Airplane maintenance is unquestionably the most important part of airplane ownership. FAA regulations require that every plane that is used commercially be inspected once every 100 hours that it is used. Airplane mechanics are required to be extremely skilled, and they must pay close attention to every single detail of the aircraft maintenance.
The FAA requires a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program to be implemented. This program is designed to provide routine inspections for every single aircraft that is operated commercially. These inspections, or checks, are divided into different categories. Maintenance checks that fall under the category of A or B are designed to cover routine maintenance. Those that fall under the category of C or D are designed to provide a more detailed inspection and review of the aircraft. During these inspections, mechanics will use the aircraft maintenance equipment stipulated by the FAA for the maintenance they are performing.
Maintenance that falls under the category of A check is done once every 500 to 800 hours and is usually performed at the airport gate. The B check will be performed every 90-180 days and will be carried out in the airplanes hanger. The C check is required for every 15 to 21 months. During this inspection, just about every aspect of the plane is checked. This is a detailed review of the airplane that can take in excess of two weeks. D checks are the most thorough inspection that an airplane can receive. These are done every 5 to 6 years. Because of the level of detail involved in the inspection, it can take more than two months.
The primary reason for all of these maintenance checks is to maintain passenger safety. Commercial airlines are able to operate because they have garnered the trust of the public. Flying in an airplane is something that can make people feel uneasy. Being over a mile off of the ground is not normal for humans. However, every single day, millions of people get on and off airplanes with complete confidence because they know that these maintenance checks have been done.
Thanks to the hard work of aviation mechanics, air travel has been and probably will continue to be the safest form of transportation available. Airplanes receive more maintenance than automobiles. Airplane mechanics receive constant updates to their training. And the techniques that are used for building airplanes are constantly improving. For this reason, passengers can sit back and enjoy their flight with the confidence that they will arrive safely at their destination.