FOD Information and Prevention - What is FOD?

Foreign Object Debris (FOD) is a substance, debris or article alien to a vehicle or system which would potentially cause damage.

Foreign Object Damage (also abbreviated FOD) is any damage attributed to a foreign object (i.e. any object that is not part of the vehicle) that can be expressed in physical or economic terms and may or may not degrade the product's required safety or performance characteristics.

FOD is an abbreviation often used in aviation to describe both the damage done to aircraft by foreign objects, and the foreign objects themselves.[1][2]

"Internal FOD" is used to refer to damage or hazards caused by foreign objects inside the aircraft. For example, "Cockpit FOD" might be used to describe a situation where an item gets loose in the cockpit and jams or restricts the operation of the controls.

"Tool FOD" is a serious hazard caused by tools left inside the aircraft after manufacturing or servicing. Tools or other items can get tangled in control cables, jam moving parts, short out electrical connections, or otherwise interfere with safe flight. Aircraft maintenance teams usually have strict tool control procedures including toolbox inventories to make sure all tools have been removed from an aircraft before it is released for flight. Tools used during manufacturing are tagged with a serial number so if they are found they can be traced.

The "Damage" term was prevalent in military circles, but has since been pre-empted by a definition of FOD that looks at the "debris". This shift was made "official" in the latest FAA Advisory Circulars FAA A/C 150/5220-24 'Airport Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Detection Equipment' (2009) and FAA A/C 150/5210-24 'Airport Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Management'.

Eurocontrol, ECAC, and the ICAO have all rallied behind this new definition. As Iain McCreary of Insight SRI put it in a presentation to NAPFI (August 2010), "You can have debris present without damage, but never damage without debris." Likewise, FOD prevention systems work by sensing and detecting not the damage but the actual debris.

Thus FOD is now taken to mean the debris itself, and the resulting damage is referred to as "FOD damage".

Internationally, FOD costs the aviation industry US$13 billion per year in direct plus indirect costs.

The indirect costs are as much as ten times the indirect cost value, representing delays, aircraft changes, incurred fuel costs, unscheduled maintenance, and the like for a total of $13 billion per year[3] and causes expensive, significant damage to aircraft and parts and death and injury to workers, pilots and passengers.

It is estimated that FOD costs major airlines in the United States $26 per flight in aircraft repairs, plus $312 in such additional indirect costs as flight delays, plane changes and fuel inefficiencies.[4]

"There are other costs that are not as easy to calculate but are equally disturbing," according to UK Royal Air Force Wing Commander and FOD researcher Richard Friend.[5] "From accidents such as the Air France Concorde, Flight AF 4590,[6] there is the loss of life, suffering and effect on the families of those who died, the suspicion of malpractice, guilt, and blame that could last for lifetimes.

This harrowing torment is incalculable but should not be forgotten, ever. If everyone kept this in mind, we would remain vigilant and forever prevent foreign object debris from causing a problem. In fact, many factors combine to cause a chain of events that can lead to a failure."

In the United States, the most prominent gathering of FOD experts has been the annual National Aerospace FOD Prevention Conference. It is hosted in a different city each year by National Aerospace FOD Prevention, Inc. (NAFPI), a nonprofit association that focuses on FOD education, awareness and prevention.

Conference information, including presentations from past conferences, is available at the NAFPI Web site.[2] However, NAFPI has come under some critique as being focussed on tool control and manufacturing processes, and other members of the industry have stepped forward to fill the gaps.

BAA hosted the world's first airport-led conference on the subject in November 2010

To find out more about the specifics and examples of FOD and FOD Damage please go here courtesy of wikipedia.org


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NTSB Safety Alert Control Foreign Object Debris

Account for all items after performing maintenance tasks!

The problem

  • Mechanics, or others who help with aircraft maintenance, might leave items or residual debris behind after performing maintenance tasks that could become foreign object debris (FOD). Examples of FOD include tools, hardware, eyeglasses, keys, portable electronic devices (PEDs), paint chips, and metal shavings.
  • If mechanics and others do not account for every item that they use in or around an aircraft and clean as they go, this FOD can be ingested into the engine or interfere with critical flight systems, leading to an accident.

Related accidents

Since 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated accidents involving FOD that was left behind after maintenance:

    • A Kitfox Series 5 airplane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and sank after the pilot reported that the elevator control “bound up” during flight and that he could not regain elevator control. The seat pan panel and the dust boot at the base of the pilot’s side control stick were removed, and examination revealed a common hardware clamp and a leather work glove beneath the boot and between the tube seat structure and the control column bearing. This FOD impinged the elevator control, leading to the loss of control. (ERA12LA307)
    • A True Flight Aerospace (formerly Grumman American) AA-5B airplane lost engine power during cruise flight and crashed during a forced landing. Examination of the engine revealed that the fuel filter contained considerable debris that resembled paint chips. The pilot said that the airplane had recently been painted. The engine lost power because FOD obstructed the fuel filter, which lead to fuel starvation (CEN11LA084)
    • An Airbus (formerly Eurocopter) AS350 B3 helicopter was damaged during a post maintenance check flight. As the main rotor speed reached 100%, the pilot and the two mechanics heard a “bang.” After the helicopter landed, the mechanics discovered that they were missing the adjustable wrench that had been used on the top of the main rotor head. One main rotor blade, the tail boom, and the lower vertical stabilizer were damaged from the wrench. The mechanics did not account for all their tools after the maintenance procedure. (WPR10CA164)

    What can you do?

    • Perform an inventory of tools, personal items, AND personal protective equipment before working on an aircraft. Take only what is necessary for the specific maintenance task. Consider placing nonessential personal items, such as jewelry, coins, keys, and PEDs, in a secure location instead of keeping them with you during maintenance tasks.
    • Prepare the work space on the aircraft by covering up engines, pitot static ports, air inlets, and other areas with protective materials to reduce the likelihood of FOD migration (including residual debris, such as paint chips or metal shavings) to critical flight systems.
    • While working in low visibility areas (ramp/hangar), ensure that proper lighting is used to check for FOD left behind during maintenance.
    • Keep hardware and consumables in appropriate containers to prevent them from becoming FOD. Store tools in tool boxes and bags, and organize them in a manner so that you can easily recognize if one or more is missing.
    • Distractions can cause you to forget things during maintenance tasks. Always follow the maintenance manual/task card and use a checklist. If you get distracted, go back three steps when restarting your work.
    • As you perform the maintenance task, clean as you go to reduce the likelihood of leaving any items. Keep a FOD container next to you during the maintenance task for easy FOD disposal.
    • Perform a second inventory of tools, any essential personal items, AND personal protective equipment (such as safety glasses, gloves, and hearing protection) after you have completed the maintenance task to ensure that items have not been left behind. Remove any aircraft protective materials so that they do not become FOD.
    • Ask another mechanic to visually inspect your work area for any items that may become FOD. A second set of eyes may see something that you missed.
    • Recognize that human factors issues such as complacency, fatigue, pressure, stress, and a lack of situation awareness can contribute to FOD.
    • Consider conducting daily FOD walks in areas such as hangars, ramps, and runways to identify and remove FOD.

      post courtesy of https://www.ntsb.gov/  Original Post 2016

     

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