Ageing of aircraft doesn’t play foul for air crash in Nepal
JUNE 5, 2018-KATHMANDU
Aircraft age has been a major topic for debate and a question that often arises whenever an old aircraft meets an incident or an accident. An aircraft’s lifespan is generally measured not in years but are calculated on their pressurization cycles. Each time an aircraft is pressurized during flight, its fuselage and wings are stressed. Both are made of large, plate-like parts connected with fasteners and rivets, and over time, cracks develop around the fastener holes due to metal fatigue.
In the context of Nepal, we can find aircraft serving for decades which are still on operation however; it doesn’t mean that Nepalese Aviation lacks safety measure. Mostly, incident in Nepal occurs on the STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) routes and the first eye of an individual for the incident goes to the old aircraft. The reason behind the incidents can’t be only the age of aircraft as there are lots of aged aircraft flying in different parts of the world with proper safety.
The aircraft manufacturers design the aircraft to be trouble-free for a long period of time as they undergo various maintenance actions to preclude any catastrophic failures, but that’s not to say that the aircraft might not experience metal fatigue before those times.
The Age details of Nepalese Fixed wing aircraft are:-