Saturday, November 20, 2010

Feel the LOV

A new aviation abbreviation with an F in it has entered the scene. Okay, it's probably not new to aircraft structural engineers, but I only recently noticed WFD for the first time, in a new FAA rule that requires manufacturers to declare and operators to comply with life limits on airframes. The lifespan of an airframe may be given in hours or cycles, but there is a possibility of having an individual aircraft approved for an extension. The term limit of validity (LOV) refers to the engineering data specified about the airplane. Its an addition to the published limits that certification requires an aircraft to be operated within. The rule applies to existing designs with a takeoff weight of at least 75,000 pounds, and to all transport designs seeking certification in the future.

I think in most North American operations, large aircraft become uneconomical to maintain before they reach their LOV. The rule itself states that there will be only one current airplane affected, at a cost to its operator of $3.8 million dollars, but that the new rule will save the industry $4.8 million. I believe that the savings are from changes in inspection programs, but I'm not certain. I've been sitting on this for a while, intending to do more research, but I've been learning Khmer and getting my taxes in order instead. The link to the rule given in the ASN article is broken, but I found it here.

Usually when an aviation abbreviation contains an F, it doesn't stand for fatigue. A while ago I used some netspeak in an e-mail conversation with another pilot who hasn't spent as great a proportion of his life online as I have, and he wrote back to ask me to clarify ROTFL. He said he could have asked his daughter, "but it had an F in it, so I thought I'd play it safe." In this case, it's "rolling on the floor, laughing," but his caution was well-placed.


Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Trix:

It used to be "ROTFLMAO", which indeed, is marginally NSFD (Not Safe for Daughters).


townmouse said...

I always abbreviated it 'ROFL' which has the advantage of also making it onomatopoeic

Wayne Farmer said...

And its derivative, ROFLMAO, can be nicely sung and danced.

Sue said...

In my field, Information Technology, there's a well-known phrase, RTFM, which is the advice given to newbies asking an obvious question. All the software vendors claim it stands for "Read The Fantastic Manual."

5400AirportRdSouth said...

My favourite F Acronym, definitely NSFW, was told to me by an IT professional as well. I've since tried it out with a couple AME's and they knew it as well...perhaps its a basic engineering term from days old... Any box, containing within; mysterious, sealed, solid state components or proprietary technology that you are not supposed to try and open, repair, alter or even understand is known as a PFM unit. Pure ( Fantastic ) Magic.

My cars seem to have more and more PFM units in them these days.

Small black boxes that offer little clues as to their function and well beyond my percussive maintenance capabilities.