NTSB Safety Alert: Control Foreign Object Debris

Account for all items after performing maintenance tasks!

The problem:

  • Mechanics, or others who help with aircraft maintenance, might leave items or residual debris behind after performing maintenance tasks that could become foreign object debris (FOD). Examples of FOD include tools, hardware, eyeglasses, keys, portable electronic devices (PEDs), paint chips, and metal shavings.
  • If mechanics and others do not account for every item that they use in or around an aircraft and clean as they go, this FOD can be ingested into the engine or interfere with critical flight systems, leading to an accident.

What can you do?

  • Perform an inventory of tools, personal items, AND personal protective equipment before working on an aircraft. Take only what is necessary for the specific maintenance task. Consider placing nonessential personal items, such as jewelry, coins, keys, and PEDs, in a secure location instead of keeping them with you during maintenance tasks.
  • Prepare the workspace on the aircraft by covering up engines, pitot static ports, air inlets, and other areas with protective materials to reduce the likelihood of FOD migration (including residual debris, such as paint chips or metal shavings) to critical flight systems. SA-054 June 2016.
  • While working in low visibility areas (ramp/hangar), ensure that proper lighting is used to check for FOD left behind during maintenance.
  • Keep hardware and consumables in appropriate containers to prevent them from becoming FOD. Store tools in tool boxes and bags, and organize them in a manner so that you can easily recognize if one or more is missing.
  • Distractions can cause you to forget things during maintenance tasks. Always follow the maintenance manual/task card and use a checklist. If you get distracted, go back three steps when restarting your work.
  • As you perform the maintenance task, clean as you go to reduce the likelihood of leaving any items. Keep a FOD container next to you during the maintenance task for easy FOD disposal.
  • Perform a second inventory of tools, any essential personal items, AND personal protective equipment (such as safety glasses, gloves, and hearing protection) after you have completed the maintenance task to ensure that items have not been left behind. Remove any aircraft protective materials so that they do not become FOD.
  • Ask another mechanic to visually inspect your work area for any items that may become FOD. A second set of eyes may see something that you missed.
  • Recognize that human factors issues such as complacency, fatigue, pressure, stress, and a lack of situation awareness can contribute to FOD.
  • Consider conducting daily FOD walks in areas such as hangars, ramps, and runways to identify and remove FOD.

Interested in more information? Click here to read the full NTSB Safety Alert.

NTSB Joins The Fight Against Misfueling

Its been under two months since NATA released the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program and nearly 1,500 users have completed the free awareness training. Misfueling prevention is a significant priority and fortunately, preventing misfuelings is not a complex task. As the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program describes, a few simple steps completed by pilots, line service professionals, FBO customer service representatives and managers can dramatically reduce the risk of misfueling.

This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined the effort to prevent incidents of misfueling with the release of two Safety Alerts,

Both of these NTSB Safety Alerts specifically reference the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program and emphasize the important steps for preventing misfueling outlined in the program.

Everyone has a stake in preventing misfuelings. Take a few minutes today to read the NTSB Safety Alerts and have your team view the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program at:

www.preventmisfueling.com

NTSB Announces 2016 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced the 2016 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 95th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The NTSB’s Most Wanted List “highlights safety issues identified from the NTSB’s accident investigations to increase awareness about the issues and promote recommended safety solutions.”

The following is the NTSB 2016 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements:

  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Improve Rail Transit Safety Oversight
  • Promote Availability Of Collision Avoidance Technologies In Highway Vehicles
  • Strengthen Occupant Protection
  • Disconnect From Deadly Distractions
  • Prevent Loss Of Control In Flight In General Aviation
  • Promote The Completion Of Rail Safety Initiatives
  • End Substance Impairment In Transportation
  • Require Medical Fitness For Duty
  • Expand Use Of Recorders To Enhance Transportation Safety