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Defence Aviation Safety Authority

Aircraft Structural Integrity

Aircraft are engineered to perform under original design conditions. In the military environment they may be used in ways that have greater impacts upon the airframe. Hence they need to be monitored for performance to ensure there are no issues that may diminish safe operation. Defence also sometimes extends the operational life time of an aircraft beyond its original design specifications, and this also requires monitoring and review. This ensures any life extension decision is made within calculated and tested parameters to provide a level of safety assurance. The Agency manages structural integrity through the development of a structural plan for each aircraft platform which is constantly reviewed based upon fatigue monitoring data and/or changes in operating environment.

Non Destructive Testing and Aviation Composite Technologies

This capability plays a vital role in technical airworthiness by providing the ‘hands on’ approaches that assist in making engineering determinations in support of the airframe. Non Destructive Testing and Composite Technologies (NDTCT) supports Aircraft Structural Integrity by providing and maintaining NDT services, equipment and metallurgical forensic capability. This includes NDT and bonded structures training which is essential for maintaining aging aircraft platforms, and the introduction of new materials. They have key relationships with Aircraft Engineering Organisations for the provision of repair procedures , and Aircraft Maintenance Organisations for training and staff accreditation. NDTCT provides training to Defence, civilian contractors and Defence Co-operative Program students in bonded structural repair processes and techniques.