Keeping the Skies Safe
Safety wiring is used to secure components in aircraft to prevent sometimes fatal accidents. Also known as positive wire locking, safety wiring is a device that holds down parts such as nuts, bolt heads, screws, studs, and more.
Parts, such as screws, can become dislodged over time due to the vibration of the aircraft. In addition, even the smallest parts can create catastrophic results if not safety-wired and torqued into place. It is an important lesson for each aircraft maintenance technician to learn, as the safety of the passengers on an aircraft is the most crucial part of their job.
Wait… Aircraft Parts Can Fall Out?
Flight causes many stresses on an aircraft. For example, take-offs, landings, turbulence, and more constantly vibrate parts. Holding the aircraft together are many parts like screws, bolts, and other devices. Over time, these parts can become worn-down and sometimes become dislodged. Every single one of these components is important to the structure of the aircraft! Furthermore, just one loose screw can pose a problem for the safety of passengers and crew.
Additionally, to ensure that parts remain in place during all those stresses on aircraft, fail-safe devices, like safety wire, are installed. Aviation maintenance technicians are responsible for inspecting and ensuring that these parts and fail-safe devices, such as safety wire, are secure for each flight!
How Does Safety Wiring Work?
In aircraft, stainless steel wire is threaded through a hole drilled into a fastener or part, then twisted and anchored to a second fastener or part, then twisted again. With the tension of the wire, it remains in place by being twisted around itself. Additionally, the wire retains its shape after being bent to create a force against the loosening of fasteners such as screws.
Note that safety wire isn’t used just to be a replacement for tightening fasteners. Instead, think of safety wiring as a failsafe against the vibration of the aircraft. After each application, safety wire must be disposed of and replaced.
In addition, The most common sizes for safety wire are 0.032-inch and 0.041-inch, but wire also comes in various types for different jobs! For example, thicker wiring may be used to hold larger screws in place. Additionally, the wiring must be tight and even, but not under such tension that the wire is broken after normal handling or vibration.
Installing safety wire is something that should be practiced until it becomes second nature. Moreover, that’s why training is such an important factor in aviation maintenance!
Safety Wire Training and You
National Aviation Academy trains the future generation of aviation maintenance technicians. That includes learning how to properly install and secure safety wire! As common as installing safety wire is, it is important to practice and train efficiently.
Our industry-veteran instructors provide a wealth of knowledge to tackle projects, including safety wiring! If you would like to learn more about the aviation industry and how you can be a part of keeping aircraft safe to fly, please fill out the form below!