There isn’t much debate around whether it’s important to have calibration or proof load testing done on your aviation equipment. Many times it is required by the FAA or another accrediting body. However, once you get the calibration report back, it can sometimes be confusing or difficult to understand what it all means. An aviation calibration report documents essential information regarding aviation equipment conditions. In other words, the calibration report is a statement of results of calibration. The aviation calibration report includes specific details about out-of-tolerance conditions and special measurement conditions. It also provides information on the calibration correction.
In this whitepaper, we will cover what makes up an aviation calibration report, what should be included in your report and what to do with your results.
WHAT MAKES UP AN AVIATION CALIBRATION REPORT
An aviation calibration report should be made up of the following:
- The dates and environmental conditions at the time of aviation equipment calibration
- The received condition of the aviation equipment. The received condition should be one of the below descriptions:
- In tolerance with description of meeting all specifications needed
- Operational failure, with description of failure
- Out of tolerance with out of tolerance description
- The returned condition of the aviation equipment:
- In tolerance with description of meeting all specifications needed.
- Special specifications are met with description based off of customer’s request
- A traceability statement
- The standards used during aviation equipment calibration
- The calibration procedure used on the equipment -this should including revision level if necessary
- The calibration interval
- Contact information for questions and concerns regarding the calibration report
RECEIVING A CALIBRATION REPORT AFTER SERVICE
You should always receive an aviation calibration report after calibration, regardless of if you have accredited calibrations or traceable calibrations performed on your aviation equipment. Depending on the application in which the aviation equipment is used, you may be required to have such documentation on file for the aviation equipment at all times. It important to keep calibration reports up to date and organized. Each calibration report will have a serial number that associates one calibration with one instrument, therefore; it should be easy to keep aviation calibration reports in order.
In order to better understand an aviation calibration report, it is first important to know exactly what should be on it and why. Below, we have created a list of requirements that should be included in your aviation calibration report.
FACTORS NEEDED IN AN AVIATION CALIBRATION REPORT
- First and foremost, an aviation calibration report must include a title. The title helps to identify that the document is in fact a calibration report.
- An aviation calibration report should also include the name and the address of the calibration laboratory.
- A unique identification number of the calibration report should also be included in the document. Page numbers should also be included and should provide which page of the series it is. For example, page 4 of 5.
- While this should be a given, it is also important to ensure that the customer’s name and address are included on the aviation calibration report.
- All aviation calibration reports should also include proper identification of the calibration method used.
- Reports should also indicate the condition of the aviation equipment calibrated along with of brief description of the equipment for identification purposes.
- An aviation calibration report should also list the date of the receipt of the calibrated equipment along with the date of the calibration.
- One of the most important factors to ensure is included in at calibration report is calibration results and the unit of measurement.
- An aviation calibration report should also include the names, functions and signature of the personnel authorizing the calibration report.
- A statement to the effect that the results should also be included in the aviation calibration report.
- Specific information on calibration conditions, e.g., environmental conditions, should be included in an aviation calibration report. This should also include information on the environmental conditions under which the calibrations were performed, especially if they influenced measurement results.
- Evidence of measurement traceability to SI units of measurements should always be accounted for on an aviation calibration report.
- An aviation calibration report should also include a statement specifying that the calibration report shall not be reproduced or duplicated without the written approval of the calibration laboratory.
- A calibration report should also include any additional information which may be required by a specific method or customer.
The listed factors above should be considered when creating a format for an aviation calibration report. By ensuring the above factors are included in your aviation calibration report, you are assuring that all relevant details needed in a calibration report are covered. Please note, that not all calibration reports are organized the same way; therefore, they do not all look the same.
4 CHECKPOINTS TO FOCUS ON DURING AVIATION CALIBRATION RESULT REVIEW
After receiving calibration results, it’s important to review your aviation calibration report to ensure accuracy of all data. When reviewing your results, the following four checkpoints should be focused on:
CORRECTION OF ERROR
This checkpoint is very important in regards to aviation measuring instruments and devices. This is because it helps to identify potential errors and aviation instrument tolerance. During equipment preventive maintenance, a correction factor should be determined and then inputted on the aviation equipment being calibration. This will compensate or correct any errors displayed.
Tolerance is particularly important for understanding the total allowable error within an instrument. Tolerance of an instrument is typically represented as a +/- value on an aviation calibration report. Notably, tolerance is specifically important to help determine aviation equipment deformation. Deformation can occur due to environmental changes that lead to aviation equipment material expanding and contracting. For this reason, it is crucial to review the aviation calibration results for this checkpoint to ensure the tolerance is understood and to be able to take the allowable error range into consideration.
AS FOUND/AS LEFT DATA
These data checkpoints include information for before an aviation instrument was calibrated and after it has been calibrated. Checking this data is very important to ensure that the measurement value listed actually lie within an acceptable the limit. If data shows an allowable limit, then the measurement value is acceptable.
Notably, when checking the “as left” and “as found” data, it is important to remember that the “as left” column will, in some cases, differ in adjustment due to the “as found” value being outside of an acceptable limit.
TRACEABILITY AND UNCERTAINTY
Checking the aviation calibration results for a properly calculated uncertainty ratio and traceability is extremely important. If an uncertainty ratio is calculated correctly in the aviation calibration results, then traceability of measurements can be guaranteed. This is because an avaition calibration laboratory uses its best measurement capability (BMC), which is acquired from a higher laboratory standard.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR AVIATION CALIBRATION REPORT RESULTS
Part of fully understanding an aviation calibration report is knowing what to do with the calibration report results. Aviation equipment and instruments are calibrated for several reasons and it is for these reasons that an aviation calibration report is useful.
One of the most important questions of aviation equipment calibration is, “How accurate are my instruments measurements?” Accuracy of equipment and its measurements is crucial in the aviation industry, especially when it comes to overall safety.
By analyzing the results on an aviation calibration report, the question of accuracy can be answer.
Calibration results given on an aviation calibration report may vary in specific values and formats, but usually always display the value of a standard and the results obtained when using the aviation equipment to measure that standard. An aviation calibration report will also display the calculation of the actual error of the instrument calibration and the correction value.
All of these results aid in displaying and maintaining aviation equipment accuracy and can be used for readjustment and repair purposes.
Aviation equipment reliability is extremely important to ensure that the measurements can be trusted. Because all measurements cannot read perfectly, knowing that your aviation equipment is reliable after calibration is vital. An aviation calibration report displays instrument reliability.
Results displayed on an aviation calibration report indicate the degree of equipment accuracy. An aviation calibration report should include a measurement uncertainty ratio, which can help to indicate if equipment is drifting. If aviation equipment measurements are reading outside of the aviation calibration reports given ratio, than it is clear that the equipment has drifted out of calibration and cannot be considered reliable.
Aviation calibration report results are most useful when they can be compared to other measurements nationally. An aviation calibration report should include calibration traceability in order to help companies maintain manufacturing tolerances. This helps companies trace their calibration and measurements to a specific standard.
Traceability on an aviation calibration report is particularly important to ensure overall accuracy and reliability, which aids in inspection.
An aviation calibration report also aids in taking uncertainty into account. When taking uncertainty into account, accuracy of aviation equipment measurements can be determined. An aviation calibration report can help determine if aviation equipment is reliable and accurate by comparing equipment measurements to the uncertainty measurement ratio calculated on the calibration report.