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Automated troubleshooting tools for minimizing downtime and reducing the labor and material costs of C-5 aircraft

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2 Author(s)
Villarreal, C. ; OnBoard Software Inc., San Antonio, TX, USA ; Cicek, I.

Based on recent reports (T.L. Ramey 1999, J.E. Pike 2000-2004), a large percentage of C-5 aircraft were found not mission capable due to maintenance problems. For example, in one location, no more than eight out of 22 C-5's were mission capable. These maintenance problems reveal the need to improve the utilization of current diagnostic systems. This paper emphasizes such a system, known as the malfunction detection analysis and recording system (MADARS). When fully utilized, the improved MADARS III together with the ground maintenance diagnostics systems greatly enhances the accuracy in identifying faulty components. MADARS uses a digital computer to gather and record data from hundreds of test points during aircraft operations. Some of these test points automatically trigger fault codes to identify faulty components. Many component failures may require further fault isolation where additional test points may be utilized in the troubleshooting process with MADARS III. Data recorded by MADARS is downloaded to a ground processing interface system (GPIS), which makes the data available for local analysis. GPIS also transmits the data to a database server called quick look database (QLD). QLD was developed as a tool for aircraft maintainers to prepare reports based on C-5 flight data files. Test point data may be accessed through the QLD and graphed for visual abnormalities and for comparison with other related test points. This paper discusses the benefits of using these maintenance data reporting tools. These tools can help maintainers identify potentially faulty components early. Some examples of how these tools can be used are provided in this paper. This paper also discusses how troubleshooting efforts on a C-5 may be further improved by including field experience in the decision making process.

Published in:

AUTOTESTCON 2004. Proceedings

Date of Conference:

20-23 Sept. 2004