New Design Technologies Change Aircraft Maintenance Procedures

The aviation industry is changing. New design technologies have dramatically changed the way aircraft are built and maintained. It is the latter aspect though that requires more legwork and adjustment on the part of airline operators.

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Aircraft maintenance is a central concern of airlines. Typically, aircraft, especially commercial ones, are checked before and after each flight. Weather conditions and in-flight incidences potentially affect the machine. Crews ensure that flights are sound before taking off. Commercial airlines all value passenger safety as its number one priority.

Checking these planes takes hours. Maintenance crew are instructed to be unforgivingly diligent and thorough in checking each part of the aircraft before giving the green signal for take-off.

Technology, meanwhile, has simplified this process. New aircraft designs now include software that allow crews to perform diagnostics via the cockpit or even a mobile device. This means that troubleshooting can be done simultaneous with the flight.

This way, the pilot can be alerted immediately to any shift or change in the aircraft. Pilots are already trained to handle challenging situations; however, this new system of instant diagnostic software provides an additional safety net of knowledge.

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Additionally, the software cuts the time required for ground crew to perform their maintenance checks. Commercial lines can now, potentially, handle more flights because inspections are expedited. A full aircraft check, however, is still required under aviation guidelines, and airline companies should not neglect these.

North Star Aviation in Mankato, MN offers fixed-base operator (FBO) services for aircraft, including maintenance and repair. To learn more about the company, view this LinkedIn page.


The Abcd Of Aircraft Maintenance

All commercial and private aircraft need to undergo proper maintenance and periodic inspections to ensure their airworthiness.

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A daily check is the lowest scheduled inspection, and it includes post-flight, basic pre-flight maintenance, and service and overnight checks. A cursory examination of the aircraft, along with the checking of fluid levels, general condition and security of the airplane, and installed emergency equipment, is conducted to ensure the airplane is in working order.

For heavier checks, more detailed inspections are categorized into the following maintenance plans:

‘A’ check: An ‘A’ check is performed every 400-600 hours of flight. It is typically done in designated maintenance hangars in the route structure. A minimum of 10 hours is required, and limited special tooling, servicing, and test equipment are required for the maintenance procedures.

Desert KC-10 Engine Change

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‘B’ check: Conducted every six to eight months, a ‘B’ check is completed within one to three days. While a detailed examination of components and systems is conducted, there is no need for detailed disassembly or removal of aircraft parts.

‘C’ check: Much more extensive than a ‘B’ check, a large majority of the components are thoroughly and individually probed for serviceability and function. It is performed every 20-24 months, and the general time of completion is around one to two weeks.

‘D’ check: The most comprehensive among the four checks, it is also known as a heavy maintenance visit. A ‘D’ check is accomplished every six years. A complete inspection and overhaul of every component and system is undertaken in approximately two months.

North Star Aviation in Mankato, MN offers full fixed-base operator services, which include maintenance and repair. Visit its official website for more information about its services.

Why More People Pursue Recreational Flying

When someone speaks of his childhood dream to become a pilot, he paints a peachy picture of that dream’s horizon. This horizon has the grand allure of prestige, of the crispness of a pilot’s uniform, of the power that comes with maneuvering a Boeing 747 or even a fighter jet like the one Tom Cruise flew in Top Gun.

Committing to such a dream, one might learn too late, is a tall order. In this sense, flying an aircraft and obtaining the license to do so is no ordinary undertaking.

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However, in a different and more realistic sense, flying a plane need not be too big a dream. There are gradual steps to realize it. While it is quite acceptable to say that learning how to fly is expensive, recreational flying offers the best learning experience with the most value for time and money.

Recreational flying allows for fewer but more manageable privileges. This is perfect for simple pleasures like seeing one’s own neighborhood from a bird’s eye view. Touring the city on the ground takes up most of the whole day, but from the air a scenic tour can allow you to see the city from end to end in a matter of minutes.

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Aiming for a recreational flying certificate is a fair start, one that entitles the aspiring pilot to flex his flying muscles for the first time. It affords the pilot to master simple flying and navigation techniques, and in fact, even safely take-off and land a plane, all in one afternoon. More complex flying certificates can easily be pursued later on.

North Star Aviation in Mankato, MN offers introductory flight lessons. Visit its website for more information about the company.

Two Mental Health Benefits of Flying an Airplane

Learning to fly an airplane takes a lot of dedication and practice. For many pilots, the thrill of being in the air and having a real and tangible say in how one’s life is lived is something that cannot be fully described to the lay person. Many individuals often enroll in flight school to experience something beyond them. There is still a sense of wonder that comes with operating machinery that flies. Many medical studies have been made on the various mental health benefits of flying a plane.

The first is the increased and enhanced neural function connected with focus. What many pilots eventually realize is that piloting is different from driving a car. Driving requires focus and patience, but there comes a time where basic functions and procedures become second nature. With flying an airplane, there are only a few and rare cases where this will happen. Pilots constantly have to remain focused on several factors to ensure that he or she remains in flight. There are also wind and chill factors to consider that a driver would not have to think of.

Flying through the clouds

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Second, flying an airplane improves one’s multitasking skill. It is neurologically improbable that several activities can be done simultaneously with the same amount of quality. The brain can adapt to allocate resources to various stimuli and still perform relatively well. This is particularly important for men who are more genetically predisposed to focus on a single area completely.


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These two benefits have been the most studied and observed changes pilots have after finishing flight school and practicing the skill onwards.

North Star Aviation in Mankato, MN, is highly respected for the excellent flight school curriculum and training courses. For more information, visit this websit.

Safety Tips for First Time Flyers

Flying for the first time is both an exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience. Airport policies, visa requirements, and airplane safety can be overwhelming. But with ample preparation, your first time flying experience can be enjoyable and stress-free.

Before flying, research about your destination. Know which travel documents you will need to prepare and if you need to have any vaccinations. Research the airports you will be traveling through as well. Get to know the facilities, information points, and the available transportation once you have arrived.

Passengers walk through the newly opened Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia May 16, 2012. The new $1.4 billion terminal, a 1.2 million square foot facility that is LEED certified officially opened its doors welcoming their first flights.   REUTERS/Tami Chappell   (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TRANSPORT)

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On the day of your flight, show up early and allow plenty of time at the airport. Plan to arrive at least two hours before your flight to ensure that you will not forget important items or get stuck on long queues at the check-in counters. Make sure to prepare all the necessary travel documents as well. Keep your passport, visa, ID, and boarding pass in one pouch so you can easily present them when needed.

Familiarizing yourself with airport policies and baggage restrictions will ensure a worry-free journey. If possible, consider traveling with only a carry-on bag so you can easily keep an eye on your belongings. Packing light is not only more convenient, it also cuts extra costs of checking in luggage. Don’t forget to put a padlock or a luggage strap on your bag and make sure that only uniformed airport employees handle your luggage.


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Flight attendants will kindly assist you once you’re inside the plane. As long as you follow the airplane safety rules, you will have a safe and comfortable trip. Happy flying!

North Star Aviation is a full-service fixed-based operator (FBO) based in Mankato, MN. Learn more about the company’s aeronautical services through its official website.

Overcoming the Fear of Flying

Aviophobia – a fear that has grounded so many from flying and enjoying the convenience brought by traveling by air. Different studies peg the statistics of people who have this fear from 5 percent to 20 percent. Causes of this fear arise for various reasons, with others fearing an occurrence of a plane crash or accident, claustrophobia – or the fear of being trapped, or fear of panic or anxiety attacks.

The default response to this fear is avoiding flying altogether, opting instead to use other modes of transportation. There are instances though that this cannot be the case, that the fear of flying should be overcome, and the good news is it is doable. The following are some of the ways on how to bring the fear under control.

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News and disaster movies have made their way to people’s head, causing them to overestimate the threat when there really is none. The International Air Transport Association recorded just one accident in every five million flights. Statistically speaking, airplanes are a safe mode of transportation.


A good movie, music, book, magazine, and the like are an effective way to distract one’s self from the anxiety of flying. By keeping the mind off being in the airplane, comfort is easier to attain.

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Simple exercises can relieve stress and keep emotions in check during flights. Squeeze balls or stuffed animals can provide a release for tension. Stretching and deep breaths can also relax the muscles in the body and offer an outlet for a good deal of energy.

Follow this Facebook page for North Star Aviation in Mankato, MN, for the latest news and updates on the aviation industry.

Fun Flight: The Recreational Side of Flying

Some people dream of dominating the speedway while for others it is all about conquering the skies. And while learning to fly is a worthwhile endeavor, for some folks, it can be a very time-consuming and even resource-draining activity.

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But those who really want to pursue their love of flying have other means to parlay their passion. Even without professional training, they can soar to great heights via recreational flying. Many companies, such as North Star Aviation in Mankato, MN, offer a recreational flying program to those who are interested in learning to fly, and eventually, earn their wings. For instance, at North Star Aviation, flight training begins with an introductory flight lesson, which usually lasts about an hour and includes a detailed preflight briefing with the instructor and a half-hour flight where the student can get hands on the controls, be shown some maneuvers, and ask as many questions about flying.

Meanwhile, for those who are content with the view from above as a passenger, North Star Aviation also offers scenic flights. Passengers can marvel at the beauty of Southern Minnesota or see the Minnesota River Valley. For couples who want to bring their love to the next (and higher) level, North Star Aviation also offers romantic flights. City sightseeing from thousands of feet above ground is also possible.

Indeed, there is no shortage of opportunities to those who dream of flying a plane. Whether dreaming of commanding a commercial jet or just cruising on a light aircraft, learning to fly can be more fulfilling than one can truly imagine.

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Whether interested in just flying for fun or thinking of building a career as a professional pilot, you can get assistance from North Star Aviation. You can head over to Mankato Regional Airport to start your flight training or visit this website for additional information.