The aviation industry relies on the most highly proven technology and the highest-tech equipment to move people safely and economically through the air. Aviation inspection, the part of the aviation industry which makes sure that planes are safe, uses computers in a number of ways. Computer technology has greatly assisted with this important role in the industry.
Interfacing With On-Board Computers
Aviation inspectors use computers to interface with on-board computers to diagnose problems with airline computer systems. For example, they can use a computer to read the codes generated by a malfunctioning air speed indicator or a blocked pitot tube. They may also use the computer interface to update software on the plane's on-board computer systems, to make sure that the most up-to-date programs are being run.
Aviation inspectors may use computers to store data related to current or past inspection or maintenance history, specific problems with the airplane being inspected, and other information such as total time on the air frame or total time between engine rebuilds. In this way, they can pull up information that will help them determine whether a plane needs major service.
Aviation inspectors use computers to track engine performance and record problems in flight that can be analyzed later on the ground. Engines can have problems during operation that cannot be replicated when the engine is not being operated at a certain speed or altitude. By tracking the operation of the engines to record these problems, aviation inspectors can check the problems later on the ground.
Communicating with other aviation inspectors is another way that aviation inspectors use computers. They need to maintain their knowledge and ask questions of others in their field, and a computer allows them to do that rapidly while they are working, using email, shared networks and shared databases of information.
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