New Video Addresses FOD Prevention in Electronics Assembly

Preventing FOD in Electronics AssemblyIPC has released a new program that focuses exclusively on FOD Prevention in Electronics Assembly. Foreign Objects and Debris (FOD) can severely affect the reliability and functionality of electronic devices. This new IPC training video provides the information and techniques to help eliminate FOD during electronics assembly, including hand soldering, SMT & PTH assembly processes, and box build / wire assembly. For more information about the offering visit Their Site »  

Laser Used In England To Frighten Airport Birds

laser-drive-away-birds Southampton recently became the first airport in the UK to use the Bird Control Group’s handheld Aerolaser to disturb and repel birds from runways. The laser technology simulates a physical danger to the birds, provoking them to fly away to protect themselves. The laser is calibrated for use in daylight and incorporates a safety feature to prevent its shining at aircraft or the control tower. See Video »

Explosive Engine Failure In Melbourne

Melbourne AirportAn explosive engine failure on a Vietnamese airliner showered fiery debris across a runway at Australia's second busiest airport Tuesday, bringing all traffic at the airport to a standstill. The incident happened as Vietnam Airlines Flight 780 was approaching take off on a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said. Reacting quickly, the pilot was able to abort the takeoff and safely bring the aircraft to a stop, with the twin-engine Airbus A330 coming to rest at the intersection of the airport's two runways, blocking all traffic for 40 minutes until 11:30 a.m. local time. "The issue also resulted in some debris from the plane causing some spot fires on the runaway and surrounding area," Gillett said. "There are some rumours that the aircraft itself was ablaze with fire — that's not the case," she added. Read More »

BASH Programs Gain Importance

Aaron BettsAaron Betts is a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, assigned to oversee the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard program at Vance Air Force Base and at Kegelman Air Force Auxiliary Field. He is part of a growing number of wildlife biologists assigned to Air Force bases, where their job is to keep birds, deer, coyotes, skunks and other animals away from the airfields where they could potentially collide with multi-million dollar aircraft. The effort, better known by the ironic but appropriate acronym, BASH, is designed to keep birds and other wildlife from impacting flying operations at Vance. Describing Betts’ job is easy, he said, doing it, not so much. “I mitigate conflict between wildlife and the air operations here at Vance,” he said. It is a daily effort at Vance, and he travels to Kegelman twice a week. When he first came to Vance to take over the BASH program in 2007, Betts admitted he didn’t know what to expect. Read More »

What FOD Investigators Can Learn From Food Investigators

Food SafetyForeign Objects in food constitute one of the most serious causes of consumer complaints and can result in substantial losses and brand damage to companies associated with the incidents. While some of these complaints are justified and the objects behind them can be considered as true foreign bodies, others may be due to poorly mixed or misprocessed product. Additionally, it is common for the foreign body to have been introduced into the product by the customers themselves, either accidentally, through home contamination or, more concerningly, as a result of malicious contamination, whether by the complainant or by someone involved in food manufacture or distribution. Nevertheless, when complaints are received, it is important to be able to identify the nature and origin of the object both quickly and cost-effectively, so that an appropriate response can be made. This is particularly so in the age of social networking, where complainants can readily publicize their dissatisfaction. Quality assurance investigators charged with the identification of foreign bodies reported from food products will have to use a wide range of techniques in this work. Many of these techniques are classical microscopy and microanalytical methods borrowed from different sciences. A lot of these methods are quite basic and require a minimum of equipment beyond good-quality light microscopes. However, where the number of samples being investigated can justify the investment, there are some more sophisticated techniques that can be employed to great effect. Read More »

European Space Agency Targets Space FOD to the European Space Agency there are 17,000 bits of space junk floating around Earth. These objects can be the size of a coffee cup or larger, but even a tiny object, such as a nut or bolt, can cause some serious damage. Especially when it is orbiting the planet at hundreds or thousands of kilometers per hour. The Oscar nominated movie "Gravity" provided a vivid simulation of the potential risks that space based FOD could present to future space missions. With this in mind, the ESA will be holding a symposium in May to discuss different space-debris removal technologies and procedures. Read More »

No Evidence Of FOD In Glasgow Helicopter Crash

Glasgow helicopter wreckage An investigation into last November's fatal helicopter crash in Glasgow, Scotland has found that both the aircraft's engines "flamed out" suddenly, causing it to lose power and fall "at a high rate of descent". The UK's Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) said it was still unclear why both the engines had cut out, despite weeks of exhaustive examination of the Eurocopter EC135 T2 wreckage. There was no evidence of any damage or malfunction of the fuel supply and transfer pumps, nor was there any evidence of foreign bodies or blockages, while the engine fuel control units were "found to be serviceable in all respects". "There was no evidence of foreign object damage or intake or exhaust blockage in either engine. Also, there were no signs of bearing or lubrication system failure, and the oil system chip detectors were clean and free from metallic particles." Ten people were killed when the Eurocopter crashed down onto the Clutha bar in central Glasgow. Read More »

Lasers Pose Increasing Threat To Aircraft

Laser PointerLaser pointers being directed into the cockpits of aircraft are becoming an increasing hazard for pilots as these powerful handheld lasers become more affordable and widespread.  There were 3,960 such strikes reported last year, the FAA says. That's up from 283 in 2005. Attacks are particularly common in New York and Los Angeles, and they often obstruct the work of the targeted pilots. Read More »  

Fish FOD Grounds Plane

Fish Several American Airlines flight attendants were taken to a hospital in Miami on December 23rd when they were overcome by a strong odor. They were aboard Flight 281 as it was preparing to take off on a scheduled flight to Los Angeles when the pungent smell entered the cabin. American spokeswoman Andrea Hughley explained that the odor emanated from a leaking cargo bin filled with fish. Passengers were not directly impacted by the fumes, but were forced to return to the terminal. The airline delayed the flight for five hours to replace the crew, unload the aromatic cargo and clean things up. The flight resumed its California journey later that day. Read More »

Owl “Irruption” Causing Bird-Strike Risk

Snowy Owl in AirportDespite their renowned wisdom, snowy owls migrating south are mistaking airport runways for safe habitat, putting themselves, and air travelers, at risk. Right now, perhaps the largest ever number of Arctic snowy owls — yes, the type beloved by Harry Potter and friends—are descending on the Northeast and Great Lakes states in one of what may be several waves of arrivals. (Such an influx is called an "irruption," just for the record.) It's hard to get trustworthy counts because of how scattered the birds are now and how extensive their range is, stretching from Newfoundland to Bermuda. But the numbers appear to be unprecedented, and bird experts aren't exactly sure why. Read More »

Boston Logan Becomes First US Airport To Have Automated FOD Detection System Installed

FOD Detection On Logan RunwayBoston Logan International has become the first airport in the US to use an automated runway FOD detection system. The airport has had the state-of-the-art FODetect system installed, developed by Xsight Systems, that has been sited on runway 09-27, which is the busiest departure runway at Boston Logan. The technology locates foreign object debris and improves operations to provide safer and more streamlined travel. FOD refers to any misplaced object found on airport surfaces that can damage aircraft, engines, tires or fuselage, potentially risking passenger safety, disrupting airport services and causing expensive damage. Alon Nitzan, president and CEO of Xsight Systems, says: “Objects such as dislodged aircraft pieces are now being safely detected and removed, protecting aircraft and passengers. “Airport operators now have the ability to detect and remove objects as they appear on runway surfaces in between flights – a huge advantage which can save airlines millions of dollars in potential damage to aircraft, and enhance safety by adding a new layer of protection for passengers.” The FODetect system is a supplement to the manual FOD inspections airport personnel are required to perform. It aims to improve the daily operation of airport runways by increasing safety and efficiency. Read More »

Airbus Creates Volcanic Ash Cloud Test

AirbusVolcanicCloud Engineers from Airbus and their customer Easyjet have teamed up to create an artificial ash cloud to test a sensor that could help avoid massive airspace closures after a volcanic eruption. When a volcano erupted in Iceland in 2010, it filled the skies over Europe with a massive ash cloud. From April 15-21, 2010, more than 100,000 flights were cancelled as officials scrambled to assess safety. The closures cost the airlines an estimated $2.6 billion.Flights had to be cancelled because the ash can cause structural damage as it melts inside aircraft engines and sticks to engine blades. It also sticks to windshields and can interfere with other instruments. The ash is difficult to detect and track because it is incredibly fine. Europe could see a repeat situation within the next couple of years, experts say, because Icelandic volcanoes erupt about once every five years. If the wind is blowing to the northwest, the ash ends up in European skies.But the next time it happens, pilots should be better equipped to assess the dangers, with the help of a new sensor designed to detect ash in the atmosphere. Engineered by European airline easyJet, aircraft maker Airbus, and Nicarnica Aviation, the Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector (AVOID) would be mounted on aircraft. Read More »

FOD Detection System In Israel

FOD Detection System In Tel-AvivThe new FODetect foreign object debris (FOD) detection systems went operational in mid-May at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport (LLBG). The equipment, developed by Israeli company Xsight Systems, was certified after an evaluation process and soft launch on Ben Gurion’s primary Runway that begun in August of 2012. “During the past nine months [of testing] an average of six items per month were collected from the runway,” said Yair Gannot, safety director with the Israel Airports Authority. “We had no case of FOD found by our manual inspectors that was not earlier detected and visualized by the automated FOD detection system,” he added. Read More »

FOD on the USS Peleliu

FOD on a Boat

Foreign Object Damage - or FOD - costs the Navy almost $90 million a year. That's why combating FOD is a priority for sailors on the San Diego-based USS Peleliu. The Navy put together this video on how Pelieliu sailors do their part to scope out foreign objects, some smaller than a dime, to keep their ship running smoothly. The USS Peleliu is currently deployed in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility.