A Survey of Aircraft Structural-life Management Programs in the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Forces, and the U.S. Air Force

Front Cover
Rand Corporation, 2006 - Political Science - 87 pages
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The U.S. Air Force owns and operates some 6,000 aircraft, with an average age of 22 years. Many of the older aircraft are facing aging issues. Since 1958, the Air Force has relied on its Aircraft Structural Integrity Program to maintain the safety of its aircraft throughout their service lives. In recent years, concerns have arisen about the aging force, budget pressures, diminishing program regulation, and communication challenges. The authors have addressed these concerns by comparing the Air Force program with its peers in the U.S. Navy and Canadian Forces, seeking insights that might help the Air Force enhance its own program's effectiveness. Some of these insights include the value of clarifying the program's policies and extending and formalizing existing processes, providing independent compliance assessment, facilitating communications and close working relationships, and standardizing metrics and communications to improve the command's understanding of the conditions of all its aircraft.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The US Air Force Aircraft Structural Integrity Program
3
Current ASIP Challenges
4
Study Purpose and Scope
6
Approach
7
Selection Method and Data Collection
8
Potential Bias
9
Background
11
Summary
46
Regulations
47
Resource Management
48
Aircraft StructuralLife Management in the US Air Force
49
Governing Policy
50
Principal Authorities
52
ASIP Process
54
Developing ASIP Master Plans
55

Damage Tolerance Versus SafeLife
12
The Choice of the US Navy and the Canadian Forces
13
The Choice of the US Air Force and the Canadian Forces
14
Principal Elements of the Aircraft StructuralLife Management Process
15
Aircraft StructuralLife Management in the US Navy
19
Governing Policy
20
Aircraft StructuralLife Management Process
22
Establishing StructuralLife Limit
24
StructuralLife Assessment
25
ServiceLife Extension or Retirement
27
Risk Management
28
Regulatory Processes
29
Summary
30
Communications
31
Aircraft StructuralLife Management in the Canadian Forces
33
Program Structure
34
Governing Policy
35
ASIP Process
38
Structural Condition Monitoring
39
Updates of ASIP Master Plan
41
Risk Management
42
Regulatory Processes
43
Airworthiness Certification
44
Risk Acceptance
45
Developing Force Structural Maintenance Plans
56
Tracking Structural Use
58
Updating FSMPs
59
Implementing FSMPs and ASIP Master Plans
60
Risk Management
63
Summary
64
Regulations
65
Resource Management
66
Observations About Aircraft StructuralLife Management Approaches
67
Oversight Approach
68
Distribution of Regulatory Responsibilities
69
Approaches to Communication
70
Information Sharing Mechanisms
72
Dedicated Funding Line
73
Types of Information Used in Resource Management
74
Formal Planning Processes
75
Observations About Options for the Future
77
Options for the Future
78
Formal Processes and Independent Assessments
79
Standardization
80
History of the Air Force ASIP
81
Bibliography
85
Copyright

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