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S3C8 - FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

FOREIGN OBJECT DESCRIPTION

DANGERS ARISING FROM THE PRESENCE OF FOREIGN OBJECTS

FACTORS IN FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL

FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL RESPONSIBILITIES

Commanding Officers

Maintenance Personnel

FOREIGN OBJECT AWARENESS

FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL CHECKS

Requirements

Conduct

CONTAMINATION

PROMULGATION OF INFORMATION

Annex

A. Example of a Foreign Object Control Local Instruction

INTRODUCTION

1. In order for aircraft and aeronautical product to operate safely and economically throughout their service life, they must be maintained and operated to their highest standards. However, all forms of maintenance and the operation of equipment have the potential to introduce foreign objects.

2. Damage can be caused to engines, propellers, helicopter rotors, by ground debris and other loose matter being thrown up during engine running, taxying, and hovering. This damage is known as Foreign Object Damage (FOD), the acronym is used as a general term to describe all ground debris and other loose matter. To minimise the potential risk of damage, great care is to be exercised in keeping runways, taxiways, hard stands, flight decks and all work areas clear of loose matter.

3. This chapter prescribes the AMO responsibilities and procedures to be followed to effectively manage foreign object control.

FOREIGN OBJECT DESCRIPTION

4. Foreign objects are limitless in variety and include the following:

  1. dirt, sand, gravel, stones, road metal or other material which can be:
    1. thrown up by aircraft, Ground Support Equipment (GSE), Motor Transport (MT), Surface Vehicle (SV) tyres
    2. drawn up by propellers or jet engines, or
    3. introduced into the maintenance environment on shoes, personnel clothing, or adhering to tools or equipment being used in maintenance.
  2. nuts, bolts, washers, split pins, locking wire, rivets
  3. tools, including riveting dollies, rigging pins, and torches
  4. off cuts of metal sheet, extruded sections, electrical wire/cable, insulating tape, pieces of solder, swarf, and masking tape
  5. tins of paint, solvent, and sealant
  6. components, such as hinge brackets, inspection doors, blanking plugs, protective caps, and engine covers
  7. rags, pencils, pens, coins, articles of clothing, including hair adornments and buttons
  8. items of jewellery, including rings, neck chains, bracelets, earrings and watches
  9. birds or mice and their nests.

DANGERS ARISING FROM THE PRESENCE OF FOREIGN OBJECTS

5. The dangers resulting from the ingress or presence of foreign objects can include the following:

  1. damage to propulsion equipment, such as propellers/rotors, compressors and turbines of gas turbine engines, or ancillary equipment, damage may be in the form of:
    1. general abrasion or fouling; or
    2. impact damage.
  2. jamming of flying and other controls
  3. obstruction of pipes
  4. mechanical damage, or
  5. damage by overheating or overloading of electrical circuits by conductive foreign objects or jamming of relays.

6. The type of construction employed and the increasing degree of complexity of systems and installations results in a reduction in access, increases the ease with which foreign objects can be concealed, and increases the difficulty of effectively inspecting for their presence.

FACTORS IN FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL

7. To prevent foreign object problems, there must be a preventive system in place, and all personnel must be aware of the issues surrounding Foreign Object Control (FOC). In particular, an awareness of the possible consequences of the presence of foreign objects in aircraft and aircraft technical equipment in respect to the hazards to life, impairment of operational effectiveness and expenses incurred in repair must be established and maintained.

FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL RESPONSIBILITIES

Commanding Officers

8. Commanding Officers (COs) must ensure that a suitable FOC programme is promulgated in the Maintenance Management Plan (MMP). Lower level information can be promulgated in local instructions, as required.

9. The AMO must ensure that:

  1. the FOC programme is implemented
  2. FOC programme representatives are to be nominated in accordance with this chapter
  3. all AMO maintenance and non-maintenance personnel are educated in the dangers of FOD and the need for foreign object control
  4. awareness of foreign object control and potential contamination is maintained through the use of suitable promotional material and continuation training
  5. only authorised vehicular traffic is permitted in the AMO area, including runways, taxiways, hard stands, flight decks and all work areas

    NOTE

    Personnel responsible for vehicles proceeding into designated tarmac areas are to ensure all tyre treads are inspected and cleared of FOD, immediately prior to proceeding.

  6. environmental, equipment and procedural aspects which may cause the introduction of foreign objects are eliminated as far as possible and that:
    1. Covers, plates, blanks and bungs are fitted to the intakes and exhausts of engines of aircraft not immediately required for flying or ground running.
    2. Maintenance personnel are provided with suitably designed containers for the temporary storage of tools, materials, fasteners (nuts, bolts, rivets) and cleaning rags being used in maintenance. Such containers are to be suited to the environment, eg calico bags or small containers with spring or snap action lids are to be available for use in confined spaces.
    3. All tools and support equipment are accounted for by the use of composite tool kits (CTK) or a similar control system.
    4. Tools such as riveting dollies and hold up bars are painted a bright distinctive colour to assist in their detection.
    5. Suitable containers are provided on workstands, aircraft docking stands and aircraft ground power units for the deposit of foreign objects found on hangar floors or on the tarmac. These containers are to be brightly coloured with an eye-catching sign proclaiming their purpose.
    6. Maintenance debris pads are used to trap swarf, filings, rivet heads and other off cuts during rework in confined areas.

Maintenance Personnel

10. All maintenance personnel are to ensure that tools, support equipment, materials and other foreign objects are removed from the work areas during and on completion of maintenance tasks, or at any time a foreign object is detected. Maintenance personnel are to maintain awareness/vigilance in actively looking for foreign objects and FOD at all times.

11. FOC checks must be performed by all personnel involved in the performance, supervision and inspection of any maintenance task. There is no requirement for a separate maintenance task entry in the recording and certification system for a FOC check, as certification of all maintenance tasks encompasses the requirements of FOC. Notwithstanding, a separate FOC check may be called for at any time, recorded and certified as a separate maintenance task.

FOREIGN OBJECT AWARENESS

12. The AMO must have a nominated representative responsible for foreign object awareness. This need not be a stand alone appointment, the duties may be combined with other AMO appointments, eg Quality Manager, MM responsible for Deeper Maintenance (DM). However, Foreign Object awareness and associated problems must be regularly reviewed and considered by AMO senior management.

13. The CO is to ensure foreign object awareness is promoted by appointing foreign object awareness representative from maintenance. Where possible, a Pilot, Navigator/Observer or Flight Engineer are to be nominated to assist the representative and to promote foreign object awareness amongst the aircrew.

14. The function of the foreign object awareness representative is to:

  1. assist the CO to carry out the requirements of this chapter
  2. investigate instances of FOD and implement/recommend corrective action
  3. collect and disseminate written material, photographs, posters, and videos, dealing with the subject of FOD and foreign object control
  4. report, on a regular basis, to the CO through the SMM on current FOD issues
  5. ensure FOC problems are regularly addressed at AMO management level.

15. To avoid duplication of effort and to ensure the widest possible coverage of the subject, the activities of the foreign object awareness representative is to be coordinated with those of the Workplace Health and Safety Committee or other suitable regular management meetings wherever possible.

FOREIGN OBJECT CONTROL CHECKS

Requirements

16. FOC checks are required when compartments are about to be hidden from view or sealed off. If a tool, consumable or other item has been used to perform maintenance in an area to be concealed a FOC check is required.

Conduct

17. FOC checks consist of a thorough visual inspection of the area to be concealed to ensure that it is free from foreign objects. As such, all maintenance personnel must have an appreciation of the maintenance that was performed in the subject area and the tooling and consumables utilised, prior to performing the FOC check.

18. Upon completion of the FOC check, the area inspected must be subject to no further maintenance and closed.

CONTAMINATION

19. In addition to the above, contaminated fuels, lubricants and other fluids present a potential foreign object hazard which is generally referred to as ‘contamination’. Maintenance personnel must ensure that:

  1. containers and equipment such as refuelling or oil dispensing equipment nozzles are kept scrupulously clean and when not in use, adequately sealed against the ingress of contamination
  2. dirt or other foreign matter is not adhering to:
    1. tools used to open cans, or
    2. nozzles or cans when they are opened or used to replenish equipment.
  3. before removing fuel, oil or hydraulic fluid tank caps the caps and the immediate surroundings are free of foreign matter
  4. oil, grease or hydraulic fluids which have been stored in open cans are not used on or in aircraft or aeronautical product
  5. ‘unit pack’ oil or hydraulic fluid is used immediately the can is opened to replenish aircraft or aeronautical product
  6. oils, greases, hydraulic or other fluids are not stored in close proximity to detergents, cleaning compounds, or similar materials and that containers are adequately, correctly and legibly marked to indicate their contents.

PROMULGATION OF INFORMATION

20. This chapter relates to the framework for foreign object control in AMOs. MMPs or local instructions are to give specific details pertinent to local needs and requirements. An example of the content and layout of a FOC local instruction is shown in Annex A.

Annex:

  1. Example of a Foreign Object Control Local Instruction
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