Vinothkris
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:54 am

Hi all,
I am an aeroplane enthusiast. Recently I came to know that all new aircraft should be delivered with Aircraft manuals. It's a FAA rule. I was intrigued by it and want to learn about this more.
I have certain questions.
1.What are the different types of manuals that are delivered with aircraft?
2. Are there any manuals that are delivered after the aircraft delivery?
3. In total how many manuals are there for an aircraft?

any links to websites about this are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Vinoth
 
BravoOne
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:20 pm

Well...
Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM)
Flight Crew Training Manual (FCTM)
Quick Reference Manual (QRH)
Weight & Balance Manual
Various Maint. Manuals for both engines and airframe
Numerous avionics manuals
Probably many, many more for various components and ground servicing
The above manuals are typical Boeing documents, Airbus probably has something similar
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:25 pm

BravoOne wrote:
Well...
Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM)
Flight Crew Training Manual (FCTM)
Quick Reference Manual (QRH)
Weight & Balance Manual
Various Maint. Manuals for both engines and airframe
Numerous avionics manuals
Probably many, many more for various components and ground servicing
The above manuals are typical Boeing documents, Airbus probably has something similar


Thank you BravoOne. It seems to be a long list. I searched and found out IPC, SRM, WDM, FIM and the list goes on.
 
Woodreau
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:14 pm

When I took delivery of a new CRJ-700, one of the overhead bins was stuffed full of manuals that was turned over with the aircraft from Bombardier. Those were just the paper copies - just in case we lost the CD that contained all of the manuals.

These days, I think all of the manuals are online.

There are the manufacturer manuals, and from those manuals each airline tailors their own airline specific manuals for their crews.

Every time we get a new airplane, we get a new manufacturer Airplane Flight Manual, usually the only change is to the table of contents which adds the MSN of the new aircraft that just arrived at the airline, to update the manual applicability to the new aircraft..
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:56 pm

There are probably more... but here are some maintenance document types:
Aircraft illustrated parts catalog
engine illustrated parts catalog
aircraft maintenance manual
cargo loading manual
fault isolation manual
fault reporting manual
fuel measuring stick manual
illustrated tools and equipment manual
non destructive testing manual
ndt standard practices manual
powerplant build-up manual
standard wiring practices manual
wiring diagram manual
structural repair manual
system schematics manual
component maintenance manual
cabin interior manual
corrosion prevention manual

In the MyBoeingFleet library there are almost 20 times as many maintenance documents listed as there are flight operations documents. This should give some perspective
 
gregorygoodwin
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:01 pm

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:01 pm

Greetings,
As you can see there are a lot of manuals used. I work in structural repair and composites, so I'm familiar with the Structural Repair Manual (SRM), the Illustrated Part Manual (IPC), and the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM). There are others that are consulted on occasion such as the Component Maintenance Manual (CMM) and Standard Processes Manual (SPM). The SPM, as its name implies, gives information about how a aircraft manufacturer requires certain processes to be performed. This can be things such as welding, cadmium plating of parts, flame spray applications, etc.
It is also important to be sure you are using the latest revision of the information for your repair or maintenance action. Manuals are constantly being revised and updated. The goes for new aircraft all the way back to ships that have been flying for decades. A repair you have been using for years may suddenly become obsolete and be replaced by a new procedure.
Some aircraft operators will also have their own in-house manuals for the aircraft they fly. These are usually repairs designed and approved by the airlines engineering department and would be limited to their aircraft only. These are usually quick-fix repairs to things such as a lower cargo compartment floor panel, a repair to the cargo compartment sidewall liners, and things of this nature. They may be permanent or time limited repairs.
On some maintenance actions and repairs, the looking up of the correct and best manual reference and getting all the paper work signed off is more work than the actual work you do on the aircraft!
Hoping this is of interest to you.

Gregory
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:42 pm

Woodreau wrote:
When I took delivery of a new CRJ-700, one of the overhead bins was stuffed full of manuals that was turned over with the aircraft from Bombardier. Those were just the paper copies - just in case we lost the CD that contained all of the manuals.

These days, I think all of the manuals are online.

There are the manufacturer manuals, and from those manuals each airline tailors their own airline specific manuals for their crews.

Every time we get a new airplane, we get a new manufacturer Airplane Flight Manual, usually the only change is to the table of contents which adds the MSN of the new aircraft that just arrived at the airline, to update the manual applicability to the new aircraft..


Good insights sir. Thank you for you valuable info.
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:43 pm

Horstroad wrote:
There are probably more... but here are some maintenance document types:
Aircraft illustrated parts catalog
engine illustrated parts catalog
aircraft maintenance manual
cargo loading manual
fault isolation manual
fault reporting manual
fuel measuring stick manual
illustrated tools and equipment manual
non destructive testing manual
ndt standard practices manual
powerplant build-up manual
standard wiring practices manual
wiring diagram manual
structural repair manual
system schematics manual
component maintenance manual
cabin interior manual
corrosion prevention manual

In the MyBoeingFleet library there are almost 20 times as many maintenance documents listed as there are flight operations documents. This should give some perspective


OMG. 20 times. I never thought there would be so many manuals.
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:48 pm

gregorygoodwin wrote:
Greetings,
As you can see there are a lot of manuals used. I work in structural repair and composites, so I'm familiar with the Structural Repair Manual (SRM), the Illustrated Part Manual (IPC), and the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM). There are others that are consulted on occasion such as the Component Maintenance Manual (CMM) and Standard Processes Manual (SPM). The SPM, as its name implies, gives information about how a aircraft manufacturer requires certain processes to be performed. This can be things such as welding, cadmium plating of parts, flame spray applications, etc.
It is also important to be sure you are using the latest revision of the information for your repair or maintenance action. Manuals are constantly being revised and updated. The goes for new aircraft all the way back to ships that have been flying for decades. A repair you have been using for years may suddenly become obsolete and be replaced by a new procedure.
Some aircraft operators will also have their own in-house manuals for the aircraft they fly. These are usually repairs designed and approved by the airlines engineering department and would be limited to their aircraft only. These are usually quick-fix repairs to things such as a lower cargo compartment floor panel, a repair to the cargo compartment sidewall liners, and things of this nature. They may be permanent or time limited repairs.
On some maintenance actions and repairs, the looking up of the correct and best manual reference and getting all the paper work signed off is more work than the actual work you do on the aircraft!
Hoping this is of interest to you.

Gregory


Hi Greagory,
These are great stuff. I can't believe there are so many documents involved in maintanence. Ypur explanation has led to many questions and i think, if this discussion is started it will go on for hours. Thank you

:D :D
 
VSMUT
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:03 pm

Vinothkris wrote:
It's a FAA rule.


The FAA is only in the US. Different rules may apply elsewhere.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:14 am

When the weight of the paperwork exceeds the weight of the aircraft, you're ready to fly..

The manuals used by Airbus pilots at my airline:
- Operations Manual (common to all fleets).
- Flight Crew Operations Manual
- Flight Crew Techniques Manual (formerly Flight Crew Training Manual)
- Quick Reference Handbook.
- Configuration Deviation List
- Minimum Equipment List
- Notices to Crew, which isn't a manual per se but a collection of operational updates that may or may not end up in the manuals later..

Maintenance have (a lot of) their own manuals. Cabin crew have their own. It goes on and on.

This doesn't of course cover the myriad training documents, powerpoints and assorted other stuff littered about. All of which is apparently required knowledge by sim instructors and line checkers who seemingly know every single reference that has ever been since the beginning of time.... :D
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Balerit
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:20 pm

I remember the first time seeing the old B747 maintenance manuals stacked up to the ceiling in an office, mind boggling.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
Lpbri
Posts: 14
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:11 pm

The are also airline specific manuals, such as procedure manuals, check manuals, qualifications manuals, etc. Not sure if anybody mentioned it, a deicing manual.
 
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Horstroad
Posts: 416
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:23 pm

Vinothkris wrote:
Horstroad wrote:
There are probably more... but here are some maintenance document types:
Aircraft illustrated parts catalog
engine illustrated parts catalog
aircraft maintenance manual
cargo loading manual
fault isolation manual
fault reporting manual
fuel measuring stick manual
illustrated tools and equipment manual
non destructive testing manual
ndt standard practices manual
powerplant build-up manual
standard wiring practices manual
wiring diagram manual
structural repair manual
system schematics manual
component maintenance manual
cabin interior manual
corrosion prevention manual

In the MyBoeingFleet library there are almost 20 times as many maintenance documents listed as there are flight operations documents. This should give some perspective


OMG. 20 times. I never thought there would be so many manuals.

It's not 20 times more manuals, but 20 times more documents. That includes drawings etc.
 
pikachu
Posts: 96
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:50 am

Aircraft Flight Manual. The AFM.

Very important.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 17847
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:05 am

pikachu wrote:
Aircraft Flight Manual. The AFM.

Very important.


Nowadays you might never see a manual called "AFM" for an airliner. The AFM info is contained in FCOM, FCTM and QRH.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
pikachu
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 5:58 pm

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:50 am

If you don't see the AFM you should look for it. Where does the CDL come from?
 
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Starlionblue
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:56 am

pikachu wrote:
If you don't see the AFM you should look for it. Where does the CDL come from?


We don't use an AFM since our company issues FCOM, FCTM, QRH, and yes CDL and MEL. Those are the manuals for use with our aircraft. They are operator and tail number specific.

Not sure of the exact process but AFAIK our manuals start from generic Airbus documentation at some point. I'm pretty sure the generic stuff would not be legal for us to use with our aircraft.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
pikachu
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 5:58 pm

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:36 am

AFM is tail specific.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:47 am

The AFM is very much alive and well at Boeing and it does not replace the FCOM, FCTM or QRH.
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:06 am

Balerit wrote:
I remember the first time seeing the old B747 maintenance manuals stacked up to the ceiling in an office, mind boggling.


Is it really?
Can you give us a picture of your experience ;) I am interested to hear it.
 
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Balerit
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:20 pm

Sorry no, wish I had taken a photo though. I remember they were in thick orange folders and were about between 8 to 12 inches thick and someone must have pranked the foreman of the hangar by stacking them up like that, they didn't look too steady. :) It was my first day in Line Maintenance and I had to got to his office to introduce myself to him. His only words were: "See those manuals, your job will be to know them all". I think I walked out there kinda unsteady, wondering what the hell was I in for. :eyepopping:

A typical manual:

Image
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
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Balerit
Posts: 219
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:39 pm

Luckily they soon changed to a cassette system that you fitted to a screen and you could view them page by page and then print them out on this foil type paper, not sure what they use these days. They had this special liquid toner and the pages came out wet.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
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Balerit
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:14 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:25 pm

Balerit wrote:
Luckily they soon changed to a cassette system that you fitted to a screen and you could view them page by page and then print them out on this foil type paper, not sure what they use these days. They had this special liquid toner and the pages came out wet.


Image
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
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airmagnac
Posts: 423
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:53 pm

I count on A320 type
- 8 flight ops manuals (AFM Airplane Flight Manual, CAOM Cabin Attendant Operating Manual, CCOM Cabin Crew Operating Manual, FCOM Flight Crew Operating Manual, FCTM Flight Crew Traning Manual, MMEL Master Minimum Equipment List, QRH Quick Reference Handbook, WBM Weight and Balance Manual)
- about 30 manuals for maintenance/materials/repair including AMM, IPC, SRM, CDL to such things as Non-Destructive Tests Manual
- another few for airports (airport planning, ARFF)
- a few miscellaneous ones, like the Livestock Transportation Manual (yup there is a manual for that)

Of course some of them are used quite often, and many are not used so much. Some may be tailored by airlines under certain limits of course (which may explain the AFM thing which was discussed)

The most important of them are indeed regulated by airworthiness authorities (not just FAA) as Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA), owed by the manufacturers under FAR/CS25 and to be ready at delivery of the aircraft (legally the aircraft cannot fly without the ICA documentation)
Manuals are configured to each specific airplane, and therefore are regularly updated during the aircraft lifetime

Similar to those pics above, this report has an interesting picture of the mountain of paper kept by an airline operating several types of Boeings :
http://www.aerosoftsys.com/Portals/_Aer ... ontent.pdf
(page 11 of the pdf)

Starlionblue wrote:
Not sure of the exact process

You do not want to know the exact process. It would make your head explode, or in the best case give you nightmares. Of course, using the darn documents is just as bad, as you need in theory to navigate between at least 5 of the things just to replace a screw :hissyfit:
As a member of the infamous "millenials", I'd say f*** all this paper, let's move to the 21st century and use interactive mock-ups :flamed:
My goal as an engineer is to fill my soul with coffee and become immortal
 
Woodreau
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:54 pm

Nowadays, I think the mechanics access the manuals on a computer and print out what they need or they have an app on their smartphone (fault isolation)
Other times I see them carrying an iPad and they reference what they need off the tablet.

Wayback when we carried paper manuals and paper charts, I weighed my flight kit on one of the airport ticket counter scales - it topped in at 55lbs. Nevermind the placard in the cockpit which stated the max limit for the flight bag was 10lbs.

airmagnac wrote:
As a member of the infamous "millenials", I'd say f*** all this paper, let's move to the 21st century and use interactive mock-ups :flamed:


Actually in our Maintenance desk in SOC, they have a virtual cockpit mockup that the maintenance controllers can manipulate, so whatever the pilots see in the cockpit in the airplane, they see on their screens in SOC.

So when I tell them, I have a low Y hudraulic on the SD on the ECAM, or I have an ECAM message, they can replicate the issue on their cockpit and do their troubleshooting. or tell me to do extra things that my manuals don't cover.


For an airplane the volume of documentation and manuals required is actually not that bad... compared to say a ship and all of its systems
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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Balerit
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:55 pm

I spoke to a couple of people at SAA and these days they have computers and Toolbox, other airlines use Amos or Sap and they just print out what they need, pdf based.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
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jetmechanicdave
Crew
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:59 am

I am an aircraft mechanic for several major airlines and our manuals are computer through the applicable manufacturer website and we print them on paper.
Aircraft Mechanic on Boeing and Airbus Jets
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:15 am

Balerit wrote:
Sorry no, wish I had taken a photo though. I remember they were in thick orange folders and were about between 8 to 12 inches thick and someone must have pranked the foreman of the hangar by stacking them up like that, they didn't look too steady. :) It was my first day in Line Maintenance and I had to got to his office to introduce myself to him. His only words were: "See those manuals, your job will be to know them all". I think I walked out there kinda unsteady, wondering what the hell was I in for. :eyepopping:

A typical manual:

Image


:lol:
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:16 am

Balerit wrote:
Balerit wrote:
Luckily they soon changed to a cassette system that you fitted to a screen and you could view them page by page and then print them out on this foil type paper, not sure what they use these days. They had this special liquid toner and the pages came out wet.


Image


:shock: :eek:
 
Vinothkris
Topic Author
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

Re: Aircraft Manuals

Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:19 am

airmagnac wrote:
I count on A320 type
- 8 flight ops manuals (AFM Airplane Flight Manual, CAOM Cabin Attendant Operating Manual, CCOM Cabin Crew Operating Manual, FCOM Flight Crew Operating Manual, FCTM Flight Crew Traning Manual, MMEL Master Minimum Equipment List, QRH Quick Reference Handbook, WBM Weight and Balance Manual)
- about 30 manuals for maintenance/materials/repair including AMM, IPC, SRM, CDL to such things as Non-Destructive Tests Manual
- another few for airports (airport planning, ARFF)
- a few miscellaneous ones, like the Livestock Transportation Manual (yup there is a manual for that)

Of course some of them are used quite often, and many are not used so much. Some may be tailored by airlines under certain limits of course (which may explain the AFM thing which was discussed)

The most important of them are indeed regulated by airworthiness authorities (not just FAA) as Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA), owed by the manufacturers under FAR/CS25 and to be ready at delivery of the aircraft (legally the aircraft cannot fly without the ICA documentation)
Manuals are configured to each specific airplane, and therefore are regularly updated during the aircraft lifetime

Similar to those pics above, this report has an interesting picture of the mountain of paper kept by an airline operating several types of Boeings :
http://www.aerosoftsys.com/Portals/_Aer ... ontent.pdf
(page 11 of the pdf)

Starlionblue wrote:
Not sure of the exact process

You do not want to know the exact process. It would make your head explode, or in the best case give you nightmares. Of course, using the darn documents is just as bad, as you need in theory to navigate between at least 5 of the things just to replace a screw :hissyfit:
As a member of the infamous "millenials", I'd say f*** all this paper, let's move to the 21st century and use interactive mock-ups :flamed:


Oh dear. I don't want hear what you guys go thorugh each day.
TEDIOUS.
 
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airmagnac
Posts: 423
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:08 pm

Vinothkris wrote:
I don't want hear what you guys go thorugh each day.


Well it's a big data problem, and those are cool to work on. It even existed before Big Data became a "thing"
If you want more numbers, I just stumbled on some other ones. It seems that 10 years ago, Airbus alone was delivering data via 120 million printed pages and 1 million CDs/DVDs. Per year.
(it's been transferred to online formats since then)

Woodreau wrote:
Actually in our Maintenance desk in SOC, they have a virtual cockpit mockup that the maintenance controllers can manipulate, so whatever the pilots see in the cockpit in the airplane, they see on their screens in SOC.

So when I tell them, I have a low Y hudraulic on the SD on the ECAM, or I have an ECAM message, they can replicate the issue on their cockpit and do their troubleshooting. or tell me to do extra things that my manuals don't cover.


Well to be honest, the dynamic cockpit data is not that big of a volume. Most of the data required to run such a model is the cockpit simulation package which can be hosted locally in the MCC computers. Even that is probably as big as a NES game.

But the real question is, why do you have to transfer the warning data over to MCC, where they will look them up in the fault manual, which will then reference an MMEL entry point, which will then take them to an MMEL action, while in parallel they might also refer to an AMM system description which will take them to the IPC which will provide references to available drawings ? If all that information is digital and stored in a proper database, it could be directly retrieved with a click on "operational recommendations", "physical components impacted" or similar commands. Potentially directly on the aircraft if you need it as a pilot.

Imagine a Netflix where instead on simply clicking on "play You Only Live Twice", you have to
- go to a library of all James Bond gun barrel scenes and select the right one,
- then all James Bond pre-credit scenes and select the right one,
- then same with a library for credits, then same with a library for over-the-top plot narratives, then JB girls, then villain main bases, then main villain disclosing his whole plan, then overly sophisticated killing devices, then villain base complete-destruction-with-big-explosions
- then end credits
Oh and various scenes are not compatible, so if you make a mistake the whole manipulation fails.
And the Netflix service will have to host and manage all these bricks in every single language on earth. And in SD, HD, standard sound, 5.1 and 7.1 sound versions.
For sure, it works...but that's a lot of work just to watch a James Bond ! I doubt that such a Netflix would have gained traction. But that's basically what has to be done today with aircraft documentation
And not to mention that there are fewer safety issues involved with watching a James Bond than with flying a plane, obviously...
My goal as an engineer is to fill my soul with coffee and become immortal
 
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Balerit
Posts: 219
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Re: Aircraft Manuals

Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:29 am

The main thing of course is to keep these manuals up to date. You won't believe the number of cassettes that were replaced by updated ones, with the old ones being returned and if you were in the bosses bad books you'd end up having to do the updates as well as updating the Procedures manual and any of the other 'paper type manuals' which was a tedious job and involved a lot of writing up in the logs as well. These days, it's just a matter of updating the copy that is put out on the intranet, no more hassles.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).

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