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Aging aircraft wiring problems and solutions - Essay Example

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Aging aircraft wiring has been a cause of significant threat to both invaluable human life and material. It is almost certain that a smart wiring alone will not be the solution to this problem considering the working conditions of an aircraft. …
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Aging aircraft wiring problems and solutions
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Download file to see previous pages Aging aircraft wiring has been a cause of significant threat to both invaluable human life and material. It is almost certain that a smart wiring alone will not be the solution to this problem considering the working conditions of an aircraft. Keeping this scenario in mind this paper is trying to consider a few of the most pressing safety problems in aviation today. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) later determined the cause of the TWA 800 accident to have been a wiring failure that led to an ignition spark in the fuel tank. The Swissair disaster is believed to have been caused by electrical arcing originating from an in-flight entertainment cable. These disasters provided the initial impetus to begin reshaping commercial wiring policies' (Kevin R. Wheeler and Dogan A. Timucin 2007).A TWA747, flight 800, heading for Paris and Rome with 230 from JFK international airport on the night of July 17, 1996, exploded shortly after take off and during initial climb out. The huge aircraft was blown up killing all the passengers and crew aboard. One of the most extensive aircraft investigations in the history was initiated following the crash. After many findings the initial fear of a terrorist missile attack was vanished. Enormous efforts were vested on the recovery process along with the FBI and NTSB investigations. The search was supported by FAA, US Navy Boeing and hundreds of contractors. Finally, the remains of the aircraft were recovered from Atlantic. To the continuing frustration of conspiracy theorists, investigators determined that the aircraft was not downed by a bomb or missile, but rather fell victim to a much more insidious enemy - faulty wiring. Hot or chafed wire is believed to have ignited the fuel vapors in the empty center wing tank, creating a massive explosion and in-flight breakup of the aircraft. The similar incidents occurred in the aviation industry at regular intervals.
Obviously the wire and connector fault detection and prognosis problem is difficult and each agency is doing the best that it can with the resources given (J.S. Barrett and M.A. Green 1994). Thus, developing the appropriate theoretical approach, using simulations and data collection for development and eventually leading to requirements definition for all aspects of the wiring fault detection problem seem to be a huge task.
The terrific crashes remind us that the aircraft electrical system malfunctioning can lead to tragic eventualities in terms of human life and monetary loss. Wiring problems often lead to troubleshooting nightmares, and canceled missions. With miles of wire bundles running through barely accessible compartments, inspecting and repairing wiring problems can eat up your maintenance budget and resources in a very short time. To help maintenance managers address these types of issues, we investigated the tools and techniques that can be used to minimize down time and improve safety.
Jim sparks (2004) felt that 'wiring in aircraft has been installed without much thought given to the overall life. The concept has been one of "fit and forget." Various failure modes and their severity may not have been considered during the design or modification process. Maintenance programs often did not address the impact of insulation breakdown and resulting arcing, nor was consideration given to the probability of splices ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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