Poll: Will 2020 be the year regulators approve drone inspections as a stand-alone procedure?

It was about five years ago that drones were first suggested for aircraft inspections, and trials soon began testing this approach. Yet none of the drone techniques have actually been certified and put into daily operations.

Find out more about AAR's test of Donecle drones. 

Some other drone tests have ended, while other are ongoing. For example, Qantas did a couple of tests with drones but did not continue them. But Avianca is still testing drone inspections, in cooperation with Airbus, in its MRO facility in Rionegro, Colombia, according to Engineering Director Adolfo Carvajal. We have already tested four aircraft with Airbus and we continue doing some inspections on other aircraft, Carvajal says.

One challenge in drone inspections is ensuring drones are stable enough to yield precise images. Donecle developed laser positioning with onboard sensors to sense the drones environment and position it with an accuracy down to centimeters. The drone thus does not need a separate pilot. And Donecle offers an integrated package combining drone, automated navigation, image analysis and aggregated data on a secure cloud platform.

Read the full article 'Will Drones Finally Be Permitted To Do Inspections?' by Henry Canaday here.

To share your views on other areas of the aftermarket, take a look at the previous weekly MRO polls here.