Aircraft maintenance technicians conduct regular, and sometimes unplanned, visual inspections on aircraft. This is a time-and cost consuming, yet fundamental aspect of maintenance operations.
What if this process could be made more efficient? It can! Namely with the help of drones. Here are the 7 most important reasons why in just a couple of years, aircraft maintenance technicians and drones will work hand in hand around the world.
1. It saves time
With a drone, the visual inspection procedure turns from a manual into an automated process. As well as being challenging it can take days to complete a visual inspection. Often there is pressure involved in the process, especially when there is a new lessee already contracted to pick up the aircraft. What can take aircraft maintenance technicians up to two full days of work can be done by a drone in a matter of 2 hours, saving everybody valuable time.
2. It improves safety
An automated drone inspection eliminates the need for maintenance technicians to climb in great heights using ladders, scaffolding, and lifts. No licensed drone operator is needed, only supervision by ground personnel who controls the operation safely.
3. It streamlines operations
High-resolution images captured by the drone are immediately uploaded to a cloud platform. From here, every member of the team can quickly access the data which helps to better anticipate task cards and repair activities as well as to organize team and planning accordingly.
4. It generates reliable data
Drones ensure consistent, repeatable, and objective data, reducing the risk of costly surprises. Aircraft maintenance technicians have to be highly accurate in their work when identifying and reporting deviations on the fuselage. When the found damages are not reflected in the repair reporting it will raise questions if a proper repair is done and if it is well documented. Drones assist them in improving their accuracy when identifying and reporting deviations on the fuselage.
5. It allows to react fast
A drone can be deployed within 5 minutes to start an inspection, enabling MROs and airlines to take fast corrective action. Having historical pictures and reports of the full aircraft from the data archive at hand, allows to react fast and saves stress. After all, the investment by airlines put into an aircraft is for its flying capacity and minimal ground time.
6. It avoids discussions
Using a drone, you have impartial proof of the aircraft status and all the visual inspection reports easily accessible. Usually, in case an issue occurs, you have to take pictures, write reports, provide facts and proofs plus a lot of other documents to start an often never-ending discussion for warranty claims. With a drone however, such discrepancies between airline, MRO, and lessor documentation are avoided.
7. It’s cool
It is no secret that the aviation maintenance industry suffers from a severe aircraft maintenance technicians shortage, urging airlines and MROs to train younger, replacement workforce at scale. Being at the forefront of innovation and shining with digital solutions at work helps to differentiate yourself from competitors and to attract new talent.
How Mainblades supports your aircraft maintenance technicians
It does not matter whether your fleet consists of smaller jets such as the Embraer 190, narrowbody aircraft such as Airbus A320 or widebodies like the Boeing 787. Mainblades is able to inspect any kind of aircraft. No changes to our system are required, making it a flexible solution for mixed fleets. We save your maintenance technicians time and assist them to focus on their true expertise: analysing defects and making informed decisions on the maintenance tasks to be performed.
Indoor & outdoor
Hangar space is expensive to rent and not always available for aircraft operators. This is especially the case when unscheduled maintenance is required due to lightning strikes or other incidents. After a series of successful indoor tests our team was therefore eager to push our technology further in a way that it does not require a closed hangar environment. We worked hard to make outdoor inspections possible, allowing maintenance technicians to make quick assessments on the spot.
Whether it houses a full-service FBO, aircraft service and repairs, prop shop, or repair facility, a commercial aircraft hangar is a busy place. Performing a drone inspection in this dynamic environment therefore may seem like a challenge. However, the precision of our navigation software paired with a variety of safety features guarantees a completely safe operation that requires zero preparation for maintenance technicians. Maintain peace of mind while full maintenance ops continue normally.
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