Inspection policies in aircraft service

    Konstantin N. Nechval Affiliation
    ; Nicholas A. Nechval Affiliation


As aircraft structures begin to age (that is, as flight hours accumulate), existing subcritical cracks or new cracks can grow in some high‐stress points of the structural components. The usual approach is to inspect the structures periodically. Thus, a catastrophic accident during flight can be avoided. The problem then arises of choosing a sequence of inspection times which avoids both too many inspections, which may be costly, and too few inspections, that may also be costly due to a crack in an aircraft structure component not being detected for a long period. In this paper, a simple approach is proposed, where after each inspection (if a crack is not detected), we choose the next inspection point so that a crack may occur within an interval between successive inspection times with a given probability. It allows one to find the inspection policies for detection of initial cracks in critical structural components of aircraft under the assumption that the parameter values of the underlying distributions are unknown; this constraint is often met in practice. Furthermore, obtaining inspection schedules under crack propagation is considered. To illustrate the proposed technique based on ancillary statistics, numerical examples are given.

First Published Online: 14 Oct 2010

Keyword : aircraft structures, fatigue cracks, inspection policies, detection

How to Cite
Nechval, K. N., & Nechval, N. A. (2004). Inspection policies in aircraft service. Aviation, 8(4), 3-9.
Published in Issue
Dec 31, 2004
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