The average general aviation aircraft is more than 30 years old. However, a number of factors contribute to an aircraft’s true age, which may not be the same as its age in calendar years, according to officials with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute. Learn how to recognize the signs of aircraft aging, understand its effects, and mitigate the risks by taking the Air Safety Institute’s Aging Aircraft online course.
WICHITA — Unlike most researchers at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), Melinda Laubach-Hock doesn’t focus on new high-tech aircraft materials. That’s because she is the director of the Aging Aircraft Laboratory, where disassembling, inspecting and documenting the condition of out-of-service aircraft is the norm.
Laubach-Hock’s recent doctoral dissertation, “Structural Teardown and Analysis: Evolution of the Teardown Process,” has streamlined and standardized the teardown evaluation process, allowing the lab to perform more quickly and effectively without compromising the quality of the data obtained through the structural teardown process.