How to Prevent a Foreign Object Debris Incident

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Foreign object debris is the cause of countless incidents. Therefore, ensuring your team knows how to properly and effectively prevent and handle such occurrences is paramount.

FOD is a substance, debris, or article that’s not a normal part of an aircraft, or its systems, that causes harm, damage, or a malfunction. For example, food, beverages, snipped wires, metal shavings, or anything found on the aircraft movement surfaces. The best way to prevent such instances of FOD is by being able to quickly identify and implement future¬†FOD preventive measures.

How to Identify a Potential FOD Problem

There are several ways you can go about identifying and correcting any FOD problems, such as:

  • Conducting routine audits of all work areas and aircraft movement surfaces. Then reporting any problems, if any, to management.
  • Thoroughly investigating all FOD incidents.
  • Taking corrective actions with personnel and corrective measures to keep it from happening again.

Proper Delegation of Responsibilities

The only way to maintain an effective working environment that will prevent and/or eliminate the potential for problems is to have a checks and balances system in place so you can inspect what you expect. This is a crucial part of avoiding a FOD incident. All supervisory personnel should make sure every FOD process is being followed, ensure that all employees have been properly trained in the FOD procedures for their respective areas, and will need to immediately report when foreign object debris has been identified. Then they will need to take any corrective actions necessary to keep that type of incident from happening again.

Suggestions for Preventing a FOD Incident

Some of the best ways to prevent a FOD incident from occurring is to clean as you go, make sure the Chit System and Shadow Box/Boards are being properly used and followed. Ensure that all personnel knows the proper assembly sequencing, maintenance, and manufacturing techniques for handling and using all present equipment and protective devices. And, the proper control of hardware, consumables, and hazardous materials.

What a FOD Incident Report Should Include

As mentioned above, all FOD incidents should be immediately reported, investigated, and corrected. Here is a list of details that should be included in all FOD incident reports.

  • The date.
  • The name of the part (nomenclature).
  • The serial number, if applicable.
  • Part location.
  • Details on who, what, when, where, and how it was discovered.
  • The description of the FOD.
  • The cause of the incident.
  • The corrective action that was taken.

The Tool Most Commonly Used to Prevent a FOD Incident

The best way to avoid a FOD incident is to use airfield tarmac sweeper equipment that has been specifically designed to remove foreign object debris from all aircraft movement surfaces and any other tools that help prevent foreign object debris from occurring in the first place.