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FAA Calls For Comments On Aircraft Bonded Repair Size Limits Policy

September 11, 2014 - The FAA has recently published a draft policy statement that would provide guidance to aircraft certification engineers on size limits for bonded repairs to composite and metallic structures. This policy for the most part is in step with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) policy on bonded repair.

Over the years there have been advancements in the use and application of bonding materials not just for small aircraft fabrication and structure repair but to include large pressurized commercial aircraft.

In the past bonded repair work on large aircraft was limited to control surfaces and non-critical structures, this was do to reported cases of in-flight critical structure repair bond failures.


The FAA does view bonding repair as a viable repair option, nonetheless, the FAA recognizes that bonded repair of critical structure does pose a potential safety threat and that there must be a limit on size of bonded repairs and the application or use of bonded material.

In order for bonding to adhere properly to a surface there are a number of procedural steps that have to be taken. Such as the surface area must be properly prepped and cleaned, proper mixing of bonding agents, taking into account humidity, etc.

Once the bonding agent has been applied and dried there is no sure way to ensure that the bonded area has achieved expected full strength. As a result the FAA has put together a policy that would provide guidance in the use of bonding aircraft surfaces to insure that there is an industry-wide standard and offers a means of accountability. The FAA is excepting comments on this policy until October 10, 2014. Draft Document (MS Word) - Email comments to: lester.cheng@faa.gov  - Fax comments to: 316-946-4107



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