inspected to ensure that it is serviceable, of the correct type
and, when used, that the Safe Working Load (S.W.L.) is not exceeded. The
S.W.L. may be stated on a brass tally attached to the lifting sling. This brass tally
should never be removed from the sling.
Wire Rope is used in cranes, hoists, gantries and various slings. Before use, the
wire rope should be inspected for wear, corrosion, broken wires etc. The splices
and their attachments should also be inspected for serviceability. In use, care
should be taken that the rope does not kink under load. Before multiple leg wire
rope slings are used, they should be laid out on the floor to ensure shackles are
correctly fitted and the fittings are not twisted. Knotting of ropes to shorten them
is prohibited.
Chains are used in cranes, and various types of sling. Before use, they must be
inspected for cracks, flaws, distortion, excessive wear and 'socketing'. This latter
defect is the name given to the grooves produced in the ends of links when the
links wear against each other; any reduction in diameter in excess of a given
figure (usually 10%) will render the chain unserviceable.
Fibre rope slings may be used for lifting lighter components such as propellers.
These slings use natural fibres such as sisal or hemp or nylon fibres. They must
be inspected for frayed strands, pulled splices, excessive wear and deterioration.
The slings when not in use, should be hung on pegs in a sheltered position free
from dampness. Immediately before use, the rope should be opened up by
slightly untwisting the strands to ensure they are not damaged or mildewed
internally: a damaged or mildewed rope sling should not be used, it must be
destroyed. In addition to before-use checks on the rope, all loaded components
such as pulley blocks, shackles, pins, spreader bars, hooks etc. are to be
inspected for excessive wear, cracks and flaws. Moving parts must be lubricated
Wire rope slings are normally treated against corrosion by immersion in oil and
the surplus oil wiped off, but this treatment must not be applied to slings used for
oxygen cylinders: they must always be free from oil or grease.
Except under exceptional circumstances, slings should not be made up locally.
Lifting tackle must be inspected for serviceability before use and only slings fitted
with inspection tallies should be used. Natural fibre or nylon rope slings usually
have a specific life and must be destroyed by cutting into short lengths at the end
of their life or when found defective. Precautions When Using Lifting Tackle

• The safe working load must not be exceeded.

• Do not leave a suspended load un-attended.
• Do not walk or work under a suspended load.
• Do not tow the hoist at greater than walking pace.
• Do not tow the hoist, other than by hand, when a load is suspended from the
lifting hook.
• Do not allow the load to swing, especially when it is being hand towed.
• Avoid using a hoist or crane on soft ground.
• Do not use a crane or hoist if the lifting rope shows sign of fraying.


When an aircraft is out of service and in the open it should be secured against
inadvertent movement and protected against adverse weather conditions. The
operations recommended in the relevant Maintenance Manual depend on the
type of aircraft, the length of time it will be out of service and the prevailing or
forecast weather conditions.
The following points should be considered when parking the aircraft:
• Between flights it is usually sufficient to apply the parking brakes, lock the
control surfaces and chock the wheels, but in a strong wind light aircraft
should be headed into the wind. Light aircraft without wheel brakes should
be headed into wind and their wheels checked front and rear.
• Flying controls on many aircraft are locked by movement of a lever in the
cockpit/cabin, which is connected to locking pins at convenient positions in
the control runs or at the control surfaces. When this type of control lock is
not fitted, locking attachments may have to be fitted to the control column and
rudder pedals. A more positive method is to use external control surface
locks that prevent control surface movement and thus prevent strain on the
control system. All external locks should have suitable streamers attached,
to make them more visible.
• If an aircraft is to be parked overnight or for longer periods in the open, then
additional precautions should be taken to guard against the effects of adverse
weather. The undercarriage ground locks should be fitted, all openings such
as static vents, engine and cooling air intakes should be blanked to prevent
ingress of dirt, birds, insects and moisture. All fittings such as pitot head and
incidence indicators should be covered. When severe weather is anticipated
it is recommended that covers for cockpit, canopy and wheel are fitted if
available. Blanks and covers should not be left in position when the aircraft is
prepared for service. Servicing instructions should include a pre-flight check
to ensure that all covers etc, are removed.


In certain weather conditions, particular in the case of high winds, it would be
recommended that the aircraft be parked in a hangar. If they must be left outside
smaller aircraft may need to be tied down. The aircraft may be fitted with
picketing rings or attachment points at the wings and tail or adjacent to the
undercarriage legs. If outside the aircraft should always be parked nose into
wind and secured from the picketing points to suitable ground anchor points
(heavy concrete blocks or specialised screw pickets). Cable or nylon rope of
adequate strength should be used where possible, but if a natural fibre rope is
used (sisal or hemp), sufficient slack must be left to allow for shrinkage in damp
conditions. Additional picketing from the undercarriage legs may be
recommended in strong winds and, if so, care should be taken not to damage
any pipelines or equipment attached to the legs or wheels.


When mooring the aircraft in the open, head the aircraft into the wind if possible.
Secure control surfaces with the internal control lock and set brakes. Caution -
Do not set the parking brakes in cold weather when accumulated moisture may
freeze the brakes or when the brakes are overheated. After completion, proceed
to moor the aircraft as follows:
• Tie ropes, cables, or chains to the wing tie-down fittings located at the upper
end of each wing strut. Secure the opposite ends of the ropes, cables or
chains to ground anchors. Secure a tie down rope (no chains or cables) to
the exposed portion of the engine mount and secure opposite end to a
ground anchor.
• Secure the middle of a rope to the tail tie-down ring. Pull each end of the
rope at a 45 degree angle and secure to a tie-down point either side of tail.
• Secure a control lock on pilot control column. If control lock is not available,
tie the pilot control back with a front seat belt. These aircraft are equipped
with a spring-loaded steering system that affords protection against normal
wind gusts. However, if extremely high winds are anticipated, additional
external locks may be installed. Large Aircraft

These may only require picketing in very strong wind conditions. The maximum
wind-speed will normally be stated in the Maintenance Manual (including gusting
winds). The aircraft should be headed into wind and the parking brakes applied.
Cables or chains should be attached from the aircraft picketing points to prepared
anchorage's. In some cases the picketing cables are special components and
include a tension meter that is used to apply a pre-load to the cable. Helicopters
In addition to the above requirements, the rotor blades should be tethered
whenever possible, since even light gusting winds can cause damage to the
blades if free to flap. The collective pitch lever should normally be locked in the
fully fine position and the rotor brake applied. Rotor head and blade covers
should also be fitted if the-helicopter is parked over night. If high winds are
expected, they should be parked in a hangar and/or the rotor blades should be
folded. On many helicopters the blades are tethered by aligning one blade along
the tail cone, locking the collective pitch lever in fine pitch, and applying the tip
covers to each blade, pulling them against the stops. Each blade may then be
lashed to it's respective picketing point.


Ice formation on an aircraft on the ground may result from a number of causes:
• Direct precipitation from rain, snow, frost etc.
• Condensation freezing on external surfaces of integral tanks following
prolonged flight at high altitude.
• After taxing through snow or slush, ice may accumulate on landing gear,
forward facing surfaces and under-surfaces.
The formation of ice on aircraft structures will have many adverse effects. These
will be described in the systems module. They will, if allowed to remain:
• Decrease aerofoil lift
• Increase aerofoil drag
• Increase weight
• Decrease engine thrust
• Freezing of moisture in control hinges
• Freezing of micro-switches, affecting systems such as the landing gear
• Ingestion of ice into the engine
Ground de-icing must not only remove ice deposits before take-off but must
prevent them from reforming until the aircraft's own ice protection system
becomes effective. This may not occur until the aircraft is established on the
Complete protection against ground icing can only be provided by keeping the
aircraft in a heated hangar until required for flight but this is often impossible and
usually impracticable. Removal of snow and ice prior to take-off and a
knowledge of methods of ground de-icing is essential. There have been many
aircraft accidents and incidents attributed to poor ground de-icing procedures.


It is important to point out at this point the difference between the two terms. De-
icing involves removal of ice, snow or frost already accumulated on the aircraft.
Anti-icing is concerned with prevention of it’s formation. If icing conditions are
anticipated, an attempt should be made to protect the aircraft.

Ground de-icing may be accomplished by mechanical methods (brush or rubber
squeegee) or by using Freezing Point Depressant (FPD) compounds, the two
methods often used in conjunction with one another. There are two main types
of FPD compounds:
• Type 1 (unthickened) - These fluids have a high glycol content but have a
low viscosity. They provide good de-icing performance but only limited
protection against re-freezing.
• Type 2 (thickened) - These fluids have a minimum glycol content of
approximately 50% and, due to a thickening agent, are able to remain on the
aircraft surfaces for longer periods. The de-icing performance is good and, in
addition, provides protection against re-freezing and/or build up of further
accretion when exposed to freezing precipitation. Treatment of Frost Deposits
Frost deposits are best removed by the use of a frost remover or, in severe
conditions, a de-icing fluid such as Kilfrost ABC (Aircraft Barrier Compound).
These fluids usually contain either ethylene glycol and isopropyl alcohol b)
diethylene glycol (or propylene glycol) and isopropyl alcohol.
This process is not lengthy and, provided it is applied within two hours of flight,
one application is usually sufficient.
Note 1 - De-icing may adversely affect glazed panels or paint finish. For this
reason only fluids recommended by the manufacturer should be used and any
instructions for their use should be strictly observed.
Note 2 - De-icing fluids, particularly those with an alcohol base, may cause
dilution or complete washing out of oils and greases from control bearings etc.
allowing water to enter which may subsequently freeze, jamming controls. De-
icing spray nozzles should not be directed at lubrication points or sealed
Hot air blowers may be used to remove frost. Melted frost should be dried up
and not allowed to accumulate in hinges, microswitches etc. where it may re-
freeze. Removal of Ice and Snow Deposits

Deep wet snow should be removed with a brush or squeegee taking care not to
damage aerials, pitot probes, stall warning vanes, vortex generators etc, which
may be covered in snow. The snow should also be cleared from vents, intakes,
control hinges and control surface gaps.
Light dry snow should be blown off using a cold air blower. Hot air is not
recommended as it may melt the snow which may accumulate and freeze
requiring further treatment.
Moderate to heavy ice deposits or residual snow should be cleared with de-icing
fluid applied by spraying.
Note 1 - No attempt must be made to remove ice by the use of force to break
the bond.
Note 2 - De-icing should proceed symmetrically to prevent excess weight on
one side of the aircraft. Cold FLuid Spray

This is the simplest method of applying de-icing fluid but suffers from the
following disadvantages:
• In very severe conditions one application of cold fluid may not be sufficient to
remove all deposits. Brushing, followed by a second or third application may
be necessary
• As the ice and snow melts the de-icing fluid becomes diluted, becomes less
effective and may freeze again quite quickly. This may be dangerous if
diluted fluid is allowed to run into control surface and landing gear
mechanisms. Hot Fluid Spray
This method has been adopted specifically to reduce turn round time. The FPD
fluid is mixed with water in proportions to suit prevailing weather conditions and
heated in a static unit to a temperature of 7OºC. It is then transferred to an
insulated tank on a mobile unit which may then be driven to the site of
operations. The fluid is normally sprayed on to the aircraft at a temperature of
70ºC and at a pressure of 100 psi by use of spray lances. The nozzle of the
lance is held close to the aircraft skin to prevent heat losses. The heat transfers
to the skin of the aircraft, breaking the ice bond, and large areas of ice may be
flushed away by turning the nozzle sideways. The film of fluid left on the skin has
only been slightly diluted beyond its original dilution and is effective in preventing
further ice formation. Hot Water De-icing

This method must not be used below -7°C and may need to be performed in two
1. Snow and ice is normally removed initially with a jet of hot water not
exceeding 95°C.
2. If necessary a light coating of de-icing fluid is then sprayed on immediately
(within 3 minutes) to prevent re-freezing.


• High pressure sprays may cause damage to pitot-static probes and other
sensing devices
• Covers and bungs should be fitted during de-icing operations to prevent
ingress of fluid into air intakes, drains, vents and ram air intakes
• High pressure sprays may cause erosion of the aircraft skin. Consult the
appropriate Maintenance Manual for manufacturers recommended maximum
impingement pressure.

When used for anti-icing the FPD fluid should be sprayed on to the aircraft cold
and undiluted either before the onset of icing or after hot de-icing has been
carried out. The fluid film will prevent ice and snow from sticking to the aircraft
skin and, given time, will melt any fresh precipitation. The time for which the fluid
remains effective, known as the 'hold over' time, is given in the table on the
following page.
• Under extreme cold conditions it may be necessary to heat the fluid (60ºC
max) to give it sprayability.
• No significant increase in holdover time is achieved by strengthening the mix
of type I (AEA) fluids.
• Stations using Kilfrost will normally provide a mix of 5-/50 or 60/40. It may be
difficult to get stronger mixes at short notice unless the temperature
conditions at the stations involved are below limits for that mix.
Guide to Holdover Times

Weather Conditions Type II (AEA) fluids

Ambient Frost Freezing Steady Freezing Rain on Anti-Icing De-Icing Type I Fluids
Temp °C fog Snow Rain cold soaked (See note 2)
wing 100% Cold 75/25 (hot) 60/40 (hot) 50/50 (hot)
(See Note 1)
Above 0 * 8 hrs 5 hrs 4 hrs 3 hr 45 min
* 3 hrs 2 hrs 1¾ hr 1½ hr 30 min
* * 1 hr 45 min 35 min 30 min 15 min
* 20 min 10 min 7 min 5 min 5 min
0 to –7 * 8 hr 5 hr 4 hr 3 hr 30 mins
* 1½ hr 1 hr 50 min 45 min 15 mins
* 45 min 30 min 20 min 15 min 15 mins
* 20 min 10 min 5 min 3 min 3 mins
-8 to * 8 hr 5 hr 4 hr 30 mins
-10 * 1½ hr 1 hr 50 min 15 mins
* 45 min 30 min 20 min 15 mins
-11 to * 8 hr 5 hr 30 mins
-14 * 1½ hr 1 hr 15 mins
* 45 min 30 min 15 mins
-15 to * 8 hr 30 mins
-25 * 1½ hr 15 mins
* 45 min 15 min
One some aircraft not equipped with aerofoil or propeller de-icing systems, the
use of a de-icing paste may be specified. The paste is spread evenly by hand
over wing, tail and propeller leading edges and provides a chemically active
surface on which ice may form but not produce a bond. Any ice which forms is
blown away by the airstream.
The paste should be re-applied before each flight in accordance with the
manufacturers instructions.
Note: Paste does not constitute an approved method of de-icing otherwise
unprotected aircraft for intended flights into known or forecast icing conditions.


The following inspection should be carried out on completion of a de-icing
1. External surfaces for signs of residual snow or ice particularly in the vicinity of
control surface gaps and hinges.
2. All protrusions and vents for signs of damage.
3. Control surfaces for full and free movement by hand. Where this is not
possible the pilot's controls should be used bearing in mind that power
operated controls exert large forces and could cause damage if any part of
the control surface is frozen.
4. Landing gear mechanisms, doors, bays and wheel brakes for snow and ice
5. Up-locks and micro-switches for correct operation.
6. Check that tyres are not frozen to the ground. They should be freed by the
application of hot air to the ice (not the tyre) and the aircraft moves to a dry
7. Engine air intakes for ice and snow deposits.
8. Freedom of rotation of gas turbine engines by hand. Restriction may indicate
icing in the compressor region and the engine should be blown through with
hot air immediately before starting until the rotating parts are free.
9. Shock absorber struts and hydraulic jacks for leaks caused by contraction of
seals and metal parts.
10. Tyre pressures and shock absorber pressure and extension.
11. Entry in Tech. Log.
The previous section dealt with parking of aircraft for various lengths of time in
adverse weather conditions. If an aircraft is de-activated for an extended time it
will need to be protected against corrosion, deterioration and environmental
conditions during storage. The following notes are based on the storage
procedures applicable to BA 146 aircraft that have been de-activated for periods
in excess of 30 days up to a maximum of 2 years. It is not intended for the
information given to be complete, just to give the reader an idea of some of the
activities performed.
A list of equipment and materials is normally given. This will normally include:
• Hydraulic fluid and lubricating oils, grease
• Specialised water displacing fluids (WD 40) & corrosion preventative
• Aircraft covers and blanks
• Plastic sheeting and adhesive tape
Generally there would be an initial procedure, this being repeated a specified
intervals as shown in the table below. If no repeat interval is given, the item is
only done initially.
ITEM Repeat
Intervals (days)
Landing Gear
Clean and dry main and landing gear bays
Check landing gear for hydraulic leakage 7
Lubricate main & nose landing gear
Clean/Check Shock struts for leaks Wipe sliding tube with 30
hydraulic fluid
Clean Gear & Uplock Mechanisms. Protect with grease
Clean and apply thin coat of hydraulic fluid to actuator and piston 60
Spray micro-switches and proximity switches with water
dispersion fluid
Check tyre pressures and mark position of tyres with date
Rotate wheels one quarter of a term and mark tyre with date
Should aircraft be stored in a hangar, deflate the shock absorbers. 7
The aircraft may be manoeuvred in the hangar with deflated shock
Flight Controls
Fully extend flaps
Open and tag flap valves and airbrake circuit breakers
Fully extend lift spoilers and install safety sleeves to all spoiler
Depressurise hydraulic system
Lubricate the flight controls
Protect flap carriages, upper surfaces of flap tracks with grease 7
Protect all control cables accessible with oil
Check for corrosion and where found repair affected areas 30
Power Plants
Carry out special long term storage procedure for engines 180
Note: Renewal of engine long term storage is preceded by engine

Oxygen System
Check test date of oxygen cylinders
Disconnect distribution lines from oxygen cylinders, blank off
pipelines and cylinder outlet connection
Check cylinder pressure is above 50 p.s.i.
Remove crew masks for storage
ITEM Repeat
Intervals (days)
Water Waste
Drain potable water system
Purge potable water system with dry air or nitrogen

Fuel System
Refuel aircraft with fuel treated with an approved biocidal agent
After 24 hours, drain water from fuel tanks

Air Conditioning System

Install blanks in the ECS ram air inlet, exhaust, APU intake, APU
oil cooler, front and rear discharge valves

Hydraulic System
Check system for leaks 7
Replenish system
Coat all unpainted hydraulic pipe-work with preservative ompound

Aircraft Exterior
Wash aircraft
Coat all unpainted metal surfaces with preservative compound

Aircraft Interior
Remove passenger seats and carpets for bay storage
Remove, service and store all galley portable equipment
Remove, check and store windshield wiper arms complete with
Remove rain repellent canisters

Electrical/Electronic System
Remove and service batteries
Remove for bay service, all rack mounted electronic equipment
Apply power to and function installed electronic equipment 7

If the aircraft is to be stored outside, additional parking procedures will be

necessary to prevent ingress of moisture. It is also necessary to prevent access
of insects, small animals and birds. Various blanks and covers will minimise
contamination of the aircraft.
After the storage period all of the covers, blanks and preservative compounds will
need to be removed. All of the systems will need to be restored to their original
condition prior to aircraft use. Another set of procedures will be followed, similar
to the ones detailed above.

When re-fuelling aircraft, care should be taken, particularly with an unfamiliar
aircraft, to ascertain that the correct procedures are observed. The maintenance
manual should be consulted so the position and capacities of the fuel tanks is
known and also the type of fuel, position of the refuelling point(s) and refuelling
method is known. There are two general refuelling methods:
• Gravity or over-wing - This is essentially the same method as used to
refuel your car, a similar type of refuelling hose being used. As the name
suggests, the filler points are generally on the top of the tank and the tank is
open when fuelling is carried out.
• Pressure Refuelling - In this method fuel may be pumped into the aircraft
via a pressure refuelling coupling at very high rates. The refuelling pressure
may be up to 50 p.s.i. and the refuel rate may be in the order of 1,000 gallons
per minute. The aircraft may also be de-fuelled via the same coupling by
applying suction to the hose. Maximum de-fuel pressure is normally in the
region of -11 p.s.i.


Particular care must be taken when fuelling aircraft so that the operation may be
carried out as safely as possible. The use of the term fuelling can include both
refuelling or de-fuelling. Pay particular attention to the following points:
• Whenever possible aircraft should be fuelled in the open, and not in a hangar.
This will minimise the fire risk due to high concentrations of inflammable
• Fire appliances should be readily available when all fuelling operations are
taking place. Carbon dioxide or foam extinguishers are recommended, but if
any increased fire risk is anticipated, fire-fighting vehicles should be standing
by. There is a danger area around an aircraft being fuelled which extends a
specified distance from the fuelling point. No sources of ignition or sparks
should be within this danger area and no electrical power should be switched
on or off during the operation.
• It is vital that the correct type and grade of fuel be used for the fuelling
operation. Use of a turbine fuel in a piston aircraft will certainly cause an
engine failure, possibly at a crucial flight stage. The correct type and grade of
fuel should always be stated in the maintenance manual and marked
adjacent to the filler point(s).
• Care should also be exercised to avoid contamination of the fuel system with
water or other sources of contamination. The fuel supply should be regularly
checked for water contamination and a sample of fuel drained off after
refuelling so that a water check may be carried out. It will sometimes be
necessary to filter the fuel during over-wing refuelling, particularly in dusty
Note: Piston aircraft fuel tanks are best kept full, thereby minimising the
formation of condensation in the fuel tanks.
• Bonding of the fuel system is vital during fuelling operations as static
electricity may be generated as fuel flows through the refuelling hose. This
may lead to potential differences at adjacent metal parts of the structure and
result in a spark that could cause a fire or explosion. To minimise this risk:
i. The aircraft should be earthed.
ii. The refuelling tanker should be earthed.
iii. The refuel hose nozzle should be bonded to the refuel point.
Note: Points i - iii should all be done before fuelling operations commence.


This is normally carried out using the aircraft fuel gauges, which may be
calibrated in gallons (Imperial or US), pounds or kilograms. If a double check is
required, or no fuel gauge is fitted, the contents may be ascertained on the
ground by using dip sticks fitted into the top of the tanks or by drip- sticks or drop
sticks which are fitted in the bottom of some aircraft tanks. The aircraft fuel
gauges will normally be positioned in the flight deck, but they may sometimes be
duplicated at a fuelling panel adjacent to the pressure refuel coupling.
Measurement of Fuel by weight. The specific gravity (S.G.) of fuel will vary
with temperature and so the weight of a certain quantity of fuel will also vary. For
example, ten gallons of fuel with an S.G. of 0.8 will have a weight of 80 lbf. and
ten gallons of fuel S.G. 0.78 will weigh 78 lbf. It is crucial for balance purposes
that the weight of fuel is known and so modern gauges may be calibrated in units
of weight rather than in gallons. When fuelling aircraft, it is essential that the
engineer is aware of the S.G. of the fuel so that the necessary weight calculation
may be carried out. The crew may ask for a fuel quantity in pounds or kilograms
and the fuel bowser will be delivering fuel in gallons.

Fuel is contained in three integral fuel tanks, one in each wing and one in the
fuselage centre section. A refuel/defuel station situated in the underside of the
right wing leading edge, consists of a standard fuel coupling, an off load valve for
defuelling and transfer between tanks, and a refuel control panel. Refuelling
Pressure refuelling is governed from the control panel; automatically by using the
load pre-select, or manually by use of the tank refuelling valve override switches.
In the event of refuel cut-off failure the system is vented to atmosphere via a
NACA duct located in each wing tip.
Overwing gravity refuelling points are provided for each tank.
Magnetic fuel level indicators enable direct tank fuel level reading, to be taken
from the wing tanks only. Defuelling
Selection of the off load valve to the open position connect, the main fuel feed
line to the refuel gallery. Fuel is then off loaded by selection of the appropriate
common feed and cross-feed valves, and use of the fuel feed pumps. The centre
tank is offloaded by selecting fuel transfer to the wings with the relevant wing fuel
pumps selected ON. Fuel transfer

Selection of the offload valve to the open position enables fuel to be transferred
between tanks by use of the appropriate common feed, refuel and crossfeed
valves, and operation of the fuel feed pumps.
Selection of the TRANSFER switch to either AUTO or OPEN, will allow fuel to be
transferred from the centre tank to the wing tanks. A squat switch inhibits the use
of AUTO TRANSFER on the ground. Fuels and additives - Approved specifications

Approved fuels

The fuels shall meet these specifications or any direct equivalent.


British American Canadian IATA

D.Eng.R.D.2494 ASTM D1655 Jet CAN 2-3.23-M81 Kerosene Type
D.Eng.R.D.2498 CAN2-3.23-M81

The following additives are suitable for the system. They may be used singly or in
combination, at the approved concentrations.
ANTl-CORROSION D.Eng.R.D.2461 and APL2461
ANTI-ICING AND BlOClDAL D.Eng.R.D.2451 and MlL-T-27686
DUPONT STADIS 450 Usable fuel capacities

Imp. Gal. US gal. litres Lb kg

Wing Left 1015 1219 4614 8120 3683
Centre 550 661 2500 4400 1996
Wing Right 1015 1219 4614 8120 3683
Total 2580 3099 11728 20640 9362

1. These quantities refer to an aircraft fuelled to override cut-off. When gravity
filled, the quantity in each wing tank reduces to 1005 Imp gal. (1027 US gal.,
4569 litres, 8040 lb, 3647 kg.) but the centre tank quantity remains the same.
2. The above mass values of capacity are derived from the volumetric capacity
assuming a Specific Gravity of 0.8. For other values of SG correct the above
mass values as follows where SG refers to the actual value for the fuel
loaded into the aircraft:

Actual mass = SG x mass at 0.8 SG/0.8 Limitations
Maximum refuel pressure : 50 p.s.i. (3·45 bar).
Maximum defuel suction 11 p.s.i. (-0.76 bar).
Maximum refuel rate is shown in the following table:

Imp.Gal/min US gal/min Litres/min Lb/min Kg/min

Individual Wing 120 144 545 960 435
Centre tank 60 72 273 480 218
Both Wings 225 270 1023 1800 816
All tanks 275 330 1250 2200 998

Do not refuel the centre tank unless the required load exceeds the capacity of the
wing tanks.
There are no tank imbalance limitations during normal refuel or defuel operations.
For refuel/defuel limitations with the aircraft on jacks, refer to 07-00-00. Refuellinq/defuelling
PIPES IN THE SURGE TANKS. Equipment and materials

HC130H0028-000 Water drain tool
Referenced Procedure
12-10-24 Servicing electrical power Prepare to refuel

1. Make certain aircraft battery is connected.
2. Make certain cross-feed valve is SHUT and all feed pumps are switched
OFF. NOTE: If necessary, only the left inner feed pump should be left
running for APU operation.
3. Investigate any contamination of the drained sample (OTHER THAN
WATER). Drain all water from tanks, using water drain tool.
4. Open refuel control panel door. Pre-refuel system test

1. At the refuel control panel check off load valve is shut (lever horizontal), and
that with MASTER switch OFF, refuelling VALVE position indicators show
2. Turn LOAD PRESELECT clockwise to maximum.
3. Select MASTER switch ON. Check that VALVE position indicators go to
SHUT, and fuel quantity indicators show correct existing fuel state.
4. Set LEFT, CENTRE and RIGHT tank refuel switches to PRE-SELECT and
check that all three VALVE position indicators go to OPEN.
5. Turn LOAD PRESELECT counter-clockwise to zero and check that all
three VALVE position indicators go to SHUT. NOTE: If the tank contents are
at or below unusable fuel-level (the level at which the gauges and pre-select
are set at zero) then the valves will not shut.
6. Set all refuel valve switches to OVERRIDE and check that all three
VALVE position indicators go to OPEN. Set switches to SHUT and check
that VALVE indicators go to SHUT. Pressure refuel
1. Bond refuelling tanker to aircraft bonding point in right-hand main landing
gear bay.
2. Position tanker hose coupling, and bond hose to aircraft. Remove cap from
aircraft refuel coupling and connect refuelling hose.
3. Set all three refuel valve switches to PRE-SELECT and adjust LOAD PRE-
SELECT to required load.
4. Check that VALVE position indicators show OPEN for all tanks due to
receive fuel.
NOTE: If load selected does not require fuel in the centre tank, the CENTRE
indicator will show SHUT.
7. Start refuelling. Flow will stop automatically at pre-selected load.
8. For absolute maximum fuel load, set valve switches to PRE-SELECT and
adjust LOAD PRE-SELECT to its maximum, continue refuelling to pre-select
cut-off. Set valve switches to override, check valve indicators show OPEN,
continue refuelling until high level tank switches operate and fuel flow stops.
Check that tank FULL indicators come on.
9. Check all VALVE indicators show SHUT, and that fuel quantity indicators
show required load.
10. At flight deck centre instrument panel, check fuel quantity indicators are
reading correct load.
11. Set refuel switches to SHUT and MASTER switch to OFF.
12. Disconnect refuel hose banding and uncouple hose from aircraft. Disconnect
tanker bonding.
13. Install blanking cap to aircraft coupling. Close and secure refuel panel door. Unserviceability of refuel valve actuator

In the event of an actuator failure, the refuel valve can be operated manually by a
lever behind the actuator, accessible after removing panel 621AB or 621BB.
Before using this method a signal must be arranged so that the valve can be shut
on instruction from an operator monitoring tank contents.
The associated tank refuel VALVE indicator must be serviceable during this
manual operation. Overwing refuel

• Limitations specified in para.4. are applicable for over wing refuelling.
• For loads other than full, wings must be filled first and then remainder in
centre tank.

1. Drain all water from tanks using water drain tool. CAUTION : INVESTIGATE
2. Open refuel panel and select MASTER switch ON. Check fuel contents.
3. Bond refuelling tanker to aircraft bonding point in right-hand main landing
gear bay.
4. Bond refuelling hose nozzle to aircraft.
5. Remove fuel tank cap by raising handle and turning counter-clockwise To
6. Insert nozzle and refuel to required level. Check correct load by use of tank
contents indicators on refuel panel.
7. Remove nozzle and install tank cap with arrow (FWD) pointing forward.
Rotate handle clockwise to register with CLOSE.
8. Lock filler cap by pushing handle down to lie flush in its recess.
9. Disconnect nozzle bonding,
10. Disconnect bonding from tanker.
11. At flight deck centre instrument panel, check fuel quantity indicators show
correct fuel load.
12. At fuel control panel, select MASTER switch OFF. Close and secure control
panel door. Defuel (offload)
NOTE : Refer to limitations, para.4.

1. Energise aircraft busbars (Ref.12-10-24).

2. Open refuel control panel door.
3. Bond defuel tanker to aircraft bonding point in right-hand main landing gear
4. Position tanker hose coupling and bond to aircraft. Remove cap from refuel
coupling, connect tanker hose.
5. Select off load valve to open by pulling lever down to vertical position.
6. At flight deck overhead panel (FUEL section)
A. Select COMMON FEED and X-FEED valves OPEN.
B. Select relevant fuel feed pumps to ON. Fuel will now off load to
tanker. Apply tanker suction.
C. TO defuel centre tank, select tank TRANSFER switch OPEN. Fuel will
transfer to the wing tanks as they are offloaded.
14. When tanks are defuelled to required level, shut down tanker and select
offload valve closed by pushing up lever to horizontal.
NOTE : A baulk prevents the fuel control panel access door closing when the off
load valve is selected open.
15. At overhead panel, select pumps to OFF, X-FEED and COMMON FEED
to SHUT, and centre tank TRANSFER to SHUT.
16. Disconnect tanker hose bonding, and uncouple hose.
17. Fit blanking cap to aircraft fuel coupling. Close and secure refuel control
panel door.
18. Disconnect tanker bonding from aircraft.
19. At flight deck centre instrument panel, check fuel tank indicators show correct
20. De-energize aircraft busbars (Ref.12-10-24). Tank contents check using magnetic indicators

Magnetic fuel level indicators (MLI) are an approximate measure of fuel content
in wing tanks and are intended for use if capacitance contents system is suspect.
Four manually operated magnetic probes mounted two in each wing tank enable
direct fuel level readings to be taken. The probes are graduated and readings
taken are related to calibration tables to calculate tank fuel contents.
The tables are related to aircraft attitude as read from attitude indicator situated
in roof of right-hand main landing gear bay.
1. Obtain fuel sample and check specific gravity.
2. Energize aircraft busbars (Ref.12-10-24).
3. Check feed tanks are full - fuel low level warnings off. If low level warnings
are on, switch on inner fuel pumps (or standby pumps) and wait for warnings
to go off.
4. Read aircraft indicator grid reference and determine actual aircraft attitude.
5. To read MLI, use a screwdriver to press probe in and rotate through 90
6. Withdraw probe slowly until it locks on float. Jerk down to break magnetic
link. Push probe up gently, resting on finger or thumb, until it jumps up and
locks to magnet.
7. Take reading using underside of wing skin as reading level.
8. Push probe up and use a screwdriver to push fully in and secure by rotating
through 90 degrees.
9. On certain aircraft it is necessary to convert MLI reading to kgs using
calibration table applicable to indicated aircraft attitude and specific MLI
10. On other aircraft convert MLI reading to Ibs using calibration table applicable
to indicated aircraft attitude and specific MLI used.
11. On ALL aircraft switch off appropriate fuel pumps and de-energize aircraft
busbars (12-10-24). Calibration tables

On aircraft 502-503,505-535,537,540-542, 546-549
The tank contents figures in the tables are for one wing only.
The tables are calibrated for a fueI specific gravity (s.g.) of 0.8. To correct the fuel
quantity for different specific gravities, divide the indicated quantity by 0.8 and
multiply by the actual specific gravity of the fuel.
When using the tables it is permissible to interpolate for intermediate MLI
readings and aircraft attitudes. Providing this is done accurately and the fuel s.g.
correction is applied, then the fuel quantity figure obtained will be within +/- 50
kgs of the actual fuel contents of the wing.
On aircraft 502-503,505-535, 537, 540-542, 546-549

Ground electrical supplies are often necessary for engine starting or to permit
operation of aircraft equipment on the ground when the engine driven generator
is not running, thus minimising the load on the aircraft internal batteries.
Many small aircraft have direct current (DC) electrical systems and although
alternating current may be provided for the operation of certain equipment, it is
not usual for the aircraft to have provision for the connection of AC power. The
external power socket is usually for the connection of a DC power supply. On
larger aircraft, there is usually provision for connection of both AC and DC power. Methods of Supplying Electrical Power

• Trolley Accumulators - (Trolley Acc.) This is the most commonly used

type of unit for small aircraft. It consists of a trolley in which are installed a
set of batteries (usually 12Volt) and a lead to connect to the DC socket on the
aircraft. The batteries are connected in parallel or series/parallel so that they
may supply the required voltage to the aircraft. The unit may also be
equipped with a master switch so that the power can be switched to the
aircraft, and possibly a meter and indicating light to show when power is ON.
• Engine Driven Generators. - These may be diesel, petrol or electric motors
coupled to a brushless revolving field generator, and a power unit provided
with full controls and instrumentation. Typical power outputs may be:
• Alternating Current
75 kVA 200V 400Hz 3 Phase AC power
• Direct Current
28.5 V 800 amps continuous or 2,000 amps intermittent
or 112 V 300 amps continuous or 1,000 amps for 30 sec.
• Mains Supply through Transformers or Rectifiers. - These are often
used in hangars, where the hangar mains are connected to transformer units
to supply AC, or to mobile rectifier units to supply DC power. Each unit would
be equipped with a control panel so that the power can be switched through
to the aircraft.
• Auxiliary Power Units (Aux. Unit) - Some aircraft are equipped with an
internal auxiliary power unit, which consists of a gas turbine engine driving an
AC generator which may be used as a source of emergency power, or a
source of ground power. Connection of DC Electric Ground Power

It is essential that personnel who are required to use ground power units are
trained and fully familiar with their operation and associated safety precautions.
The following practices would be typical for a small aircraft with a DC supply:
1. Check the voltage and polarity of the ground supply.
2. Check that the external power plug, and socket are clean, dry and
3. Check that both the external supply and the battery master switch are off
and connect the external supply, ensuring the plug is fully home in the
4. Switch on the external supply and the battery master switch and carry out the
servicing operations for which the external power was required.
5. To disconnect the external supply, switch off the battery master switch,
switch off the external supply, disconnect the power plug, and if the aircraft
electrical system is to be used (e.g. after engine starting), switch the battery
master switch on again. Connection of Ground Power to Large Aircraft

Most large aircraft are fitted with multi-pin sockets by which external DC and AC
power may be supplied to the aircraft. The external power set is capable of
supplying DC power at various voltages and AC power at a specific voltage,
frequency and phase rotation. Aircraft electrical systems vary considerably and
the checks necessary before and after connection of electrical power will vary
between aircraft. The following procedure is applicable in most cases:
1. Check that the external supply is compatible with the aircraft system (i.e. it
has the same voltage, frequency and phase rotation as the aircraft system),
and is switched off.
2. Check that the external plug and socket are clean, dry and undamaged.
3. Connect the external plug/socket, ensuring that it is fully mated and secure,
and switch on the external power supply.
4. Check the voltage and frequency of the external supply on the aircraft
electrical system instruments, and perform the operations specified in the
relevant Maintenance Manual to engage the external supply with the aircraft
5. To disconnect the electrical supply, switch off the supply at the power source
and remove the power plug from the aircraft socket.






Due to the high cost of modern aircraft, operators are expecting them to last
much longer than perhaps even the manufacturer anticipated. As a result the
manufacturers have taken more care in the design of the aircraft to improve the
corrosion resistance of aircraft. This improvement includes the use of new
materials and improved surface treatments and protective finishes. The use of
preventative maintenance has also been emphasised more than it was
previously. Preventative maintenance should include the following measures:
• Adequate and regular cleaning of the aircraft
• Periodic lubrication, (often after the cleaning)
• Regular and detailed inspection for corrosion and failure of protective
• Prompt treatment of corrosion and touch up of damaged paint
• Keeping drain holes clear
• Draining of fuel cell sumps
• Daily wipe down of most critical areas
• Sealing of aircraft during foul weather and ventilation on sunny days
• Use of protective covers and blanks

General the corrosion removal treatment includes the following main steps:
1. Cleaning and removal of protective coat on the corroded area
2. Remove as much of the corrosion products as possible
3. Neutralise the remaining residue
4. Check if damage is within limits
5. Restore protective surface films
6. Apply temporary or permanent coatings or paint finishes.
Cleaning and Paint Removal. If corrosive attack has not progressed beyond
the point requiring structural repair, it is essential that the complete suspect area
be cleaned of all grease, dirt or preservatives. This will aid in determining the
extent of corrosive spread. The selection of cleaning materials will depend on
the type of matter to be removed. Dry cleaning solvent (trichloethane -
Genclean) may be used for oil, grease or soft compounds. Heavy duty removal
of thick or dried compounds may need solvent emulsion type cleaners.
General purpose, water removable stripper is recommended for most paint
stripping. Adequate ventilation should be provided and synthetic rubber surfaces
such as tyres, fabric and acrylics should be protected. Care should also be taken
to ensure that the correct specification paint remover is used. If the wrong
remover is used, certain materials may be damaged. Redux Bonded structures
are particularly susceptible to damage. Remover may also soften pressurisation
sealant and plastic materials such as perspex. If the remover is solvent based,
the vapour from the solvent will cause damage. Rubber gloves, acid repellent
aprons and goggles should be worn by personnel carrying out paint removal
The following is a general paint stripping procedure:
1. Brush area with stripper to a depth of 1/32 to 1/16 inch. Ensure brush is only
used for paint stripping.
2. Allow stripper to remain on surface long enough for paint to wrinkle. This
may take 10 min. to several hours.
3. Re-apply the stripper to areas that have not been stripped. Non- metallic
scrapers may be used.
4. Remove the loosened paint and residual stripper by washing and scrubbing
surface with water and a broom or brush. Water spray may assist, or steam
cleaning equipment.


Atmospheric oxidation of iron or steel surfaces causes ferrous oxide rust to be
deposited. Some metal oxides protect the underlying base metal, but rust
promotes additional attack by attracting moisture and must be removed. Rust
shows on bolt heads, nuts or any un-protected hardware. It's presence is not
immediately dangerous, but it will indicate a need for maintenance and possible
corrosive attack on more critical areas. The most practical means of controlling
the corrosion of steel is the complete removal of corrosion products by
mechanical means. Abrasive papers, power buffers, wire brushes and steel wool
are all acceptable methods of removing rust on lightly stressed areas. Residual
rust usually remains in pits and crevices. Some phosphoric acid solutions may
be used to neutralise oxidation and convert active rust to phosphates, but they
are not particularly effective on installed components.


Corrosion on these components may be dangerous and should be removed
carefully with mild abrasive papers or fine buffing compounds. Care should be
taken not to overheat parts during removal. Protective finishes should be applied

Protection against corrosion can be given in a number of ways. Some of the
principles involved are briefly summarised below:
• Choice of Metals. Certain metals have a high natural resistance to
corrosion. Noble metals such as Gold, Silver and Platinum have a low affinity
to oxygen and therefore will not tend to oxidise readily. Some metals such as
Stainless Steel and pure aluminium owe their properties to a thin film of
oxides which protects against further attack.
• Passivity. In certain conditions metals and alloys commence to corrode and
the initial products of corrosion form protective films which limit further attack.
Natural passivity is sufficient protection for pure aluminium and stainless
steel, but passivity can to be produced artificially for aluminium alloys
• Surface Finish. Corrosion resistance can often be greatly increased by
careful attention to surface finish. Many engine parts are highly polished, but
otherwise only protected by clear varnish.
• Chemical Inhibition. One of the most widely used methods of protection is
to treat the metal with chemicals which inhibit corrosion and so artificially
introduce a form of passivity. These methods are often used as first aid
treatment of corroded aircraft parts. Various methods are used, depending
on the materials to be protected, but Alochrom or Alodyne is often used for
aluminium alloys. The Phosphating process and Jenolite may be
recommended for steel and the chromate process for magnesium alloys.
• Sacrificial Protection. When two metals of different electric potential are in
close contact, the elements of a voltaic cell may be established. The metal
which is anodic to the other will be attacked by corrosion. This principle may
be deliberately be applied to protect constructional materials. For example,
both Cadmium and Aluminium are anodic to steel and will corrode in
preference to the steel. At the same time they corrode at a much slower rate
than steel and will give protection for a very long time. For this reason steel
components, particularly fasteners are usually cadmium plated.
• Mechanical Protection. Corrosion can be prevented by excluding water,
oxygen and corrosive chemicals from the surface of the metal. This method
is the basis of most organic coatings such as varnishes, paints and enamels,
which are applied on top of priming coats. To be effective the coats should
be watertight. Other methods of mechanical protection include metallic
coatings applied by dipping, spraying or electro-deposition.


Corrosion attack on aluminium surfaces give obvious indication, since the
products are white and voluminous. Even in its early stages aluminium corrosion
is evident as general etching, pitting or roughness. Aluminium alloys form a
smooth surface oxidation which provides a hard shell which may form a barrier to
corrosive elements. This must not be confused with the more serious forms of
General surface attack penetrates slowly, but is speeded up in the presence of
dissolved salts. Considerable attack can take place before serious loss of
strength occurs. Three forms of attack are particularly serious.
• Penetrating pit type corrosion through walls of tubing.
• Stress corrosion cracking under sustained stress.
• Intergranular attack characteristic of certain improperly heat treated. High
strength Al. Alloys (7000 series Al, Zinc alloys). This can develop into
serious exfoliation corrosion forming layers of flaking metal.
Treatment involves replacement of the component or mechanical / chemical
removal of as much of the corrosion products as possible and the inhibition of
residual materials by chemical means. This should be followed by restoration of
permanent surface coatings.

Pure aluminium has more corrosion resistance than the stronger aluminium
alloys. To take advantage of this, a thin sheet of pure aluminium is laminated to
both sides of the aluminium alloy. The alclad surfaces offer good protection and
can be maintained in a polished condition. Care should be taken not to remove
too much of the aluminium layer by mechanical methods as the core may be


1. Remove oil and surface dirt with the appropriate solvent.
2. Paint strip the area to be treated.
3. Remove the products of corrosion using scrapers (taking care not to remove
metal) or abrasive paper (wet and dry) or wire wool.
4. Neutralise any residual with the appropriate chemical cleaner and then wash
off with water. Many chemical cleaners exist. Deoxidine 202 is a phosphoric
acid cleaner used on Aluminium Alloys. It should not be used on Magnesium
Alloys. Chromic acid is recommended for Magnesium Alloys.
5. Apply protective treatment. This may be Alochrom 1200 or Alodine for
Aluminium Alloys or Chromic Acid treatment for Magnesium Alloys.
6. Restore surface finish.


These are intended to remain intact throughout the life of the component, as
distinct from coatings that may be renewed as a routine servicing operation. They
give better adhesion for paint and most resist corrosive attack better than the
metal to which they are applied.
Electro-Plating. Falls into two categories:
• Coatings less noble than the basic metal. The coating is anodic to the base
metal and so if base metal is exposed, the coating will corrode in preference
to the base metal. Commonly called sacrificial protection. Examples are
Cadmium plating or zinc on steel.
• Coatings more noble e.g. nickel or chromium on steel. These nobler metals
do not corrode easily in air or water and are resistant to acid attack. If the
basic metal is exposed, it will corrode locally by electrolytic action. The attack
may result in pitting corrosion of the base metal or the corrosion may spread
beneath the coating.
Sprayed Metal Coatings. Most metal coatings can be applied by spraying, but
only aluminium and zinc are used on aircraft. Aluminium sprayed on steel is
frequently used for high temperature areas. The process (Aluminizing) produces
a film about 0.004" which prevents oxidation of the underlying metal. A supply of
oxygen and acetylene is piped to a spray gun and ignited as in a welding torch.
A wire of aluminium is fed through the spray gun, melted by the flame and thrown
against the surface being metallised by the compressed air.
Cladding. Hot rolling of pure aluminium onto duralumin produces Alclad that has
good corrosion resistance and the high strength of the alloy. If the cladding
becomes damaged, exposing the core, the material will corrode easily. Most
aircraft skin is made from Alclad.
Surface Conversion Coatings (Artificial Passivation). These are produced by
chemical action. The treatment changes the immediate surface layer into a film
of metal oxide which has better corrosion resistance than the metal. Among
those widely used on aircraft are:
• The Anodising of Aluminium Alloys by an electrolytic process which thickens
the natural oxide film on the aluminium. The film is hard, inert and may be
• The chromating of Magnesium Alloys to produce a brown to black surface film
of chromates which form a protective layer.
• Passivation of zinc and cadmium by immersion in a chromate solution.
Other surface conversion coatings are produced for special purposes, notably the
phosphating of steel. There are numerous proprietary processes, each known by
it's trade name e.g. Parkerising, Walterising.
Acid spilled in aircraft can cause severe corrosion. Acids will corrode most
metals used in aircraft and will destroy wood and most fabrics. Aircraft batteries
give off acidic fumes and battery bays should be well ventilated, surfaces in the
area should be treated with anti-acid paint. The correct procedure to be taken in
the event of a spillage is as follows:
1. Mop up as much of the spilled acid using wet rags, try not to spread the acid.
2. If possible, flood the area with large quantities of clean water
3. If flooding is not practical, neutralise the area with the following: 10% by
weight Bicarbonate of Soda with water.
4. Wash the area using this mixture and rinse with cold water.
5. To check if acid has been cleaned up, test the area using universal indicating
paper (or litmus paper).
6. Dry area completely and examine the area for signs of damaged paint or
plated finish and signs of corrosion especially where the paint may have
been damaged.
7. Restore damage as appropriate.


This is most likely to occur from main aircraft Nickel-Iron batteries containing
Potassium Hydroxide. Battery compartments should be painted with anti-
corrosive paint. Removal of the alkali spillage is as follows:
1. Mop up as much as possible with a wet rag.
2. Swab area with the following mixture which will neutralise the alkali and
passivate bare metal: 5% by weight chromic acid in water.
3. Flood area with clean water avoiding electrical gear.
4. Check area for neutralisation with universal indicating paper or litmus paper.
5. If okay, dry area and check for corrosion and damaged paint etc.


Sources of mercury spillage are instruments, switches and test equipment.
Mercury can rapidly attack bare light alloys causing inter-granular penetration
and embrittlement which can start cracks and accelerate crack propagation.
Signs of mercury attack on aluminium alloys are greyish powder, whiskery growth
or fuzzy deposits. If mercury corrosion is found or suspected, assume inter-
granular penetration has occurred and the structural strength is impaired. The
metal in that area should be removed and the area repaired i.a.w. manufacturers
Removal of Mercury Spillage. Ensure that toxic vapour precautions are
observed at all times during the following operation:
1. Do not move aircraft after finding spillage. This may prevent spread.
21. Remove spillage carefully by one of the following methods:
D. Capillary brush method
E. Heavy duty vacuum cleaner with collector trap
F. Adhesive tape pressed onto globules will pick them up
G. Foam collector pads
22. Try to remove evidence of corrosion
23. The area should be further checked using radiography to establish that all
globules have been removed and to check extent of corrosion damage.
24. Examine area for corrosion using a magnifier, any parts found contaminated
should be removed and replaced.
If the nature of a metal is unknown i.e. you don't know what material it is, it may
often be identified by it's reaction or lack of reaction to various chemicals.
• Aluminium and Alloys. Light grey in colour, light in weight. Not affected by
Nitric acid, Acetic acid or Ammonia. Attacked by Hydrochloric acid Sulphuric
acid and Alkalis.
20% Caustic Soda solution forms a clear solution with aluminium and a grey
or black precipitate with Aluminium Alloy.
• Magnesium Alloys. Light in colour. Light in weight. Attacked by saturated
Sulphuric acid solution.
• Bronzes (Aluminium & Phosphor). Colour usually coppery or reddish.
Attacked by Nitric acid to form a solution, which when boiled produces a
white precipitate.
• Ferrous Metals. Characteristic 'Steely' appearance in most cases, except
Cast Iron which is black or grey. Most steels are magnetic, except austenitic
steels and some stainless steels.
Heating ferrous particles in near boiling nitric acid until chemical action ceases
• A yellow or light brown solution if the particles are carbon steel.
• A dark brown solution if the particles are cast iron
Note. Stainless Steel will not be attacked in this test

The early detection of defects before they become critical is vital in aircraft
engineering. These notes explain the basic principles of the most common
methods used. Non Destructive Testing (NDT) or Non Destructive Examination
(NDE) is a valuable tool for detection of potential failure areas.
It is essential that the student is aware of the following:
• The basic Non Destructive Testing (NDT) methods available and principles of
each method
• Dye Penetrant method in detail.
• The regulations concerning who can carry out NDT testing.

Refer to CAP 562 Section 4. Read this, as it contains all the information required
by the CAA.
• Oil and chalk method. This method has been superseded by the penetrant
method, but the CAA may still ask if you are aware of it, particularly the
Bristol Modified method.
• Penetrant dye method. You must know this in detail, particularly the
reasons why you might get poor results from this method and the different
types of penetrant. How many of you have done a dye penetrant test? Read
CAP 562 concerning the use of dye penetrant for testing for leaks (including
the test for pressurised vessels).
• Ultra-sonic flaw detection. Basic principles, what types of defects /
materials and who would normally carry out these tests.
• Magnetic flaw detection. Types of defect/materials, basic principles,
essential to de-magnetise after testing. Difference between current flow
method and induction method.
• Eddy current. Basic principles, types of materials / defects.
• Radiological examination. Basic principles, when, how and safety aspects.
• Visual methods. i.e. magnifying equipment and optical probes such as
endoscope, boroscope or fibrescopes. See CAP 562.


Visual inspection is the oldest of the non-destructive methods of testing. It is a
quick and economical method of detecting various defects, especially cracks,
before they can progress to failure.
This is the simplest of all methods and will usually rely on good illumination on a
clean surface. The most straightforward of these is a good torch used in
conjunction with the "Mark 1 Eyeball". It is surprising how easy it is to spot a
small defect if you look properly. Obvious aids would be a mirror on a flexible
stem and a 2.5 x – 10 x magnifying glass.
Optical Aids. Many other visual / optical devices are in common use to aid
detection of defects, particularly in confined spaces. Some rely on mirrors or
lenses, some on fibre optic devices that can be connected to a still or video
camera to give a photographic or a video image.
• Borescopes. This is a precision optical instrument with a built in light source.
These range in length and diameter and design so that they may be used to
view internal structures in a variety of applications such as inside turbine and
piston engines; internal structures of the wing etc.. They may, by the use of
lenses, prisms and mirrors view forwards, rearwards or at any angle to the
instrument. They also have adjustable focus of the eye piece to minimise eye
strain for the viewer.
• Fibrescope. These devices are similar to the borescope, but rely on fibre
optic cable rather than a rigid tube and lenses/mirrors. The image is viewed
through a bunch of fibre optic strands. The object is illuminated by light
transmitted through another bunch of fibre optic strands. These devices may
be extremely thin and may be flexible so that they can be guided through the
aircraft structure. The image may be viewed through an eyepiece, or on a TV
screen via a video camera.
Borescopes and fibrescopes are most often used to inspect the inside of gas
turbine engines, but can be used for many inspections such as; loose article
checks, fuel leaks etc.

8.2.4DYE PENETRANT TESTING Oil & Chalk Processes

This is an old method similar in action to dye penetrant methods. Essentially the
component to be tested is cleaned by immersion in an acid pickle bath or in paint
remover. The cleaning solution is then cleaned off. The component is then
covered with the oil solution either by immersion in hot oil or coated by cold oil,
depending on the process. The surplus oil is then removed and the component
coated with French Chalk (very fine chalk powder) that draws out the oil from the
defects. The main problems with this method are that the stained areas do not
contrast very well with the chalk. Bristol Modified Oil & Chalk Method
This is the most advanced oil & chalk method and as such is the only one you
are likely to be asked about.
• Parts to be examined should be cleaned and then immersed in a solution of
50% paraffin and 50% spindle oil at 70ºC for a soaking period (one hour).
• After immersion, allow the parts to stand to allow surplus oil to drain.
• Transfer to hot degreasing tank (70ºC - 80ºC) containing Teepol 5%, Cresylic
acid 5% and water 90% for 3 to 5 minutes.
• Transfer to clean hot water for 3 - 5 minutes and then drain.
• When dry, coat parts with French Chalk and then remove surplus chalk with
air pressure at 25 - 30 psi.
• Examine for defects, indicated by a line of chalk.

Important points are as follows:
Type of Defect / Materials. Penetrant testing may be used to detect surface
defects in any non-porous materials, including metals, plastics & ceramics. It may
also be used to detect porosity in materials that should not be porous.
The basic principle of penetrant flaw detection is that a liquid dye is applied to the
surface of the material and it migrates into the crack. Excess penetrant is then
removed from the surface and a developer applied. This developer draws out the
penetrant dye and is subsequently stained. The stained area indicates a defect.
Penetrants are available in many different forms. The most popular are termed
colour contrast for viewing in natural light or fluorescent dyes for viewing in ultra
violet light. They may be applied by brushing, spraying or dipping. Some
penetrants are also available in a thixotropic (gel, but becomes liquid on
application) form. Mention should also be made of the post-emulsifier types of
penetrant. An emulsifier is a blending of wetting agents which allows excess
penetrant to be removed with water. Some penetrants contain an emulsifier and
with others, the emulsifier is applied as a separate stage. Most penetrant 'Field
Kit's' use an oil based penetrant which uses a solvent for cleaning instead of
water. The solvent is usually Trichloroethane based.
Basic Process. The dye penetrant process can be broken down into:
• Surface preparation and pre-cleaning
• Application of the penetrant
• Removal of excess penetrant
• Application of the developer
• Inspection and recording defects
• Cleaning and restoration of surface finish
Obviously if a defect is found, the fault will have to be rectified.
Surface Preparation. The surface of the material to be tested must be
completely clean and free from dirt, paint & surface treatments. Paint should be
removed using an approved remover, taking care not to apply remover to area's
which might be damaged (Redux bonding on Concord rudder). Take care not to
damage the material surface with scrapers as this might appear as a defect.
After paint removal, the surface should be washed with water or cleaned with an
approved solvent and then dried.
Application of Penetrant. The penetrant should be applied to the clean surface,
using a spray, brush or by dipping. The penetrant should be left on the surface
for the recommended contact time and kept wet. This time will usually depend
on the temperature and the size of the suspected defect. A time of 5 - 30
minutes being normally recommended. At very low temperatures, extra time
should be allowed because the material (and the defect) will contract and the
penetrant will not be drawn into the defect.
Removal of Excess Penetrant. This is another area where incorrect procedures
will cause poor results. The object of the exercise is to remove all of the surface
penetrant without removing any of the penetrant that is in the defect. In the past,
operators have been known to spray penetrant removers directly onto the
surface, thus washing the penetrant out of the defect. The recommended
method with solvent bases spray removers is to remove the excess penetrant
with a clean cloth and then apply the remover to a clean cloth and wipe the
surface with the cloth. Repeat until clean.
Application of the Developer. The developer consists of either a dry powder, or
a powder suspended in a liquid. The powder acts as a blotter, drawing the
penetrant out of the defect. The aim is to produce an even coverage of the
component, without giving too thick a layer (this might completely blanket the
penetrant). The developer is applied either by aerosol spray, puffer, electrostatic
spray gun or using a dust cabinet. Time should be allowed so that the penetrant
can be drawn out of the defect. The normal time is one half the penetrant contact
Inspection and Recording Defects. Inspection for defects should be carried
out using good illumination. This will be normal white light for penetrant dyes,
and ultra-violet (black) light for fluorescent penetrant (these being mainly used in
dark area's and for fine cracks). Defects will show up as shown in the diagram
below. The rate of staining being an indication of the width and depth of the
crack. Porosity may show up as a large dotted area. It is important that the
exact position of the defect is recorded, because it might not be obvious where
the defect is when the component is cleaned.

Restore Surface Finish. If there are no defects, the component should be

cleaned and the surface finish restored. This may involve etch priming, painting
and possibly restoration of anti-corrosive treatment. If the component is to be
checked regularly, however, it may be permitted to apply a coating of protective
oil, grease or inhibiting fluid between inspections.


This method may be used to detect sub-surface defects in all solid materials.
Ultra Sonic methods can also be used to measure the thickness of materials
when it is only possible to get access to one side of the component.
Ultra Sound. This describes sound at a pitch too high to be detected by the
human ear. The frequencies used in ultra-sonic testing are normally within the
range 500 KHz to 10 MHz. The speed of sound through a particular material
varies and so a different frequency is used depending on the material. The
sound waves used in ultra sonic testing are produced and detect by means of a
transducer, i.e. a device which converts electrical energy to mechanical energy
and vice versa. A piezo-electric crystal is made to vibrate when stimulated by
electrical energy from a pulse generator. This vibration causes ultra-sonic waves
to be transmitted through the material to which the piezo-electric transmitter is
applied. The waves may be reflected back from surfaces (or defects), the
reflected waves are received by another piezo-electric crystal converting the
sound waves into a signal, displayed on a screen.

Ultra-sonic waves will be transmitted through any liquids or solids. Any

discontinuity or interfaces present, particularly those with air gaps will cause
almost complete reflection of the waves. Because the waves travel at a constant
speed, the time taken for the waves to travel can be shown on a cathode ray tube
as shown in the diagram.
The previous diagram shows that the system may utilise a separate transmitter
and receiver or have a combined transceiver. If the depth of the component is
uniform, a defect will easily show up by variations in the position of the reflected
pulse. Since the sound waves will be reflected at air interfaces a good acoustic
contact is required between the transmitting probe and the component. This
contact is improved by the use of a liquid (couplant) applied between the probe
and the material. This couplant liquid may be glycerine, silicon grease,
petroleum jelly or a medium viscosity oil.


This method of examination may be used on electrically conductive materials and
has the advantage that very little preparation of the surface is required and the
component may not need to be removed. Small battery portable sets may be
used in inaccessible parts of aircraft.

The basic principle is that a probe, consisting of a small coil supplied with AC
current is held in contact with (or close proximity to) the component. The
alternating magnetic field itself produces an alternating magnetic field which
opposes and modifies the original field. In aircraft work, eddy current testing is
usually of the comparative type, i.e. checking against a known defect. Eddy
current probes are often used to check for defects inside holes (see diagram
below) and specially shaped probes may be used to check items such as wheel
flanges and bead areas.

Reference Pieces. In order to calibrate the equipment, standard reference

pieces, manufactured from a material similar to that being tested, are necessary.
These pieces should contain defects of known size or shape so that the change
in coil impedance is known. A typical reference piece would contain three cuts at
different depths. Typical Applications of Eddy Current
In aircraft maintenance work eddy current testing may be used for crack
detection, conductivity testing or corrosion testing. The following applications are
typical applications:
• Checking Fastener Holes for Cracks
1. Clean loose paint, burrs, from inside and around holes being checked.
2. Calibrate instrument in accordance with manufacturers instructions
3. Insert probe in a hole in the reference piece and adjust for maximum
deflection from a selected notch or crack
25. Insert probe in test specimen and rotate, noting any needle deflections
greater than that from reference probe. Check other holes and re-check
reference piece frequently.
26. Ream out marked holes i.a.w. manufacturers instructions, repeat test
• Checking Heat Damaged Skin. The conductivity of aluminium alloy skin will
increase with exposure to elevated temperatures up to approximately 500ºC
and the material will be below strength. Above this temperature, obvious
signs of heat damage such as melted or charred metal will become apparent.
Eddy current tests will show the extent of the area in which the material is
below strength. A conductivity meter and a surface probe should be used for
this test. The meter should be zeroed on material of similar thickness to the
affected area. The conductivity around the affected area should then be
checked, noting any deflections and marking the skin accordingly. By this
means a line may be drawn around the affected area.
• Detection of Corrosion. If a reading on normal thickness material can be
taken; since corrosion reduces the thickness of the metal, a different reading
will be obtained from corroded material. The equipment can be set up by
noting the reading obtained from sound material of 90% thickness and then
checking over the test specimen. Equipment is available which is specifically
designed for thickness measurement, having a meter calibrated in thickness


Magnetic Flaw Detection. This method may be used to detect surface and
near surface defects in magnetic materials such as iron or steel. The technique
makes use of the distortion of magnetic fields by discontinuities at or near the
surface of a magnetised component. The distortion is highlighted by means of a
magnetic powder applied to the surface, usually in the form of a magnetic ink
sprayed on while the component is magnetised.
A component is magnetised, either by passing a current through it, or by placing
it in the field of a permanent magnet or electro-magnet. In either case, a
magnetic field will be set up in or around the component. Defects will locally
distort this field, the maximum distortion being obtained when the defect is
between 45 and 135 degrees to the magnetic field.
There are various types of magnetising apparatus, but they largely fall into two
• Current Flow Method. In this, electric current is passed through the
component and a strong magnetic field is set up at 90 degrees to the current
direction. Defects in line with the current will be shown up best by this
method. The current may be AC or DC, but AC current is best for defects
close to the surface and DC for deep defects. The specimen is usually
clamped between two contacts and the current may be as high as 700 amps.
• Induction Methods. These methods use a coil which induces a magnetic
field into the specimen being tested. The direction of the induced field is such
that it passes through the specimen. This method is therefore best for
detecting transverse defects i.e. defects at right angles to the main axis of the
If the direction of defects is not known, then both methods may need to be used.
Good lighting is required in order to examine the defects and the component
must be de-magnetised after testing. This is done by passing the component
through a de-magnetising coil supplied with alternating current. Good lighting is
also required for the examination of possible defects.

8.2.9RADIOGRAPHIC & MISC. TESTING Radiological examination

Radiological examination of aircraft structures is recommended if the suspected
structural area may be hidden or not easily accessible. Due to the hazards of
radiation, it will be necessary to isolate the aircraft and keep personnel at a safe
distance. The aircraft should be roped off with radiation warning signs clearly
shown. Principles of Radiography

X-rays and Gamma rays are radiations which have the ability to penetrate
materials which cannot be penetrated to visible light. These radiations are
absorbed in varying degrees as they pass through the material and the degree of
absorption can be shown on a fluorescent screen or on a film. Two main sources
of radiation are commonly used i.e. X-rays and Gamma Rays.
• X-rays are electronically produced by in an X-ray tube which accelerates
electrons towards a metal target. On striking the target, X-rays are produced.
The wavelength of X-rays varies from 10 mm ('soft' X-rays) to 10-4 mm ('hard'
X-rays). Hard X-rays are capable of penetration 500 mm thick steel. One
important safety aspect is that X-rays are generated electrically and hence
can be switched off.
• Gamma radiation results from disintegration of radioactive materials which
occur naturally. Gamma radiation sources used in NDT include Cobalt 60,
Iridium 192 and Yttererbium 169, the number following the element name is
the atomic mass. Gamma radiation can exist over similar wavelengths as X-
Rays with similar properties. Gamma radiation cannot be switched off, it can
only be shielded. Safety Aspects

The misuse of radiographic equipment could result in the release of physically
harmful radiation and so operators must be properly trained and aware of the
safety regulations. Correct interpretation of results is also very important as
incorrect conclusions could result in the clearance of unsound structures or the
scrapping of safe structures. Aircraft radiological inspections should only be
carried out by personnel from organisations approved under BCAR A8.
Operators will be subject to frequent medical checks and wear a sensitive film
badge to detect the radiation dosage. X-ray Film

The films used in radiography are very similar to those used in photography
except that the emulsion is on both sides of the transparent base film. The
emulsion is sensitive to X-rays, Gamma rays and light and when exposed, a
change takes place. When the film is developed and fixed, an image is formed
(radiograph), the darkness of which depends on the quantity of radiation passing
through the specimen; the thicker the specimen, the lighter the image. Defects
such as a crack or porosity will show up as a darker area on the radiograph.
When making X-ray exposures, the usual technique is to put the X-ray or gamma
ray source on one side of the area to be tested and the film on the other side. Aircraft Radiology

The majority of radiographs of aircraft structures are taken with a portable X-ray
set. This is because X-rays give sharper images with better contrast than
gamma ray sources. Usually, the radiation source is on the outside (or upper
surface) and the film is placed inside (or on the bottom surface). One major
advantage of gamma radiation techniques is that the radioactive source is very
small and it can be placed inside objects such as engine parts, using guide tubes
or handling rods attached to the containers and the film placed on the outside. Interpretation of Results

The accurate interpretation of defects indicated on the radiograph requires a
great deal of skill and a good knowledge of the aircraft structure. Without this
knowledge it would be easy for the engineer to overlook faults such as distorted
or missing parts. Even the presence of leaded fuel in a tank will mask defects.
The interpretation may be simplified if radiographs of a sound structure are
available for comparison.
Radiographic inspection is often carried out during manufacture to check for
manufacturing faults such as loose articles, rivetting faults and poor assembly
techniques. Some of the other indications found on radiographs are described as
• Castings and Welds. Metallurgical defects in castings and welds produce
patterns recognisable by an experienced viewer. Porosity will reduce the
amount of material through which the rays must pass and a darker image will
result. Cracks in welds are difficult to detect as the angle at which the
radiograph is taken is important.
• Corrosion. This will show up as a fuzzy image, but the presence of paint
and jointing compound will make it difficult to detect. Inter-granular corrosion
may not be detected until it has reached an advanced state and affects the
metal surface. A corrosion pit, where there is a change in thickness is more
readily detected.

• Cracks. Stress cracks often run along a line of rivets, but the edge of jointing
compounds used during the wet assembly of riveted joints often gives a false
indication. Radiographs may show indications of cracks, found to be cracks
in tank sealant. It is sometimes possible to open up tension cracks before
inspection by applying a tension load by jacking.


Fluoroscopy. The standard sheet film is replaced by a fluorosided screen. This
enables moving images to be captured. For safety reasons a video camera is
focused on the screen and the image viewed at a safe distance. An example of
'fluoroscopy' is where oscillation in a turbine shaft of gas turbine engine being
'run' can be observed. A common example is the low energy x-ray of luggage
being inspected at airport departure security 'check-in'.
Thermography. A heat sensitive camera is used to inspect areas of aircraft in
particular composites. In the passive mode the aircraft is inspected shortly after
landing and temperature 'cold' spots will indicate de-lamination or osmosis. The
active mode consists of microwave radiation being targeted at suspect
components with the area being inspected by the camera in the same way as the
passive mode.
The term “Inspection” is used extensively in all walks of life, in a variety of
different circumstances. What does it mean though? The Concise Oxford
Dictionary defines “Inspect” as “Look closely into or examine officially”. An
Inspector is defined as “One who inspects or an official employed to supervise a

To aircraft engineers, inspection can mean a variety of things. One of the main
tasks carried out will be Scheduled Maintenance Inspections (SMI’s). These are
special inspections detailed by the manufacturer, carried out a specified time
period. When carrying out this inspection the ultimate aim is to ensure that the
aircraft or part being inspected is in a safe condition or that it complies with the
original design specification. The type of inspection carried out will depend on a
variety of factors.
• The nature of the item being inspected i.e. the material it is made from. It may
be metallic, plastic, rubber or any other type of material.
• The purpose of the inspection. It may be to establish whether the item is
suffering from a known fault.
• The location of the item to be inspected. It may be fitted to an aircraft or
removed from an aircraft. In most cases the maintenance schedule will
specify that an item is always inspected without removal from the aircraft. The
term “in-situ” is usually applied in this case.
• Is the inspection internal or external. The normal convention is that
inspections are external unless otherwise stated.
• The degree or depth of the inspection. How closely do we examine a
component? Do we use magnifying aids or specialised techniques such as
Non-Destructive Examination?
• The time available for the inspection. This is often dictated by circumstances.
If you are told to go out and inspect a tyre for wear, you should be able to
check it in a few minutes. A major aircraft inspection on a large aircraft,
however, is normally planned to take many days.


The manufacturer should specify what to inspect for. The depth of inspection is
often at the discretion of the person carrying out the inspection. In most cases the
inspector is looking for indications of abnormality in the item being inspected. By
this I mean that he/she is looking for something different or obvious indication
that the item is abnormal. As suggested earlier, what you look for will depend
largely on the material of the item you are inspecting. Typical examples as
suggested by “Boeing” are:
1. Metal Parts: As applicable to all metal parts, bodies or casings of units in
systems and in electrical, instrument and radio installations, metal pipes,
ducting, tubes, rods and levers. Inspect for:
• Cleanliness and external evidence of damage
• Leaks and discharge
• Overheating
• Fluid ingress
• Obstruction of drainage or vent holes or overflow pipe orifices
• Correct seating of panels and fairings and serviceability of fasteners.
Inspect also for freedom from:
• Distortion, Dents, Scores, Chafing
• Pulled or missing fasteners, rivets, bolts or screws
• Evidence of cracks or wear
• Separation of adhesive bonding
• Failures of welds or spot welds
• Deterioration of protective treatment and Corrosion
• Security of attachments, fasteners, connections, locking and bonding

27. Rubber, Fabric, Glass Fibre and Plastic Parts e.g. coverings, ducting, flexible
mountings, seals, insulation of electrical cables, windows. Inspect for:
• Cleanliness
• Cracks, cuts, chafing, kinking, twisting, crushing, contraction –
sufficient free length
• Deterioration, crazing, loss of flexibility
• Overheating
• Fluid soakage
• Security of attachment, correct connections and locking
28. Control System Components. Inspect for:
• Correct alignment – no fouling
• Free movement, distortion, evidence of bowing
• Scores, chafing, fraying, kinking
• Evidence of wear, flattening
• Cracks, loose rivets, deterioration of protective treatment and corrosion
• Electrical bonding correctly positioned, un-damged and secure
• Attachments, end connections and locking secure
29. Electric Motors, Alternators, Generators and Actuators. Relays, solenoids and
contactors. Inspect for:
• Cleanliness, obvious damage
• Evidence of overheating
• Corrosion and security of attachments and connections
• Cleanliness, scoring and worn brushes, adequate spring tension after
removal of protective covers
• Overheating and fluid ingress
• Cleanliness, burning and pitting of contacts
• Evidence of overheating and security of contacts after removal of
protective covers
Troubleshooting is the process of identifying the cause of a fault, eliminating the
fault and returning the aircraft to service. The main aim is to return the aircraft to
an airworthy condition with a high probability of the fault NOT re-occurring. An
engineer cannot ensure that the fault will not re-appear in service, but he/she
should make an attempt to permanently fix the fault.


One of the most common mistakes made in the troubleshooting process is failure
to correctly identify the fault. The fault will often be reported incorrectly. Time can
be saved by carrying out a functional test to confirm the exact fault. It is also wise
to try to get as much information as possible from the pilot or person who
discovered the fault. Questions should be asked such as:
• Was the system working perfectly before you noticed the fault?
• Did the system work in manual if it is an automatic system?
• What altitude were you at and what speed?


Fault finding is probably the most difficult skill for an engineer to learn. He or she
must normally be very familiar with the basic theory and have a detailed
knowledge of a particular aircraft system. In many cases, an engineer with many
years experience may have come across an identical fault. Fault finding is also
carried out by pure guesswork, or by replacing the component most available or
easiest to replace, and then the next easiest etc.. This is called “shotgun”
maintenance in the USA. If you are lucky, the aircraft is equipped with system
that do the hard work for you. Some aircraft have on-board maintenance
computers that identify faults and store them ready for downloading on the
ground. Manufacturers have also developed sophisticated Trouble Shooting or
Fault Isolation Manuals that take the guesswork out of the system.


On board maintenance systems are the latest development in aircraft avionics.
They began with simple press to test buttons and failure flags fitted to individual
items in the cockpit. These required human action and recorded no data.
Autopilot systems were the driving force behind development of a better
maintenance system to embrace all of the autopilot functions and its
components, with the intention of meeting the integrity and certification
requirements of autoland. The very high safety level specified for autoland could
only be attained using redundancy in a system; this implied self-test and
reporting to establish that the system was functioning correctly. In the early
analogue electronic autoland systems this remained part of the components, but
the introduction of airborne digital computers made it possible to use a central
computer for monitoring and display of system performance.
A dedicated maintenance control and display unit (MCDP) was fitted to Boeing
757 and 767 aircraft, which entered service in the early 1980's. The similar
function on Boeing 737 aircraft was automated using the control and display unit
(CDU) of the performance data computer (PDC) for the 737 200 series, and the
flight management computer (FMC) of the 737 300 series aircraft.
The Boeing 757 and 767 also introduced the engine indicating and crew alerting
system (EICAS) – this forms part of the "glass cockpit", as it is popularly known.
This is a maintenance significant system, with data displays for engines, APU,
electrical, hydraulic, and environmental control systems. In addition, dispatch
critical maintenance data are displayed in the form of status messages as part of
the caution and warning function.


These are provided by the manufacturers to help identify, isolate and remove
failures found in flight and on the ground. In the case of the Boeing Fault Isolation
Manual (FIM) the manual is used in conjunction with the Fault Reporting Manual
(FRM) that gives an eight-digit fault code. A flowchart is then used to diagnose
the fault and to repair the failure.

Most modern aircraft are designed to withstand the normal flight and landing
loads expected during flight. These will include the normal manoeuvres the
aircraft is expected to make. The designer will build in a safety factor to
compensate for loads slightly larger than normal. Sometimes extreme
circumstances occur which cause stresses outside the normal design limits.
If the design limits are exceeded, damage may occur to the aircraft. If it is known
or suspected that the aircraft has been subjected to excessive loads, then an
inspection should be carried out to ascertain the nature of any damage that may
have occurred. The manufacturer will normally have anticipated the nature of
some of these occurrences and detailed special checks for these “Abnormal


The aircraft maintenance manual will normally list the types of abnormal
occurrence needing special inspection. The list may vary depending on the
aircraft. The following items are a selection from a typical aircraft:
• Heavy or overweight landing
• Burst Tyre
• Flight through severe turbulence
• Flap or slat over-speed
• Flight through volcanic ash
• Tail strike
• Mercury spillage
• Dragged engine or engine seizure
• High energy stop


It is not intended for us to describe the type of damage applicable to every type of
occurrence. It is more important to understand that in many cases the damage
may be remote from the source of the occurrence. In many cases the inspection
would be carried out in two stages. If no damage being found in the first stage
then the second stage may not be necessary. If damage is found, the second
stage inspection is carried out. This is likely to be a more detailed examination.


Both lightning strikes and High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF) are discussed in
Module 5. Lightning being the discharge of electricity in the atmosphere, usually
between highly charged cloud formations, or between a charged cloud and the
ground. If an aircraft is flying in the vicinity of the discharge or it is on the ground,
the lightning may strike the aircraft. This will result in very high voltages and
currents passing through the structure.
All separate parts of the aircraft are electrically bonded together to provide a low
resistance path to conduct the lightning away from areas where damage may
hazard the aircraft.
Lightning strikes are likely to have two main effects on the aircraft:
• Strike damage where the discharge enters the aircraft. These will normally be
on the extremities of the aircraft, the wing tips, nose cone and tail cone and
on the leading edge of the wings and tailplane. The damage will usually be in
the form of small circular holes, usually in clusters and accompanied by
burning or discoloration.
• Static discharge damage at the wing tips, trailing edges and antenna. The
damage will be in the form of local pitting and burning. Bonding strips and
static wicks may also disintegrate due to the high charges.

The maintenance schedule or maintenance manual should specify the
inspections applicable to the aircraft. The areas specified in paragraph 9.4.1
should be examined for signs of strike or discharge damage. Bonding straps and
static discharge wicks should be checked for damage. Damaged bonding straps
on control surfaces may lead to tracking across control surface bearings, this in
turn may cause burning, break up or seizure due to welding of the bearings. This
type of damage may result in resistance to movement of the controls. This can be
checked by carrying out a functional check of the controls. Additional checks may
• Examine engine cowlings and engines for evidence of burning or pitting. As in
control bearings, tracking of the engine bearings may have occurred.
Manufacturers may recommend checking the oil filters and chip detectors for
signs of contamination. This check may need to be repeated for a specified
number of running hours after the occurrence.
• Examine fuselage skin, particularly rivets for burning or pitting.
• If the landing gear was extended, some damage may have occurred to the
lower parts of the gear. Examine for signs of discharge.
• After the structural examination it will be necessary to do functional checks of
the radio, radar, instruments, compasses, electrical circuits and flying
controls. A bonding resistance check should also be carried out.


Module 5 discusses electromagnetic phenomena, in particular the problem of
electromagnetic interference. This may be from an internal or external source.
HIRF may be generated by airborne transmitters such as high-powered radar or
radio. HIRF may be transmitted by military aircraft in close proximity to
commercial aircraft. Increased use of digital equipment has increased the


The manufacturer will normally protect the aircraft against HIRF. This is normally
achieved by bonding, shielding and separation of critical components. It is difficult
to know when the aircraft has been subjected to HIRF, consequently protection is
best achieved by regular checks of:
• Bonding of the aircraft
• Correct crimping
• Screens correctly terminated and earthed
• All bonding terminals correctly torque loaded

This procedure is an extract from the Boeing 757 Maintenance Manual. It is
included to give you an idea of a typical aircraft inspection procedure. Not all of
the details have been supplied, but there is enough information to give you a
general idea. You will not be examined in detail on this procedure, but you should
be able to identify specific checks that highlight the previous notes.
This procedure has these three tasks:
• Examine the External Surfaces for Lightning Strike
• Examine the internal Components for Lightning Strike
• Inspection and Operational Check of the Radio and Navigation Systems

The aircraft has all the necessary and known lightning strike protection
measures. Most of the external parts of the aircraft are metal structure with
sufficient thickness to be resistant to a lightning strike. This metal assembly is its
basic protection. The thickness of the metal surface is sufficient to protect the
internal spaces from a lightning strike. The metal skin also gives protection from
the entrance of electromagnetic energy into the electrical wires of the aircraft.
The metal skin does not prevent all electromagnetic energy from going into the
electrical wiring; however, it does keep the energy to a satisfactory level. If
lightning strikes the aircraft, you must fully examine all of the aircraft to find the
areas of the lightning strike entrance and exit points When you look at the areas
of entrance and exit, examine this structure carefully to find all of the damage that
has occurred

Lightning strike entrance and exit points are usually found in Zone 1 (See
following diagram), but also can occur in zones 2 and 3. You can usually find
signs of a lightning strike in Zone 1. However, lightning strikes can occur to any
part of the aircraft, including the fuselage, wing skin trailing edge panels. wing-
body fairing, antennas, vertical stabiliser, horizontal stabiliser, and along the wing
trailing edge in Zone 2.

In metal structures, strike damage usually shows as pits, burn marks or small
circular holes. These holes can be grouped in one location or divided around a
large area. Burned or discoloured skin also shows lightning strike damage
In composite (non-metallic) structures, solid laminate or honeycomb damage
shows as discoloured paint it also shows as burned, punctured, or de-laminated
skin plies. Damage you can not see can also be there. This damage can extend
around the area you can see. Signs of arcing and burning can also occur around
the attachments to the supporting structure
Aircraft components made of ferromagnetic material may become strongly
magnetised when subjected to large currents. Large current flowing from the
lightning strike in the aircraft structure can cause this magnetisation.
A lightning strike usually attaches to the aircraft in Zone 1 and goes out a
different Zone 1 area. Frequently a lightning strike can enter the nose radome
and go out of the aircraft at one of the horizontal stabiliser trailing edges. The
external components most likely to be hit are listed below:
A. Nose Radome
B. Nacelles
C. Wing Tips
D. Horizontal Stabiliser Tips
E. Elevators
F. Vertical Fin Tips
G. Ends of the Leading Edge Flaps
H. Trailing Edge Flap Track Fairings
I. Landing Gear
J. Water Waste Drain Masts
K. Pilot Probes

Lightning strikes can cause problems to the electrical power systems and the
external light wiring The electrical system is designed to be resistant to lightning
strikes. But, a strike of unusually high intensity can possibly damage the electrical
system components below:
A. Fuel valves
B. Generators
C. Power Feeders
D. Electrical Distribution Systems
E. Static Discharge Wicks
NOTE: lf inaccuracies in the standby compass are reported after a lightning strike
then a check swing will be necessary.
Frequently, a lightning strike is referred to as a static discharge. This is incorrect
and may cause you to think that me static discharge wicks, found on the external
surfaces of the aircraft prevent lightning strikes. These static discharge wicks are
for bleeding off static charge only; they have no lightning protection function. As
the aircraft flies through the air, it can pick up a static charge from the air (or
dust/water particles in the air). This static charge can become large enough to
bleed off the aircraft on its own. If the charge does not bleed off the aircraft on its
own, it will usually result in noise on the VHF or HF radios. The static discharge
wicks help to bleed the static charge off in a way that prevents radio noise
The static discharge wicks are frequently hit by lightning. Some personnel think
static dischargers are for lightning protection. The dischargers have the capacity
to carry only a few micro-Amps of current from the collected static energy. The
approximate 200,000 Amps from a lightning strike will cause damage to the
discharge wick or make it fully unserviceable


Examine the Zone 1 surface areas for signs of lightning strike damage. Do the
examinations that follow:
A. Examine the external surfaces carefully to find the entrance and exit
points of lightning strike.
B. Make sure to look in the areas where one surface stops and another
surface starts.
C. Examine the internal and external surfaces of the nose radome for
burns, punctures, and pinholes in the composite honeycomb sandwich
D. Examine the metallic structure for holes or pits, burned or discoloured
skin and rivets.
E. Examine the external surfaces of the composite components for
discoloured paint, burned, punctured, or de-laminated skin plies.
F. You need to use instrumental NDI methods or tap tests to find
composite structure damage you cannot see.
Note: Damage, such as de-lamination can extend to the areas around the
damage area you can see. De-lamination can be detected by instrumental
NDI methods or by a tap test. For a tap test, use a solid metal disc and tap
the area adjacent to the damaged area lightly. If there is de-lamination, you
will hear a sound that is different to the sound of a solid bonded area.
G. Examine the flight control surfaces for signs of strike damage. If the
control surfaces show signs of damage, examine the surface hinges,
bearings and bonding jumpers for signs of damage.
H. If the ailerons show signs of a lightning strike, examine the surface
hinges, bearings, and bonding jumpers for signs of damage.
I. If the speed brakes show signs of a lightning strike, examine the
surface hinges, bearings, and bonding jumpers for signs of damage.
J. If the trailing edge flaps show signs of a lightning strike, examine the
surface hinges, bearings, and bonding jumpers for signs of damage.
K. If the leading edge flaps/slats show signs of a lightning strike, examine
the surface hinges, bearings, and bonding jumpers for signs of
L. Examine the nose radome for pin holes, punctures and chipped paint.
Also ensure bonding straps are correctly attached. Examine the
lightning diverter strips and repair or replace them if damaged. If there
is radome damage, examine the WXR antenna and wave-guide for

Functional tests will need to be carried out as follows:
A. Ensure the navigation lamps, rotary lights and landing lights operate.
B. If the above control examinations show signs of damage: Do an
operational test of the rudder if there are signs of lightning strike
damage to the rudder or vertical stabiliser.
C. Do an operational test of the elevator if there are signs of lightning
strike damage to the elevator or horizontal stabiliser.
D. Do an operational test of the ailerons if there are signs of lightning
strike damage to the ailerons.
E. Do an operational test of the speed brakes if there are signs of lightning
strike damage to the speed brake system.
F. Do an operational test of the trailing edge flaps if there are signs of
lightning strike damage to the trailing edge flaps.
G. Do an operational test of the leading edge flap/slats if there are signs of
lightning strike damage to the trailing edge flap/slats.
H. If there are signs of strike damage to the landing gear doors, disengage
the main gear door locks and manually move the doors to ensure they
move smoothly. Visually examine the door linkage, hinges, bearings
and bonding jumpers for strike damage. Ensure the proximity switch
indication unit gives the correct indication.


If a lightning strike has caused a system malfunction, do a full examination of the
A. Do a check of the stand-bye compass system if the flight crew reported
a very large compass deviation.
B. Make sure the fuel quantity system is accurate. This can be achieved
by a BITE test.
C. Examine the air data sensors for signs of strike damage. Do an
operational test of the pitot system if there are signs of damage to the
probes. Do a test of the static system if there are signs of damage near
the static ports.
D. Do an operational check of any of the following systems that did not
operate following the strike, or if the flight crew reported a problem, or if
there was any damage found near the system antenna.
i. HF communications system
ii. VHF communications system
iii. ILS navigation system
iv. Marker beacon system
v. Radio altimeter system
vi. Weather radar system
vii. VOR system
viii. ATC system
ix. DME system
x. Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) system

If one or more of the previous systems have problems with their operational
checks, examine and do a test of the coaxial cables and connectors.


After all areas have been inspected and lightning damage has been repaired,
components replaced as necessary and tests completed if necessary, the aircraft
may be returned to service.
Page Intentionally Blank


An aircraft manufacturer will initially design and build the aircraft to a specification
as agreed by the regulatory body (JAA, CAA or FAA as applicable). The aircraft
will then gain its type certificate from the regulatory body. It will then be permitted
to fly, provided it is maintained in accordance with the approved maintenance
schedule. If any change is made to the design of the aircraft or its components,
the aircraft is obviously different from the specification. This change will be
deemed to be a modification that will therefore require the approval of the design
authority. Modifications will be required for various reasons:
• A change of some sort is required, generally to improve reliability,
accessibility or possibly to meet an operational need. The operator will,
therefore, raise a modification to suit their requirements.
• A manufacturer brings out a modification, which is considered to be an
improvement to the aircraft or component. Generally the manufacturer will
need to get the modification approved by the Responsible Authority.
Manufacturers' modifications will be classified either as mandatory or non-
mandatory. If mandatory, the aircraft operator must incorporate the
modification. If non-mandatory or recommended, its embodiment will be at
the discretion of the operator. If the modification affects the safety of the
aircraft, it will always be declared mandatory.
• The Responsible Authority may decide an improvement is necessary and will
request a manufacturer to produce a modification to make the improvement.


As stated earlier, the regulatory authority must approve a modification. We will
now look at the procedure by which a modification is approved. The CAA
according to their effect on airworthiness will classify any modification as minor
or major. If any changes should be made to the flight manual or any other
airworthiness publication, the modification will be deemed major. It is necessary,
therefore, those particulars of the modification should be provided to the CAA at
an early stage of the investigation, to enable the classification to be carried out.
An application for a Minor Modification is made to the CAA on Form AD261.
The CAA will approve the minor modification by returning a copy of the
completed Form AD261 (see following page) to the applicant. Organisations
approved for the purpose may design and carry out a minor modification without
full CAA modification approval. They must, however, obtain initial confirmation
that the modification is minor.
Major Modifications. CAA Form AD282 (see following page) obtainable from
the CAA, must be completed by the applicant. The CAA will then carry out the
necessary investigation - the total fee to be paid will depend on the amount of
investigation required and will eventually signify its approval of a major
modification by forwarding to the applicant a copy of the Airworthiness
Approval Note. The AAN will have a reference number, which must be entered
on all documentation dealing with the modification and especially in the logbooks.
All UK Registered Aircraft over 2730kg require a separate record of all
modifications (including Airworthiness Directives) to be kept. For light aircraft this
record is kept in the aircraft Logbook. For larger aircraft a separate Modification
Record Book (CAP 395) must be kept complete with full details of all
modifications and inspections carried out. The Civil Modification Record shall
be made available to the CAA for examination.
The “embodiment” of a modification must be carried out by an approved
organisation or an appropriately licensed aircraft maintenance engineer and the
relevant entries made in the appropriate log book(s), quoting references and a
CRS signed. If the work is signed for on a separate record, e.g. a worksheet, an
entry may be made in the logbook quoting the reference of the separate record
and where it is held. The entry should refer to the modification/ inspection
Depending on the nature of the modification, it may be necessary to weigh and/or
test fly the aircraft. Manuals may also require amendment e.g. Flight Manual,
Maintenance Manuals and, sometimes, the C of A particulars may be amended.
If the Flight Manual or Certificate of Airworthiness requires amendment, it should
be forwarded to the local area office of the CAA for checking.


Most of the aircraft parts that an engineer uses will be Controlled Items, that is,
they have to be produced by Approved Organisations and certified as Approved
parts or components. Some parts, which would not adversely affect the
airworthiness and the safe operation of an aircraft (if they failed), are not required
to be approved and are classified as Uncontrolled Items. An example would be
cabin service equipment. Nevertheless, the organisation designing the aircraft
has to certify to the CAA that it is satisfied that no uncontrolled item installed in
the aircraft will constitute a danger to the aircraft).
Aircraft parts and components, following receipt from the supplier, will have to be
stored under acceptable conditions until they are installed in an aircraft. In this
section we will look at the way that aircraft parts are stored prior to their use on


Let us consider the procedures to be followed from the receipt of the components
at the operating company. In a JAR 145 approved company there will be a
Goods Inward or Goods Receipt Section. This is where parts will initially be sent
by the supply organisation. This must be separate from the main storage area. It
may be as well at this stage to state the two types of Store area, which must exist
in an organisation. These need not be separate buildings, but they must be
separate from each other.
Quarantine Store - This is where all newly received parts must be placed until it
is confirmed that the parts are approved items and undamaged. The Goods
Inwards/Receipt Section will be part of the Quarantine Store. Unserviceable
items awaiting disposal or to be sent out for overhaul/repair, or scrap may also be
held in the Quarantine Store, the aim being to quarantine them i.e. prevent any
possibility of them being mixed up with serviceable items with the risk that they
could be put into use.
Bonded Store - This should contain only those materials and parts intended for
aeronautical purposes that conform to all requirements i.e. they are approved
and serviceable.
It should be appreciated that in most cases, parts will have been ordered from an
Approved supplier on a Purchase Order. This will have an individual reference
number. Parts / components that have been sent out for overhaul or repair will
also have some form of document raised by the Overhaul/repair Company. The
components ordered will normally be delivered to the Goods Inward Stores by a
company such as Federal Express or T.N.T. as a single component in a box, or
as part of a bulk delivery. There should be some form of Goods Inward
Inspection carried out by the stores to ensure the parts are satisfactory. The
following describes a typical Goods Inwards Procedure:
On receipt of a package in the Goods Receipt Section, it should be examined for
damage. Should the package show signs of damage e.g. a crushed corner, it
should be noted and efforts made to keep the evidence. If the package is known
to contain delicate parts such as an aircraft instrument, consideration should be
given to returning the package unopened. Few operating companies will have
the facilities to prove the serviceability of such items.
Assuming the packaging is sound, it should be opened and the items removed
and inspected for damage. With the package there should be a packing or
delivery note and some type of Authorised Release Document. The Authorised
Release Document is the proof of conformation of design for the item and may be
a JAA Approved Certificate (JAA Form 1) or FAA Form 8130 or some other form
of certification. For the benefit of this exercise we shall assume an Approved
Certificate is used. Check the items to the packing note and the certificate
ensuring that all is in order. Also check the items received conforms to the
Purchase Order. The correct part number has been supplied; that if an overhaul
was ordered, an overhaul has been carried out and not just a repair. If a specific
test or calibration was requested, check it has been done and the necessary
certification is as required.
• Should the Authorised Release Document be missing, the package and
items MUST be held in quarantine until it arrives - the components cannot be
used without the correct certification.
• The cleared consignment should now be 'Booked into' the Stores. A record is
kept of the sequence in which items are received, the Approved Certificate
number, date of receipt, name of supplier, description, any shelf life
limitations and the signature of the authorised person responsible for receipt
of the goods. If this is done, the component history can be traced in the
event that the item fails in service.
• This 'Booking In' procedure may take any form provided it satisfies the CAA
requirements. One method used in the Goods Received Note system
(GRN) GRN's are printed in pads, generally in triplicate. Another commonly
used method is a computerised database of stores items. The Stores data
may be directly linked with other parts of the maintenance organisation, such
as Purchasing and Technical Records.
• GRN's may be given consecutive numbers when printed. More commonly, a
number is allocated sequentially by the Goods Inwards Inspector. The
Goods Received Number or Batch Number, can follow a pattern determined
by the date and the order in which consignments are received. An example
of such a numbering system would be to start the number with the month and
the year; followed by the consignment number for that month e.g. the 28th
package received in September 1998 would be numbered 0998/28. If the
package contains more than one item, and therefore a number of items on
the Approved Certificate, each item will be itemised on the certificate and this
is addressed to the GR or Batch No. e.g. the 3rd item on the Approved
Certificate of our package in September 1998 would end up with the number
0998/28/3. The advantages of such a system will be seen in a minute. For
the moment let us assume this is the method we are going to use and
therefore the Goods Inwards Inspector recording receipt of a package will
start a new Goods Received Note putting the number 0998/28 on the top. He
will then list all the necessary details on to the sheet itemising each as written
on the Approved Certificate, so No-3 on the GRN will be No.3 on the
Approved Certificate - the GR No. for this item will therefore be 0998/28/3.
Amongst the details recorded on the GRN will be the Approved Certificate
Number, the supplier, date, description, Part No. Serial No. (if applicable), status
of component - new, overhauled, repaired, TSN, TSO, and any other relevant
details shown on the Approved Certificate. Additionally, the Purchase Order
number will be recorded on the GRN. The Goods Inwards Inspector will sign the
GRN 0998/28
GRN Date Approved Supplier Description Part Serial Status TSN/ Purchase Sign.
Cert. No. No No. TSO Order

Example of a typical Goods Received Note
The advantages of this GRN system should be considered.
• The top copy of the GRN is filed in number, i.e. date order and forms the
Goods Received Record.
• Other copies of the GRN are sent to:
• Technical Records so that they are informed of the receipt of the part
and can raise a component card, if applicable, or up-date the
component card of any item received back from overhaul/repair and
place the card in the Stores file indicating its location.
• The Accounts Department to inform them of receipt so that they can
check it against the invoice demanding payment and clear the payment
(the Purchase Order number is the link here).
• The GR number is written on top of the Approved Certificate and filed away in
GR number order. Approved Certificates come in a variety of sizes and with
an even greater variety of reference numbers depending on the suppliers, so
that trying to file them in a suitable order so that quick retrieval is possible is
very difficult indeed. If each Approved Certificate has a GR or Batch number,
it can be filed in that number order. Provided the item is identified with the
GR or Batch number from this point on, in the Bonded Store, when installed
in an aircraft, it will always be easy to refer to the Approved Certificate should
it be necessary.
• The GR number based on the month and year 0998 is a permanent record of
when the item was received at the company.
The next action of the Goods Inwards Inspector is to raise a stores label that will
be attached to the item or its packaging. The Stores label will be filled in with
Description, Part and/or Serial Number as applicable. Also the status - new
overhauled/repaired, GR or Batch No. (Approved Cert. number if GR or Batch
number system not used), Shelf Life if applicable and any other details the
company may require such as Aircraft Type.

The item can now be passed into the Bonded Store, it having been confirmed as
an approved, serviceable part. The Bonded Storekeeper enters the item into the
Stores Record System. An indexed card system is a common method, each card
being filed in Part Number order. Other details will be recorded such as
description, location stored or Bin number, quantity in stock, minimum stock
levels and re-order quantities. Larger organisations will use a computerised
database system with the same type of information recorded. There may also be
a Shelf Life Book. This may have separate pages headed by month and year for
the foreseeable future. Each item is entered on to the page when its shelf life
expires, or 3 months ahead of that point to enable its use to be planned before
When an item is drawn from the Store for installation on an aircraft, the part will
be identified using the Part Number. The indexed card or database system may
be checked to find out how many are in stock and where stored. Normally the
first item received into the store will be issued (First in, First Out or FIFO). This
procedure may be varied if a component is held with only part life remaining -
either a repaired item or a serviceable item which has been removed from an
aircraft and returned into the stores system. The decision must be made if a
part-life item is acceptable or if an item with a full overhaul life remaining is
The item will be issued on a Materials Issue Voucher or similar sheet generally
headed by the Job Number and listing the description Part Number, serial
number, if applicable, and GR or Batch number. When the job is completed, a
copy of this voucher is sent to Technical Records for inclusion in the Work pack.
The Storekeeper will then up-date the record cards or database, showing the
item has been issued to the Job Number and deleting the item from his shelf-life
book if applicable.
If management has decided that replacement items must be ordered when the
stock reaches a certain point, this will be shown on the Stores Record Cards and
the Storekeeper will initiate a requisition so that a Purchase Order will be raised
on a supplier for the required amount. With a database system, this may be
The engineer installing the item on the aircraft will have all the information
needed for the logbook entry on the Stores Label, including the GR or Batch
Number which will enable the history of the item to be checked back to the
Approved Certificate if necessary.


C.A.A.I.P Leaflet 1-8 gives information on acceptable conditions for the storage
of aeronautical supplies. This information may be used in the absence of any
specific manufacturer's recommendations.
In particular, the need for ventilation, and the ability to monitor and control
temperature and humidity to prevent condensation is mentioned.
Different items will require different storage procedures. Some of the specific
procedures are shown below:
• Lead Acid and Ni-Cad Batteries must not be mixed and care taken that fumes
from batteries cannot damage other parts.
• Instruments must be kept at constant temperature and silica gel crystals used
to ensure no moisture is present.
• Rubber hoses and hose assemblies should be blanked, stored uncoiled in
well ventilated conditions.
• Tyres should be stored vertically supported at two points.
Engineers should be aware of the specific storage requirements for any
equipment or materials that they are likely to be responsible for.
The term Batch Number is often used as an alternative for Goods Received
Number, because many companies use this terminology. The AME should be
aware, however, that the term may be used in another context particularly when
items such as sheet metal, bar metal, rivets or similar supplies are received. This
Batch Number is given by the manufacturer of the materials and enables them to
be traced back to the Batch that was produced at a specific time, using materials
supplied from specific sources and through specific processes. This would
enable a supplier to trace all materials produced in a particular Batch should any
defect be found in a sample, if e.g. the heat treatment of a sheet metal should be
suspect, all metal in that Batch would need to be checked and possibly


REF : Airworthiness Notice No.17 - JAR 145
One of the checks which has to be made as part of the Goods Receipt procedure
is to check the Authorised Release Document and to record it’s number (or GR
No./Batch No. ), on the Stores Label. This is to ensure that from that time
onwards, it is possible to link the component/part back to its Authorised Release
Document - when fitted to an aircraft the Authorised Release Document No. (or
alternative) must be recorded into the Logbook for record purposes.
The need for an Authorised Release Document in the context of aircraft
maintenance is based on the principle of guaranteeing the reliability of aircraft.
To this end, aircraft and aeronautical parts, must be manufactured, overhauled,
repaired and maintained to the highest possible standards i.e. in accordance with
strict requirements (BCAR's and JAR'S) by Approved Organisations.
The Authorised Release Document is a certification document conforming the
requirements of BCAR sub-section A8, JAR 21 and JAR 145. It is provided by an
organisation that holds CAA Approval to supply, overhaul, repair, process or test
aeronautical parts.
A JAA Form 1 or Approved Certificate it a type of Authorised Release Document
and it shall be issued to the consignee for all Approved parts released under
authority of CAA Approval. Each certificate shall be numbered serially at the time
of bulk printing, except as otherwise agreed by the CAA. The wording of the
certification shall be as follows:

"Certified that, unless otherwise stated above, the whole of the above
mentioned parts have been manufactured/overhauled/ repaired/modified*,
tested and inspected in accordance with the terms of the contract/order
applicable thereto and conform fully to the standards/specifications quoted
hereon and the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority"

for and on behalf of.......................
DATE ..........................
*Delete where applicable

A Joint Airworthiness Requirements letter dated September 1988 stated that it is

intended to proceed with voluntary implementation of the Single Format Release
Document from 1 June 1989. Copies of this format are shown as overleaf. Also
shown on the page following is a copy of an FAA approved Form 8130-3.
The responsibility for the ensuring that parts are serviceable and conform to the
Design Organisation standard, rests with the user. The person or organisation
incorporating the aeronautical part into the a/c meets their responsibilities by
ensuring all parts received come from an Approved source and are accompanied
with an Authorised Release Document. Airworthiness Notice No. 17 deals with
the Acceptance of Aeronautical Parts in detail, highlighting the need to verify
sources of supply. There are pitfalls which must be guarded against e.g. AWN
19, headed 'The Problem of Bogus Parts' gives examples of how bogus parts
may come into the system. It also states in Airworthiness Notice No. 19 that a
Mandatory Occurrence Report must be made if a part is suspected as being
bogus. AWN No. 16, 39 and 97 also deal with the procurement of aircraft parts).
There are certain documents that the CAA will accept as evidence of origin:
• When received from a manufacturing source approved to JAR-21. The
Authorised Release Document will be a JAA Form 1.
• When received from a manufacturing source approved by the CAA to BCAR
A8-1 or A8-2 or approved by the NAA of one of the following countries. The
document will be a JAA Form 1.
Austria - Austro – Control
Belgium - Administration De L’Aeronautique (AA)
Finland - National Board of Aviation (NBA)
France - Direction Generale de L’Aviation Civile (DGAC)
Germany - Luftfahrt Bundesamt (LBA)
Netherlands - Rijksluchtvaartdienst (RLD)
Norway - Civil Aviation Administration (CAA d)
Sweden - Luftfartsverket (LFV)
Switzerland - Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA)]
• When received from a company approved by the CAA to BCAR A8-4 Material
Manufacturer, A8-5 Process Company, A8-6 Test House, A8-7 Material
Distributor or A8-16 Fastener Distributor.
• When received by a manufacturing source located in the USA and approved
by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The approval document will be
an FAA Form 8130-4 for new engines/propellers and FAA Form 8130-3 for
other new components.
• When received from a manufacturing source located in Canada and
appropriately approved by Transport Canada, the Authorised Release
Document will be a TCA Form 24-0078.
Note: Certifications in respect of overhaul, repair or similar activities, such as
those issued by organisations approved by the CAA in Group BI, by FAA as
Repair Stations, or in France by DGAC as Licensed Workshops do not suffice as
evidence of manufacturing origin. Where the organisation has the Supplementary
Rating 'Airline Spares Transfer' added to its Schedule of Approval, Approved
Certificates approved and issued in accordance with the provisions of A8-1 shall
be provided for each transaction and shall be endorsed as follows:
"This Certificate covers the transfer of airframe, engine or accessory spares
relevant to the types of aircraft operated under the Air Operators Certificate
which have been obtained from a source acceptable to the CAA"
The only spares eligible for transfer are those detailed in the main aircraft/engine
constructor's Spare Parts Catalogue and they must have been obtained from
CAA approved sources as described in Airworthiness Notice No.11 or from
sources accepted in writing by the CAA.

`A job is not finished until the paperwork is completed'. In a book I was
recently reading, one of the characters, a famous eye surgeon wrote everything
down in a notebook as a memory aid. She then daily transferred her notes to her
computer. When asked why she wrote it down, she said, “If it isn’t in my
notebook, it didn’t happen”. This is equally true for the Aircraft Engineer. If it isn’t
signed for, it hasn’t been done. If aircraft are to be maintained efficiently and
safely, this is an inescapable fact.
Many aircraft engineers consider that doing the work is the most important aspect
of their job. In reality the Captain of the aircraft you have just worked may be
relying on a signature on a document to prove that the work has been done.


You are all doing this course so that eventually you will be the person signing a
document to release the aircraft to fly. Obviously we cannot allow anyone to be
the signatory. You will only be authorised if the company you are working for
considers you to be competent. The signature releasing the aircraft forms a
certificate called a CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE To SERVICE (CRS). The
certificate may be for work on a Jumbo Jet with 400 plus passengers, or an
overhaul of a brake unit. In each case, an appropriately authorised engineer will
have to sign for the work. If the work is on an avionic system or component, the
authorised engineer will be B2 approved. If more than one engineer has been
involved in the work; each one will sign for the work done, so that a number of
signatures may be required.
It is important at this point to emphasise that the CRS is the important
certification for the work. It releases the work to service. All aircraft engineers are
allowed to sign for work they have completed. They must do so in order that the
work is “seen to be completed”. Only approved engineers are allowed to issue
Certificates of Release to Service. The will normally have a personal
authorisation stamp issued by the organisation. This stamp is used every time a
CRS is issued.


The wording on the certificate will vary dependent on what it is being used for. If it
is used for maintenance work in a JAR 145 approved organisations the wording
will be:
“Certifies that the work specified except as otherwise specified was carried
out in accordance with JAR 145 and in respect to the work the
aircraft/aircraft component is considered ready for release to service”.
The two forms of authorisation for components on the previous pages each
contain a form of CRS. In the case of the JAA Form one the wording is in blocks
14 and 15. In the case of the FAA 8130, the wording is in blocks 14 and 19. In
each case the certificate is signed and authorised by an appropriate person.
In the UK, A Certificate of Release to Service (CRS) is required following any
overhaul, repair, replacement, modification, mandatory inspection or scheduled
maintenance inspection to an aircraft or any part of the aircraft or such of its
equipment as is necessary for the airworthiness of the aircraft. There are certain
exceptions which will be dealt with later, but generally speaking, what it means is
that an appropriately authorised person must certify that any work carried out on
an aircraft or aircraft part has been done correctly.
There have been many incidents in recent years of aircraft accidents or near
accidents caused because work has not been carried out correctly. The problem
is that the CRS statement highlighted on the previous page simply says that the
work has been carried out in accordance with JAR 145. A more positive
statement is given in Airworthiness Notices Number 3. This states clearly that the
signatory i.e. the person who signs a CRS must be satisfied that the work has
been carried out correctly having due regard to the use of:
• up to date instructions including manuals, drawings, specifications, CAA
mandatory modifications/inspections and company procedures.
• recommended tooling and test equipment which is currently calibrated where
applicable, and
• a working environment appropriates to the work being carried out.


Most engineers (If they are competent) will be happy to certify their own work.
Most of the time, however, a certifying engineer will be certifying the work of
other engineers. Airworthiness Notice 3 is quite clear in this case. The certifying
engineer assumes responsibility. The certifying engineer must have inspected a
sufficiently representative sample of the work and the associated documentation,
and be satisfied with the competence of the persons who have performed the
work. For complex tasks this may require progressive or “stage” inspections to be
carried out as the work proceeds.
The main task of the aircraft maintenance engineer is to produce serviceable
aircraft to support a flying programme.


Most organisations will have a Technical Records Section or Department, which
compiles and co-ordinates the paperwork connected with the maintenance of
aircraft. (If a company is too small to have a separate section to carry out this
function, the responsibility for meeting the task rests with the Chief Engineer - it
has to be done!) Obviously all engineers involved in the maintenance of aircraft
must be aware of the different requirements that come under the heading of
paperwork and must ensure that they fulfil their role in completing the job.
The task of Tech. Records can be divided into two main functions:
• Keeping aircraft log-books and records up to date and processing the
information to ensure that all necessary maintenance activities are monitored
and carried out when due.
• Issuing the necessary instructions and documentation to the `shop floor' when
maintenance activities are to be carried out and eventually to collect in the
documentation, check it is correct and complete and then to up-date the log-
books and records again.


Aircraft maintenance may consist of a single task taking a single person a few
minutes. It could also be a complex aircraft inspection involving hundreds of
engineers and taking more than a month. Each part of the inspection must be
identified and when completed, signed for by the engineer completing the task.
An aircraft will come into the hangar for maintenance work for a number of
reasons. It may be due a Scheduled Maintenance Inspection (SMI); it may have
a defect, which requires rectification. A time or Life expired component may need
replacing, a mandatory modification/inspection (Airworthiness Directive) or a
recommended Service Bulletin may have to be carried out, or it may come in to
be put into storage, either short or long term.
It is common practice to allocate a Job Number to all jobs carried out on aircraft.
The numbers being allocated by the hangar management successively to each
job as it arises. The reason for doing this is that all work related to a specific job
can be identified by the Job Number and all the activities can then be co-
ordinated under that number on completion of the job. What sort of things will
need to be identified with the Job Number?
• The first will be the WORKSHEETS, more of which in a minute.
• Then the Stores Issue Vouchers on which will be recorded all items issued to
that job i.e. that aircraft (Different organisations may use different methods
and paperwork for issuing stores, but the principle will be the same).
• The Engineers' time sheets will show the hours expended against each job
number so that labour costs can be calculated.
• Components/parts sent into workshops for overhaul/repair or out to other
companies for the same purpose, will carry the Job Number so that the costs
incurred will be charged to the job.
The use of a Job Number is, amongst other things, to ensure that costs are
apportioned correctly to each job. Many engineers feel that such concerns are
not for them. This is a short sighted view, because generally the costs have to be
recovered from a customer, or at least used to determine the cost effectiveness
of particular operations. If the costs are not estimated correctly, the engineer may
find at the end of the month, that there is no cash left to pay wages!

It is essential that records be kept of all maintenance work carried out on aircraft.
Defects and rectification can be entered and signed for directly into the logbooks,
but the logbooks would rapidly be filled and difficult to check. It is common
practice to use worksheets for the following reasons.
Consider a Scheduled Maintenance Inspection (SMI). In this case the
worksheets will list all the inspections and checks to be carried out as part of the
SMI. Often they are copies of the maintenance schedule pages with extra
columns in which the engineers will sign when they have completed the job.
Ideally, the worksheets should contain all relevant information to enable the
engineer to do the Job correctly without having to constantly refer to maintenance
manuals. (That is not to say that the engineer will not need to refer to manuals
and, in fact, steps must be taken to ensure that manuals are readily available to
him. Information such as pressures, types of greases to be used, wear limits,
can usefully be given on the worksheets provided they are always up to date.)
The benefits of the worksheets will be self-evident. The engineer has the
detailed requirements at his fingertips, so that he knows what he has to do
eliminating the risk of missing anything. He is not constantly handling schedules
and inevitably making a mess of them. He is able to sign as he completes each
item so that records are up to date.
As defects are found during the inspection, or if the aircraft comes in with a
defect, the defect is entered onto a Continuation or Rectification Worksheet, i.e. a
blank sheet with columns for defects, rectification work and signatures.
Mandatory Modifications, Inspections, Service Bulletins, or any other work
required will be entered on continuation worksheets also. When the work is
completed, the engineer and supervisor or Licensed Engineer if required, will
sign to this effect.

When completed, the worksheets are then filed in the WORK PACK. This will
normally be a file containing all of the paperwork for that particular job. All of the
Work Packs will be kept together as part of an Aircraft File and held in Technical
Records. It is treated as part of the aircraft logbook. A logbook Entry will have to
be made on completion of the work, which will refer, where necessary, to the
Work Pack by a Job Number. A reference note will state where the Work Pack it
is held i.e. the name and address of the company.
Typical uses of a worksheet are shown overleaf.

Prior to carrying out an inspection, the Planning Department will provide a
document pack containing all of the task cards associated with the inspection,
plus any other documents required. This will be made into a work pack that will
also contain a list of the documents contained in the pack. The Maintenance
Control Department will audit the documents to ensure the pack is complete.
The package will then be sent to the technical work area concerned.
This worksheet shows a typical page from a ramp check worksheet for a British
Airways Boeing 747. The worksheet page shown is page 1 of 8 pages.
The following worksheet is from Virgin Atlantic and shows a completed Flight
Management System task and the associated CRS.

The aircraft need to be regularly maintained in order to keep them airworthy. It is
a mandatory requirement that all aircraft registered in the United Kingdom must
be maintained in accordance with an approved maintenance schedule and any
associated maintenance programme necessary to support the schedule.
Before aircraft are issued with a Type Certificate for a new aircraft, the aircraft
Constructor/Manufacturer is required to provide manuals necessary for the
maintenance, overhaul and repair of aircraft. The manufacturer should also
specify the recommended periodic inspections and lives of components. This
document is called a Maintenance Schedule. The aircraft operator has also to
produce a maintenance scheduled based on the manufacturers schedule. The
operators schedule must be approved by the CAA. The manufacturers schedule
does not take into consideration the way the operator will use the aircraft. It
should be noted that Manufacturers' recommendations must be taken into
account when compiling a maintenance schedule for approval by the CAA.
The complete maintenance schedule is broken down into a series of levels, the
highest being the longest interval of time and the most extensive work. It should
be noted that there is never a definitive series of inspections for any aircraft. The
manufacturer will recommend the intervals for an inspection. These will not
always be suitable for the operator of the aircraft. The following will give an
indication for a typical aircraft:
• Major Check - This is carried out at approximately 15,000 flying hours or five
years of average use. The time taken for this inspection will be
approximately 25 to 30 days. It will usually involve a thorough strip-down with
removal and overhaul of major components. The aircraft painted surface will
be stripped to allow for thorough surface inspection and the aircraft will be
• Intermediate Check - This is carried out at intervals of 4-5000 hours and the
aircraft will be out of service for about 9 days.
• Service check - Done at intervals of 800 - 3000 hours and will take from 1
to 2 days or six months of average use
• Ramp Check - This is done at intervals from 125 to 500 hours and will
normally be done overnight


Each maintenance schedule should take into account: the aircraft environment,
en route facilities provided by the operator at each base, frequency of landing,
whether the aircraft is on short or long haul operations, also type of operation i.e.
passenger, cargo or mixed. It is obvious that an operator of a particular aircraft
type may not be in a position to use a Maintenance Schedule used by another
operator. When a UK operator has completed his Maintenance Schedule, it is
submitted to the CAA it for approval. The CAA may require some changes to be
made and will finally signify its approval by issuing an Approval Document to the
Applicant. This approval document will normally be in the front of the Schedule.
The approval document will specify when all inspections must be carried out, who
must certify it and what Certification is required. Endorsements to the Approval
Document will spell out what extensions to inspections may be granted and by
whom. Any other variations to the standard form are also attached as

The data in an Approved Maintenance Schedule shall be amended by the

operator to reflect the embodiment of mandatory and non-mandatory
modifications and inspections, the incorporation of constructors' and
manufacturers' requirements (bulletins etc) and the effects of maintenance
experience. Amendments shall not normally be incorporated without the
written agreement of the CAA. Amendments required by the CAA shall be
incorporated in the Approved Maintenance Schedule.
There are two types of permissible amendments
CLASS A Those which are raised by the CAA as a result of
information from constructors or operators of a similar
type of aircraft.

CLASS B Those which are raised by the operator as a result of

his maintenance experience. The reasons and
supporting evidence for Class B amendments must be
submitted to the CAA for approval before
incorporation in the Maintenance Schedule.

The following FOUR pages give an example of a Maintenance Schedule

Approval Document for a typical Twin-Engine aircraft.
Note: This document is for a small aircraft and was issued prior to JAR
145 and JAR 66. Consequently there are some references which are not
relevant to large modern aircraft schedules.
Civil Aviation Authority Airworthiness Division
CAA Approval Reference: MS/ PIPER PA31/78
Aircraft Applicability: PIPER PA31-350
Operator's Schedule Reference: SA/NAVAJO/1 Issue 2 Date: OCTOBER 1984
1.1 The Maintenance Schedule identified above (herinafter referred to as `this
Schedule') is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the basis that
it prescribes the minimum maintenance to be performed on the aircraft to
which this schedule relates. Nothing contained in, or omitted from, this
Schedule absolves persons employed in implementing the requirements,
from ensuring that the aircraft is, at all times, maintained in an airworthy
1.2 It is the responsibility of the Operator to ensure that recommendations issued
by the Aircraft or Equipment Manufacturers in Maintenance Manuals,
Recommended Maintenance Schedules, Service Bulletins and other
technical service information, and relevant information issued by the CAA
are evaluated. Where appropriate the Operator must initiate Maintenance
Schedule amendment action with the CAA.
1.3 In addition to the performance of the maintenance actions prescribed in the
Schedule, compliance shall also be established with all the appropriate
mandatory requirements issued by the CAA and by the recognised
Airworthiness Authority of the country of origin of the aircraft. Retirement life
limitations prescribed by the manufacturer shall also be observed, unless
otherwise directed by the CAA, normally through the medium of CAA
Airworthiness Notices or CAA Additional Directives.
1.4 Amendments/alterations to this Schedule shall be approved by the CAA. No
change to the Conditions or the Endorsements shall be made other than by
the CAA.
1.5 The requirements of this Schedule shall be completed within the periods
specified in the Schedule and in any appropriate Endorsements to this
Maintenance Schedule Approval Document.
1.6 The implementation of the requirements of this Schedule shall be controlled
by such documents and records as will enable personnel authorised to make
certifications under the Air Navigation Order to ascertain to their satisfaction
that the requirements have been complied with. The prior permission of the
Surveyor-in-Charge, CAA Area Office shall be obtained before any
maintenance check is sub-divided. In implementing the requirements of the
Schedule, compliance shall, as appropriate, be shown with: British Civil
Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR), Civil Aircraft Inspection Procedures
and with CAA Airworthiness Notices, with particular reference to
Airworthiness Notice No. 36.
1.7 Any references to this Schedule in statutory log books and in technical
records shall include both the Operator's Schedule reference and Issue
Number and the CAA Approval Reference. A copy of this Schedule together
with a copy of the Approval Document shall be made available to personnel
at the locations where the requirements of the Schedule are being
2.1 Work carried out on aircraft maintained to this Maintenance Schedule
requires the following certifications;
2.1.1 A Certificate of Maintenance Review.
2.1.2 A Certificate of Release to Service.
2.2 A Certificate of Maintenance Review (CMR) must be issued for a period not
exceeding 4 calendar months. The Certificate may be reissued at any time
prior to the expiry of the last Certificate. The Certificate need not be issued
coincident with a Scheduled Maintenance Inspection.
2.2.1 The signatory of the CMR shall be an engineer Type Licensed in at least
two categories (excluding `X' Compasses) appropriate to the aircraft type.
2.3 A Certificate of Release to Service (CRS) must be issued whenever an
overhaul, repair, replacement, modification, mandatory inspection or
Scheduled Maintenance Inspection has been carried out, except that where
such Scheduled Maintenance Inspections recur at periods not exceeding 45
flying hours or 28 days elapsed time, no CRS is required.
2.3.1 The signatory for the CRS following overhaul, repair, replacement,
modification, mandatory inspection shall be an engineer
licensed/approved in the trade category appropriate to the task
2.3.2 The signatories for the CRS following Scheduled Maintenance Inspections
shall be engineers appropriately licensed in Categories:
A (Airframe) C (Engine) R (Radio)
providing that where the Scheduled Maintenance Inspection has not
involved tasks in a particular Category, certification in that category is not
required. A signatory in Category `X' Compasses is required whenever a
Scheduled Maintenance Inspection specifies a Check Compass Swing.
2.3.3 Where appropriate licensed engineers employed by organisations
approved under BCAR Section A, Chapter A8-3, issue the CRS required
by paragraph 2.3.1, such engineers must sign using the Approval
Reference of the Approved Organisation.
3.1 Non-compliance with any of the Conditions of this Approval Document or it's
Endorsements shall invalidate the Authority's Approval of this Maintenance
3.2 This Approval Document includes 3 Endorsements.

for the Civil Aviation Authority

Date: 10 JULY 1985

ENDORSEMENTS CAA Approval Reference: MS/PIPER PA31/78
No. Subject
1 The Operator or his contracted Maintenance Organisation, may vary
the periods prescribed by this Schedule provided that such variations
are within the limits of sub-paras (a) to (e) of this endorsement.
Variations shall be permitted only when the periods prescribed by this
Schedule (or documents in support of this Schedule) cannot be
complied with, due to circumstances which could not reasonably have
been foreseen by the Operator, or by his contracted Maintenance
The decision to vary any of the prescribed periods shall be taken only
by the Chief Inspector/Quality Manager or person of equivalent status
on behalf of the Operator or his Contracted Maintenance Organisation.
Particulars of every variation so made shall be entered in the
appropriate log book(s).
a Items Controlled by Flying Hours
Period Involved Maximum Variation of the
prescribed period

i 5000 flying hours or less 10%

ii More than 5000 flying hours 500 flying hours
b Items Controlled by Calendar Time
Period Involved Maximum Variation of the
prescribed Period
i 1 Year or less 10% or 1 month,
whichever is the lesser
ii More than 1 year but not
exceeding 3 years 2 months
iii More than 3 years 3 months 10.7.85
c Items Controlled by Landings/Cycles
Period Involved Maximum Variation of the
prescribed period
i 500 landings/cycles or less 10% or 25 landings cycles,
whichever is the lesser
ii More than 500 landings/cycles 50 landings cycles
d Items Controlled by More than One Limit
For items controlled by more than one limit eg items controlled
by flying hours and calendar time or flying hours and
landings/cycles, the more restricted limit shall be applied.
e Items Already Subject to CAA Trial Extension Programme
For an item already subject to an agreed CAA trial extension
programme the trial period may be varied by a maximum of 50
flying hours only, provided that such variation is not specifically
excluded by the agreed trial extension programme.
1 For certain piston engine overhaul periods the conditions of CAA
Airworthiness Notice No. 35 may override the stated conditions.
2 The variations permitted above do not apply to :
a Those components for which an ultimate (scrap) or retirement life
has been prescribed (eg primary structure of components with
limited fatigue lives and high energy rotating parts for which
containment is not provided). Details concerning all items of this
nature are included in the constructors documents or manuals.
b Those periods included in the maintenance schedule which have
been classified as mandatory by the CAA (see CAA Airworthiness
Notice No. 36).
AD 271A 311084
ENDORSEMENTS (Continued) CAA Approval Reference: MS/PIPER PA31/78
No. Subject
2 Para 2.3. of this Form AD 271/2 is hereby cancelled and replaced
by the following statement :
2.3. A Certificate of Release to Service (CRS) must be issued
whenever an overhaul, repair, replacement, modification,
mandatory inspection or Scheduled Maintenance Inspection 10.7.85
(SMI) has been carried out.
NOTE: An SMI is any inspection other than mandatory ,
scheduled to recur at periods exceeding 2 calendar days and
made for the purpose of ascertaining whether the aircraft remains
3 Notwithstanding Para 2.3.2. of this Form AD 271/2 the signatories
for the CRS following SMI which recur at periods not exceeding
500 flying hours or N/A days elapsed days may use as an
alternative to para 2.3.2 engineers licensed in categories A – 10.7.85
Airframes or C – Engines as appropriate for the task being
certified. Such engineers shall possess an appropriate type rated
AD 271A 260880
Early maintenance schedules involved fixed component lives and routine
strip-down policies. These have given way to new techniques because they are
no longer cost effective or appropriate to the new design philosophy of modern
aircraft. The older methods were based on Hard Time or On Condition.
There are now three internationally recognised PRIMARY MAINTENANCE
• Hard Time is a preventative process in which deterioration of a component
is restricted by maintenance actions carried out at periods relating to time in
service. The periods may be based on calendar time, landings or flying hours.
The maintenance actions normally include servicing, full or partial overhaul, or
replacement, according to schedule instructions, so that the item may continue
in service for a further time period.
• On Condition is also a preventative process in which an item is inspected
or tested at specified periods. The inspection or test may reveal that the item
may need further servicing or replacement. The main purpose of on condition
maintenance is that the item is removed before it fails in service.
• Condition Monitoring has evolved as "A Primary maintenance process in
which data on the whole population of the items in service is analysed to
indicate whether some allocation of technical resources is required. It is NOT a
preventative process, conditioning monitoring maintenance allows failures are
allowed to occur, and relies upon analysis of operating-experience information
to indicate the need for appropriate action." A further point to note is that failure
of condition monitoring items does not have a direct adverse effect on operating
safety. Condition monitoring is not a separate activity, but a complete process
which cannot be separated from the complete maintenance programme.
Maximum use can be made of the condition monitoring process which includes
statistical reliability element action when it is applied to aircraft meeting the
following criteria:
1. Modern multi-engine, transport category aircraft which include safeguards
against the complete loss of function of a system. These safeguards are
provided either by active redundancy or stand-bye redundancy in the design
of the aircraft or system. In active redundancy, all the redundant items are
operating simultaneously and share the task. If one item fails, the task is
shared amongst the remaining items. In stand-bye redundancy, only one
system is functioning at a time; if failure occurs, it is necessary to select the
standbye system.
2. Aircraft for which the initial scheduled maintenance programme has been
specified by a Maintenance Review Board and to which maintenance
steering group (MSG) logic analysis has been applied. Examples include the
Boeing 747, Lockheed L1011, McDonnell Douglas DC10.
For aircraft not covered by these criteria, the statistical reliability element may be
applied for the purpose of monitoring system or component performance, but
may not be prescribed as the primary maintenance process. To use a statistical-
reliability element of a programme effectively, a fleet minimum of five aircraft
would normally be necessary. This means that some operators of the above
wide-body aircraft would not be able to use such a programme.
As a programme, Condition Monitoring Maintenance is the formalised application
of the THREE maintenance processes i.e. Hard Time, On Condition and
Condition Monitoring to specific items as specified in the schedule. The key factor
in its use being the introduction of aircraft embodying failure tolerant designs. Types of Maintenance Activity
The three types of maintenance activity used are:
1. Maintenance applied at specific times regardless of condition at the time. The
maintenance activity may be periodic overhaul, change of parts, rework,
cleaning, calibration, lubrication or some other recognised action. These
result from hard time requirements.
2. Periodic examinations, mostly at specific times, but sometimes on an
opportunity basis, such as when an item is removed for access, to determine
not only the extent of deterioration but also that the deterioration is within
specified limits. These result from on-condition requirements.
3. Condition monitoring uses data on failures as items of "condition" information
which are evaluated to establish if it is necessary to modify the hard time or
on condition elements. Failure rates are analysed to establish the need for
corrective actions.
Maintenance of a particular item could well involve a combination of all three
primary maintenance activities. There is no hierarchy of the three; they are
applied to the various items according to the need and feasibility. Statistical Reliability Element

The assessment of defect/removal/failure rate trend at which items fail or the
probability of survival to a given life are, in most cases, used to measure the
suitability of the primary maintenance process applied to items. The assessment
is made by examination of rates of occurrence of events such as in-flight defects,
incidents, delays, use of redundancy capability, engine unscheduled shut-downs,
air turnbacks, or other such measures, which are reported. A practical statistical
reliability element does not need to be complicated or costly to establish or
operate. Some operators may be reluctant to adopt such a practice because they
believe that computer systems are necessary. Computer based systems may be
an advantage, but they are not essential. Knowledge of probability is usually
implied when discussing statistical techniques. Again, this is not essential, where
all that is required is elementary data collection, summarising and display. A
condition monitoring programme has two basic functions
1. To provide, by means of a statistical reliability element, a summary of aircraft
fleet reliability, reflecting the effectiveness of the maintenance being done.
2. To provide significant and timely technical information by which improvement
may be achieved through changes to the maintenance programme or to the
practices for implementing it. Data Collection

It is normal for the quality manager to head a reliability committee to implement
the Statistical Reliability programme. Methods of data collection should depend
on its needs. Suggested data for monitoring aircraft systems are pilot reports,
engine un-scheduled shutdowns, flight delays and cancellations attributed to
mechanical failures. Data for component performance could be unscheduled
removal rates or workshop reports. Sources of data would be delay reports, in-
flight defect reports, authorised operations with known defects, inoperative
equipment levels compatible with the minimum equipment list (MEL), flight
incidents, air turnbacks, line, hangar and workshop investigations. Other sources
are reports from on-condition tasks, airborne integrated data system recordings,
service bulletins and other operators experience. Statistical Reliability Measurement
Alert levels should be established for items controlled by the programme. Data
such as pilot reports per 1,000 flying hours, unscheduled removal rates per 1,000
component hours can be statistically analysed by standard process quality-
control methods. One example uses an alert level of three standard deviations
above the mean. It is not essential to use this type of calculation; a simple factor
above the mean may be adequate, such as defining the alert level to be 1.3 times
the mean level. The alert level is intended to be an indicator showing a
deterioration of performance which must be investigated and acted upon.


The principle behind the construction of modern aircraft maintenance schedules
is the document produced by the "Air Transport Association" (ATA) Maintenance
Steering Group - 3 Task Force (MSG-3) in 1980. History of MSG

The history of this committee and it's documents can be traced back to 1960
when the Federal Aviation Administration instigated a reliability program. This
program was aimed at exploiting the increase in propulsion system reliability
when civil aircraft started to change from piston engines to turbine engines. At
the time there was widespread use of "Hard Time" component lives, leading to an
ineffective and expensive method of ensuring aircraft safety. The MSG Approach

MSG-1 was produced in 1968 and used to develop the Boeing 747 maintenance
schedule. MSG-2 followed in 1970 and was used for the Lockheed L1011 and
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 maintenance programmes. The association of
European Airlines developed EMSG in 1972, as an improvement to MSG-2. It
was used for the Airbus A300 and Concorde maintenance schedules. Finally a
joint team collaborated to produce MSG-3 for the Boeing 757 & 767 maintenance
programs. This was introduced in 1980 and is the current version. MSG-3
The Maintenance Steering Group (MSG) lays down a set of rules to be followed
in deciding a maintenance policy for an aircraft and its systems. These rules are
based on these rules are based on:
a the importance of the component or system
b the nature of the anticipated failures which may occur
c the visibility of the faults
d the possible corrective actions
It isn't possible to make a set of rules which specify every requirement in advance
because some decisions in the process involve engineering judgement by
experienced staff. In the original MSG-1 & MSG-2 there was considerable scope
for interpretation of the rules, which led to different results, depending on the
experience fed in. One of the objectives of MSG-3 was to tighten up the
definitions used by airline staff and manufacturers so as to leave little room for
Aircraft Maintenance Program Development
Boeing 747
• 1960-61 - FAA / Industry reliability program
• 1968 - Handbook maintenance evaluation and program development
MSG – 1
Lockheed L-1011 & Douglas DC-10
• 1970 - Airline / Manufacturer maintenance planning document
MSG – 2
Airbus A300 & British Aerospace/Aerospatiale Concorde
• 1972 - European Maintenance System Guide
Boeing 757/767, Airbus A310, Fokker 100

Boeing 737-300, Boeing 747 – 400

• 1980 - Airline / Manufacturer maintenance program development document
MSG - 3
Maintenance Program Development

Procedure Application – Working Bodies and Documents

• Maintenance Design Data KEY
MSC: Maintenance Steering Committee
• Airline experience
MWG: Maintenance Working Group
• Certification and Operational Requirement
MPP: Maintenance Program Proposal
MRB: Maintenance Review Board
MPD: Maintenance Planning Document
AMP: Airlines Maintenance Program
AMS: Airlines Maintenance Schedule


AMP or
AMS Implementation
The initial work of implementing the MSG process is divided into several groups
such as structures, systems, powerplants, electrical/avionics, flight
control/hydraulics and zonal inspections. Representatives of the operators
(launch customers), manufacturers, and regulatory bodies (CAA, FAA) comprise
the working groups, who are supervised by a steering committee. This committee
defines "specifics" to direct the groups; These include a procedures guide which
describes the frequency and nature of aircraft inspection to be used. The working
groups are also given a specific time schedule, since this interacts with the
certification and delivery of the new aircraft. MRB Report

The final report is termed the Maintenance Review Board (MRB) Report. This is
produced by the manufacturer and forms the basic document with which the
operators then work. The regulatory organisations must first approve the MRB
Report and this is normally done in stages. Once it is available the operators
write their own schedule from the MRB Report. The end result should be the
Approved Maintenance Schedule (AMS) or Airline Maintenance Program (AMP).
This is a legal document enforced by the regulatory authority. The MRB Report
also covers operation of the aircraft and some economic considerations in
maintenance decisions. The levels of importance for maintenance decisions are
(1) technical factors (2) operational factors (3) economic factors. Once produced,
the AMS or AMP provides the operators staff with planning information for
necessary materials, labour and facilities.


The MRB report is the starting point for the operator to prepare its own
maintenance schedule. To this may be added tasks generated by:
- The manufacturers maintenance planning document (MPD)
- The operators engineering department
- Any extra certification and maintenance requirements from the
airworthiness authority (CAA, FAA)
The MPD may contain tasks additional to the MRB report which are
recommended but not mandatory. These may include work on non-airworthiness
items such as passenger cabin appearance.
Once the maintenance schedule is finalised, the plans to implement it begin.
These include production of other supporting documents related to the schedule,
such as maintenance and training manuals. Discussions about the make up of
work packs take place with production engineering staff. Model work cards for
every task may be stored in a computer database. Arrangements for supply of
consumables and spares have to be made. Training and recruitment
programmes have to be made based on estimates of skills needed and workload
expected. If the aircraft is a significant addition to the existing fleet, then hangar
space will have to be allocated or built. It is also very likely that specialised
access and ground equipment will be required. Many of these items may have
lead times measured in years.
Many engineers only consider the maintenance schedule contains details of the
actual work required for each inspection. The following information is also
necessary when carrying out maintenance work. The examples given are from a
typical large aircraft maintenance schedule (BA 747 – 400)
3 Inspection Levels
The inspection levels defined are specified to ensure that defects which could
impair airworthiness or cause an unacceptable economic penalty if not corrected
prior to the next scheduled inspection, are detected.
1.1. Walk-round Inspection – A visual inspection from the ground, walking as
close as necessary to detect obvious damage, leaks and other
discrepancies. The inspection is performed in the prevailing environment
using a hand torch as required.
1.2. General Visual Inspection - A visual inspection to detect obvious
damage, leaks and other discrepancies. A particular viewing location may
be specified, if not, normally accomplished from the ground. A certifying
engineer may require the aircraft to be placed under cover and additional
lighting or access be provided if thought necessary to perform an adequate
inspection of a suspect condition.
1.3. Surveillance Inspection – A visual inspection in good light of a specific
area to detect damage or discrepancies in structure, system and
powerplant installations and components. Panel, component and lining
removal, surface position, cleaning and access requirements will be
specified. A certifying engineer may require additional lighting or access
equipment to be provided and will use inspection aids such as mirrors as
required to perform an adequate inspection.
1.4. Detailed Inspection – A thorough visual inspection in good light of a highly
defined structural detail, system detail, component or location to detect
damage or discrepancies. A certifying engineer may require the removal of
equipment or soundproofing, may use hand lenses and may require NDT
validation as required to perform an adequate inspection.
1.5. Special Detailed Inspection – An inspection of a specific location or detail
using a Non Destructive Inspection technique to detect a specific type of
damage or discrepancy.
2. Inspection Standards
2.1. The word “Check” is used to describe a task to ensure that the item
conforms to a prescribed standard.
2.2. The word “Inspect” is used to describe a task which requires a
judgement. As part of each “Inspection” the certifying Engineer shall
make a judgement on whether the detail, component, system or area
Is, at the time of inspection, free from any observed defects likely to affect
Will remain serviceable until the next scheduled inspection of that detail,
component, system or area.
Is in a condition which requires a report or recording.
2.3. Types of Inspection
2.3.1. Scheduled Inspection – This is any inspection specified in the
Approved Maintenance Schedule (AMS) for an aircraft.
2.3.2. Transit or Ramp Check – A routine inspection or Check carried out
during a turnaround or over-night, normally in the airport terminal
2.3.3. Zonal Inspection – A routine inspection of a specified AMS zone
(internal/external) to detect damage, discrepancies and general
condition as specified in the AMS item.
2.3.4. Highlight |Inspection – A routine Inspection of an area, system,
component or detail specified in the AMS to detect damage,
discrepancies and general condition but requiring amplification of the
3. Access for and Extent of Inspection
4.1. Zonal Inspection
3.1.1. The limits of the area to be inspected are defined by zone number
and the access provided by the specified removal of access panels
and components defined by the AMS.
4.2. All other Inspections/Checks
3.2.1. The area, component, system or detail to be inspected or checked
is defined in the AMS, or on the associated work documents.
4.3. Extension of Inspection Area
3.3.1. Whenever a defect is found, the area of inspection shall be
extended as required to ensure that the full extent of the defect is
4.4. Component Removal
3.4.1. Removal of components is not required for inspection unless so
specified. However, nothing shall prevent a Certifying Engineer from
requiring additional access to carry out a detail inspection to
determine the full extent of a defect or to investigate an indication of
a potential defect.
3.4.2. Access and component removal requirements for a Corrosion
Protection Program (CPP) Inspection and subject to rules detailed in
the relevant section of the AMS.
4. Conditions to be observed and appropriate action taken
4.1. The following conditions will be observed and evaluated, as appropriate,
on all inspections/checks and corrected as necessary. An AMS item may
contain supplementary information to further define a particular
inspection requirement. The inspection requirements of non-scheduled
inspections/checks will always be fully defined.
4.1.1. General
∗ External evidence of damage
∗ Dirt or debris likely to contaminate or inhibit the proper functioning
of a system, retain corrosive fluids, cause excessive wear etc.
∗ Broken seals and or foreign bodies indicating failure, incorrect
maintenance or unauthorised access
∗ Spillages and accumulations of fluid or ice
∗ Obstructions of drainage or vent holes or overflow orifices
∗ Evidence of fuel, air or system leaks, discharges or overheating
∗ Correct seating and sealing of assemblies, fairings and panels
∗ Serviceability and security of fasteners, anchor nuts and
receptacles, connections, locking devices and electrical bonding
∗ Legibility of notices
∗ Aerodynamic Cleanliness: Fit of doors, access panels and fairings.

4..1.2. Metal Structure

General metal parts including pipes, ducting, tubes, rods and levers and
avionic and instrument racking and panels. Seat framing, galley and toilet
∗ Evidence of chafing and wear
∗ Distortion, dents, oil-canning, scoring and cracking
∗ Pulled or missing rivets, bolts, screws and fasteners
∗ Condition of fasteners and fastener holes if parts are detached
∗ Separation of structural bonding, failure of welds and spot welds
∗ Obstruction of drain paths
∗ Corrosion and deterioration of protective treatment
∗ Condition of corrosion inhibiting compounds
4..1.3. Reinforced plastic structural parts, control surfaces, fairing,
radomes and ducting
∗ Cracking, scoring, crushing, resin crazing, de-lamination, cracking
and wear around fasteners and degradation due to electrical
∗ Fluid contamination
4..1.4. Control System Components
∗ Range of movement, friction. Alignment, fouling, bowing
∗ Security of attachments, connections and locking devices
∗ Condition of fasteners and fastener holes if parts are detached
∗ Security, positioning and condition of electrical bonding
∗ Cables: Evidence of fraying, kinking, wear and flattening, over full
range of movement
4.1.5. General: Transparency, discoloration, cleanliness, cracking,
crazing and de-lamination.
Cockpit: Overheating
4.1.6. Rubber, fabric and plastic pipes, seals, cable insulation and
∗ Adequate clearance in static/dynamic conditions to prevent
chafing contact. Note: for avionic cables/wires see MM ATA 20 for
amplification of the requirement.
∗ Cuts, chafing, kinking, twisting, loss of flexibility and adequate free
∗ Contamination by fluids and corrosion inhibiting compounds.


The main task of an airline engineer is to produce serviceable aircraft to support
the flying program of the airline. The work schedule is determined largely by
commercial requirements, with allowances made for factors such as crew duty
legislation, airport capacity, competition from other operators and other modes of
transport. Some of the factors, which must be taken into consideration, are:
1. Demand Patterns - Demand for air transport varies with time, as with many
other goods. There may be daily, weekly and annual demands resulting in
peaks at popular times. The competitive market in which most operators
work, forces them into trying to meet these peaks as reasonably as possible
by making serviceable aircraft available at the peak times. Aircraft
maintenance has to be fitted into the spare time not required for commercial
2. Seasonal Effects - Air transport is largely a leisure-oriented industry today.
Travel demand follows seasonal variations. In the Northern hemisphere this
means that there are large differences in aircraft use in the summer and
winter months. Operators will therefore want to arrange their maintenance so
that heavy maintenance work is carried out in the winter months. There are
also shorter peaks in demand at times such as Bank holidays. On a shorter
time-scale there are fluctuations in demand for aircraft at morning or
afternoon peak times favoured by businessmen. These short term cycles
have a strong effect on short haul operations and make it difficult for
operators to achieve a high aircraft use. Summer is normally the busiest time
of the year and operators will try to minimise routine maintenance in the
summer. This itself may cause problems due to the maintenance base not
being fully utilised, resulting in loss of maintenance revenue.
3. Public Holidays - Bank holidays generate high peaks lasting a few days.
Aircraft are obviously needed during these peak periods and maintenance
workers may need to be compensated for working during these periods.
These periods also make the operator vulnerable to problems such as
industrial disputes or bad weather during these periods. Air traffic controllers
often decide to have a pay dispute over a bank holiday.
4. Route Effects
i Short Haul - Most short haul flying is done in the day time and many
countries restrict night flying due to noise problems. This means that most aircraft
will be available for maintenance at night. Hub and spoke networks with main
maintenance bases and out-stations are typical of short haul operations. Short
haul operations also puts pressure on maintainers to reduce ground time which
limits fault finding during the day.
ii Long Haul - Aircraft may be away for several days, but there is usually
increased time for maintenance between flights.
5. Days of the Week - There is usually a peak at the beginning of the weekend
as leisure travellers are outnumbering business travellers. Some days are
less busy than others. In the UK the lowest demand is on Tuesdays. This is
frequent enough to become part of a maintenance plan.
6. Timing - Commercial timing i.e. work start times is an important
consideration and airlines will try to schedule for this. Business travel has a
morning peak and travellers like to return home in the evening. It is easier to
remember the timings of regular flights if they occur at hourly intervals.
Airlines also need to fit in with long haul flights so that the overall travel time
is reduced.
7. Turnround - Aircraft only earn money when they are flying so there is much
pressure for them to spend as little time on the ground as possible. For this
reason, aircraft may operate different routes to maximise their utilisation.
8. Configuration or Role - Airlines vary seating plans and loading plans to suit
the market. Most tour charter firms and other low fare promotions utilise high
density seating. For business-class travel and luxury travel, low density
seating will be used. Some flights also use different passenger and cargo
configurations, often both on the same deck. Obviously if changes are
frequent, they will require manpower to facilitate alterations to seating,
furnishings and galleys etc.


Maintenance opportunities will vary with the nature of the operations and the
market. The best occasions for maintenance are:
1. Short Haul Operations Overnight maintenance enables most short-term
routine scheduled work and some unscheduled work to be carried out. Many
short haul routes are used for business and commuter travel so there is less
demand for weekend use, so routine work which takes longer than overnight
can be done then. The quieter midweek period could be used for some
2. Larger Short Haul These operations are normally flown as busy inclusive
tour charters which peak in the summer. There is usually time in the winter
for major checks and other long tasks.
3. Economic Short Haul Aircraft By this we mean aircraft which yield the
most profit. They are usually newer aircraft and hence have high depreciation
values. This means that they are best used at peak operation times such as
the summer and maintenance would therefore be done in the winter.
4. Long Haul Operations The summer period may last several months. It is
desirable to schedule heavy maintenance activity outside these times.
Weekend availability for must be the highest, so there is a long mid-week
period for maintenance. There may be longer intervals during long haul
aircraft turnrounds. This work is not always done at the home base. Winter
maintenance is again desirable for this type of aircraft. Aircraft with unusual
routes or performance, such as Concorde or ultra-long range types (London
to Australia), may not have the same peak patterns as others. Luxury
markets tend to have a weak demand in the summer, so maintenance can be
done then.


A different set of objectives from the commercial one previously discussed
emerges if aircraft maintenance is examined from the engineers standpoint.
• Scheduled work is predictable and regular and therefore work may be
planned in advance, often years ahead. If there are always aircraft undergoing
maintenance, workers can be continuously engaged and shift pattern may be
set up to maximise maintenance. These shift patterns may be set up for a long
period with less need for revision and industrial agreements. Some facilities
such as painting need specialised equipment and bays. This represents a
considerable investment which must be fully utilised. Various workshops, such
as wheel bays, hydraulic, structures and avionic workshops are normally set up
to support the aircraft work. Sudden peak demands for parts should be avoided.
If demand for parts is well known in advance then parts needed for routine
maintenance can be ordered and delivered in good time.
• Unscheduled Work This work arises due to the complicated nature of
aircraft with many possibilities for behaviour outside their design specification.
The solution is to make some provision based on experience and data from
other operations.
• Allowable Deficiency Use Modern aircraft have considerable redundancy
built in, in the form of standby components and duplicate/triplicate
units/systems. By agreement with the airworthiness authorities (CAA) operators
may class some minor defects as allowable deficiencies and defer the defects
to a later date.
It is essential and mandatory that aircraft maintenance organisation carry out
regular checks to ensure that everything is being done correctly. Organisations
that carry out any maintenance work on commercial transport aircraft, or even
parts to be fitted to these aircraft must be JAR 145 approved. This approval will
be dealt with in full in module 10 (Legislation).
The most important factors concerning the quality control concerning
maintenance are:
• The quality assurance must be independent from the work. It must be carried
out by persons not involved with the tasks being checked.
• It must be carried out regularly. Each element should be checked at least
once a year.
• There should normally be an external audit as well as internal audits. External
meaning someone from a different organisation.


In most large organisations there will be a quality department. It is their
responsibility to ensure everything within the organisation is done correctly. In the
case of aircraft maintenance, this means that the aircraft are maintained correctly
in accordance with the maintenance schedule and any other mandatory
requirements. It also means that the organisation must remain in compliance with
their JAR 145 approval and any other approvals they hold. They may be a
training organisation or hold approvals to do aircraft type courses.
The organisation will have produced various documents specifying how they
comply with the various requirements. These documents are called “Company
Expositions” or “Company Procedure Manuals”. In the Company Procedures
Manual it will specify for example the procedure for booking a component into
stores. It will also detail the individual responsibilities of the stores staff. It will
specify all of the documentation (forms etc.) used by the stores. There will be a
separate section for each of the main departments of the organisation.
The quality department and more specifically the head of the quality department
is responsible for both the production of the procedure manuals and for checking
that they are complied with.


An external verifier will check at regular intervals that the company is performing
correctly. As well as these checks the JAA or their representatives will also carry
out checks. If the organisation fails any of the inspections, they may lose their
approval. This could mean the company is closed down. In most cases the
failures may be minor and correctable. In this case they would be allowed to
continue, but a close watch maintained to check for further problems.
The following information has been obtained from CAAIP 11-5 Aircraft Electrical
Cables and as such is intended purely as a guide. The leaflet itself provides
guidance material on the approval and acceptance of aircraft cables and is based
upon CAA information Leaflet AD/IL/0140/1-25 Aircraft Electrical Cables.
The recent advances made in performance of dielectric materials has led to the
development of aircraft cables which differ significantly from those in service in
older aircraft types. Experience gained to date on the operation of existing
aircraft cables and on the recent developments, has shown that there are a
number of areas where it is considered general guidance material would be



The applicable airworthiness code will depend on the type of aircraft in which the
cable is to be installed. This may be BCAR Section D, BCAR Section K, BCAR
Section G or JAR 25 (see 3.1(d)).
The following list is provided for guidance purposes only:
• BCAR Section D6-13 paragraph 7.1 - Cables and Associated Fittings and
• BCAR Section K6-13 paragraph 7.1 - Cables and Associated Fittings and
• BCAR Section G6-14 paragraph 7.1 - Cables and Associated Fittings and
• JAR 25
25.1309 Equipment, Systems and Installation
25.1353 Electrical Equipment and Installation
25.1355 Distribution System
25.1359 Electrical System Fire and Smoke Protection
NOTE: See also JAR NPA 25DF-191 (Miscellaneous Electrical Requirements).


For the purpose of the control of design, electrical cables are considered to be an
item of ‘equipment’ and therefore the requirements of BCAR Section A, Chapter
A4-8 or Section B, Chapter B4-6 apply. In general, all cables used for
interconnection within the airframe and power plant are classed as ‘Controlled
Items’ and chapter 11.1.3 considers this in specific terms.
• The same paragraph numbers will apply for BCAR 23 and BCAR 29 where
See also Airworthiness Notice No. 12 Appendix No. 32. Electrical Cable Failure
and Appendix No. 42, Maintenance and re-installation of piped and cables looms.
BCAR Section A, Chapter A4-8 and Section b, Chapter B4-8 (CAP 553/CAP
554) procedures
Cable manufacturers seeking approval of their products need to hold appropriate
Terms of Approval under an organisational approval to BCAR Section A, Chapter
Controlled items such as aircraft cables may be certified under ‘Component’ or
‘Accessory’ Approval procedure. Where a product is widely used, the Accessory
Approval Procedure will generally be applicable. In this case, the CAA will
assess the design in relation to the specification and to the requirements of the
CAA, which will align wherever possible to ‘Standards’ which have been agreed
Nationally or Internationally.
A user who has, or has access to, a design organisation holding appropriate
Terms of Approval may elect to employ cables which they may certify under the
’Components Procedure’. A Declaration of Design and Performance (DDP) will
be required and this should be related to a design specification controlled either
by the cable manufacturer or the installing Design Authority. A National or
International ‘Standard’ may also be employed, but this will usually need to be
supplemented by a Detailed Specification where the ‘Standard’ related to
performance rather than construction. BCAR Section A, Chapter A4-8 and
Section B4-8 (see note) does not include a procedure for granting Appliance
Registration to equipment which is designed and produced under the control of
an overseas Airworthiness Authority (Chapter B4-8 paragraph 5.4). Such
registrations have been granted in respect of cables and are the equivalent of
Accessory Approval. The CAA does not normally grant Approvals against
Standard or Specifications over which it has no control or influence, or where
such an approval could be in conflict with the interests of another Authority.
Accessory Approval does not automatically authorise the installation of a product,
each application having to be approved as noted in paragraph 3.4 below:
NOTE: The CAA has revised the current Requirements of BCAR Section A (CAP
460) at Issue 29 by dividing the Certification and Approval Procedures into two
Sections, namely:
• Section A (CAP 553): Airworthiness Procedures where the CAA has Primary
Responsibility for Type Approval of the product.
• Section B (CAP 554): Airworthiness Procedures where the CAA Does Not
have Primary Responsibility for Type Approval of the product.
These three documents will remain concurrent until 30 June 1990 at which time
BCAR Section A (CAP 460) at Issue 29 will be withdrawn.


Cables used as replacements, or used for medication of an aircraft, should be of
a type approved by the constructor for that particular aircraft type unless an
alternative is selected by an approved Design Authority. This selection should
recognise the various factors detailed in this Leaflet. This is most readily
achieved by obtaining a Declaration of Design and Performance (DDP) from
the manufacturer if that manufacturer is suitably CAA approved. The user should
also take steps to ensure that the quality of cable is satisfactory and the preferred
method of achieving this is by obtaining a CAA Approved Certificate from the
This release should define a cable by reference to its specification. For aircraft
constructed overseas, the manufacturing sources approved by the aircraft
constructor as satisfactory for his requirements for quality should be used.
Verification of product quality from the Airworthiness Authority of the country of
origin should be available and should be used where possible. (Airworthiness
Notice No’s 11 and 39 should be observed as appropriate).
It is important to recognise that the certification requirements for electrical
installations and the design standards achieved by aircraft constructors have
advanced with time, especially in relation to fire hazards. Consequently, it is not
correct to assume that every cable type in use has a current approval for use on
all aircraft. For example, cables with PVC insulation such as Nyvin, MIL-W-5086
(all types), or BMS 13-13, should not be used on aircraft certified with new
technology cables employing insulation which is less likely to emit noxious fumes.
Users who do not hold an appropriate design approval but who nevertheless
seek approval for work under an AAN, will normally be expected to employ cable
selected by a Design Authority or employ a cable which has CAA Accessory
Approval, (or an Appliance Registration from some overseas sources). A list of
cable types which currently hold Accessory Approval are included at the end of
this section, this list is constantly being updated and should not be used without
reference to the Systems and Equipment Design Department, Safety Regulation
Group, Gatwick. All manufacturers of Accessory Approved cable have good
technical literature and provide service support to their customers. It is stressed
that CAA Approval for a cable does not absolve the user from his responsibility to
make a correct assessment of the product against the intended duty.
It is important to be aware that generalised claims by stockists and others that a
cable type is "approved" or "qualified" is likely to be of little value unless
substantiated by the procedures prescribed in this Information Leaflet. Thus the
"Approval" of a cable design by, say, an overseas military agency has no
significance to a UK civil user.


Listed below are the broad classifications used for aircraft cables. Regrettably,
there is little International Standardisation of terminology and it should be noted
that the term ‘wire’ is used in the USA whereas most other countries talk of
‘cable’. Other significant differences in terminology are stated where appropriate.


Cables designated as "Airframe", are intended to be sufficiently robust to satisfy
the requirements of ‘Open’ airframe wiring and the general wiring of Power
plants. However, in recent years there has been a strong trend towards very thin
insulation which is harder and stiffer than insulation such as PVC. Such ‘stiff’
cables are perfectly satisfactory if the installation is designed to accept them, but
they may very well be quite unsuitable for an older airframe design requiring, say,
flexing over hinges. It follows that even if all the major declared characteristics
such as overall diameter and temperature rating are acceptable, the apparently
equivalent cables may still not be interchangeable.
There are two basic methods of applying cable insulation, namely wrapping and
extruding. These methods in themselves can produce different "handling"
characteristics. In the USA the term "Medium Weight-Interconnect" may be used
for Airframe Cables.


"Interconnect" is a term adopted by the BSI to designate cables which may be
used in protected areas of wiring such as the interconnection of equipment within
racks. Such cable would normally be installed within an assembly which would
then be positioned into an aircraft. It would not, therefore, be subject to "pulling
through" and other such stressful exercises.
Interconnect cables employ thinner insulation than airframe types, which saves
weight and space and increases flexibility, the latter being most important where
looms (bundles) are required to turn through small radii into electrical connectors.
However, all the constraints given in chapter 11.2.1 for airframe cable also apply
The term "Hook-up" is commonly used in the USA to designate cables of this
type and the designation "Light Weight-Interconnect" may also be applied.


This cable, invariably known as "wire", is intended to be used within equipment
and, therefore, is very flexible and suitable for soldering. It is not designed for
use as interconnect wiring, but design organisations do, on occasion, select a
particular type for use in protected areas of an airframe. There is a considerable
range of such cables which vary in basic construction and performance and they
should always be closely defined. In general, the types in aircraft use are
produced by CAA Approved Organisations who provide "CAA Release" to
British Standard G210 or an equivalent specification. Some manufacturers have
sought "Accessory Approval" for BS G210 cable and this has been granted, but it
is not a CAA requirement that any form of design approval be applied to this
cable when it is used for its intended purpose, (which is within equipment
enclosures where the equipment itself is subject to control). If follows that it can
be manufactured and released by a Supplier, approved to BCAR Section A,
chapter A8-2. The term "Module Wire" is sometimes used for this class of cable
in the USA.


This type of cable is required to retain a defined level of electrical insulation in the
presence of fire for five minutes, as defined in BCAR Section D, Chapter D1-2
paragraph 1.17.2 and JAR 1. "Fire Resistant" should not be confused with ‘high
temperature’ and fire resistant types should only be employed where this
property is required because other characteristics, such as fluid resistance, will
usually be poorer than could be expected from a non fire resistant high
temperature cable.


These cables are required to operate for fifteen minutes in a designated fire as
defined in BCAR Section D, Chapter D6 paragraph 6.5.1 and JAR 1 and are for
use in designated fire zones. BCAR Section D, Chapter D6-13 paragraph 6.6.2
and JAR 25.1359 define a fire zone. As for Fire Resistant types, they should
only be used where necessary.


Airframe and Interconnect Cables may be supplied in a multi-core form or
generally up to four cores, the cores being twisted together. The multi-core may
be jacketed (sometimes known as a sheath) or it may be screened and jacketed.
The screening is usually a braid which gives 85% surface coverage, but
screening to a higher standard may be used and on replacement of such cables,
the standard must not be degraded. The cores are coloured for identification as
defined in BS G230.

11.2.7 DATA BUS

Data Bus cables are designed to specific requirements which will not, as a
general principle, allow for replacement by any other type other than that
specified by the Design Authority for the installation. (This requirement will also
apply to the terminations of such cables).
These cables are used for the transmission of high tension voltages in both
piston engine and turbine engine ignition systems, and are of the single core
stranded type suitably insulated and screened by metal braided sheathing to
prevent interference. These cables will be examined in more detail under ignition


These cables are used in high temperature measuring systems employing the
thermocouple principle (see chapter Error: Reference source not found). The
materials used are limited and depend on the temperatures being measured, for
jet engine exhaust gas temperature measurement, the internationally accepted
standard materials are Chromel and Alumel. For piston engine exhaust
temperature and cylinder head temperature measurement other combinations
such as Iron / Constantan and Copper / Constantan are used.


Co-axial cables contain two or more separate conductors. The innermost
conductor may be solid or stranded copper wire, and may be plain, tinned, silver
plated or even gold plated. The remaining conductors are in the form of tubes,
usually of fine braid. The insulation is usually teflon or polyethylene. Outer
coverings or jackets serve to weatherproof the cables and protect them from
fluids, and mechanical and electrical damage.
Co-axial cables have several advantages over standard cables. Firstly, they are
shielded against electrostatic and magnetic fields. An electrostatic field does not
extend beyond the outer conductor and the magnetic fields due to current flow in
the inner and outer conductors cancel each other out. Secondly, since co-axial
cables do not radiate, then likewise they will not pick up any energy or be
influenced by magnetic fields. Thirdly, co-axial cables have specific values of;
impedance, capacitance per unit length and attenuation per unit length.


Because of the large number of specifications which exist for aircraft cables, it is
impractical to list these in this Leaflet. Significant differences can occur between
cables complying with the same basic form of requirements and even with the
BSI ‘G’ series of standards, there are problems in attempting to offer guidance on
interchangeability between products. The following information has been
complied to assist in the recognition of the original specifications.


Aircraft cable specifications are issued in the Aerospace G series of British
Standards are referenced in the BSI Year Book. The majority of cables used on
British built aircraft now in service will have been produced to such ‘G’
specifications, e.g. BS G221 for Minyvin.
Newer standard are based upon general requirements given in BS G230. A
series of ‘Detailed Standards’ numbered sequentially from G232 has now been
published and these define cable design requirements and physical
characteristics. The CAA grants Accessory Approval to cables which comply with
these standards, but an additional Manufacturer’s Detailed Specification, which
defines the precise construction, will also be required by the CAA. This may be
on a ‘commercial in confidence’ basis.
BS G230 includes a listing of Manufacturer’s Identification Marks and also a
Letter Code for year of manufacture. This information is reproduced at the end of
this section.


Cables produced for the MOD will include aircraft types which are identified as
EL.XXXX or D.E.F.XX-XX Pt XX. Military aircraft produced by a European
consortium may have their own cable specifications and a typical example is the
Panavia project which has produced PAN specifications. These military
specifications are mentioned for information and it should be noted that the CAA
does not normally validate such specifications.


The designation of US Military Specifications for cable is usually MIL-W-XXXX.
Each MIL specification has a number of ‘slash sheets’ and the requirements of
such individual sheets can encompass a large range of cables. It is absolutely
essential to known the full designation of any MIL Specification cable and to
replace like with like. As stated previously, CAA Accessory Approval cannot be
granted against MIL Specifications and users should be made aware that the use
of such cables may be difficult to justify for other than direct replacement
purposes and where the original selection has an approval.


Aircraft constructors may publish specifications and some of the most frequently
seen of these are:-
a) Boeing - BMS XXXX
b) Douglas - BXS XXX
c) Airbus Industrie - AR XXXX or ASNE XXXX
d) BAC (Concorde) - BAS XXXX
It has to be emphasised that these cables are approved in relation to the aircraft
on which they are installed by the constructor, i.e. a cable which is ‘approved’ for
use by on constructor may not necessarily be acceptable to another.


The official body for the standardisation of aircraft equipment, including cable, is
the ISO (International Standards Organisation). The BSI contributes to the work
of the ISO but it has to be said that few, if any, ISO cable standards are
employed by industry. Within Europe, the Society of British Aerospace
Companies (SBAC) works in association with other manufacturers in the
organisation known as AECMA ( Association Europeanne Des Constructeurs De
Materiel Aerospatiale). AECMA seeks to promote their own standards and they
publish European ‘Normes’ as EN specifications. These have not yet been
widely adopted, at least within the UK, but preliminary specifications may be
published and these are known as prEN Standards. ISO and EN Standards may
be recognised for installation approval purposes except that is not usually within
the boundaries of the CAA to grant product approval against a specification not
controlled by BSI or a recognised (Approved) organisation.
The CAA will accept specifications from Approved Organisations and will grant,
where appropriate, approval against such specifications. The organisation
controlling the specification has to be a Primary Company (BCAR Section A,
Chapter A8-1) or a suitably supervised overseas organisation (see BCAR Section
B, Chapter B4-8 paragraph 5.4).


The definition of cable performance has increased in complexity and precision
with the reduction of insulation thickness and weight. Some of the cables now
used for airframe wiring have no more than 0.006 inch (0.15mm) of insulation
thickness and thus there is little margin for error in manufacture or in an aircraft
installation. The operating temperature dictates to a large extent the materials
and constructions used, but installation requirements need to be satisfied by
defining properties such as resistance to insulation ‘cut-through’ and abrasion. It
follows that cables need to be selected with care and the factors detailed below
should be considered in relation to any intended duty.

Obviously, a primary consideration in cable selection is to determine the class of
cable required within the classification given. It should be noted that under one
generic name there may be a range of insulation thicknesses which will be
appropriate for Airframe or for Interconnect cable and thus correct identification,
by part number, is particularly important.

The temperature rating of a cable must be defined to permit comparison with the
worst case requirements of the application. If follows that the location of a cable,
relative to hot air ducts and local hot spots such as power transformers and some
filament lighting, must be known. Cables have a specific maximum continuous
operating temperature, and for many types, this may be achieved by any
combination of ambient temperature plus temperature rise due to I2R losses.
However, it should be noted, that in general, it is undesirable to contribute more
than a 40°C rise by electrical heating and that operating temperature and installed
life are directly related. The temperature rating of an airframe cable is
determined by its construction, and will be classified at one of the following

105°C (obsolescent cable types), 135°C, 150°C, 210°C and 260°C.

Clearly this temperature rating has to be known when evaluating any design
Cable is usually identified by a size number which approximates to the AWG
(American Wire Gauge) size of the conductor. However, some cables employ a
number which refers to the square millimetres of a conductor cross section,
which is a system used extensively for commercial cables. The size of cable is
the primary determinate of the electrical protection level set by the circuit breaker
or fuse, and should never be reduced below the level established by proper co-
ordination data. Manufacturers publish rating data for single cable in free air, and
for bundles of three cables in free air. By study of the short term and continuous
ratings for a given cable type and size, the correct protection can be determined
(CAA Airworthiness Notice No.12 Appendix No.32 should be observed). Current
rating data usually relates to a temperature rise of 40°C above ambient as stated
above and due allowance must be made for such electrical heating.
Manufacturers data will normally include conductor resistance in ohms per kM at
20°C and a temperature correction may be necessary if accurate voltage drop
calculations are necessary.
It should be noted that cable ‘size’ relates only to the conductor and thus the
overall diameter and surface finish for a given size may vary significantly
between cable types. Such differences in overall diameter may have an effect on
cable sealing in connectors and pressure bungs, and also the selection of pre-
insulated terminal ends where a dielectric crimp is provided.


All cables have a rated voltage and some, such as equipment wires, may be
specified by voltage. Particular reference should be made to the specified
voltage of any cable where higher than normal potentials may be used, examples
being discharge lamp circuits and windscreen heating.


American Wire gauge sizes simply indicate the physical size of the cable and
have only limited bearing on the current carrying characteristics of the cable. The
current limits or ratings depend on a number of factors such as:
• Numbers of cables in a loom.
• Ambient temperature.
• Duration current is flowing
Such current ratings need to be obtained from tables either produced by the
manufacturer or included in the maintenance manuals. The current limits in
tables are based on a conductor temperature increase of 40°C under the
conditions specified in the table. As such it is not possible to use the limits in
such tables if the ambient temperature to which the cable will be subjected is less
than 40°C below the maximum permitted conductor temperature.
For example:
The maximum service temperature for Fepsil is 190°C.
The maximum permitted continuous current in a single strand of awg 20
Fepsil is 19 Amps (this will raise the temperature of the cable by 40°C, in an
an ambient temperature above 150°C).
So the cable cannot be operated with a 19 amp continuous current in an
ambient temperature above 150°C.
If the maximum design ambient temperature (150°C for Fepsil) is continuously
exceeded then the current ratings in the table will have to be multiplied by K
K =
Where T is the maximum service temperature of the cable and t is the higher
ambient temperature.
For example: If it was intended to use Fepsil in an ambient temperature of 170°C,
the current values in the table would have to be multiplied by:
K = = = 0⋅ 707


All cables are required to have a defined level of resistance to burning when
exposed to standard flame tests. In addition to the requirements for flammability,
there exists within BCAR’s JAR’s and FAR’s, general requirements relating to the
hazards of smoke and toxicity. In recent years, greater emphasis has been
placed upon these characteristics and whilst they are not yet defined in many civil
cable specifications, it is generally true that new cable types have been more
thoroughly investigated, albeit on an empirical or subjective basis.


A requirement has now been formulated to assess the ‘resistance to failure’ of
cables when subjected to a combination of insulation damage and fluid
contamination. The propensity of some insulating materials to ‘track’ has long
been studied in high voltage systems but it has now been found necessary,
following a failure as detailed later in this section.
BS G230 now includes a test to determine resistance to Wet Arc Tracking (Test
No.42), and Airworthiness Notice No.12, Appendix No.32 will be used to keep
industry advised for the CAA position on this subject.
Tracking can also occur under dry conditions and this is being studied. This
failure mode reinforces the need for good cable installation and maintenance


The assessment of cables insulation’s includes the ability to withstand the
pressure of a sharp edge (cut-through), and for the ability to withstand scraping
with a defined blade. It is these tests which figure significantly in assessing
airframe cable and which are the controlled methods of replacing assessment by
scraping with the thumb nail. As noted earlier, differing constructions result in
mark changed in handling properties especially with regard to stiffness and
‘springiness’. Installation of looms of thin wall hard dielectric cable has to have
regard to the reluctance of such looms to be ‘set’ in position, especially if the
supporting structure is flimsy. It must not, however, be assumed that this
apparent strength is translated into the ability to withstand physical abuse.


Cables are required to display a defined level of resistance to the effects of
commonly used aircraft fluids but this is not to say that cables can withstand
continuous contamination, which should be avoided. A related hazard is that
presented by sealing compounds because these may contain agents which are
aggressive to cable insulation. If follows that where a new cable type is
introduced, the compatibility with such compounds should be checked. Equally,
the use of a new fluid on an aircraft, e.g. new types of hydraulic fluid, should be
considered in relation to the ability of cables to withstand contamination.
Contamination of cables by toilet or galley waste has to be rigorously prevented
or corrected as detailed in Airworthiness Notice No.12 Appendix No.32

For equipment interconnection and airframe cables, the conductors are normally
of the stranded type and are usually made from plated copper. However, size 24
and smaller sizes of conductor will be of copper alloy having a higher tensile
strength. Fire resistant cables may also be of copper alloy or copper conductors
throughout all applicable sizes.
The total conductor consists of plated strands which are circular in section and
which are laid up into one of a number of strands forms. Aluminium conductors
are also available for cables of size 8 and large but such cables have not been
without problems. Any modification which involves conversion from copper to
aluminium should be classed as ‘major’ and thoroughly investigated, especially in
regard to termination techniques. Obviously, ‘aluminium cables’ will need to be
significantly larger in cross section than copper for a given electrical load,
because of the higher electrical resistance of aluminium.


Plating is employed on copper, copper alloy and aluminium conductors to
improve resistance to correction and to assist termination techniques. Very often
it is the plating which will determine the temperature rating of a given cable and
the figures given below are those widely recognised within the UK.
a) Tin plated copper maximum continuous temperature 135°C
b) Silver plated copper maximum continuous temperature 200°C
c) Nickel plated copper maximum continuous temperature 260°C
d) Nickel Clad plated copper maximum continuous temperature 260°C
Nickel clad copper is used instead of nickel plate on fire resistant cable to provide
a thicker nickel element.
The temperature figures quoted above may have to be varied downwards
because of limitations imposed by the cable insulation. Higher figures, notably
150°C for tin plating, are sometimes quoted in the USA but performance at such
temperature, especially in regard to stable crimp resistance and solderability is
the subject of debate, if not dispute. It should be noted that the plating used on
crimped terminal ends must be compatible with the conductor plating of the
cable, and information should be sought from termination manufacturers.


It is not practicable to review in these notes, the performance of all of the many
types of cable construction available except in general terms Extensive studies
have been made, especially in the USA, in an attempt to determine an optimum
cable type. The conclusion drawn is that there is not an overall best cable and
that all the materials studied have advantages and disadvantages. This is little
help to a user who is seeking to resolve the conflicting guidance and advice
offered by organisations which have a keen commercial interest in the decisions
of an intending purchaser. This information Leaflet is intended to alert people to
the difficulty of making a sound judgement in what has traditionally been
considered to be a simple subject.
Insulation material is applied to conductors by one of two basic methods,
extrusion and wrapping. In general terms, extrudable materials are ‘heat
meltable’ and are not employed for higher temperature applications. It follows
that towards the upper limit of their operating temperature, their mechanical
strength when measured by abrasion or cut through, can be significantly less
than that measured at room temperature. Airframe categories of cable usually
have a double extrusion which are not always of the same material. A double
extrusion is also claimed to impart ‘crack stopping’ qualities. Radiation cross
linking of processed material is employed on high performance cables and this
eliminates melting, increases strength and allows for thinner wall thickness.
Cables employing such construction perform well on the British Standard test for
wet arc tracking.
The most commonly used wrapped insulation material is Kapton (see Note),
which is the registered trade name to an aromatic polyimide produced by Dupont.
Many cable manufacturers world-wide use Kapton, either singly or in combination
with other materials to give a so-called hybrid construction. Single or double
tapes are spirally wound over the conductor to a defined overlap to give the
required tape thickness' at any one point. Kapton is naturally copper coloured
and it is usual to apply a top coat to provide a coloured surface which will accept
print and also give added protection to the cable. It follows that it is totally
incorrect to talk of Kapton cables without further definition. Some constructions,
notably cables made in the USA to MILW81381/11, have been the subject of
adverse comment and it is possible that the use of this particular type will be
discontinued in some environments. This would not reflect general rejection of
cables containing Kapton because most constructions provide good overall
performance including excellent mechanical strength, especially the newer higher
hybrid types.
Note: Kapton is a Dupont trademark.
The process of wrapping insulation provides good control of insulation wall
thickness and there are now cable types which employ only 4 layers of ‘Kapton’,
giving a total wall thickness of approximately 0·006 inches (·15 mm) and these
are being employed throughout the aircraft of some recently certified aircraft
types. The CAA has not granted an Accessory Approval as ‘Airframe’ types to
such cables, these having been accepted on a ‘Component’ basis.
The special case of PVC insulated cables such as Minyvin (BS G221) was
reviewed earlier in the notes and all PVC cables are now classed as
‘Obsolescent - unsuitable for new designs’.
The following types of failure and quality faults are amongst those seen in recent
This is not the total list of cable problems but it does, perhaps, indicate the
importance of specifying electrical cable of an appropriate type and quality. It is
the design intent that the present generation of CAA Approved cables should last
an aircraft life, but this will only be achieved if installations are designed and
maintained with care and cable selection is made such that operating conditions,
especially maximum temperature, seldom if ever, approach the specified limiting


Airworthiness Notice No.12 Appendix No.32 has drawn the attention of Industry
to the problem of wet arc tracking of damaged cables subjected to fluid
contamination. Observation of this Appendix and the actions of cable
manufacturers should resolve the problem, but the greatest need is to ensure
that hot stamp printing is properly controlled. ‘Interconnect’ and ‘Equipment
Wires’ should not be hot stamp printed.

11.6.2 MINYVIN
Some batches of Minyvin have in the past shown a tendency to shed the outer
nylon sheath because of splitting along a flow line inadvertently introduced during
manufacture. In dry areas of aircraft, replacement of such cable is not a matter
of urgency but if moisture, especially hydraulic fluid, is present then cable must
be replaced. In areas which are exposed and prone to fluid contamination, such
as undercarriage bays, modifications to introduce a more suitable cable have
been raised on some aircraft types.

11.6.3 BMS 13-28

Larger sizes of this mineral-filled PTFE cable, especially those used on Boeing
707, 727 and 737 aircraft, tend to experience complete insulation failure due to
longitudinal splitting of the total dielectric. Replacement by BMS13-53 or
EFGLAS to BS G222 under modification action is desirable.

Some types of cable have shown a tendency to ‘wear through’ the insulation at a
point where cable rubs on the structure. Areas of high vibration induce this
failure mechanism and it may be supposed that the stiffer construction of some
cables tends to produce a greater contact force and transmit vibration where
previously it was damped. Careful cable loom tying and clipping is necessary to
alleviate this problem (see Airworthiness Notice No.12 Appendix No.42).


Some earlier cable constructions tended to exhibit knuckling of conductors which
could be severe enough to penetrate the insulation. This was induced by
applying excessive pull through forces and care should be taken not to put cables
under tension. FEPSIL to BS G202, which is now ‘obsolescent’, requires
particular care in manufacture and installation to avoid this defect.
Cables with silver plated conductors can exhibit the aptly named ‘Red Plague’ if
the plating has been damaged and then exposed to moisture. Consequently,
silver plated conductors are generally unsuitable for use in unpressurised areas.


It is known that should de-icing fluid contaminate silver plated conductors, an
electrical fire can result. Accordingly, silver plated conductors should not be
employed in areas where de-icing fluid can be present.


It should be recognised that the quality of free tin on plated conductors rapidly
reduce with time. The replacement of soldered connections during aircraft
maintenance will probably require that conductors are ‘tinned’ as part of the
process. The loss of free tin starts as soon as the cable is manufactured and
thus prolonged storage should be avoided.


On the following pages is a list of Accessory Approved cables at the date of issue
of this information book. Information is supplied on the cable types where
available. In all cases, the cables are approved for use in aircraft subject to
limitations as specified in the appropriate Declaration of Design and Performance
(DDP). For further information contact should be sought with the manufacturers.
11.7.1 B.I.C.C.

• Cable to Specification BS2G233

Description: Approval Reference E14012
The cables are single and multi-core airframe and interconnect, multi-core
sheathed airframe and interconnect and single and multi-core screened and
sheathed types. Conductors and braids are tin plated, the insulation and sheath
being ETFE extruded and irradiated.
Temperature range: 65° to + 35°C
Size: Single core airframe 26 to 10 AWG
Single core interconnect 26 to 18 AWG
Sheathed and screened and sheathed airframe 1-4 cores, 26 to 16 AWG
Sheathed and screened and sheathed interconnect 1-4 cores, 26 to 16 AWG
• Cable to Specification EMC 63
Description : Approval Reference E13458
The cables are single core or multi-core metsheath, having conductors of tinned
annealed copper or silver plated copper alloy insulated with extruded ETFE.
Temperature range: 65°C to +120°C (tinned conductors)
65°C to +150°C (silver plated conductors)
Size: Silver plated high strength copper alloy conductor size 26
and 24 AWG only.
Tinned copper conductor size 22 to 12 AWG (Medium
NOTE: Thin wall cable also available, intended for internal wiring of equipment.
Silver plated high strength copper alloy conductor - size 24 AWG only and tinned
copper conductor sizes 22 to 12 AWG (Thick wall).
• Cable Specification ECM 65 (ACT 260)
Description Approval Reference E13528
The cables are single and multi-core airframe and interconnect, multi-core
sheathed airframe and interconnect and single and multi-core screened and
sheathed types. Conductors and braids are nickel plated, the insulation and
sheath being a composite of polyamide and PTFE.
Temperature range: 65°C to +260°C
Size: Single core airframe 24 to 12 AWG
Single core interconnect 24 to 18 AWG
Sheathed and screened and sheathed airframe 1-4 cores, 24 to 16 AWG
Sheathed and screened and sheathed airframe 1-4 cores, 24 to 18 AWG
• Cable to Specification ECM66 (ACT 150)
Description Approval Reference E13663
The cables are single and multi-core airframe and interconnect, multi-core
sheathed airframe and interconnect and single and multi-core screened and
sheathed types. Conductors and braids are silver plated, the insulation and
sheath being a composite of polyamide and PTFE.
Temperature range: 65°C to +150°C
Size: Single core airframe 24 to 12 AWG
Single core interconnect 24 to 18 AWG
Sheathed and screened and sheathed airframe 1-4 cores, 24 to 16 AWG
Sheathed and screened and sheathed interconnect 1-4 cores, 24 to 18 AWG
• Cable to Specification ECM 45
Description: Approval Reference E12560
Two core compensating cable comprising nickel chromium nickel aluminium
conductors, insulated with layers of FEP coated Kapton tape and PTFE tape,
sheathed with layers of Kapton tape and PTFE tape.
Temperature range: 55°C to +260°C
Cable to Specification ECM 47
• Description : Approval Reference E12020
Thermocouple extension cable-twin sheathed flat design having conductor nickel
chromium and nickel aluminium insulated with Kapton/glass fibre braid/coloured
PTFE tape all sintered. The sheath over the flat twin is of Kapton tape and
coloured PTFE tape (sintered).
Temperature range: 55°C to +150°C
• Cable to Specification ECM 60
Description: Approval Reference E12859
The cables are single core, having conductors of nickel coated copper. The
insulation is a composite of silicone rubber, quartz and PTFE.
Temperature range: 40°C to +260°C
• Cable to Specification ECM 52
Description: Approval Reference E12357
The cables are single core, having conductors of nickel coated copper. The
insulation is a composite of silicone rubber, quartz and PTFE.
Temperature range: 40°C to +260°C
• Cable to Specification ECM 44 (KP260)
Description : Approval Reference E12079
The cables are single core, screened and sheathed and multi-core screened and
sheathed having nickel plated copper alloy (size 24 only) or nickel plated copper
alloy (size 24 only) or nickel plated copper conductors and braids insulated and
sheathed where appropriate with a combination of PTFE and Kapton/FEP taps
are sintered.
Temperature range: 65°C to +260°C
Sizes: Single core 24 to 12 AWG

• Polyimide 3000SS (code 1143 and 1144)

Description: Approval Reference E12518
Single core screened and sheathed Kapton insulated cables with silver plated
copper alloy and silver plated copper conductors.
Temperature range: 65°C to +150°C
• Polyimide 1500 (code 1147)
Description Approval Reference E12576
Single core Kapton insulated cable with a top coat of FEP lacquer having electro
tinned copper conductors.
Temperature range: 65°C to + 135°C
Size: 22-12 AWG
• Polyimide 2000 (code 1148)
Description: Approval Reference E12577
Silver plated copper alloy and silver plated copper conductors with Kapton
• Type 6000 and 6000T
Single core cables sizes 22-10 inclusive with silver plated copper conductors.
Single core cable sizes 24 and 26 with silver plated copper alloy conductors.
All cables insulated with FEP/Kapton/FEP tape and PTFE tape overall.
Twisted single cables (two, three and four) also available sizes 26-16.
Temperature range: 65°C to +150°C
• Type 7000 and 7000T
Description: Approval Reference E13844
Single core cables, sizes 22-10 inclusive with nickel plated copper conductors.
Single core cables, size 26 and 24 with nickel plated copper alloy conductors.
All cables are insulated with FEP/Kapton/FEP tape and PTFE tape overall.
Twisted single cables (two, three and four) also available, sizes 26-16.
Temperature range: 65°C to +260°C

• Raychem Type 44
Description: Approval Reference E11623
Silver plated high strength copper alloy conductors or tin plated copper
conductors. The insulation is made up of radiation cross linked polyolefin
polymer with a protective sheath of polyvinylidene fluoride.
The following part numbers are identified with respective limitations:-

44A0812-XX-Colour Airframe Constructions

44A0212-XX-Colour Light Airframe/Interconnect construction

44A0112-XX-Colour Thin wall equipment wire constructions

44A1212-XX-Colour Screened and sheathed Airframe cable

44A1112-XX-Colour Screened and sheathed equipment wire

Note: XX denote AWG size

Temperature range: 75°C to +140°C
• Raychem Type 55
Silver plated high strength copper alloy or tin plated copper or silver plated
copper conductors. The insulation is made up of an extruded radiation cross
linked fluoropolymer.
The constructions are types 1 and 2 in single, two, three and four conductors and
"metsheath" versions. A cross reference sheet between this specification and
Raychem’s type 55 wire part numbering system is given on the next page:
Type Part Number
Type 1 single-XX (size)-colour 55A8022-24*to 10-X(colour)
Type 1 twisted pair-XX-Colours 55A8622-24*to 10X/X (colours)
Type 1 twisted triple-XX-Colours 55A8623-24*to 10-X/X/X
Type 1 twisted quad-XX-Colours 55A8813-24*to 10-X/X/X/X
Type 2 single-XX (size)-colour 55A8776-24*to 16-X(colour)
Type 2 twisted pair-XX-colours 55A8777-24*to 20X/X
Type 2 twisted triple-XX-colours 55A8778-24*to 20-X/X/X
Type 2 twisted quad-XX-colours 55A8814-24*to 16-X/X/X/X
Type 2 single + screened + 55A8744-24*to 16-X-X
sheathed-XX-colours (sheath colour)
Type 2 twisted pair + screen + 55A8745-24*to 16-X/X-X
Type 2 twisted triple + screen + 55A8746-24*to 16-X/X/X-X

* Size 24 has silver plated high strength copper alloy conductors. All other
conductors under the part numbers shown have tin coated copper conductors.
Temperature range: 75°C to +150°C
11.7.4 Societe Filotex

• Coaxial cables: RG58CU, RG214U, RG316U and RG142U

Description: Approval Reference AR454
• Lightweight cable type KTTP
Description: Approval Reference AR452
Sealed lapped tape, tin plated construction.
• PTFE insulated 200°C cable type
Description: Approval Reference AR413
KZ0405, EF2219 and KZ0607 (Equipment wire)
• KPF 260 type, 260°C, 600V to spec FX0502
Description: Approval Reference AR321
• Aluminium alloy conductor cable to spec SP545 for Airframe use
Description: Approval Reference AR283
• Efglas type (600V, 260°C) - BSG222
Nickel plated copper + PTFE tapes, glass fibre tape and glass fibre braid coated
with PTFE insulation.
Size: 0000 - 10 AWG: Approval Reference AR648
12 -22 AWG: Approval Reference AR649
11.7.5 Kabelwerke Reinshagen Gmbh

• Types R200, R201 and R202

Description: Approval Reference E13203
PTFE insulated wires
• Types R197, R198 and R199
Description: Approval Reference E13202
PTFE insulated wires
• Types R195 and R196
Description: Approval Reference E13201
PTFE insulated wires
• Type No. R151YU
Description: Approval Reference E12806
Aluminium conductor, insulated FEP-coated polyimide film and braid

11.7.6 Huber and Suhner AG

• Huber and Suhner AG (80144 series)

Description: Approval Reference E14011
The cables are available in types 01 (interconnect) and 02 (airframe) and
consists of silver plated high strength copper alloy stranded conductors. The
conductors are insulated with extruded radiation cross linked polyolefin and
sheathed with extruded radiation cross linked modified polyvinylidene - fluoride of
thickness individually defined for each type.
Temperature range: 75°C to +120°C
The following is a list of obsolescent cables, i.e. cables only acceptable for
maintenance purposes on aircraft originally wired with such cable types and
unsuitable for new designs.

11.8.1 B.I.C.C

• Minyvin (DDP H/TECH/P197) E7998

• Nyvin (DDP H/TECH/P108) E7996
• Minyvin, Duminyvin, Triminyvin and Minyvinmetsheath E9178
• Minyvin and Minyvinmetsheath (DDP H/TECH/P110) E8691
• Duminyvinmetsheath and Triminyvinmetsheath E8238
• Metric Minyvin cables (DDP H/TECH/P119 and P120) E11566
• Nyvin (DDP H/TECH/P103) E6379
• Tersilsheath (DDP WGC/L/W/666) E6411
• Uninyvinlarge (DDP H/TECH/P104) E6418
• Minyvin (DDP H/TECH/P100) E4273
• Flexyvin (DDP H/TECH/P101) E4289
• Cables to spec ECM55 (AKB) E12304
• Cables to spec ECM17 E13284
• Cables to spec ECM49 KPSN (KP135) E12279

11.8.2 Fothergill and Harvey Limited

• Cable to spec 'FHK 254’ E12374

11.8.3 Rists Wire and Cables Ltd

• Flexvin (DDP No.13) E6641

• inyvin (DDP No.15) E8308

11.8.4 Societe Filotex

• PAN 6423 and 6425 (KTCL) AR194

11.8.5 Fileca

• Types AMO2, AMO4 and AMO6 AR230

• Types FAMH02, FAMH04 and FAMH06 AR412
These marks are purely for identification purposes. New applications for marks
should be made to the British Standards Institution, 2 Park Street, London, W1A
2BS. Use of the committee reference ACE 6 will assist BSI in dealing with the
correspondence connected with this list.


AEI Cables Ltd AA
WL Gore and Associates (UK) Ltd. AB
British Insulated Callenders Cables Ltd. BB
Pirelli General Cable Works Ltd. CC
Reliance Cords and Cables Ltd. DD
Rist’s Ltd. EE
Delta Enfield Cables Ltd FF
Huber and Suhner AG GG
The Concordia Electric Wire and Cable Co Ltd. HH
Davu Wires and Cables Ltd. KK
Duratube and Wire Ltd. LL
Ripaults Ltd. NN
London Electric Wire Co. and Smith’s Ltd. PP
Permanoid Ltd. QQ
Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd. RR
Raychem Ltd. SS
Stirlin Cable Co. Ltd. TT
Fothergill and Harvey Ltd, Tygadure Division. UU
Vactite Wire Co. Ltd. VV
Connollys (Blackley) Ltd. WW
Brand Rex Ltd. XX
Crompton Parkinson YY
Telephone Cables Ltd. ZZ


United Kingdon GBX
Switzerland CHX
France F
Aircraft cables are normally marked with a combination of letters and numbers to
provide the necessary information to identify the cable, the circuit to which it
belongs, the cable size, and any additional information necessary to relate it to a
circuit diagram or routing chart. Such a code is usually either of the aircraft
manufacturer’s own specification or one devised by the Air Transport Association
of America under Specification 100 (ATA 100) which has been accepted as a
The ATA 100 Specification basic coding of a six position combination of letters
and numbers, which are printed on the outer covering of the cable. The
identification code is normally printed at specified intervals along the length of the
cable. Where printing is not practical the code is printed on non-metallic sleeves
and positioned along the cable length.


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

1 E F 6 B 22 NMS V
Suffix Data
Cable Size
Cable Segment Letter
Cable Number
Cct. Designation Letter
Cct. Function Letter
Unit Number

Position 1 - Unit number, used where components have identical circuits.

Position 2 - Circuit function letter and circuit designation letter which
indicates circuit function and the associated system.
A Not Used N Not Used
B Not Used O Not Used
C Control Surfaces P DC Power Supplies & Control
Instruments other than
D Q Fuel
Flight, Engine & Control
E Engine Instruments R Radio
F Flight Instruments S Radar
G Landing Gear T Special Electronics
AC Systems Pressurisation
H U Not Used
& Anti-icing
DC Power & DC Control of
I Not Used V
AC generator systems
Engine Starting & CSD
J W Warning
K Engine & APU Controls X AC Power Supplies
L Lighting Y Not Used
M Miscellaneous Z Not Used

Position 3 - Cable number, allocated to differentiate between cables which

do not have a common terminal in the same circuit. Generally,
contacts of switches, relays, etc.., are not classified as common
terminals. Beginning with the number one, a different number
is given to each cable.
Position 4 - Cable segment letter, which identifies the segment of cable
between two terminals or connections, and differentiates
between segments of the circuit when the same cable number
is used throughout. Segments are lettered in alphabetical
sequence, excluding the letter I and O. A different letter is used
for each of the cable segments having a common terminal or
Position 5 - Cable size.
Position 6 - Suffix data, used to indicate the type of cable and to identify its
connection function. For example, in the example code NMS V
indicates nyvinmetsheath ungrounded cable in a single-phase

N Earth AL Alumel CN Constantan

V Single Phase ac CH Chromel EC Nickel/Copper
A/B/C Three Phase ac CU Copper

NOTE: Full details of the cable coding system will be found in the Maintenance
Manual or Wiring Diagram Manual for the relevant aircraft.

Shown below is an example of ATA 100 Specification coding.

Aircraft electrical cables are normally marked with an identification code as
shown in the following examples:
• Period 1963 to Mid 1970’s:

Nyvin 22 B B
Year of Manufacture Code Letter
Manufacturer’s Code Letter
Cable Size
Cable Type Name

• Period Mid 1970’s to 31st December 1978:

Minyvin G XX X 22
Cable Size
Year of Manufacture Code Letter
Manufacturer’s Code Letter
Country of Origin
Cable Type Name

• With effect from 1st January 1979 the country of origin code for Great Britain
was changed from G to Gbx, although the rest of the code remained
Blank Page
Cable installations in aircraft must be protected from the effects of abrasion,
mechanical strain, excessive heat and all aircraft fluids. The looms should, where
possible, be routed away from such sources of damage. In areas where
avoidance is not possible other steps need to be taken.


The cabling must be adequately supported throughout its length, and a sufficient
number of cable clamps must be provided for each run of cable to ensure that the
unsupported lengths will not vibrate unduly, leading to fracture of the conductors
or failure of the insulation or covering.
Bends in cable groups or bundles should not be less than 8 times the outside
diameter of the cable group or bundle , however, at terminal blocks, where the
cable is suitably supported at each end of the bend, a minimum radius of 3 times
the outside diameter of the cable , or cable bundle, is normally accepted.
Cables must be fitted and clamped so that no tension will be applied in any
circumstances of flight, adjustment or maintenance, and so that loops or
slackness will not occur in any position where the cables might be caught and
strained by normal movement of person or controls in the aircraft, or during
normal flying, maintenance or adjustment.
Where it is necessary for cable to flex in normal use, the amount and disposition
of slack must be strictly controlled so that the cable is not stressed in the
extended position, and that the slack will not be fouled chafed, kinked or caught
on any projection during movement in either direction.
Cables should normally be supported independently of, and with maximum
practicable separation from all fluid and gas carrying pipelines. To prevent
contamination or saturation of the cables in the event of leakage, cables should
be routed above rather than below liquid carrying pipelines.
Cables should not be attached to, or allowed to rub against, pipelines containing
flammable fluids or gases.

Lacing is no longer commonly used on aircraft looms, however it is still widely
used within equipment’s. The lacing cord used on aircraft looms was generally
1mm diameter pvc covered nylon cord. Inside electrical equipment, the cord used
is generally thin waxed linen or flax tape, as these are less prone to slipping.
Starting. The two methods commonly used to start lacing are a whipped start
and a knotted start.
Whipped start. Hold one end of the cord on the cable and wrap about 4 turns
tightly around the cable and over the cord. See diagram. When the end is well
secured, whip a further eight turns and make a lock stitch. The whipping can be
continued for any distance required to provide protection against chafing.
Knotted start. Make a clove hitch around the cable and secure the ends with a
reef knot. Make a lock stitch and finish normally.
Lacing is achieved using a running stitch pressed tightly against the cable loom
by means of locking knots or locking stitches formed at regular intervals along the
loom. The running stitches should be kept in line, parallel to the wires in the cable
Finishing. To terminate the lacing, wrap the cord four times around the loom,
tight against the last lock stitch. Using a separate piece of cord, form a loop and
lay it along the loom. Wrap eight turns over the loop and pass the end of the
running cord through the loop. Pull the loop out by its free ends, thus locking the
cord under the last eight turns. Cut off any excess cord.
Branching. If only one wire branches from a loom, it should be branched out at
a lock stitch without any variation in the lacing. If a group of wires leave the loom
at the same point, they should be laced together. At the required branching
point, make a lock stitch, wrap six turns closely together and make another lock
stitch. This whipping takes any sideways forces without straining the main lacing
or separating the wires of the loom. Form the wires into the required branch
loom, using a knotted start where it leaves the main loom.


When looms pass over, or through parts of the airframe, around pieces of
equipment, or through fluid contaminated areas, the wiring must be protected.
The type of protection used depends on circumstances and what is permitted in
the maintenance manual.


A wide range of synthetic rubber insulating sleeves is available. They are used as
cable markers and to support and insulate a cable at its point of entry into a plug
or termination. They are fitted using special three pronged pliers commonly
referred to as 'Hellerman' pliers. There are three sizes of pliers to cover the range
of sleeves available. A lubricant called 'Hellerine' oil is also available to assist in
getting the sleeve over the cable or termination to be protected. Fitting Process

• Lubricate the prongs of the Hellerman pliers with a small quantity of

Hellerine oil.
• Slip the sleeve over the prongs of the pliers.
• Compress the handles of the pliers to expand the sleeve. Do no expand the
sleeve in excess of 300% or it will split.
• Place the expanded sleeve in position over the cable.
• Release the handles and withdraw the pliers.
• Ensure the sleeve is in the correct position.
• Remove any lubricant from the cable, sleeve and pliers.


This type of sleeving is referred to as Thermofit tubing. It is made from extruded
insulating material which has been subjected to nuclear radiation during
manufacture. The application of hot air causes the tube to shrink to a pre-
determined size without any appreciable loss of length. In its expanded form, in
which it is supplied, the tubes are easily slipped over the terminal, cables or
irregularly shaped objects. On shrinking the material forms a tight mechanical
bond over the item it was placed.
To obtain the correct fit, the material selected should have a recovered size
(shrunk) slightly less than the smallest item to be insulated. A range of moulded
parts such as 'Y' and 'T' junctions and 'boots' for connectors is also available.
The sleeving is shrunk using a Thermo Gun or Thermo Pistol. Thermo Gun
The Thermo Gun is one device used for heat shrinking. It is mains operated and
is specially designed for the shrinkage of Thermofit products. It produces hot air
feed through a range of deflector shields. It is ideal for workshop loom
manufacture, however, due to the exposed heating elements and motor, the
Thermo Gun is not suitable for aircraft use. For aircraft applications Thermofit
products should be shrunk with a Thermo Pistol. Thermo Pistol

This device uses an air supply obtained from a special air regulator control box.
A pressure switch in this regulator cuts out the heating element if air pressure
falls. The heating elements is of the totally enclosed type and is mains operated.
A range of heat deflector shields is again available.

Efwrap and Spywrap are forms of extensible wrapping that can be wound around
looms without having to disconnect the cables. It comes in a variety of sizes, to
provide protection for single cables or looms. When applied, the wrapping needs
to be held in place at either end by cable ties.


Rubber beading and grommets are used on parts of the airframe to prevent
chafing of cables or looms that may come into contact with the airframe.

Conduits are generally used for conveying cables where there is the possibility of
exposure to oil, hydraulic fluid or other fluid. Cables may take the form of plastic,
flexible metal or rigid metal sheaths. Where shielding against signal interference
is necessary the cables are conveyed by metal conduits in contact with metal
parts of the aircraft structure to ensure good bonding.


In pressurised aircraft it is essential for many cables to pass through pressure
bulkheads without a break in them an without causing leakage of cabin pressure.
This is accomplished by sealing the necessary apertures with either pressure
bungs or pressure proof plugs and sockets. A pressure bung comprises a
housing, perforated synthetic rubber bung, anti-frictional washer and knurled
clamping nuts; the housing is flanged and threaded, having a tapered bore to
accept the bung. The holes in the bung vary in size to accommodate cables of
various diameters, each hole being sealed by a thin covering of synthetic rubber
at the smaller diameter end of the bung. The covering is pierced by a special tool
when loading the bung with cables.
The cables are a tight fit in the holes of the bung which, when fully loaded and
forced into the housing by the clamping nut, is compressed tightly into the
housing around the cables. The anti-friction washer prevents damage to the face
of the bung when the clamping nut is turned. On assembly, holes not occupied
by cables are plunged with plastic plugs.
In instances where cables 'breaks' are required at a pressure bulkhead, the
cables at each side of the bulkhead are terminated by specially-sealed plug or
socket assemblies of a type similar to those shown in the diagram below.
All aircraft cables must be terminated at both ends. The terminations required
will depend on the installation specification. Up to the late 1950's aircraft cables
were largely soldered. Since that time the main method of terminating cables
has been by 'crimping', with soldering being retained for use inside equipment's.


A crimped connection is one in which a cable conductor is secured by
compression to a termination so that the metals of both are held together in close
contact. A typical crimp termination has two principal sections, crimping barrel
and tongue, together with, in some types, a pre-insulated copper sleeve which
mates with the crimping barrel at one end and is formed, during the crimping
process, so as to grip the cable insulation at the other in order to give a measure
of support.
The barrel is designed to fit closely around the cable conductor so that after
pressure has been applied a large number of points of contact are made. The
pressure is applied with a hand or hydraulically operated tool fitted with a die or
dies, shaped to give a particular cross-sectional form to the completed joint.
The precise form of the crimp is determined by such as the size and construction
of the conductor, the materials, and the dimensions of the termination. It is,
therefore, most important that only the correct type of die and crimping tool
should be used, and that all necessary calibration checks have been carried out
on the tool.
There are several advantages of crimping. They can be listed as follows:
• Does not degrade the cable as other joining methods e.g. soldering.
• Reduces the problems of corrosion and oxidisation.
• Gives a standard level of quality each time.
• Reduces the time of connection i.e. has a greater ease of production.
• Provides a simpler approach to repetition.
• Simpler to inspect.
Crimped terminations today are supplied by various manufactures. The range of
crimps they supply is extensive. Reference should always be made to the
installation requirements. The majority of terminations are usually either Ring,
Tag, Spade, Ferrules or Pins and sockets. The pins and sockets are for use with
connecting plugs and sockets whilst the other terminations are used with
terminal blocks.


The principle terminations for cables rated at 35 amp and below is a pre-
insulated connector known as the 'Pre-insulated Diamond Grip' (P.I.D.G.),
manufactured by Aircraft Marine Products (AMP).
An earlier uninsulated form of this crimp type was known as the 'Diamond Grip',
but this is rarely seen nowadays.
The use of the AMP P.I.D.G. type termination far outweighs all other AMP
terminations. It is also one of the most common forms of ring or tag type
terminations in use on aircraft.
Pre-Insulated Ring Tag and Spade Connectors
Pre-insulated ring tags and spade terminations comprise a cable receiving barrel
and tongue, these both being made of tin plated copper. A copper sleeve is
pressed over the barrel which in turn is covered by a plastic sleeve. One end of
the insulated sleeve overlaps the barrel. During the crimping operation this
portion is compressed over the cable insulation in order to provide support to the

The insulation on each PIDG connector is coloured Red, Yellow, Black or Blue.
The colour of each connector is related to and is an indication of the size of the
appropriate crimping tool. These in turn may be recognised by similar coloured
handles. The tool size is stamped on the tongues of each connector. This
marking also indicates the cable sizes for which it is suitable.
The size of the connector tongues are varied and as such may be attached to
terminal studs and screws in the B.S.F., B.A., Unified and Metric ranges.
Pre-Insulated In-Line Connectors
In-line connectors comprise a two way receiving barrel made of tin plated copper.
A copper sleeve is pressed over and overlaps each end of the barrel. During the
crimping operation this portion is compressed over the cable insulated in order to
provide support. The whole of the connector is covered by a hard plastic sleeve.
This has an indentation midway along its length so as to provide a means of
locating the connector in the crimping tool. The sleeve is again coloured for the
purpose of identifying the appropriate crimping tool. AMP crimping tools

There are three different sets of AMP PIDG type crimping tools, however, the
basic design and operation of each set of tools is the same, so the earliest
version will be used for the tool description.
The tools have two sets of crimping jaws. A set of barrel crimping jaws which
are preset and not adjustable, these crimp the conductor inside the conductor
receiving barrel of the connector. The second set are the insulation gripping
jaws which are adjustable by means of adjusting pins (2 pins in the older style
tools, 1 pin in the newer style tools), these jaws crimp the connector to the wire
insulation, forming a cable support. The adjusting pins can be put in one of three
positions. Position 1 sets the jaws to the smallest opening for thin insulation,
position 3 sets the jaws to their largest opening for thick insulation.

The handles are colour coded to match the colour of the insulation on the
appropriate size connectors (crimps). On the newer tools the two handles have
two different colours, one to match the colour of the insulation on the high
temperature connectors, the other to match the colour of the insulation on the low
temperature connectors. The handles also incorporate a certi-crimp ratchet. This
is to ensure completion of the crimping operation.
It should be noted that, once the handles start to close, they must be fully closed
before the tool can be opened again and any work removed. Terminating a cable with an AMP termination

The double action hand tools have three insulation adjustments. Firstly it is
necessary to determine which insulation crimping adjustment is needed for
the cable being used. The crimping operation must crimp the insulation as well
as the cable.
Proceed as follows.
2. Place both Insulation Crimping Adjustment pins in the No.3 position.
3. Place terminal or connector in crimping jaws of correct tool (wire size range is
stamped on the tool) so that the terminal barrel tests against the locator.
Squeeze handle until the terminal or connector is held lightly in place.
4. Insert unstripped wire into only the insulation
grip portion of terminal or connector sleeve.
5. Crimp the terminal or connector.
6. After crimp is made, check the insulation support
as follows; Hold on to the terminal or connector
and bend the wire back and forth once. The
terminal or connector sleeve should retain its
grip on the insulation of the cable.
7. If the wire pulls out, set both Insulation
adjustment pins to the No. 2 position and repeat
8. If the wire pulls out, set both Insulation adjustment pins to the No. 1 position
and repeat test.
9. If the wire still pulls out, something is wrong i.e. incorrect or worn tool.
Removing the cable insulation
Having determined the correct setting for the insulation gripping jaws, the wire
can now be stripped for the crimping operation. When stripping the wire the
insulation should be stripped back until the:
Stripped Length = Barrel length of terminal or connector + 1/32 inch
or Barrel length of terminal or connector + 0⋅ 6mm
Wire stripping should be completed using stripmaster (or equivalent) semi-
automatic wire strippers fitted with the appropriate set of jaws. Jaws designed for
the new thinwall cables can be used on cables with conventional insulation,
however the converse is not true, jaws designed for conventional insulation
must not be used on thin wall cables, they will damage the conductors.
Having stripped the insulation from a cable, it should be inspected to ensure that
E. correct number of strands remain
F. strands are not damaged
G. insulation is cleanly cut
Under no circumstances should cables be stripped using manually
adjusted stripping pliers.
Crimping the termination onto the cable
The procedure for crimping the terminals or connectors is as follows:
10. Open crimping jaws by squeezing handles of crimping tool until the ratchet
releases. Handles will now open automatically.
11. Place terminal in crimping jaws so that the terminal tongue goes under the
locator and terminal barrel rests against locator.
12. Squeeze handles until terminal is held lightly in place. Do not deform
terminal. Note that once the ratchet is engaged, the handles cannot be
13. Insert stripped wire into terminal barrel.
14. Hold wire in position and complete crimp by squeezing handles until the
ratchet releases.
15. If the terminal referred to above were an in-line connector then to crimp the
other half of the connector, it should be removed, repositioned and the
process repeated. If the connector cannot be turned, turn the crimping tool
over and repeat the process.
16. Remove the work from the crimping tool and inspect the termination, looking
A. Deformity of the termination
B. Sharp edges on the terminal insulation
C. Correct formation of the dot code
D. Correct positioning of the crimp
E. Conductors protruding correct length from barrel
F. Correct number of strands visible in conductor
DO NOT bend the wire or attempt to pull it from the termination Dot Coding
The handles of the crimping tools are colour coded to indicate the correct PIDG
terminals to be used. When crimped, the process leaves a 'Dot' code on the
insulation barrel to indicate whether the correct crimping tool has been used for
that connector. The 'Dot' code enables an inspector to confirm that the correct
tool has been used, it is not intended as a means of checking for the person
completing the crimping operation.
The table below sets out the relationship of AWG, the AMP PIDG terminals and
the Dot coding for the earliest set of tools:

AWG Wire Size Colour Identity of Dot Coding

P.I.D.G. Terminals
26 - 22 Small Yellow One dot
22 - 16 Red One dot 2 lines
16 - 14 Blue Two dots 2 lines
12 - 10 Large Yellow One dot 2 lines
26 - 22 (Minyvin) Black Two dots
For crimping thinwall or lightweight cables e.g. Kapton KP or Raychem 55 a later,
similar set of tools are used. These have smaller insulation crimping dimensions.
These tools are also identified by a colour code and the table below sets out the
same relationships of AWG wire PIDG terminals and Dot coding:

Wire Size Dot Code Handle Colour Terminal Colour

a.w.g. Code
High Temp. Low Temp.
24 & 22 2 dots 1 Black 1 Brown Brown Black
20 1 dot 1 Grey 1 Purple Grey or Purple* Purple with
Black stripe
18 2 dots 1 Orange 1 Black Orange Orange with
Black stripe
16 1 dot Both Orange Orange Orange with
Black stripe
14 2 dots 1 White 1 Black White White with
Black stripe
12 1 dot Both White White White with
Black stripe
10 1 dot Both Black Black ---------------
* Depends on model of tool used. Insulation Resisting
AMP introduced the latest series of Insulation Resisting P.I.D.G. (TM) Terminals
in about 1987. These are designed to be used with the newer thinwall cables
that are now extensively used e.g. Raychem 55, BMS 13-51 which is a Boeing
cable. The terminals are characterised by the inclusion of coloured stripes on a
clear pink or blue insulation. The coloured stripe provides an indication of the
size of the crimp in relation to the AWG size of the cable. There are normally
three stripes on each termination insulation. The table below gives the AWG
size, colour and dot code for this new range of terminals. Engineers must ensure
that the correct range of crimps are used for the appropriate cables designated
for use.

AWG Wire Size Tool Handle & Crimping

Wire Size Colour Insul. Sleeve Dot Code
Stripes colour
26 Black Yellow 1 Dot
24 Blue Yellow 1 Dot
22 Green Red 1 Dot
20 Red Red 1 Dot
18 White Red 1 Dot
16 Blue Blue 2 Dots
14 Green Blue 2 Dots
12 Yellow Yellow 1 Dot
10 Brown Yellow 1 Dot Maintenance of AMP crimping tools

In order to ensure that the crimping tool is functioning correctly, one percent of
each batch of crimped terminations with a minimum of 2 specimens are
subjected to Tensile and Millivolt drop tests in accordance with the manufacturers
instructions. A specimen table shown below.
Conductor Equiv AN AMP Colour of AMP Tool Test MV Tensile
Stranding Cable size Device Insulation Current Drop Strength
size Amps Max Lbs. Min
19/⋅ 006 22 Mini 22 BLACK 575091 11 8 14
19/⋅ 0076 20 22-16 RED 14 7 19
33/⋅ 0076 18 22-16 RED 18 7 32
40/⋅ 0076 16 22-16 RED 21 7 38
40/⋅ 0076 16 16-14 BLUE 21 7 38
70/⋅ 0076 14 16-14 BLUE 31 6 57

If any of the test specimens fail to pass the performance requirements, all the
terminations made with the crimping tool must be quarantined and individually
inspected. The crimping tool must then be removed from service and the die
dimensions checked using a 'GO/NO-GO' gauge to ensure they fall within the
limits specified by the manufacturer. A specimen table is shown below.
Tool No. A-MP Device Size 'A' Dimension 'G' Dimension
Go No Go Go No Go
47386 22 - 16 PIDG 109 115 035 055
47387 16 - 14 PIDG 120 126 045 065
When measuring the 'G' dimension, the insulation crimping adjustment pins
should be in position No. The tool must be closed before inserting the gauge.

The tool must be withdrawn from use if it fails to meet any of the above
Crimping tools in regular service should be inspected every three months or 1000
crimping operations, whichever comes sooner, to ensure they are in good
working order and that the dies are undamaged and are free of foreign matter. Inline crimping

The procedure for crimping "inline crimps" or "butt splices" is basically the same
as that used for tags or connectors. If the connector cannot be turned over to
complete the second crimping operation, then the tool must be turned over, this
may take some practice.
When using inline crimps certain points should be noted:
• Each barrel must carry only one cable unless specifically permitted by the
airworthiness authority.
• The crimp must be fitted horizontally or positioned so that ingress of moisture
is not possible.
• Additional sleeving is not permitted to achieve the above.
• Ensure operating temperatures not exceeded.
• Specific approval must be obtained from the appropriate airworthiness
authority before using in:
• Screened cables
• Co-axial cables
• Multi cored cables
• Cables greater than size 10
• Thermocouple cables
• HV cables (above 250V rms)
• Fire resistance cables in protective zones
• Totally enclosed cables, that cannot be inspected
• Use of inline is currently restricted to size 10 (35A) or smaller.
• Low temperature connectors must not be crimped on size 12 or larger
• Repair schemes are restricted to:
• Minimum distance between joints in one cable is 2ft.
• No more than 2 joints permitted in 10ft.
• Maximum joints; runs of 20ft - 3, runs of 200ft - 5, runs over 200ft - 8.
• On installation wherever possible observe the following:
• All joints must be accessible for visual inspection.
• Joints should be positioned so as not to touch:
• One another
• Ducting
• Straps
• Other features
• Joints must if possible be positioned on outside of loom.
• All fixing attachments must be approved.
• Joints must be staggered. If this is not possible then positive
separation must be carried out using insulation or cable clips.


Whilst hand tools such as the AMP PIDG are suitable for most smaller size
cables, they are of no use for terminating larger cables. For terminating larger
cables, un-insulated ring tags are used in conjunction with a special hydraulic
crimping tool. The tool incorporates a hydraulic ram and hand pump and comes
with range of interchangeable crimping dies, a bleed hose and two Allen Keys.
The die set comprises matching upper and lower die sets coded hg to hn for
cable sizes a.w.g. 6 to a.w.g. 0000. These are fitted into the crimping tool using
the Allen keys provide. Care must be taken to ensure matched dies are fitted into
the tool.

The tool is used in much the same manner as any other crimping tool, with the
exception that the pump has to be operated several times before the crimping
operation is complete. When the correct pressure is attained a ratchet operates
preventing any further increase in pressure.
Once the crimping operation has been completed, the pressure is released by
operating a pressure relief valve on the side of the tool. When the pressure is
released the jaws open and the crimped cable can be removed for inspection.
Modern plug and socket connections have removable insert pins or sockets
made to American Wire Gauge specifications. Again, various systems are in
use, and it is not possible to cover them all on the course. One typical system in
common use employs the AF 8 crimping tool, and it is this system that will be
examined in these notes. Again, students are expected to make themselves
conversant with other systems and their associated tooling. AF8 Crimping tool

This tool will normally be supplied with a changeable turret and is used with a
selection of pin and socket type inserts.
Basic tool M22520/1-01
Turret head TH-1 or 1A.M22520/1-02
Crimping tool test gauges G125 or M22520/3-1
Both tool handles and turret head body are coloured blue.
M22520/1-01 refers to the basic tool, without the turret and is designed for size
12 up to 22 contacts using 12 - 26 AWG cable.
As with the AMP tools, the AF8 tool has a double acting ratchet and cannot be
opened without completing the crimping operation.
Eight indentor closures are provided, choice is by selector knob. AF8 Crimping Procedure

Setting up tool for operation
Tool must be in open position.
Installation of turret heat assembly:
17. Press trigger to release turret to indexing
18. Position turret head onto retainer ring in
19. With turret head properly seated against
retainer ring, tighten socket head screws,
using 9/64 in. Allen key. The turret should
index without binding.
Indexing the turret:
20. Press trigger so that indexing turret pops out to indexing position.
30. Selector positioner, refer to colour code date plate on side of turret head for
colour of correct positioner.
31. Rotate turret until colour position is in line with index mark on top of turret
32. Press in turret until it snaps into locked position.
Setting the Indenter Closure Selector:
21. Refer to the data plate on the turret head assembly. Below the wire size and
opposite the contact size is listed the correct indenter closure number.
22. Remove the spring clip lock from the selector knob.
23. Tool must be in the open position when using the selector.
24. Raise selector knob and rotate to desired selector number.
25. Replace the spring clip, and the tool is ready for use.
Repeat above procedures when changing contact and / or wire size
Crimping procedure
Assuming the tool has been set correctly and that the correct termination has
been selected.
26. Strip the cable insulation so that when the conductors are inserted into the
termination, the insulation is 1/64" - 1/32" from the bucket of the termination.
Ensure conductor is visible in inspection hole of termination.
27. Insert contact and prepared cable through the indenter opening into the turret
28. Squeeze handles together until ratchet releases. Allow handle to return to
the open position then remove crimped contact and cable.
29. Inspect crimp for correct formation, and again ensure cable is visible in
inspection hole.


Cables which have a braided outer conductor or screen, such as metsheath are
often used in audio applications. In order to connect this outer conductor, the
screen, to a terminal block, connector or another screen a 'tail' or 'fly-lead' is
used. There are three principal ways of connecting the tail to the screen, these
• Whipping with tinned copper wire
• Using mechanical crimping procedures
• Using a heat shrink solder sleeve Whipping
This method is rarely used today. It calls for a high degree of engineering skill.
The tail is whipped onto the screen or braid of the cable using thin tinned copper
wire. After whipping the wire is soldered. Unless utmost care is exercised,
damage to the insulation of the cable is inevitable. Heat Shrinkable Solder Sleeve

This method employs the use of special sleeves that contain two bands of
sealant and a central band of solder. The sleeve is placed over the screen and
stripped end of the fly-lead. Heat is applied using a Thermo Gun or Thermo
Pistol which shrinks the sleeve and melts the adhesive and solder. Again, utmost
care must be exercised if the conductor insulation is not to be damaged. Mechanical Crimping Procedures
A variety of mechanical crimping systems are available for the application of tails.
The Thomas and Betts system has been used as an example in these notes.
Installing the dies in the WT740 tool:
• Insert the stem of upper die into the tool frame.

• Insert the separation spring of the lower die into the upper die opening. Push
up firmly and insert the lower die stem into the hole in the ram.

Installing the connector on shielded cable:

• Insert the connector, with the ground trap facing up, into the nest area of the
die. Be sure to centre the connect.
• Place the ground wire into the ground trap and the shielded cable into the
bottom of the connector. Be sure to butt the cable jacket and ground wire
insulation against the metal connector edge. The ground wire can exit from
either direction.
• Squeeze the tool handles to form the connector around the shield.
• Caution: Be sure that neither the cable outer jacket nor the ground wire
insulation is under the metal portion of the connector. This will overload the
Matching the connector and die to the cable:
• Measure the diameter of the cable shield using a calibrated measuring tool.
Rotate the cable in order to locate the maximum shield diameter. Exert only
light pressure on the cable to get an accurate measurement.

• For twisted pair and other non-symmetrical shielded cables, measure the
dimension of the major axis or the largest width of the cable.
• Use the "Diameter of Shield"
column in the table below to
match the measurement to the
correct connector and
installing die.
Connector Die Cat Ground Wire Die Gage Cat.
Diameter of
Cat. No. . No Range No.
& Code
(1.27 - 1.78 mm.) 1 OR 2
RSK101 101A 101AG
050 - 070 in. *24 AWG STR
(1.80 - 2.26 mm.) OR 1
101RSK 101B 101BG
071 - 089 in. *22 AWG STR
(2.29 - 2.54 mm.)
090 - 100 in. 201C 201CG
(2.56 - 300 mm.) 1 OR 2
RSK201 201D 201DG
101 - 118 in. *22 AWG STR
(3.022 - 3.33 mm.) OR 1
201RSK 201E 201EG
119 - 131 in. *20 AWG STR
(3.35 - 3.63 mm.)
132 - 143 in. 201F 201FG
(3.66 - 4.11 mm.)
144 - 162 in. 301G 1 OR 2 301GG
(4.14 - 4.70 mm.) *22 AWG STR
163 - 185 in. OR 1 OR 2
(4.72 - 5.10 mm.) *20 AWG STR
186 - 201 in. 301J 301JG
(5.13 - 5.84 mm.)
202 - 230 in. 401K 401KG
(5.87 - 6.35 mm.) 1 OR 2
RSK401 401L 401LG
231 - 250 in. *20 AWG STR
(6.37 - 6.98 mm.) OR 1
401RSK 401M 401MG
251 - 275 in. *18 AWG STR
(7.01 - 7.62 mm.)
276 - 300 in. 401N 401NG

Cable preparation:
Note: These connectors should not be used
with multi-conductor shielded cables whose
conductors are solid or stranded bonded wire.
• Remove the cable jacket as required and
prepare the shield as shown in the standard
method illustration.
• Caution: During all stripping operations, use
extreme care to prevent nicking or cutting of
the shield or inner conductor insulation. This
could result in short circuits.
• When the cable inner conductor insulation is
vinyl of .015 in. or less thickness or Teflon or
0.10 in. or less thickness, use foldback
method 1 or 2 as illustrated.
• When the shield is foil or is spiral wrapped,
use foldback method 2.
• When using either foldback method, be sure
to measure the diameter of the shield after it
is folded back. Refer to the table for proper
die selection.
• Ground wire preparation:
• For a single ground wire, strip the wire 7/16 in.
(11 mm) and twist the strands together.
• For two ground wires, strip each wire 1/2 in.
(12 mm) and twist the two wires together.
• If hairpinning (hooking) the ground wire is
desired, strip the wire 1/2 in. (12 mm) and
bend it as shown. Use one die size larger.
• Caution: Do not solder dip the ground wire ends.
• Caution: Do not use solid ground wire.

Gaging the dies:

• Install the die set into the WT740 tool.
• Close the handles of the tool so that the face of the red insert in the lower die
just touches the face of the upper die. Do not squeeze the tool beyond this

• Select the gage whose catalogue number corresponds to the die catalogue
number and insert it from either side of the die into the slots in the upper and
lower dies as shown.
• If the gage freely enters until the gage shoulder touches the side of the lower
die, the die is worn beyond limits. If the gage will not enter with gentle
pressure up to its shoulder, the dies are within limits and will produce good

Intended Use:
Wrap around connectors have been designed to ground the shield of single or
multiple conductor shielded cables. It is suggested that the customer evaluate
the suitability of these connectors and verify their performance for the particular
Connections inside electronic equipment are normally made by soldered joints.
Due to the increasing reliability of modern components, failure of soldered
connections is causing an increasing proportion of the total equipment failures.
The reliability of a soldered joint depends on the condition of the material to be
joined and on the care and skill of the operator making the joint. Poor joints
caused by surface oxidisation can be virtually eliminated by sealed storage
methods and by careful preparation of the materials immediately prior to
A high level of operator skill can only be maintained by regular repetitive practice
and by meticulous attention to detail when making a joint.


To enable the solder to run freely and to combine with the surfaces to be joined,
the solder and the surfaces must be at the correct temperature. The normal
method of applying heat is with an electrically heated soldering iron. The working
end, or bit, is made from copper because it is a good conductor of heat which
allows the solder to create a tinned working face.
A large number of different types of soldering irons are in service use, and it is
essential that the correct iron is chosen for a specific task.
Mains operated irons. The Antex type G240 is one of a large range of general
purpose mains operated miniature irons. This iron has an 18 watt element which
reaches working temperature in about 90 secs. The bits are interchangeable
with four different sizes being available; 3/32 inch, 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch and 1/4
Low voltage Irons. Several types exist with operating voltages of 6 volts, 12
volts and 24 volts. These irons are used mainly for work on printed circuits
boards and transistorised equipment and operate from the mains through
electrostatically screened isolating transformers.
Heavy duty irons. Solon 983/984 are two commonly used heavy duty irons.
These irons have either 65 watt or 240 watt elements and have an oval shape bit.
They are designed for heavy duty soldering tasks and must not be used for
printed circuit or other transistorised work.

Temperature controlled irons. Soldering irons used in micro-miniature work

should be temperature controlled where the bit temperature is monitored and
maintained stable within specified tolerances. Servo controlled or Curie effect
irons meet this requirement.
Solder pots. For certain soldering operations, e.g. tinning the ends of jumper
leads, the use of a bench mounted solder pots is recommended. A typical pot
consists of an electrically heated crucible and a tube which is tapered so that the
end of a lead inserted into it is guided down and dipped into the molten solder. In
some case a thermostat control and thermometer are incorporated.
Bits. These are generally detachable and designed in a variety of shapes and
sizes to enable selection of the best suited for the job. Bits are manufactured
from high grade copper and may be unplated, or plated with an iron coating
called ferroclad. The shanks are normally chromium plated to protect against
corrosion, to prevent feed-back of solder, and to facilitate removal and
replacement. Unplated bits require frequent dressing with a file on account of
wear, this results variations in heat retention capabilities. Ferroclad (Iron clad)
bits wear less rapidly and are therefore recommended. Ferroclad bits must not
be cleaned with a file, use a damp sponge. Care & maintenance of irons

When properly used a soldering iron has a long life. The following hints will help
to achieve this.
• The bit must be kept clean and tinned at all times.
• Any oxides that form on the bit should be removed immediately and should
be retinned immediately.
• Do not overheat, it causes the bit to pit and oxidise. To prevent this the iron
should be switched off when not in use, alternatively, place on a heat sink
between jobs.
• Ensure the leads are not frayed or damaged. If so they can kill, also ensure
that a hot iron does not come into contact with the mains lead as a fire or
worse can result.

13.2.2 SOLDER
Soft solder is an alloy of tin and lead. It is melted and allowed to flow between
the surfaces to be joined. A fused joint is formed by an alloying action between
the solder and the metal surfaces. The joint produced is not very strong
mechanically but is a good conductor of electricity. The lack of strength in a
solder joint means that a good mechanical joint must be formed prior to
The most suitable solder for electrical work contains 60% tin and 40% lead,
melting at 190ºC. Some solders contain small amounts of antimony or copper
and melt between 190ºC and 240ºC. The soft solder normally used for electrical
work as supplied at 22 SWG, flux-cored wire.
Soldered joints can only be used at temperatures below 150ºC.

13.2.3 FLUX
Soft solder cannot alloy with a metal if there is any barrier such as oil, grease or
oxide present at the joint surfaces. These surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned
and a flux must be used to prevent oxide formation when making the joint. The
flux used for electronic work is a high-grade chemically developed resin. The
residue is not-corrosive, moisture proof and hard. Residue should always be
removed from joints used at high frequencies to prevent its dielectric properties
from affecting the circuit.
Some components e.g. transistors are easily damaged by heat and must be
protected during the soldering operation. Heat sinks are designed to shunt the
heat away from the soldered joint, thereby protecting components. In use the
heat sink is clipped to the wire between the component as near the joint as
possible so that heat is absorbed by the heat sink and does not reach the
component. Heat sinks can also be used where application of heat to, and joint
is likely to melt the solder of adjacent joints.

When soldering leads to miniature connectors, the connectors should be mated

and heat applied for the shortest possible time. The mated connector will act as
a heat sink for the one being soldered and help to prevent damage to the
A thermal shunt can be made by sweating copper bars into the jaws of a
crocodile clip.


Wicking is a term used in connection with the soldering of leads, and it refers to
the seepage of solder along the conductor. Wicking should not be allowed to
extend beneath the insulation covering of a lead and it is therefore recommended
that an anti-wicking tool be used. See diagram below.

The jaws of the tool are of the reverse-spring type, and the shape of the tips
permits gripping of the lead insulation and the exposed part of the lead, so that
during soldering the tips serve as a heat sink.
Good soldering is a skill which can be developed only by repetitive practice. The
basic methods is as follows:
30. Clean and tin the working face of the soldering iron bit. Allow iron, time to
reach the correct working transistorised circuits.
31. The surfaces to be soldered must be clean, bright and free from oxides.
Some cables have a protective wax coating which must be removed with a
suitable solvent.
32. Make a firm mechanical connection and apply heat sinks to protect sensitive
33. Apply the tinned iron to the surfaces to be joined. Apply the flux-cored solder
to the work, not to the iron. If the work is sufficiently hot the solder will readily
melt and run into the joint.
34. When enough solder has been applied the iron should be removed and the
joint allowed to cool naturally. It is important that the solder solidifies before
the surfaces are allowed to move.
35. Remove any surplus flux from the joint and remove the heat sinks.


On completion of a soldering operation, joints should be visually inspected,
paying particular attention to the points below. Where necessary a magnifying
device be used:
• All joints should present a neat, bright and shiny appearance with well formed
solder films or fillets feathering out to a thin edge.
• The quantity of solder should not be excessive. If the contour of the
conductor and joint configuration cannot be seen then there is excessive
• The ends of leads protruding through holes should not extend excessively
from their mounting lands.
• There should be no evidence of flux residue at points of contact, or of pitting
and holes in solder. Joints with such defects should be carefully inspected to
ensure that no movement of the conductor occurs when the joint is probed,
and to determine whether the defects are only surface imperfections.
• There should be no evidence of cold joints as indicated by a dull, chalky or
crystallised flaky surface of the solder.
• There should be no solder spikes.
• Insulated leads should be checked to ensure their insulation is at the
specified distance from the termination and that the insulation is not


All the faults described are the result of careless working methods or lack of skill.
• Dry Joints. This is the name given to a joint when the solder fails to alloy
with the work surfaces. A dry joint usually has a dull rough surface and can
easily be broken by slight pressure with the blade of a screwdriver. It will
cause a high resistance connections possibly intermittent, which may be very
difficult to trace after the equipment has been returned to service. The most
common causes of dry joints are grease, dirt and moving the joint before the
solder has solidified.
• Insulation Damage. The insulation on a wire or component can be damaged
by the application of heat for too long a period. A short circuit can then be
caused by vibration or movement of the exposed conductor which could
result in an equipment fire. The damaged insulation must be replaced or a
suitable insulating sleeve fitted.
• Excessive Solder. The flexibility of a stranded cable can be destroyed by
allowing excess solder to run along the strands from a joint. The rigid end
could fracture under vibration conditions causing an open circuit and total
loss of the circuit function. Excessive solder on the buckets of miniature
connections or the conducting strips of a printed circuit board will reduce the
spacing between adjacent connections and may allow arcing to occur at high
• Spikes. A spike or tail of solder projecting from a joint can be caused by
using an iron which is not at its full working temperature or which has a dirty
bit. These spikes may cause corona discharge to take place at high voltages
and affect the operation of the circuit. In extreme cases the tail may touch an
adjacent connection under vibration conditions and cause a short circuit
• Excess Flux. Flux residue left on or near a joint will act as a dielectric at high
frequencies and may affect the circuit. It can be removed by gentle pressure
with a small screwdriver blade.
13.2.9 DESOLDERING METHODS Wicking Method

This method utilises a length of flux impregnated braid formed to resemble a
lamp wick, which is applied to a solder joint between the solder and the heated
bit of the soldering iron. The combination of heat, molten solder and spaces in
the wick creates a capillary action, which causes the solder to be drawn into the
wick. In the absence of commercially available wicks, lengths of stranded wire
such as bonding straps made be used.

This method should only be used to remove solder from surface joints Solder Suckers

In this method de-soldering is carried out by drawing molten solder from a joint
through a hollow bit. The hollow bit may form part of a separate suction de-
soldering tool which is used in conjunction with a conventional soldering iron, or it
may form part of a specially designed iron.

In a separate de-soldering tool the suction is generated by depressing a spring

loaded piston inside the tool body, and then releasing it when the solder at the
joint has melted. The solder is drawn into a chamber from which it can be
immediately ejected by pressing the piston again. In simpler types the suction is
generated by a squeeze bulb of stiff rubber connected to the hollow bit via a
small collecting chamber. Operation
36. Press the reset knob to engage the release latch.
37. Apply heat to the joint. Hold the tip firmly against the joint at an angle of 45
degrees. Do no press into the joint. Damage may result.
38. As soon as the solder has melted, press the operating trigger. Remove the
iron as soon as the vacuum stroke has ended.
39. Reset the tool immediately to eject the solder from the tip. Cleaning
After several cycles of operation the tool should be cleaned out. This involves
unscrewing the teflon tip and removing the solder deposits from inside the tube
and tip if necessary. Hot Air Jet method
This method uses a controlled flow of
hot air and permits melting of a solder
joint without physical contact. The
heated air may be supplied through
the hollow bit of a specially designed
tool, or, in some commercially
available solder extractor irons, it may
also be selected as a mode of
These devices allow the rapid removal of solder from tags or printed circuit board
component mounting points. This can greatly simplify the servicing tasks and
reduce the possibility of damage caused by the application of excessive heat
during component replacement. Heater Block method

The heater block method is intended for the simultaneous de-soldering of a
number of connections, e.g. the connection of dual-in-line circuit packages. The
de-soldering bit take the form of a small copper block which is normally arranged
in the manner shown in the diagram below.

The pins are of tubular steel and are precision brazed in the block at a spacing
which corresponds both to the relevant hole spacing of the board and to the pin
configuration of the package. The block should be applied to connections on the
circuit side of a board and with the aid of tweezers the package should be gently
pulled from the board. Residual solder should be removed from the holes by a
solder extractor iron before remounting the original package or a replacement.
Extreme care should be exercised when using heater blocks of all types. They
act as heat reservoirs and when applied to a board considerable heat can be
transmitted into the base material.
The wire-wrapping procedure is based on the elasticity of metals and is aimed at
producing a corrosion-resistant joint, with low electrical resistance.
A wire is stretched around a terminal post by means of a bit and sleeve, under
such tension that the wire is deformed around the edges of the post. After
relaxation, a constant tension will remain in the wire, and this will exert sufficient
pressure to maintain good electrical contact between the wire and the post.


Conventional wire-wrapping (class B), only the stripped part of the wire is
wrapped around the post, and the procedure is primarily used for heavier-gauge
wire, i.e. with a cross-sectional area of 25 mm2 or above (see Detail A in the
diagram below).

Modified wire-wrapping (class A), the stripped end must be wrapped 8 turns
around the post, followed by about one turn of the insulated part of the wire. This
provides significantly improved resistance to vibration (see Detail B in the
diagram above).
The wire must be a single-strand conductor with good electrical properties. The
post should be relatively hard. It is usually made of bronze and has at least two
sharp corners. The wire is usually tin-plated or silver-plated.
The wires are run bunched together into looms along special paths on a circuit
board, or directly between the wire-wrap points, criss-crossing the board. The
latter is known as point-to-point wiring. The advantages of point-to-point wiring
include simplified service, less risk of interference and lower weight.

13.3.2 TOOLS
The wrapping tool consists of a metal rod, known as the bit, with a central guide
hole, which fits into the terminal post, and with a narrow groove in the periphery,
which fits the wire. The bit is caused to rotate, and the wire is then stretched
around the terminal post (see diagram below).
The tensile force during wrapping around the post is decisive to the quality of the
connection and is determined by the dimensions of the tool. In other words, it is
important to employ the correct tools, which are suitable for the intended
combination of wire area and type of post.
Tools for stripping and wire-wrap must have gained type approval and must be
subjected to periodic inspection.


Stripping is an extremely important operation in wire-wrapping. The correct
length of wire must be stripped, so that the correct number of turns will be
obtained, and the wire must be entirely free from scratches and other stress-
The correct length of stripped end for modified mini-wrapping is 25 mm for posts
0⋅ 025” x 0⋅ 025” and 35 mm for posts 0⋅ 045” x 0⋅ 045”.

40. Fit the stripped end of the wire as far as it will go into the wire groove of the
bit (see Detail A in the diagram below).
41. Fit the wire into the recess in the sleeve and bend the wire towards the
sleeve, along its length (see Detail B in the diagram below).
42. Hold the wire with the fingers and push the tool into the terminal post, to the
position at which wrapping is to start (see Detail C in the diagram below).
43. During wrapping, hold the tool straight and exert slight pressure in the
direction of the post (see Detail D in the diagram below).
If a connection must be re-wrapped, cut the wire and unwrap it with an
unwrapping tool. (The unwrapped end of the conductor must be not be used
Wrapping may be repeated on a post from which earlier wire had been
unwrapped, provided that the post is undamaged.

Wire-wrapping with one of the defects specified below shall be rejected. (Refer to
above diagram).
• Insufficient number of turns (see Detail A)
• One turn not closed (see Detail B).
• Spiral wrapping (in the case of open turns and in spiral wrapping, the distance
between the turns must not exceed one-half of the wire diameter) (see Detail
• Overlapping turns (see Detail D)
• Overlapping wire-wraps (see Detail E).
• Wrap too far up on the post (the wrap must not exceed beyond the chamfered
part of the post) (see Detail F).
• Projecting end of the wire (the wrapping operation has been interrupted too
early) (see Detail G).
• Physical damage (the wire must be free from scratches) (see Detail H).
• The relieving turn, i.e. the bottom turn of insulated wire must be wrapped
around at least three corners (see Detail I).
• The wire must be run so that the bottom turn will not be unwound (see Detail
• The wire must not be stretched between wrap points.


If a connection must be made again, cut off the wire and leave the wire-wrap in
position or remove it by means of an unwrapping tool. Never pull the wire off.
The corners of the post will then be deformed and it will be impossible to use the
post again.
The unwrapped end of the wire must be straightened and wrapped again. The
entire wire must be replaced or, if the length is sufficient, the end should be cut
off, stripped and wrapped again.
If one conductor must be soldered (e.g. in a multi-strand conductor) to a post or
is one unsatisfactory wire-wrap must be soldered, all wire-wraps on that
particular post shall be soldered.

The following methods of inspection are intended for checking the tools and
terminal posts, and shall be carried out as random sample tests in production.
Separate test post and conductors of the same type as those employed in the
relevant work shall be used.
Note: The methods of inspection are of the destructive type.
The pull test involves applying a force to the wire-wrap and measuring the force
at which the wire-wrap slides off the terminal post (see Detail A in the diagram

Min. Pull-off Force

Wire Size - AWG Diameter
20 0.80 40
22 0.65 35
24 0.50 30
26 0.40 25
0.32 20
30 0.25 15

The unwrapping test involves wrapping the wire off the post (see Detail B in the
diagram above). The test can be carried out in different ways:
• By means of special tools.
• By means of the unwrapping tool.
• By hand.
During the unwrapping test, the conductor must not be subjected to tension
and/or torsion. The unwrapping test is considered to be satisfactory if
unwrapping is carried out without the wire fracturing.
There are three types of wire connection; permanent, semi-permanent and those
which can be rapidly broken and remade for installation or maintenance purposes
and which usually involves a number of circuits or wires which must automatically
be connected correctly. The first two types are used in the manufacture and
testing of aircraft and generally employ terminal blocks or strips. The last type, by
no means the least important, employs plugs and sockets otherwise referred to
as multi way connectors.


The earliest form of terminal blocks consisted of phenolic mouldings which
housed two or more terminals and were available in various sizes. Connection
was made by gripping the wire under a screwed down terminal head. A
connection such as this is totally unpredictable, if too much pressure is applied it
will crush the conductor, mechanically weakening it, removing the tinning and
sometimes even fracturing one or more of the strands. Methods like this are
totally unacceptable for aircraft use.


Immediately after World War II the Electrical Committee of the Society of British
Aircraft Constructors developed a new terminal block known as the S.B.A.C.
system. This terminal block bore some resemblance to a system used on
German military aircraft during the war, but was more fully developed. It
comprised a block of phenolic insulation arranged with a number of barriers to
accommodate from 5 to 15 cable ways. The actual connectors were in either
single or double tier and incorporated both a spring lock a locking screw. The
connection was made on circular ferrules crimped onto the ends of the cables.
The simple insertion of the crimped end into the terminal block metalwork
ensured a satisfactory spring loaded electrical connection which could be
rendered permanent by tightening down the screw.

The block was ultimately found to be too large for the confined conditions
resulting from the use of extended electrical systems and panels in later
installations. A miniature block of a similar nature was developed but never
Whilst the British were preoccupied with elaborate designs, in America
terminations were, as they still are, on plastic strip bases with fixed terminal
pillars, the cables being fitted with ring type tags which were placed over the
pillars and clamped down with an ordinary nut. This method has been extremely
successful in providing solid reliable connections in thousands of aircraft over
millions of hours.

The decision not to proceed with the S.B.A.C. miniature block led the Plessey
Company to develop a smaller terminal block which was used extensively on
British aircraft. The unit could accommodate up to 20 terminations and employed
a spade type crimped terminal, locking into a metal clamp with spring retainer,
which could be further secured by a screw to from a rigid connection, as shown


Later built British aircraft use a terminal block which has screw studs for
mounting ring terminals. These blocks are called ward Brook terminal blocks. The
ring tags are secured using special torque spanners.
These terminal blocks are made from Polyethersulphate 430P and are either
black or red in colour. The screw studs are made of stainless steel and secured
by steel cadmium plated stiff nuts called 'Kaylock fasteners'. They are supplied in
both single and double row of either 1,2,3,5 or 10 way configuration.
Today newer types of terminal block are available, having lower toxicity together
with easier construction and manoeuvrability of pins. A typical example of this is
the Terminal Junction Module shown below.

These terminal blocks have a temperature range from -50°C to 175°C. They are
made from Diallyl Phthalate and are red or black in colour. They are sealed with
flourosilicone rubber coloured red or white. The contacts and the bus plate
assemblies are made from gold plated copper alloy. Although the bus plates
cannot be seen, the layout is indicated by trace lines on the top of each module
as shown below.

The contact sizes are determined by their current rating and each contact size
can accommodate more than one conductor size as shown below:
• Size 21 - 3 amps conductor sizes 22 and 24
• Size 20 - 7.5 ampsconductor sizes 20,22 and 24
• Size 16 - 13 amps conductor sizes 16,18 and 20
• Size 12 - 23 amps conductor sizes 12 and 14
The dielectric use can withstand 1500 volts rms at sea level.
Electrical connects are designed in many shapes and sizes to facilitate the
installation and maintenance of electrical circuits and equipment in all types of
aircraft. For example, if may be necessary to replace a damaged section of
electrical harness in an aircraft. If the section of harness is connect other
sections by connectors, it is a comparatively simple matter to unplug the section
at both ends and remove the damaged section. A completely new section may
then be quickly installed. If the damaged section were connected by terminal
strips, the operation would take a considerable amount of time. It can be seen
that if larger electrical or electronic equipment were connect by terminal strips a
similar problem would result.
A conductor assembly comprises two principal parts. These parts are generally
called the plug and socket or receptacle. The plug section generally contains
'pin sockets' and the socket or receptacle, contains pins. Some confusion may
arise concerning plugs and receptacles because some authorities call the section
containing the pin sockets, ‘the receptacle’ and the section containing the pins
‘the plug’. In many cases it is simpler to refer to the two sections as ‘the socket
section’ and ‘the pin section’. Whichever way the connectors are described, the
live side of the circuit should always be connected to the socket section. This
arrangement reduced the risks of shorting the circuit and of electrical shock.
Connectors may be fixed or free items, i.e. fixed in a junction box, panel or
equipment, or free as part of a loom assembly to couple onto a fixed item.
There are numerous variations in the design of connectors governed principally
by the requirements of the circuit, the number of conductors to be terminated and
the environmental conditions in which the connector is to be used. The bodies or
shells are mostly of light alloy or stainless steel finished overall with cadmium
plating. They may be provided with either a male or female thread, or may be of
the bayonet type for quick connection and disconnection. Connectors used on
rack mounted equipment may be square and simply push together, retention
being achieved by locking the equipment into the rack.
Polarising keys and keyways are provided to ensure that plugs and sockets mate
correctly, they also prevent movement between the contacts, thereby reducing
strain when the coupling rings are tightened.
The shells of free connectors are extended as necessary by the attachment of
outlets. These provide a means of supporting the cables at the point of entry to
the connector, thereby preventing straining of the conductor and pin or socket
joints, they also prevent displacement of the contacts in the softer material
insulators. In many cases special clamps are provided, these compress the soft
insulation material so that it grips the conductors, thus providing support and
preventing the ingress of dirt or moisture.
To prevent distortion of the insulated moulding and to assist in correct mating of
the connectors, all positions in the connector should be fitted with a pin or socket
as appropriate, in some instances this may require the use of special pin
insertion tools. In addition, a special ‘filler’ insert must be fitted to ensure correct
cable support and to prevent the ingress of dirt or moisture.
Plug contacts are usually solid round pins, and sockets contacts have a resilient
section which is designed to grip the mating pin. The contacts are retained in
position by insulators or inserts as they are often called, which are a sliding fit in
the shells and secured by retaining rings and /or nuts. Insulators are made from
a variety of materials depending on the connection application.
Cables were originally attached to connector pins and sockets by soldering and
although retained within some equipment, this has now been superceded by
crimping techniques which have already been studied.
Identification of pins and sockets is achieved by numbering or lettering. In many
connectors, but not all, a spiralling guideline embossed on the faces of the inserts
is used to signify the sequence. When letters are used I, O and Q are not used
and to allow for larger numbers of contacts capitals are used first, then low case
letters and then double capital, i.e. AA.
To provide information in respect of all manufacturers and all specifications is
beyond the scope of these notes, students must therefore consult both
manufacturers literature and maintenance manuals whenever possible.
The diagrams and procedures that follow are only intended to give an insight into
what can be considered as a subject in its own right. Detailed information must
be obtained from the relevant aircraft maintenance manuals.
A variety of old connectors

Old Bendix MS type connectors

Assembly of Mil-C-26482 Type Connectors
Connector Part Numbering

G. Typical ITT Cannon Part Number

KPSE 00 E - 18 - 32 S X ( )
Alternate Insert Position
P = Pins S = Sockets
Insert Arrangement
Shell Size
00 Wall Mounted Receptacle
01 Cable Connecting Plug
02 Box Mounted Receptacle
06 Straight Plug
07 Jam Nut Receptacle
08 90º Angle Plug

H. Typical Burndy Part Number

L 22 T F 55 P 0 N A*
Keyway Position
Shell Style
Contact Style
'P' for Pin, 'S' for Socket
Insert Arrangement
Class 'E' Grommet Seal
'F' Grommet Seal with Strain
Shell Style
Shell Size
Smooth Bantam
Insert Configurations for MIL-C-26482 Series Connectors
View shown is Front Face of Pin Insert.

Additional Insert Configurations for MIL-C-26482 Series Connectors

View shown is Front Face of Pin Insert.

Removal tools for unwired connectors - (rear release connectors)

Installing and removal tools for front release connectors

Operating Instructions - installing tools
44. Select correct insertion tool and place contact/wire assembly in tool.
I. #20 contacts with insulation cups are inserted by sliding cup into front
end of insertion tip until end of cup butts against shoulder in insertion
tip. (see diagram 1 below).
J. Contacts without insulation cups are inserted by sliding wire barrel into
front end of insertion tip until contact shoulder butts against insertion
tip. (see diagram1 below).

33. Align tool and contact axially with grommet hole and carefully guide contact
through grommet into lock position. (see diagram 2 below).

Operating Instructions - removal tools

45. Select correct contact removal tool.
46. Tool must be held in straight line; parallel to contact and square to connector
47. Insert removal tool tip into connector. Push plunger slide forward to eject
Note: Plunger slide must remain in retracted position as removal tool tip is
inserted into connect.

Tweezer type installing and removal tools for rear release connectors.


Colour Contact Size Part No.

Yellow 12 MS27495A12
Blue 16 MS27495A16
Installing Tool: Red 20 MS27495A20
Brown 22 MS27495A22
Black 22D, 22M MS27495A22M

Colour Contact Size Part No.

Yellow 12 MS27495R12
Blue 16 MS27495R16
Removal Tool: Red 20 MS27495R20
Brown 22 MS27495R22
Black 22D, 22M MS27495R22M
To install contacts:
48. Open the tool tips by squeezing the handles and the tips around the wire
insulation. Slide tool along the wire until tip ends butt against the shoulder on
the contact.
49. Carefully push the contact forward and directly in line with the grommet hole
until contact is felt to snap into position.
50. Slide the tool back along the wire insulation until it clears the grommet and
remove tool from wire.

To remove contacts:
51. Open the tool tips sufficiently to be places around the wire insulation. Slide
the tool down the wire until tool tips enter the grommet and come to a
positive stop (see diagram below). A slight increase in resistance will be
noticed just before contact.

52. Holding the tool tips firmly against the positive stop on the contact, grip the
wire and simultaneously remove the tool, contact and wire.
Caution!! The tips on installing and removal tools used on small contacts have
very thin wall sections. This causes them to have sharp edges which
can cut the wire insulation or connector sealing grommet.
Do not squeeze, spread, tip or rotate the tweezers while entering the
connector grommet.
Instructions For Plastic Tools.
Installing (coloured end):

53. Hold the insertion half of tool

(coloured) between the thumb and
forefinger and lay the wire to be
inserted along the slot, leaving about
½" protruding from the end of the tool
to the crimp barrel of the contact.

54. Squeeze the wire hard into the tool at

the tip, between the thumb and
forefinger, and at the same time quickly
pull the protruding wire with the other
hand away from the tool.

55. The wire will now have snapped into

place. Pull it back through tool until the
tip seats on the back end of the crimp

56. Holding the connector with the rear seal

facing you slowly push the contact
straight into the connector seal.

57. A firm stop will be evident when the

contact positively seats in the
Removal (white end):

58. With the rear of connector facing you,

lay the wire of contact to be removed
along the slot of removal half (white) of
the tool, leaving about ½" from the end
of the tool to the rear of the connector.

59. Squeeze the wire hard into the tool

between the thumb and forefinger about
¼" from the tip and at the same time
quickly pull the connector away from the
tool with the other hand.

60. The wire will now have snapped into

place. Slide the tool down over the wire
and into the rear seal and push it slowly
into the connector until a positive
resistance is felt. At this time the
contact retaining clip is in the unlock

61. Press the wire of the contact to be

removed against the serrations of the
plastic tool and pull both the tool and
the contact-wire assembly out of the

Caution: Do not tip, spread or rotate tool

while it is in the connector.
Blank Page
The variety of electrical and electronic circuits is forever on the increase. The
voltage, current and frequency ranges over which the circuits operate is immense
and has undergone many changes over the years. To enable efficient
maintenance and testing of these circuits, a range of instruments are required
that enable these variables to be effectively and accurately measured. The
introduction of digital measuring instruments has simplified the task of making
measurements and greatly improved accuracy, however, there remains certain
situations that require the use of an analogue instrument.



A basic moving coil instrument comprises a horse-shoe shaped permanent

magnet that is aged to reduce the rate at which the flux density decreases. The
poles of the magnet are shaped and have a soft iron cylinder, supported by brass
supports, positioned between them. This arrangement reduces the reluctance of
the magnetic circuit and produces a radial field in the airgap between the cylinder
and the pole pieces. It is in this airgap that the coil rotates.
The coil consists of fine copper wire wound on an aluminium former that is fitted
with a spindle at either end. The coil is terminated on the spindles, which are
insulated from the aluminium former. The spindles run in jewelled bearings that
are mounted in non magnetic frames positioned either side of the magnet. The
coil is free to rotate in the airgap between the cylinder and the permanent
magnet, although its angle of rotation is limited due to the cylinder supports. The
pointer is attached to one of the spindles and rotates with the coil and aluminium
former, moving across the scale or scales on the face of the instrument.
With no opposition to the motor torque, the pointer would simply move across the
scale to the end stop. Opposition is provided by two contra-wound springs that
are attached at one end to the spindle and at the other to the spindle support
frames. The springs are contra-wound to provide temperature compensation and
also provide for electrical connection to the moving coil.
With no current flowing in the coil, there is a uniform field in the air gap between
the permanent magnet and the soft iron cylinder as shown in the diagram.

When the meter is connected to an electrical circuit, current flows through the coil
creating a field around its conductors. The direction of field rotation can be found
using the Right Hand Grasp rule. The field around the conductors of the coil
react with the main field, the field above the conductor on the right is
strengthened whilst the field below the conductor is weakened, causing the
conductor to move down. The field above the conductor on the left is weakened,
whilst the field below is strengthened, causing the conductor to move up. Both
conductors form part of the coil, so the coil will rotate on its pivots. As the coil
rotates it will continue to distort the main field, without a controlling force to
oppose the movement, even a small current would cause the coil to rotate to its
end stop and indicate full scale deflection. Control for the movement is provided
by the contra wound springs. As the coil rotates, one spring is compressed the
other extended.
Hookes law states that the extension of an elastic body is directly proportional to
the applied force, provided the force remains within the elastic limits of the
material. This means that the relationship between the extension and the applied
force is linear, the applied force is the motor torque, which also has a linear
relationship with the current creating it. Therefore the meter movement is linear
and the scale can be linear.
The coil and pointer will come to rest when the torque created by the springs
cancels the torque created by the moving coil. The larger the current flowing in
the coil, the greater the torque produced and the further the coil will rotate.
Rotation of the coil moves the pointer across a scale calibrated to indicate the
value of circuit current or voltage.
The current required to move the pointer to the furthest point on the scale is
called full scale deflection current, i.e. the current required to moved the
pointer to full scale deflection. If the current in the coil is less than I f.s.d. the
pointer will take up a position between zero and full scale deflection.
15.1.3 DAMPING
The moving coil meter is designed to move quickly from zero to the required
value. With no damping, momentum will cause the movement to overshoot.
When the movement overshoots, the force created by the springs is greater than
the torque created by the coil, so the meter swings in the opposite direction back
towards its intended position. Again, with no damping, the meter will overshoot.
The torque produced by the fields is now greater than the force produced by the
springs and so the meter swings back in the original direction towards its
intended position. With no damping the movement oscillates, each over-swing
being smaller than the previous, until the movement comes to rest. To prevent
the meter oscillating, a damping system is incorporated.
Damping is provided by the aluminium former on which the coil is wound.
Aluminium is a conductor. When moved in the field of the permanent magnet
the former has emf’s induced in it that result in eddy currents and the production
of a field. The field around the former opposes the main field and tries to prevent
movement, thus providing damping. The faster the meter moves, the greater the
induced emf, eddy currents and field, and the greater the damping provided.

The amount of damping used is important, too little and the movement will
oscillate, too much and the movement will be sluggish and may not stop at the
correct position, the motor torque being unable to overcome the damping force.
When the damping is insufficient, the movement is said to be under-damped,
when too much damping is provided the meter is over-damped.
The amount of damping necessary to get the meter to move to the correct
position with no over-swings, in the shortest possible time is called critical
damping. Critical damping is one specific value of damping, this is difficult to
obtain and is easily changed by changes in operating conditions, any changes
affect the response of the movement.
Meters are normally set up with ideal damping. Ideal damping allows the meter
to move to its intended position with one over-swing. The initial speed of
response is quicker than a critically damped movement, however, the meter
takes slightly longer to come to rest at the required position. An advantage of
ideal damping is that, as the meter ages and friction increases, the damping
tends towards critical damping, thus improving its response time.


When the value displayed on an instrument is read, the value returned is
dependent on the position of the reader. If the reader moves, the value appears
to change, this is known as parallax error. To prevent parallax error, some
meters have a mirror fitted behind the pointer, adjacent to the scale. When
reading the meter, the observer positions themselves so that the reflection of the
pointer is hidden by the pointer itself. Under these conditions the meter is being
read correctly.
Errors in meter readings can also be caused by incorrectly positioning the meter.
If a meter is stood upright during calibration, it should be stood upright whilst
making measurements, if the meter was laid down for calibration it should be laid
down whilst making measurements.


Typical values of full scale current and voltage for a basic moving coil are 100µ A
and 0.005 volts. This makes it far too sensitive for use in practical circuits where
voltages and currents far in excess of these values are encountered. The range
of use can be extended by using shunts for higher currents, and multipliers for
higher voltages. Determining the shunt resistance

When using the meter to measure current it
must be connected in series with the circuit
under test. The maximum current which
can pass through the movement is that
value giving full scale deflection, the
remainder must be made to bypass it. This
is achieved by connecting a resistor in
parallel with the movement, the resistor
being known as a shunt
To determine the value of shunt resistor required ,Vfsd must be calculated. Vfsd can
be calculated from the meter resistance and Ifsd, both of which are normally
written on the movement, Vfsd = Ifsd × Rmeter. In a parallel circuit the voltage is
common to both arms.
The amount of current that the shunt must bypass is the difference between the
total current and the movement current; Is = IT - Imeter
The value of shunt resistance can now be calculated from Vfsd and IS.
RS = =

When using a shunt it should be connected directly to the main conductors of the
circuit under test, the meter movement should then be connected to the shunt.
This will prevent an accidental open circuit damaging the meter movement. Determining the multiplier resistance

When using the meter to measure voltages it is connected in parallel with the
circuit under test. The maximum current that can pass through the movement is
again that which gives full scale deflection, this is determined by the circuit
voltage and the meter resistance, and may well exceed Ifsd.
To limit the current through the movement, a resistor must be connected in series
with it. This resistor is known as a multiplier.
To determine the multiplier value, Ifsd and the meter resistance must be obtained
from the movement. The series combination of meter resistance and multiplier
resistance must limit the maximum current to Ifsd. Therefore:
Ifsd = as RTotoal = Rmeter + Rmult
Ifsd =
Rmeter + Rmult =
therefore Rmult = - Rmeter

Shunts and multipliers should both be made from metals that have low
temperature co-efficient of resistance, metals such as Manganin and Eureka.


Whenever a meter is connected into an electrical circuit it changes the total
circuit resistance, and therefore changes the values of voltage and current in the
circuit. This means that the values of voltage and current indicated on the meter
will differ from those in the circuit when the meter is disconnected. The degree of
error caused depends on the resistance value of the meter used.
An ammeter and its shunt are connected in series with the circuit under test,
therefore in order not to change the circuit current their resistance must be as
small as possible. If the meter resistance is too large, the circuit current will be
reduced and the meter will under read.
A voltmeter and its multiplier are connected in parallel with the circuit under test,
therefore the combined resistance must be as high as possible in order not to
short circuit the circuit under test. If the resistance is too low, the majority of
current will flow through the meter instead of the circuit under test, changing the
voltage drop across the circuit component.
Using a meter with an incorrect resistance value can cause very large errors in
the measurements taken.


When a meter is used as a voltmeter, the degree of circuit loading is indicated by
the “Ohms per volt” value. This is calculated from the combination of meter and
multiplier resistance and the full scale deflection voltage of the meter.
Meter + Multiplier resistance = 100kΩ

fsd voltage = 100 volts

Ohms/volt = 100 000/100 = 1000

Meter + Multiplier resistance = 2MΩ

fsd voltage = 100 volts

Ohms /volt = 2 000 000 / 100 = 20 000

The second meter in the examples above has the higher Ohms per volt value
and will therefore cause a smaller loading effect on the circuit when used for
voltage measurement.
An alternative method used for calculating the Ohm per volt value s to take the
reciprocal of the fsd current.
If Ifsd = 1mA the Ohms per volt value would be 1/⋅ 001 = 1000

If Ifsd = 50µ A the Ohms per volt value would be 1/⋅ 00005 = 20 000

The Ohms per volt value also gives an indication as to the sensitivity of the
meter, and is sometimes called the “Figure of Merit”.
There are numerous types digital meters on the market, but even the most basic
have input impedances of 2MΩ or greater for d.c. measurement and 1MΩ for
a.c. The frequency range varies from 0 to 20 kHz upwards. The values for each
meter should be confirmed before use.


In order to use a basic moving coil instrument for measurement of resistance, a
battery must be connected in series with the movement. and the circuit under
test. To limit the circuit current to Ifsd, a current limiting resistor is connected in
series with the movement and circuit under test.

For the meter to indicate correctly, the current must flow from the red to the black
terminal of the meter. The positive terminal of the cell must therefore be
connected to the meter movement and the negative terminal to the red terminal
of the meter. Under these conditions, the black terminal of the meter is positive
with respect to the red terminal, and current flows through the circuit under test
from black to red.
When the probes or meter terminals are open circuit zero current flows and the
meter should indicate maximum resistance, that is no pointer movement. When
the test leads are shorted together maximum current flows and the meter should
move to fsd, indicating zero resistance. When a resistor is connected between
the terminals, the current will be determined by the value of the resistance and
the meter will move to some intermediate position to indicate the value of the
When using a multimeter to measure resistance, the meter movement is
determined by the amount of current flowing in the circuit under test. In
accordance with Ohms law, the value of current is determined by both the circuit
resistance and the circuit voltage, therefore any change in voltage will affect the
value of current. When a multimeter is used for resistance measurement, the
circuit voltage is derived from the cell, therefore if the cell voltage decreases, the
circuit current will decrease and the meter will under-read. Cell voltage reduces
with age, therefore another variable resistor must be connected in series with the
meter movement and the circuit under test to enable correction. As the cell ages,
the value of resistance is reduced increasing the circuit current to its correct
A ratiometer is basically a moving coil instrument that uses two coils as opposed
to a single coil. One coil is used to measure current, the other voltage. Both
coils are mounted on the same spindle but are wound in such a manner that the
torque's produced are in opposition, i.e. one coil tries to move the pointer
clockwise the other anti-clockwise. The air gap between the soft iron spindle on
which the coils are wound and the permanent magnet between which it rotates is
no-linear. This creates a reduction in torque as the coil moves into the larger air
gap and vice versa.
Under most conditions current flows in both coils of a ratiometer. The coil with
the larger current creates a torque that causes that coil to rotate towards the
larger airgap, decreasing the torque it is producing. At the same time the other
coil is pushed into the smaller airgap, creating an increasing torque. When the
two torque's are balanced the pointer stops moving.
The two coils can be inter-connected in two different ways as shown below.

In circuit 1, the current coil measures the sum of the current flowing in the
unknown resistor and the voltage coil, and the voltage coil measures the voltage
across the unknown resistance only.
In circuit 2, the voltage coil measures the voltage drop across both the current
coil and the unknown resistance, and the current coil only measures current
through the unknown resistor.
If the unknown resistance is high, i.e. when carrying out an insulation resistance
check, it is better to use circuit number 2. When measuring a large resistance the
current flow through it will be low. If circuit 1 were used, the current through the
voltage coil would be large in comparison, creating a large error in the current
measured. Using circuit 2, the low resistance of the series current coil has little
effect on circuit current, and the voltage drop across the small resistance of the
current coil is negligible in comparison to that of the unknown resistance.
If the unknown resistance is low, i.e. when carrying out a bonding check, it is
better to use circuit number 1. When measuring a low resistance the current
through it will be relatively high. If circuit 2 were used, the voltage drop across the
current coil would be very large in comparison to that across the unknown
resistor, creating a large error in the voltage measured. Using circuit 1, the high
resistance of the voltage coil draws little current in comparison to the unknown
resistor, creating a negligible error in the current reading, and the voltage coil
only measures the voltage drop across the unknown resistor.


The Bonding tester employs the ratiometer principle, because the expected
resistance values are small, the two coils are connected as in circuit 1. As only
small resistances are to be measured, currents up to one amp may be required,
therefore a small wet NIFE cell is used as the power supply.
Two test leads are used, a 60 ft "static" lead that is fitted with a single spike and
an open ended ring terminal, and a six foot lead that is fitted with a double spike.
The double spike acts as a switch, both spikes having to be in contact with the
bond under test in order for the meter to work.
The 60 ft
lead is
connected to
a fixed
point, either
the aircraft
main bond
datum or a
point thus
ensuring a
connection. The 6 ft test lead is pressed onto the item whose resistance is to be
When the two spikes of the 6 ft test lead are shorted by a suitable conductor and
the 60 ft lead is left disconnected, the current through the voltage and current
coils is the same, however, the torque produced by the voltage coil is arranged to
be greater than the torque produced by the current coil and consequently a full
scale reading is obtained, indicating a high resistance.

When the single spike of the 60 ft lead

is used to short circuit the double
spike of the 6 ft lead, the voltage coil
is shunted by the test circuit. Under
these conditions no current flows in
the voltage coil, and consequently the
pointer moves, under the influence of
the current coil, to give a zero
resistance indication.

When the meter is used to

measure the resistance of a
bond, the voltage coil is no
longer shorted. Some current
will flow through the voltage coil
and some will flow through the
circuit under test. The ratio of
current through the two paths is
determined by the value of the
resistance being tested and the
meter will take up an
intermediate position to indicate
the value of this resistance.
Prior to carrying out a bonding test, a check should be made on the state of the
nickel-alkaline cell of the tester by observing that:
• a full-scale deflection of the meter is obtained when the two spikes of the 6-
foot cable probe are shorted by a suitable conductor; and
• that the meter reads zero when the two spikes of the 6-foot probe are shorted
by the single spike of the 60-foot probe.
The 60-foot lead of the test equipment should be connected to the main earth
(also known as the bond datum point) at the terminal points which are usually
shown diagrammatically in the relevant Aircraft Maintenance Manual. Since the
length of a standard bonding tester lead is 60 feet, the measurement between the
extremities of the larger types of aircraft may have to be done by selecting one or
more main earth points successively, in which event the resistance value
between the main earth points should be checked before proceeding to check the
remote point.
The 6-foot test lead should be used to check the resistance between selected
points; these are usually specified in the bonding test schedule or the
Maintenance Manual for the aircraft concerned. When the two spikes of the test
lead probe ate brought into contact with the aircraft part, the test-meter will
indicate, in ohms, the resistance of the bond.
It may be necessary to remove a small area of protective finish (e.g. strippable
lacquer or paint) in order to carry out a Bonding check, any protective treatment
removed must be re-applied after the measurements have been taken.


The Insulation resistance tester also uses the ratiometer principle, because the
expected values of resistance are high, circuit 2 from chapter 34.2 is used. The
high values of resistance being measured also mean that, unlike the bonding
tester, any test leads can be used, although they are generally supplied with the
instrument. In order to generate a useable current, a high supply voltage is
required, this cannot be obtained from a battery and therefore a hand wound
generator is used, this negates the need for an on/off switch.

If the test terminals are open circuited,

the current through the current deflection coil is zero. The generator current
flows entirely through the voltage or control coil and the pointer is arranged to
indicate infinity on the scale. If the test terminals are short circuited, current flows
through both coils and the pointer is arranged to indicate zero on the scale. A
finite value of resistance between the test terminals will cause the pointer to take
up an intermediate position dependent on the value of the resistance.
Insulation resistance testing is carried out with an instrument whose working
voltage is nominally 250V, but which does not exceed 300 volts. Insulation
testers are also available in a range of higher voltages, these should only be
used if specified in the maintenance manual. Care must be taken to ensure the
correct voltage tester is used.
Tests are normally carried out between individual conductors and also between
individual conductors and earth.
When the insulation test is completed, functional checks should be carried out to
ascertain the serviceability of the system. If a fault is detected it should be
ratified and the insulation test repeated.
Prior to carrying out the insulation resistance check, the following should be
• The battery and external supply must be disconnected.
• All relevant CB's must be closed.
• All appropriate switches should be set for normal in-flight operation. All other
switches involved should be put to 'ON' or minimum resistance position.
• All relevant equipment must be disconnected. This includes radio, electronic
and supply systems.
• Where necessary, components such as out-puts and relays may be bridged
to ensure continuity of the circuit.
• All necessary safety precautions must be taken.
• Ensure no semi-conductor devices are included within the circuits to be
All insulation resistance tests carried out should ensure the proper functioning of
both individual and integrated elements of the circuits. They should be carried
out in accordance with the details of the maintenance manual, wiring diagram
manual or modification instruction. On completion, all connections should be
remade and all switches reset to their correct positions.
The results obtained may signify little when taken on their own. They should be
related to the results obtained during previous tests. This will indicate a possible
deterioration in the insulation resistance.
Typical minimum values are:
• Wiring - not less than 10MΩ
• Terminals - not less than 100MΩ
• Between terminals bunched together and also to earth
The purpose of this section is to give an introduction to the publications
associated with the maintenance of aircraft. Although much of the terminology is
the same, there is a marked difference between the manuals associated with
public transport aircraft and the manuals associated with other categories of
aircraft, therefore the two will be looked at individually.


Maintenance documentation associated with large commercial aircraft is
produced in a variety of different formats, in the main this is due to changing
technology. You may encounter any of these formats and are therefore expected
to be familiar with all of them.
• Paper. Printed both sides, generally A4 or letter size depending on origin,
although some manuals use other formats.
• Microfilm. Photographed version of the manuals put onto what looks like
cine-film, contained within a cartridge rather like a small video cassette.
This format requires the use of special reader-printers. The printer is used
to make a working 'hard copy' of any section relevant to a maintenance
task. Once the task is completed the hard copy must be destroyed.
• CDRom. CDRom formats vary. In some cases the manual is presented
very much like the paper version and suffers the same limitations. In other
cases the manuals have been formatted especially for use on the computer
giving far greater flexibility. Although this format requires the use of a
computer, the use of a laptop makes the documentation transportable
unlike the book version.
• DVD. This is the format being used for the latest Boeing manuals.
Manuals are still produced in all of the above formats because some operators
are not up-to-date with the latest technology, others prefer certain formats and
some are loath to change. There are advantages and disadvantages to each
format, although the writer believes that CDRom versions designed specifically
for computer use are far superior and will no doubt take over in time.

16.1.1 ATA 100

The majority of manufacturers and operators of commercial aircraft use the ATA
100 Specification as the plan for the manuals needed to maintain, overhaul, and
repair their aircraft. It is one of several such specifications issued by various
bodies, but has gained much wider acceptance than any of its competitors and
will therefore form the basis of these notes.
The specification was drawn up by the member airlines of the Air Transport
Association by America, and was thus prepared primarily to meet the needs of
large passenger carrying airlines. Its basic principles have, however, been
successfully applied to small aircraft.
One of the main aims of the specification is to ensure that all the information
needed by an operator is included in one or other of the manuals provided by the
aircraft manufacturer, except accessory overhaul data which is covered in vendor
overhaul manuals. This is in contrast with some other specifications, which
require not only the use of manuals supplied by the aircraft manufacturer, but the
extensive use of vendor manuals for descriptive, servicing and maintenance data
on accessory equipment.
ATA Specification 100 calls for the following manuals:
• Maintenance Manual
• Wiring Diagram Manual
• Illustrated Parts Catalogue
• Overhaul Manual
• Structure Repair Manual
• Tool and Equipment Lists
• Weight and Balance Manual
The Specification calls for another medium for Information-Service Bulletins.
These bulletins provide two different types of information. Some bulletins provide
a quick path for any urgent "once over" inspections that may have been
highlighted by a fault discovered on another aircraft of the same type; others
provide information on modifications, explaining their purpose and giving the
method of incorporation.
According to the Specification, the manufacturer’s recommended time limits for
inspections, tests and overhaul should be provided in a separate manual
wherever possible. These time limits are contained in a separate manual called
the Maintenance Schedule. The maintenance schedule can be amended by the
operator, but only if the amendment increases the scope, or reduces the time
The Specification ‘breaks’ an aircraft down into its systems, etc.., such as air
conditioning, electrical power and landing gear, and then allocates these systems
chapter numbers. Thus, air conditioning is Chapter 21; electrical power, Chapter
24; and landing gear, Chapter 32. The various system chapters are arranged
alphabetically, there being no natural order of precedence or importance.
A feature of the Specification is that where applicable the various Chapter
Numbers are the same in all the manuals. Thus, information on the landing gear
is found in Chapter 32 in the Maintenance Manual, in the Wiring Diagram
Manual, in the Overhaul Manual and in the Illustrated Parts Catalogue. Should it
be necessary to issue a Service Bulletin referring to the landing gear, the bulletin
would carrying the prefix ‘32’. Fuselage structure data, covered in Chapter 53, is
found under Chapter 53 in the Maintenance Manual, in the Illustrated Parts
Catalogue and in the Structural Repair Manual.
Most systems are too complex to be covered in one go, and accordingly ATA
Specification 100 provides for such systems to be subdivided. Thus, landing
gear is described generally and then divided into main gear and nose gear. The
general description is referenced 32-00, the sub-systems being allocated the
numbers 32-10 and 32-20, respectively. Some sub-systems may be sufficiently
complex to require further subdivision. Thus ‘main gear’ could be broken down
into main leg, side stay assembly, the fairlings, these being allocated reference
numbers such as 32-10-11, 32-10-21 and 32-10-31 respectively.
The Overhaul Manual referred to previously contains information on components
designed and manufactured by the aircraft manufacturer. Overhaul information
on other components and on the engines is produced by the vendors and engine

Chapter Title Code Chapter Title Code

Equipment List b 35 Oxygen . abcd

Dimensions & abcd

6 a 36 Pneumatic

7 Lifting & Shoring a 38 Water / Waste abcd

Levelling & Airborne Auxiliary
8 a 49 abcd
Weighing power
9 Towing & Taxing a 51 Structure - General ae
10 Parking & Mooring a 52 Doors acde
11 Required placards d 53 Fuselage acde
12 Servicing a 54 Nacelles / Pylons acde
Standard practices
20 abcd 55 Stabilisers acde
- Airframe
21 Air conditioning abcd 56 Windows acde
Auto pilot (or Auto
22 abcd 57 Wings acde
Standard practices
23 Communications abcd *70 ac
- Engine
Power plant -
24 Electrical power abcd *71 abcd
Equipment /
25 abcd *72 Engine abcd
Engine fuel &
26 Fire protection abcd *73 abcd
27 Flight controls abcd *75 Air abcd
28 Fuel abcd *76 Engine controls abcd
29 Hydraulic power abcd 77 Engine indicating abcd
Ice & rain
30 abcd *78 Exhaust abcd
31 Instruments abcd *79 Oil abcd
32 Landing gear abcd *80 Starting abcd
33 Lights abcd *82 Water injection abcd
34 Navigation abcd 91 Charts ab
34 - 50 GPWS

Code: a. Maintenance Manual

b. Wiring Diagram Manual
c. Overhaul Manual
d. Illustrated Parts Catalogue
e. Structural Repair manual
* Issued in part or complete by the engine manufacturer.
Each chapter of the manual is further sub divided by page as follows
• Maintenance Manual
Description and operation .............1 to 100
Trouble shooting ...........................101 to 200
Maintenance practice ....................201 to 300
Or where complex:
Serving..........................................301 to 400
Removal/Installation .....................401 to 500
Adjustment/Test.............................501 to 600
Inspection/Check...........................601 to 700
Cleaning/Painting ..........................701 to 800
Approved repairs ..........................801 to 900
• Wiring Diagram Manual
Routing charts (Diagram) Fig.1 to 100
Theoretical (schematics) Fig.101 up
• Overhaul Manual
Description, operation and data ...1 to 100
Disassembly ................................101 to 200
Cleaning ....................................201 to 300
Inspection/Check ........................301 to 400
Repair .........................................401 to 500
Assembly ...................................501 to 600
Fits and clearances ....................601 to 700
Testing ........................................701 to 800
Trouble shooting .......................801 to 900
Storage instructions ....................901 to 1000
special tools, fixtures and
equipment ....................................1001 to 1100
Illustrated parts list .......................1101 to 1200
For simple units, pages are numbered consecutively, with paragraphs numbered
1 to 12 corresponding to the above breakdown. Customisation and effectivity
Aircraft have different equipment fitted and are at different modification states,
therefore a single manual cannot apply to all aircraft, not even to all aircraft of the
same type. The differences in specification are catered for by customising the
maintenance documentation. Customisation is limited to the:
• Maintenance Manual
• Wiring Diagram Manual
• Illustrated Parts Catalogue
• Overhaul Manual
• Fault rectification or Isolation manuals exist in customised and no
customised versions.
A non customised document will apply to all aircraft produced by a manufacturer.
A customised document covers all of the aircraft within a customer's fleet, or all of
the aircraft within a pool's fleet.
When the information in a manual is not applicable to all aircraft, the pieces of
information are grouped in paragraphs of effectivity. The effectivity is generally
shown at the bottom of each page of each manual and is indicated by customer
or pool fleet numbers, aircraft registration numbers or a manufacturers serial
It is essential that the effectivity is checked when carrying out maintenance
work of any description on an aircraft. There may be several pages one after the
other in a manual, each page looking similar to the one in front, but only one
page may apply to the aircraft being worked on.
The statement of effectivity is included in the introduction to each manual. Special mention

Although you should take every opportunity to become totally conversant with all
maintenance documentation in all formats, some manuals warrant special
mention at this stage. This should be taken as an indication of the importance of
these manuals to your daily work. Component Location Manual

The component Location Manual (CLM) follows the same chapter breakdown as
the Maintenance Manual and lists all functional systems with their respective
locations and access doors. Each component is identified by an electrical or
mechanical identifier and a designation. Maintenance Manual & Standard Practices

As we have seen the Maintenance Manual (MM) is divided into chapters and
each chapter is further divided into page groups. The maintenance manual is the
basic document for all information concerning maintenance procedures.
The chapters containing standard practices are considered to be the
engineers Bible. They comprise 3 main books; Standard Practices Airframe -
Chapter 20, Standard Practices Engine - Chapter 70 and Standard Practices
Avionic, contained in Chapter 20 of the Wiring Diagram Manual. It is not possible
to detail all the information contained within these three manuals, therefore YOU
CONVERSANT WITH THEIR CONTENTS. Illustrated Parts catalogue
The illustrated parts catalogue is used for the identification and provision of
replaceable aircraft parts and units. The IPC is a companion document to the MM
and includes all parts for which maintenance practice has been provided.
Guidance on the use of illustrated parts catalogues is given in the introduction
chapter of the manual. You will be expected to be able to use this manual to
identify part numbers, this can only be achieved through practice. Fault Isolation Manual

The Fault Isolation Manual (FIM) is a ground manual allowing the maintenance
engineer to perform quick trouble shooting and to determine which line
replaceable unit (LRU) is faulty. This manual was designed to reduce the ‘down
time ‘ of aircraft, however it should be noted that it will not (in the foreseeable
future) replace the experienced engineer. On occasions the manual can be
misleading and can result in the replacement of serviceable components or
equipment’s. To use the manual properly, one needs a good understanding of
the system under test.
This manual is effectively being built into modern aircraft and equipment’s.
Aircraft continually monitor and test themselves, should a fault condition arise the
LRU at fault is normally identified by the automatic test procedure and displayed
or stored for later identification. Wiring diagram manuals

The wiring diagram manual is the basic document concerning electrical system
information, it contains:
• The electrical and electronic block and wiring diagrams
• The list of cables and connectors
• The wiring repair procedures
Diagram numbering is in accordance with ATA specification 100. Each diagram is
assigned a page number. When only one configuration of a diagram exists, it will
be page 1, when different configurations of the same system exist, they will be
reflected on page 2, 3 etc.
When a diagram is referenced to another, only the diagram number is used.
Therefore, when there is more than one page of the same diagram, it is
necessary to refer to the effectivity block to make certain the diagram applies to
the aircraft of interest.
If diagrams of the same circuit cannot be shown on one sheet, they are shown on
additional sheets, having the same title and diagram number. These additional
sheets are identified as sheet 2, sheet 3 etc.
Chapter 20 of the WDM is the avionic engineers primary source of
information for ALL standard practices used on the associated aircraft.
READ IT and LEARN HOW TO USE IT. Excellent guidance on its use is
generally provided in the manual.
The ATA specification 100 is generally used for all large commercial aircraft,
however it is not a legal requirement, but simply an international agreement. This
agreement does not extend to smaller aircraft. The much smaller scale of
operation does not warrant the use of such systems and therefore individual
companies are left to their own devices. This results in a variety of different
formats and variations in the level of information or detail provided. In the worst
case, the only information given for maintenance procedures are expected values
or tolerances, the procedure is left to the engineer’s experience.
The following circuit symbols have been taken from a typical aircraft manual and
are intended to be a small selection of what you will find being used in aircraft
maintenance documentation. You will be expected to memorise common
symbols, as without them you will be unable to negotiate the aircraft schematic
diagrams and wiring diagram manuals. This applies irrespective of your intended
For manuals produced i.a.w. the ATA specification 100, a list of circuit symbols
can be found in the WDM Chapter 20. For other aircraft no such list may exist
and you will have to rely on memory.