Properly calibrated measuring instruments are extremely important to quality aviation maintenance operations. A gauge that doesn’t register accurately and consistently can cause defective tires to be installed on aircraft. Suspect tire installation can result in safety hazards and potential damage to aircraft. One of the hardest parts of maintaining tire pressure is that it isn’t possible to spot a 5% pressure loss with a visual inspection. Aviation tire pressure gauge calibration is an important part of Safety Assurance Systems (SAS) and Quality Management programs.
Aircraft Tire Application
Aircraft tires must be durable, the typical useful life is 500 flights before a retread. The landing gear design on aircraft is created to allow for carrying heavy loads (maximum takeoff weights can exceed 700,000 lbs. on larger aircraft) at speeds over 160 mph. Aircraft tires are subject to high pressure and friction in extremely varied conditions. During takeoff tires heat up to 140° C (284°F). Tire manufacturers note that aircraft tires have the toughest service life of any tire.
AMTs spend a good amount of time making sure that aircraft tires are flight ready. New tires go through a waiting period, to ensure that pressure remains stable. The key is to verify that the tire doesn’t demonstrate a loss of pressure over 5% during a period of specified time period. Procedures vary based on if the type tire. This process determines if a tire can be put into service.
Importance of Calibration
Aviation tire pressure gauge calibration verifies reading accuracy. Any tire that does not hold pressure must be set aside. AMTs must be able to rely on tire pressure gauge readings. Accurate readings enable aviation maintenance professionals to make educated decisions regarding tire quality. Calibration testing verifies gauge accuracy.