ATS technicians are highly trained and certified to inspect most aircraft structures. Their in-depth experience gives them the ability to detect and interpret both common, and rare defects. Common flaws detected by NDT in aircraft structures are cracks or metal loss caused by corrosion, cyclic stresses due to pressurization and depressurization, impact damage and disbonds and delaminations found in composites which could be caused by mechanical fatigue, thermal stress or corrosion.
Conducting periodic nondestructive evaluations is very crucial in the effective structural management of aircraft components. These periodic inspections are performed on all commercial and civil aircraft after a certain amount of flight hours or take-offs and landings. In the U.S. airlines and large commercial operators follow programs specified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The airworthiness authority in Europe is EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). Besides the FAA, ATS has also been approved by EASA as a Part-145 maintenance organization.
The nature of the flaw and the type of material that is to be inspected are critical factors in determining the nondestructive technique that has to be utilized in aircraft structures. Having obtained our FAA repair station certificate back in 1975, we have decades of experience with such inspections.