FOD News Roundup – March 3rd, 2019

FOD Grounds New Aircraft Contract

The US Air Force temporarily grounded its new fleet of KC-46 refueling tankers after finding loose tools and debris inside of recently delivered aircraft.

Image Source: USAF Christopher Okula


Australia Releases New Bird Strike Data

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau reports 16,626 bird strikes between 2008 and 2017, with 2017 seeing a record 1,921 incidents.

Image Source: ATSB Graphic


Factory Cleanroom Demonstration

Watch this fascinating video of the Milwaukee Valve Company fabricating an oxygen valve with a thorough debris prevention program that prevents contamination during the manufacturing process

Image Source: YouTube Screenshot


Tool and Parts Control

Don’t lose your favorite monkey wrench in the avionics housing! Our tools and parts carriers will keep your hardware ready for safe use and storage.

Image Source: The FOD Control Corporation

FOD News Roundup – February 4, 2016

News Report: Airport Remains Open Despite FOD

January 24, 2016: The runway at Bauerfield International Airport (IATA: VLI, ICAO: NVVV) in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has deteriorated to the point that some airlines have halted flights, according to a report by Newshub. Airport authorities have commenced short-term solutions, such as daily sweeping, to collect debris formed from loose pieces of tarmac. Read more...

Bauerfield International Airport, Vanuatu

Bauerfield IAP. Image Copyright © Julie Lyn. Some rights reserved.


 

White Paper: Comparing Airport Sweeper Technologies

January 4, 2016: There is no “one size fits all” single best technology for sweeping foreign object debris (FOD) from broad airport surface areas such as runways, taxiways, ramps and aprons, in all circumstances. So, instead of looking for the best sweeper available, focus instead on acquiring the most appropriate solution for your specific FOD control program. Read more...

FOD-Razor™ Triplex Version

Image Copyright © The FOD Control Corporation. All rights reserved.


 

News Report: Dead Deer vs. Aircraft

February 1, 2016: Hunters kill deer for food. Deer remains wash ashore near Sitka Rock Gutierrez Airport (SIT). Birds flock to the airport to dine on the remains. You can imagine how this can affect runway safety, so airport officials need to be extra vigilant during subsistence hunting season in Alaska, according to this article by KTOO Public Media. (Warning: graphic images) Read more...

Sitka Airport, Alaska

Sitka Airport. Image Copyright © James Brooks. Some rights reserved.


 

FOD Education: Tool Room Assessment Checklist

February 1, 2016: Tracking and inventorying tools in a FOD-sensitive environment can take away precious time from your core mission activities. Here's a handy guide to help you speed up the process, get better organized and prevent lost items from damaging equipment and endangering lives. Read more...

Old Messy Workshop

Image Copyright © Unsplash. CC0 public domain license.


 

News Report: Automated Detection System

December 8, 2015: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has installed a new FOD detection system for its recently-reconstructed center runway, according to a public statement by the Port of Seattle. Developed by the Israeli firm Xsight Systems, it utilizes image and radar processing algorithms to scan for debris and birds. Read more...

FOD Detect

Image courtesy of Xsight Systems.


FOD News Roundup – October 10, 2015

Military Helicopter Problems

October 9: According to the US Navy, FOD causes most of the engine failures aboard the heavy Sea Dragon and Super Stallion military helicopters, which are in service in the US Navy, the US Marine Corps and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Super Stallion Helicopter

Image Credit: United States Navy


 

Finding Invisible FOD

September 17: The US Air Force's 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron uses x-ray machines for "nondestructive" inspections of F-15E Strike Eagles and other warplanes, searching deep within the aircraft for hidden foreign object debris.
"It's the quickest and most effective way to look ... without tearing the aircraft apart."
380EMS X-ray Machine

Image Credit: Tech Sgt Christopher Boitz, USAF


 

Bird Strike Science

September 8: Modelling the physics of avian collisions is a must for anyone trying to design aircraft structures that can still fly safely immediately after such an incident, according to Chris Jones, VP for aerospace and defence at Cyient.
"Working out a single, overarching approach to impact simulation first requires a comparative assessment of the three most common current methods of modelling..."
Bird Srike on Wing
 

When the Rubber Meets the Load

August 31: The US Air Force's 62nd Airlift Wing had a problem. Their cargo pallets kept falling apart, spreading nails, wood chunks and other debris across the AOA. Thousands of dollars blew away in the wind every time they had to built a new pallet. Then they hit on a solution:
"[We] know of a local rock quarry ... that had worn out tires from their earth movers that they needed to get rid of..."
Cargo Pallets

Image Credit: Staff Sgt Katie Jackson, USAF


 

Announcing Our New Runway Sweeper!

The FOD Control Corporation proudly announces the release of its new airport runway sweeper, the FOD-Razor™. This is a USA-manufactured, high-quality, lower-priced version of the popular friction mat sweeper that collects over 95% of everything it its path and is so portable that you can transport it in a pickup truck or small helicopter. Visit us online to learn more!
The FOD-Razor™ Airport Runway Sweeper (Triplex Version)

The FOD-Razor™ Airport Runway Sweeper (Triplex Version)


FOD News Roundup – August 31, 2015

Dangerous Bubble Wrap

August 14: A Boeing 777 made an emergency landing at London's Heathrow Airport after a gradual accumulation of bubble wrap, wire and insulation blocked an air duct, leading to a failure of the cockpit's oxygen system. Neglect FOD control and it will build up over time.
bubble wrap

Image Credit: Lynn Greyling


 

Did Cockpit FOD Destroy a Fighter?

July 31: Investigators believe that an improperly stored checklist probably affected the controls of a Greek F-16 fighter jet, causing it to plunge to the ground shortly after takeoff in January, killing nine people.
Hellenic F-16

Image Credit: SSgt Thomas Tower, US Air Force


 

Bird Strike DID Destroy Another Fighter

August 18: A flock of birds caused a Mirage F1 fighter jet from the Royal Moroccan Air Force to crash during a landing operation. The pilot ejected and survived.

Royal Moroccan Mirage F-1

Image Credit: Aminovich


 

All Hail the FOD

August 8: A hailstorm over the Great Plains of the central United States shattered the nose cone and cracked the windshields of an Airbus A320 on a Delta flight from Boston to Salt Lake City, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Denver.
Airbus A320

Image Credit: Alf Van Beem


 

Disaster Cleanups

August 13: The US Air National Guard usually collects FOD from its flight areas and shops. Now, the 109th Airlift Wing has a new mission: Deploy its new "debris clearance team" to disaster zones with chainsaws, skid steers, rakes and shovels to clear blocked roads, helping first responders and power companies to reach their destinations.
109 AW Disaster Cleanup Team

Image Credit: New York Air National Guard


 

Skinning a B-52

August 5: Barksdale Air Force Base's 2nd Maintenance Squadron Fabrication Flight helps to keep the B-52 fleet free of FOD by maintaining the integrity of the venerable Stratofortress' metal skin and bones.
Barksdale AFB Sheet Metal

Image Credit: SrA Janelle Dickey, US Air Force


 

BASH-ing Bird Strikes

July 26: From lawnmowers to electric fences, A US Department of Agriculture wildlife biologist describes how he manages the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program at Little Rock Air Force Base.
BASH Program, Little Rock AFB

Image Credit: Tammy L. Reed, US Air Force


 

Invasion of the Drones

August 12: Reports of close calls between piloted aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles could quadruple in 2015, endangering aircraft and even aerial fire-fighting operations, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency stressed that illegal drone activity is a criminal offense that can result in fines or even jail time.
Drone

Image Credit: Bakó Gábor


 

Reporting Wildlife

August 4: Both commercial and general aviation airports continue to improve their reporting of wildlife strikes to the Federal Aviation Administration. The voluntary reporting program is so successful that the agency concluded that it's not necessary to make it mandatory at this time.
seagulls and plane NARA

Image Credit: Donald Emmerich, US Environmental Protection Agency


 

SlaughterFOD

August 20: Officials at India's Biju Patnaik International Airport are concerned that the presence of nearby slaughterhouses, slums and agriculture attracts stray animals and birds to the airport.
stray dogs

Image Credit: Robert & Mihaela Vicol


 

Blown Tires, Dead Bears

July 27: Meet the North Carolina Department of Transportation maintenance specialists who ride that ribbon of highway every day, searching for and picking up large road debris, sometimes so stinky that even the prison road crews have a hard time touching it.
bear on the road

Image Credit: Jackie Skaggs, National Park Service


FOD News Roundup – July 31, 2015

FOD Dust

July 16: The new composite materials used to create light-weight aircraft — such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 — can generate a lot of dust and particulates during the manufacturing process or in MRO facilities. Learn how one shop takes special measures to contain this tiny FOD before it contaminates the entire work area.
Airbus A350 

Cleanroom Gloves

June 25: Is your manufacturing environment so sensitive that you need gloves to handle delicate equipment or goods? Watch these short demonstrations of how to put on cleanroom gloves in either general or sterile environments.
cleanroom gloves 

Dangerous Drones

July 19: In what appears to be either a malicious attempt to spread a wildfire or an incredibly stupid act of negligence, a group of unmanned aerial vehicles harassed a firefighting tanker aircraft in California, forcing it to temporarily abandon efforts to control a massive blaze that destroyed several vehicles on a rural highway.
firefighting aircraft 

New FAA Regulations

July 20: The Federal Aviation Administration is soliciting comments while it considers a proposed rule to tighten regulations for transport category airplanes, such as operating speeds at low altitudes, in order to lessen damage during bird strikes.
aircraft and bird flock 

African Bird Strikes

July 3: Diligent FOD prevention is always cost-effective! Airline operators in Nigeria report that bird strikes at the nation's airports cost their industry over $180 million per year, blaming negligence by government and regulatory agencies. 
Nigeria 

Navy FOD Fighting

July 6: Naval airmen aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington take pride in their aircraft, their maintenance efforts and their silent, thrice-per-day FOD walkdowns. 
USS George Washington 

Moments in FOD History: World War

Check out Learn and Live, a vintage 1943 safety training video for pilots flying for US Army Air Forces during World War Two. Saint Peter and a flight instructor meet at the gates of Heaven to discuss why so many American pilots have recently died from preventable accidents. Complete with plane crashes and explosions with 1940's style visual effects.
Learn and Live

FOD News Roundup – June 30, 2015

Rotary FOD

June 10: Keep those helipads clean, folks. Authorities in Fiji believe that foreign object debris damaged the rotor blades of a helicopter during a landing operation, causing it to crash.
helicopter

 

Drone FOD

May 18: Predictions that small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles will create debris problems have come true, at least in the Philippines. A teenaged hobbyist lost his small drone, only for it to turn up as debris on the runway's edge at Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Quadcopter. Image: U.S. Air Force.

Quadcopter. Image: U.S. Air Force.

New FAA Video

150,000 strikes! That's how many the Federal Aviation Administration has cataloged since it first opened the Wildlife Strike Database in 1990. Watch this FAA video with updated information on the database. This is the second in the agency's new Airport Safety Information video series.
FAA video - wildlife database

 

Sky Lanterns

June 4: Officials in Mumbai, India, are raising security concerns over the increasing popularity of airborne sky lanterns, especially during holidays, near Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
sky lanterns

 

Keeping Fighters in the Air

May 29: Pay a visit to the F-15 functional test team, the ground maintenance unit responsible for preparing fighter jets for test flights.
USAF functional test team

 

Bird Strikes Increasing

May 18: India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation reports that birds strikes in that country have almost doubled over the past four years.
bird strike

 

Moo!

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has ordered all 81 airports to take measures to prevent people and livestock from crossing runways.
cow

 

Cold War Bird Strikes

Here's an interesting 1980's-era training video for US Air Force pilots, introducing them to a basic understanding of bird strike prevention. Includes incidents, pilot interviews and statistics.
USAF 1980's FOD video

 

Moments in FOD History: Learjet Crash

On February 26, 1973, multiple bird strikes crashed a Learjet after taking off from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in DeKalb County, Georgia. Seven people died and an eighth suffered severe fuel burns.
Peachtree Airport birds

FOD News Roundup – May 30, 2015

A Punch in the Nose

May 14: FOD doesn't pull its punches, and neither should you when fighting it. A Cebu Pacific A320 airliner had to make an emergency landing at Puerto Princesa Airport in the Philippines after unidentified "foreign debris" carved a hole into its nose landing gear.
Puerto Princesa Airport
 

Bird Strikes Increasing

April 30: University researchers from Wales and Argentina report in Science Magazine that bird strikes are increasing — in both aviation and non-aviation spheres — and that the conditions causing bird strikes may also be responsible for subtle changes in ecological and climate systems.
bird strike, broken nose cone

VIDEO: F-16 FOD Repair

March 24: Do you enjoy spending your workday with chains, ratchets and flashlights? Watch three US Air Force technicians repair a fighter jet engine damaged by FOD.
repair fodded F-16 engine
 

Wearable FOD Control

May 20: Wouldn't it be great if you could bring your portable electronic devices into a FOD-sensitive area without having to worry about tracking their location, maintaining check-in and check-out records or even losing them inside of an engine or housing? Take a look at these advances in "wearable" devices that you can put on like a vest.

wearable devices

VIDEO: Airport FOD Program

May 7: The City of San Antonio's airport system describes visually its comprehensive FOD program, including meetings, inspections, awareness efforts and performance awards.  
San Antonio FOD program

Drone Regs

Buy The Best Drone, a buyer's guide site, has put together a page of government regulations, information and commentary for people interested in flying small unmanned aerial vehicles.
Quadcopter. Image: U.S. Air Force.

Quadcopter. Image: U.S. Air Force.

De-Icing Agreement

May 21: NASA and the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada have renewed a partnership agreement to continue research in the area of aircraft engine icing. It continues for an additional five years research in a variety of critical areas, including engine ice crystal icing and testing practices for thermal ice protection systems.

deicing aircraft

Amtrak Mystery

May 20, 26: Federal investigators are trying to piece together why a passenger train entered a sharp curve at twice the speed limit before it crashed on May 12, killing eight and injuring over 200 people. A foreign object might have struck the windshield, and reports from other trains in the area indicate that someone may have been throwing rocks at trains. The engineer can't remember what happened because he was injured during the incident, which has prompted Amtrak officials to begin installing video cameras inside of its locomotive cabs as a safety measure.
Amtrak Crash

FOD News Roundup – April 16, 2015

Mystery FOD Disrupts Holiday

February 21: Lion Air had to cancel or delay flights from Indonesia's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for three days, delaying departures for thousands of travelers celebrating the Chinese New Year. The rapidly-expanding airline blamed "foreign object damage" but provided virtually no details.
    
Image courtesy of Boeing.
 

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a...drone?

March 13: What happens when an errant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) slams into a manned aircraft? George Morse of Failure Analysis Service Technology offers some clues. February 19: You can also read a recent FODNews.com article on concerns about a proposal to allow commercial operators to fly drones in the USA's airspace.
Image: US Geological Survey.
 

FOD Inspector Becomes FOD

March 11: Detail, details. Pilots of a Boeing 717 had to react quickly during an approach to Perth Airport in Australia, after the airport forgot to tell them that a runway inspection was taking place, turning the inspector's vehicle into potential runway debris.
Image © 2007 by Gnangarra. Some Rights Reserved.
 

Video: Birds Blow Out Engine

March 21: A passenger shot this fiery footage of a bird strike taking out the left engine of an Airbus A321 taking off from Beirut Airport. Ironically, the passenger later explained that he was on his way to photograph the Aurora Borealis in Iceland.
bird_strike_blowout
 

What Causes Bird Strikes?

What makes a bird fly its body right into the body of an aircraft, or for that matter your car on a weekend drive? Check out this interesting rundown of reasons for such birdbrain behavior. Now if we could only do the same for people...
bird_strike_smbdtx
Image: Federal Aviation Administration
 

Video: Heated Flight Area

April 8: Watch this time-lapse of snow melting at Greater Binghamton Airport, where an experimental geothermal heating system runs heated water through pipes installed underneath a terminal apron, keeping it relatively snow-free during the winter. Here are some specs, diagrams and photos as well.
binghamton_geothermal
 

Air Force Airfield Operations

April 13: From an undisclosed location in southwest Asia, US Air Force Airfield Management and Air Traffic control personnel perform FOD checks, identify and remove obstructions, obtain flight clearances and otherwise assure that the nation's aerial warfighters depart and arrive safely from their missions.
USAF Air Traffic Controller
 

Video: Planet of the Apes

April 10: One man's aircraft is another man's - er, primate's - FOD. A chimpanzee attacks and successfully brings down an airborne drone with a wooden stick. Maybe the high-tech weapons labs could learn a thing or two from this low-tech warrior.
chimpanzee_drone

Drones – The New Bird Strike Hazard?

When does an airborne aircraft resemble FOD? When it's smaller than practically everything else in the sky. Drones — basically any unmanned, remotely-controlled aircraft — populate our nation's airspace in greater and greater numbers. Depending upon design, they are also described by various acronyns, such as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems), sUAS (small Unmanned Aircraft Systems) or mUA (micro Unmanned Aircraft).
Quadcopter. Image: U.S. Air Force.

Quadcopter. Image: U.S. Air Force.

Military and law enforcement agencies already use them extensively. Long banned for commercial purposes, the FAA has recently proposed a set of regulations that would allow the routine use small drones. So, it is only a matter of time before all manner of little machines start buzzing over your community, ranging in size from a small plane to a large insect. It is the miniature drones that concern manned aircraft pilots and industry officials, because in size and behavior they often resemble a bird in flight. They can collide with manned aircraft before pilots have the opportunity to take evasive action. Their relatively fragile construction can cause FOD issues on the ground during a forced landing or airborne break-up. The FAA receives approximately two dozen reports per month of either near misses between UAV's and manned aircraft, or of UAV's flying close to airports. In 2013 a four-foot-long unmanned helicopter came within 200 feet of a Boeing 777 during a landing approach at JFK International Airport. An analysis of possible consequences, had a collision occurred, includes many of the same results of a bird strike, such as a fodded-out engine or cockpit intrusion. Of course, in most cases, a bird strike will more likely to bring down the bird instead of the aircraft. With small UAV's, it's just the opposite, as this video of a hawk attacking and crashing a quad-copter will attest. Now you have the potential for FOD debris on the ground. So many UAV's have taken to the skies so quickly, including private craft making low-altitude flights (which are not usually regulated by the FAA), that government officials struggle just to keep up with the pace of events. For instance, a local videographer caused a stir when his camera-mounted drone buzzed a suburb of Chicago one night to make a promotional video. Confusion abounded over whether or not he had created a safety hazard, invaded people's privacy and followed FAA regulations.
RQ-16A T-Hawk. Image: U.S. Geological Survey.

RQ-16A T-Hawk. Image: U.S. Geological Survey.

A drone strike would also create a more complex knot of insurance and court cases. Unlike a FOD incident caused by a generic piece of debris (such as a small bolt) of unknown origin, or a bird strike where the perpetrator is a natural object, after a drone strike it would not be difficult to trace the ownership and manufacturer of the offending craft. You would know exactly who to sue or prosecute. One way to unclog the traffic, at least during takeoff and landing operations, is to give drones their own dedicated airport. The U.S. Army is doing just that, building a launch and recovery complex specifically for its military UAV's. Located at Fort Bliss, Texas, it will include two runways, taxiways, a hangar, aprons and maintenance assets. Military aviation faces some of its greatest FOD challenges when deploying to forward locations with no airfields or improved surfaces. To help solve this problem, a British manufacturer of portable runways developed an aluminum UAV Landing Mat for the Australian Armed Forces. A partnership between the FAA, the UAV industry and model aircraft enthusiasts has put up a website, Know Before You Fly, that encourages responsible behavior by private drone operators.