Airplane Life Cycle

Accident summaries organized relative to the life cycle element most prevalent in each accident.

Airplane Life Cycle
Design / Manufacturing
Photo: A Boeing Airplane in a manufacturing process

An aircraft design is defined in and approved by the issuance of a “Type Certificate” which is normally issued by a civil aviation authority to a manufacturer when the design is found to comply with all relevant design requirements.  The design is then manufactured in accordance with the airplane configuration and is defined by this certificate.

View Related Accidents

Operational
Photo: Airplanes lined up on a runway with an orange sunset

Once manufactured, the airplane is delivered to an operator to begin commercial service.  In the Operational phase, the airplane is operated by an airline in accordance with the operational requirements specified by the country responsible for overseeing that operator’s activity. These operational requirements usually include all ground and flight operations, including the training and certification of the personnel conducting these operations.

View Related Accidents

Maintenance / Repair / Alteration
Photo: Engineer working on an airplane engine

As the airplane continues to be operated, maintenance is performed which is intended to keep the airplane in an airworthy condition. Repair may be necessary in order to correct damage or other events that might have occurred. Alterations may be also desired which change the configuration of the original design.

View Related Accidents