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A Guide To Avionic Repairs

By Tara Daniels

The next time that you find yourself waiting at an airport just see how many different types of aircraft you can spot. There will be commercial aircraft, some might be fro regional traffic and others for trans-continental, some will carry passengers and others freight. There will be small independently operated aircraft too, and possibly even the military. Despite seeming to be different they can still face the same problems. Problems which could require avionic repairs.

All of these aircraft are very complex pieces of machinery. Even a quick glance into a small aircraft's cockpit will give you some idea of the level of complexity, as there are instruments, levers and switches. With these the pilot is able to monitor and control the aircraft's performance.

It is quite common for them to have electrical inputs and outputs, which will feed into a variety of systems. These systems are also varied, and could be for anything from engine performance to navigation. All such systems can be placed under the title of avionics. In fact this is a word which has been made from two others, aviation and electronics.

Despite working in the civilian world many technicians have come from military backgrounds, they will have routinely dealt with the complexities of the military systems. These could have involved active and passive weapons and defence systems. It might surprise people to learn that some civil airlines can also fit decoy countermeasures.

As with all technologies there can be times when things go wrong. The engineers have to identify which part is causing the problem. Sometimes it can be a mechanical or a wiring problem, but more often than not the problem lies with a control box.

These service technicians will replace the box with a working one and test the system. Maybe if it is a major hub for the airline they might have a servicing area there. If not the broken box has to go elsewhere to be fixed, fortunately there are plenty of firms who offer this service.

If it is geographically close then the box might be sent to the manufacturer. If its on another continent then it is far easier to send it to an authorised servicing facility. These engineering firms will have been authorised by both the relevant aviation authority as well as the manufacturer to conduct rectification works. This means that their work quality is guaranteed.

On receiving the control box the first thing for the engineers to do is to carry out diagnostic tests. This will give an indication of which part has failed. On ascertaining which part has failed, it has to be determined why it failed, this will help prevent it happening again. The defective part also has to be replaced. Only on the completion of all of these operations will a full functional test be carried out.

When these avionic repairs are complete, all of the relevant documentation needs to be filled in and signed or stamped. This is the customer's warranty that the item is now working, and that any modifications that they have requested have been incorporated. The item and paperwork is then dispatched to the customer.

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