Identification and Assessment for Damage to Composite Aircraft Structures Training Document
Individuals who complete this course will be able to define the type of damage, define the extent of damage, determine if further inspection is required, and provide accurate documentation of the damage. The intended outcome of the training is increased safety such that no aircraft is released with unknown damage and that the aircraft meets continued airworthiness requirements. The goal is to change the culture from damage discovery to damage reporting while also reducing or eliminating flight delays due to incorrect or insufficient information.
Rationale: With the increased use of composites in the construction of primary structure in commercial aircraft particularly of structure exposed to accidental damage during operation, there is a growing concern that damage may be improperly identified, inadequately assessed, or not reported.
A threat exists due to:
1. Many of the individuals working around composite aircraft may have little or no specific training or familiarity with composites and their differences from metals. This creates an opportunity for a common human factor “Lack of Knowledge” to affect their decisions and actions when reporting or investigating an aircraft damage event.
2. Experience with previous aircraft may lead to two human factors “Complacency” and “Norms” which may prevent individuals from taking the actions necessary to properly address composite structure.
3. Factors such as stress, pressure, and fatigue are common in the airline industry and individuals lacking proper training tools and support may not have the assertiveness to overcome these obstacles.
All personnel working in the vicinity of a composite aircraft must be made aware of the importance of reporting all potential damage events to composite structure. Once the event is reported, it is the responsibility of the targeted audience to begin the assessment process which will be covered in this curriculum.