Specialists at the S7 Technics maintenance, repair and overhaul Tolmachevo (Novosibirsk) airport facility have successfully performed scheduled base maintenance activities on one of Globus Airlines’ Boeing 737-800s. Fuel tank structure inspections involving Flight Length Sensitive (FLS) tasks were successfully completed in addition to the labour-intensive C-checks + 6-Year.
The Boeing 737NG is today one of the world’s most popular aircraft, with more than 150 actively operating in Russia alone. With the initial B737NGs first entering commercial service more than 20 years ago, and given the type’s long term aircraft usage, the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prescribed mandatory Boeing 737NG tank structure inspections based on a specified minimum number of flight hours.
As part of the work requested by the customer, S7 Technics’ specialists performed 144 labour-intensive individual FLS operations. Most of the work involved various non-destructive testing procedures, including low- and high-frequency eddy-current inspections and ultrasound appraisals etc.
In general, the mandatory tank structure inspections were carried out in three main stages that, in the first phase, required some secondary structural elements of the aircraft to be dismantled. These included flap, engine struts and wing-to-fuselage junction fairings, as well as other equipment involving wirings and pipelines. After that, the experts removed old sealants and cleaned up the inspected surfaces.
In the second stage, all prepared areas were inspected, before the third stage included the preparation of surfaces and the restoration of sealants in several phases.
“The specific nature of this work was in the limited accessibility of those areas inside the wing of the aircraft, with the limited space and large volumes of sealant that needed to be removed. Most wing areas are reachable by only one specialist – a second person, much less a third, cannot physically fit into such tight areas. It is also worth noting that the labour-intense nature of the works were a result of the complex and time-consuming sealer restoration technology,” insists Taras Soldatov, S7 Technics’ base maintenance lead engineer.
The Globus Airlines B737-800 tank structure inspection was accomplished by a team of category A and B engineers and mechanics at the company’s base maintenance shop. In total, 25 individuals were involved in the FLS works. By the end of 2019, S7 Technics specialists are due to inspect the tank structures of three more Globus Airlines (part of S7 Airlines) B737-800s.
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