Aircraft Maintenance System (AMS)

By |2019-08-06T15:42:15+00:00November 29th, 2015|

The Aircraft Maintenance System (AMS) provides the flight line and backshops maintenance execution, maintenance planning and management capabilities to maintain, operate and support aircraft in a safe, compliant and operational ready state to support the mission requirements. AMS integrates multiple maintenance management activities providing a consolidated centralized asset management tool. All aspects of maintenance are captured in near-real-time allowing for an accurate snapshot of either a specific asset or an entire aircraft fleet, at any given time.

Aircraft maintenance consists of three levels (Operational, Intermediate, and Depot) and two types (scheduled and unscheduled).

  • Operational level (O-level) maintenance is generally performed by flight-line personnel and is usually focused on scheduled inspections/servicing and rapid repair of aircraft discrepancies noted during or between aircraft flights.
  • Intermediate level (I-level) maintenance involves more extensive maintenance work, such as major inspections and component repair and overhaul.
  • Depot-level maintenance involves extensive modification or overhaul to major aircraft components.

AMS manages, plans, tracks, executes and reports on work being planned, performed and completed. The module provides the capability for maintenance managers to assign tasks to specific shops/mechanics and track the work as it is being performed. Mechanics use the system to view specific work instructions to complete assigned tasks and to document work
accomplished, which includes the capability to input their labor times and resources—support equipment, test equipment, and spares—used to complete the job assignment.

The module also defines the quality inspection criteria of each maintenance task and is fully integrated with the parts inventory, stocking and distribution functions of the logistics system. In addition, the maintenance planning capability provides the ability to optimize and rationalize maintenance actions to reduce aircraft downtime. The documented inputs
provide quality assurance personnel and maintenance managers information required to report that the aircraft is flight and mission ready, and is in an approved configuration. The NAMIS integrated database allows for future analysis of the records and data.

AMS functionalities and capabilities include:

  • Aircraft Mission Status
  • Aircraft Status History
  • Asset “Near-Due” Management (± Deviations)
  • Asset Trends
  • Attachments (all legacy formats)
  • Auto FCF and In-flight Ops Check Triggers
  • Auto Repair
  • Auto-E-mail Driven by Event
  • Cannibalization Tracking
  • Capture Bill of Materials per MA/WR
  • Capture Calibrated Tools per MA/WR
  • Capture Labor Hours per MA/WR
  • Capture Technician’s Tool Box ID (Tool Control)
  • Centralized Consolidated Asset Management
  • Cradle-to-Grave Asset Tracking
  • Create New Assets from Maintenance
  • Create Work Request Package
  • Calculate Engine Oil Consumption
  • Expanded Search Filters
  • Event Forecast Reporting
  • Fabrication Request (LMR)
  • Flight Preparedness Report (FPR) Archive and Retrieval
  • Functional Checks
  • Ground Support Equipment Management and TrackingImpound Assets (Lock Records)
  • Initiate Vendor Action
  • Integrate With Material (Spares, Logistics) Management Systems
  • Life Support Equipment Management and Tracking
  • Maintenance Test Database
  • Manage Aircraft Engineering and Configuration Changes
  • Manage Calibrated Tools (warns when overdue)
  • Tracks Mandatory Component Lists
  • Multiple Remove and Installs per MA/WR
  • One-Click Access from Maintenance to Logistics
  • Over-The-Shoulder Sign-Offs
  • On-Line Help
  • Pass-Through Login Authentication
  • Quality Assurance WR Audit
  • Remove Work Center
  • Requisition Tab
  • Review Items
  • Single or Multiple Signatures
  • Single or Multiple Step Sign-off
  • Steps (Work Card and Custom)
  • Technical Directive Dispositions
  • Technical Directive/Scheduled Maintenance Links
  • Templates (Once & Done)
  • Traceability
  • Tracking Multiple Basis per Set Event
  • Time Since Overhaul (TSO) Auto-Reset
  • Trend Analysis (component/material failure analysis and supply statistics)
  • Type Equipment Code (TEC) and Air Transportation Association Code (ATA) or Military Work
  • Unit Code (WUC) End Item Configuration Management Tables
  • Work Request Types

Aircraft Configuration Management Functionality

Each individual aircraft has a baseline configuration that describes the exact components that must be used in each system on the aircraft. Unlike more common vehicles and commercially produced systems, aircraft of the same type will have unique configurations among the individual aircraft. These variations in configuration are generally due to the necessity of phasing upgrades and configuration changes across a fleet of aircraft. It is a practically impossible to perform an upgrade on an entire fleet of aircraft without extensive phasing. The NAMIS maintenance and logistics modules are integrated to ensure proper components are used and proper inspections are performed.

NAMIS supports the concept of a Mandatory Component List (MCL), which is a list of all the critical components that should be installed on an aircraft before it can fly. This would normally include all Life-Limited Components (LLC) and those that are subject to scheduled maintenance, but can be expanded as required.

Trend Analysis Functionality

The trend analysis function provides insight into failure rates and lifecycle analysis for aircraft systems, subsystems and
components under various operating conditions.
As the AMS module collects maintenance data, it provides a process for reporting, classifying, analyzing failures, and planning corrective actions in response to those failures. The data produces a history of failures and corrective actions for specific aircraft systems, subsystems or individual components by assigning associated system and failure codes; ensuring
a method for systematic failure data collection, management, and analysis; and corrective action implementation. Subsequently, the data is used to record all failures and problems related to a component, or maintenance process, and their associated root causes and failure analyses to assist in identifying and implementing corrective actions. All maintenance entries are time stamped, providing a continuous timeline of component events, necessary to establish accurate component mean time between replacements (MTBR) and ultimately, mean time between failures (MTBF). As a result, MTBR and MTBF provide the justification required for either extending or decreasing component inspection intervals, as required.

The AMS trend analysis function is intended to provide the warning signs necessary for a systematic approach for reliability, safety and logistics assessment based on failure reporting, management, analysis and corrective/preventive actions. The trend analysis tool looks for repeat occurrences, based on aircraft type, system or subsystem, within a time period or number of days back from the current date. The results will display part and serial number information of replaced components to aid in indentifying repeat failures. The inspection basis for the given asset type is used to compute failure rate per basis within the time period chosen. The tool allows for creation of an ad hoc query that can be saved and rerun as required. All saved queries can be made available to all users. As with all NAMIS reports/queries, the results can be exported to MS Excel, PDF, XML, etc. for further analysis.

Quality Assurance Functionality

The Quality Assurance function determines the levels and qualifications of aircraft inspection requirements. Each maintenance action has an inspection criterion which can range from inspection by the mechanic to a full Flight Functional Check Flight (FCF). While there can be many common business rules across an organization, actual quality assurance requirements can vary by location, by aircraft type, and by aircraft mission. For example, the inspection criteria for a routine engine change due to a scheduled phase inspection would be quite different from the inspection criteria used when a new type of engine is being mounted for an experimental flight test.

The Aircraft Maintenance System (AMS) provides the flight line and backshops maintenance execution, maintenance planning and management capabilities to maintain, operate and support aircraft in a safe, compliant and operational ready state to support the mission requirements. AMS integrates multiple maintenance management activities providing a consolidated centralized asset management tool. All aspects of maintenance are captured in near-real-time allowing for anaccurate snapshot of either a specific asset or an entire aircraft fleet, at any given time.

Aircraft maintenance consists of three levels (Operational, Intermediate, and Depot) and two types (scheduled and unscheduled).

  • Operational level (O-level) maintenance is generally performed by flight-line personnel and is usually focused on scheduled inspections/servicing and rapid repair of aircraft discrepancies noted during or between aircraft flights.
  • Intermediate level (I-level) maintenance involves more extensive maintenance work, such as major inspections and component repair and overhaul.
  • Depot-level maintenance involves extensive modification or overhaul to major aircraft components.

AMS manages, plans, tracks, executes and reports on work being planned, performed and completed. The module provides the capability for maintenance managers to assign tasks to specific shops/mechanics and track the work as it is being performed. Mechanics use the system to view specific work instructions to complete assigned tasks and to document work
accomplished, which includes the capability to input their labor times and resources—support equipment, test equipment, and spares—used to complete the job assignment.

The module also defines the quality inspection criteria of each maintenance task and is fully integrated with the parts inventory, stocking and distribution functions of the logistics system. In addition, the maintenance planning capability provides the ability to optimize and rationalize maintenance actions to reduce aircraft downtime. The documented inputs
provide quality assurance personnel and maintenance managers information required to report that the aircraft is flight and mission ready, and is in an approved configuration. The NAMIS integrated database allows for future analysis of the records and data.

AMS functionalities and capabilities include:

  • Aircraft Mission Status
  • Aircraft Status History
  • Asset “Near-Due” Management (± Deviations)
  • Asset Trends
  • Attachments (all legacy formats)
  • Auto FCF and In-flight Ops Check Triggers
  • Auto Repair
  • Auto-E-mail Driven by Event
  • Cannibalization Tracking
  • Capture Bill of Materials per MA/WR
  • Capture Calibrated Tools per MA/WR
  • Capture Labor Hours per MA/WR
  • Capture Technician’s Tool Box ID (Tool Control)
  • Centralized Consolidated Asset Management
  • Cradle-to-Grave Asset Tracking
  • Create New Assets from Maintenance
  • Create Work Request Package
  • Calculate Engine Oil Consumption
  • Expanded Search Filters
  • Event Forecast Reporting
  • Fabrication Request (LMR)
  • Flight Preparedness Report (FPR) Archive and Retrieval
  • Functional Checks
  • Ground Support Equipment Management and TrackingImpound Assets (Lock Records)
  • Initiate Vendor Action
  • Integrate With Material (Spares, Logistics) Management Systems
  • Life Support Equipment Management and Tracking
  • Maintenance Test Database
  • Manage Aircraft Engineering and Configuration Changes
  • Manage Calibrated Tools (warns when overdue)
  • Tracks Mandatory Component Lists
  • Multiple Remove and Installs per MA/WR
  • One-Click Access from Maintenance to Logistics
  • Over-The-Shoulder Sign-Offs
  • On-Line Help
  • Pass-Through Login Authentication
  • Quality Assurance WR Audit
  • Remove Work Center
  • Requisition Tab
  • Review Items
  • Single or Multiple Signatures
  • Single or Multiple Step Sign-off
  • Steps (Work Card and Custom)
  • Technical Directive Dispositions
  • Technical Directive/Scheduled Maintenance Links
  • Templates (Once & Done)
  • Traceability
  • Tracking Multiple Basis per Set Event
  • Time Since Overhaul (TSO) Auto-Reset
  • Trend Analysis (component/material failure analysis and supply statistics)
  • Type Equipment Code (TEC) and Air Transportation Association Code (ATA) or Military Work Unit Code (WUC) End Item Configuration Management Tables
  • Work Request Types

Aircraft Configuration Management Functionality

Each individual aircraft has a baseline configuration that describes the exact components that must be used in each system on the aircraft. Unlike more common vehicles and commercially produced systems, aircraft of the same type will have unique configurations among the individual aircraft. These variations in configuration are generally due to the necessity of phasing upgrades and configuration changes across a fleet of aircraft. It is a practically impossible to perform an upgrade on an entire fleet of aircraft without extensive phasing. The NAMIS maintenance and logistics modules are integrated to ensure proper components are used and proper inspections are performed.

NAMIS supports the concept of a Mandatory Component List (MCL), which is a list of all the critical components that should be installed on an aircraft before it can fly. This would normally include all Life-Limited Components (LLC) and those that are subject to scheduled maintenance, but can be expanded as required.

Trend Analysis Functionality

The trend analysis function provides insight into failure rates and lifecycle analysis for aircraft systems, subsystems and
components under various operating conditions.
As the AMS module collects maintenance data, it provides a process for reporting, classifying, analyzing failures, and planning corrective actions in response to those failures. The data produces a history of failures and corrective actions for specific aircraft systems, subsystems or individual components by assigning associated system and failure codes; ensuring
a method for systematic failure data collection, management, and analysis; and corrective action implementation. Subsequently, the data is used to record all failures and problems related to a component, or maintenance process, and their associated root causes and failure analyses to assist in identifying and implementing corrective actions. All maintenance entries are time stamped, providing a continuous timeline of component events, necessary to establish accurate component mean time between replacements (MTBR) and ultimately, mean time between failures (MTBF). As a result, MTBR and MTBF provide the justification required for either extending or decreasing component inspection intervals, as required.

The AMS trend analysis function is intended to provide the warning signs necessary for a systematic approach for reliability, safety and logistics assessment based on failure reporting, management, analysis and corrective/preventive actions. The trend analysis tool looks for repeat occurrences, based on aircraft type, system or subsystem, within a time period or number of days back from the current date. The results will display part and serial number information of replaced components to aid in indentifying repeat failures. The inspection basis for the given asset type is used to compute failure rate per basis within the time period chosen. The tool allows for creation of an ad hoc query that can be saved and rerun as required. All saved queries can be made available to all users. As with all NAMIS reports/queries, the results can be exported to MS Excel, PDF, XML, etc. for further analysis.

Quality Assurance Functionality

The Quality Assurance function determines the levels and qualifications of aircraft inspection requirements. Each maintenance action has an inspection criterion which can range from inspection by the mechanic to a full Flight Functional Check Flight (FCF). While there can be many common business rules across an organization, actual quality assurance requirements can vary by location, by aircraft type, and by aircraft mission. For example, the inspection criteria for a routine engine change due to a scheduled phase inspection would be quite different from the inspection criteria used when a new type of engine is being mounted for an experimental flight test.

About the Author:

Phil Fountain
Fountain & Associates, Inc. founder Phillip J. Fountain channeled more than 30 years of corporate aviation experience into the design and creation of the iIS-BAO Audit Protocol software. Fountain's experience includes more than 16,000 hours of flight time in six different business aircraft and 10 years of IS-BAO auditing experience. Fountain and Associates is not affiliated with the IBAC or the IS-BAO protocol in any way.