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For the last three decades, the field of aircraft construction and manufacturing has been experiencing a significant change as the material of choice for aircraft construction has been continuously transitioning from metal to composite materials. This underlying change to the way aircraft structures and components are manufactured is propelled by composite materials’ intrinsic design and operational advantages. Nevertheless, as new technologies are introduced into the aviation industry, it is crucial to consider how all aspects thereof are affected, most importantly to ensure that safety is not compromised. As a critical part of the aviation industry and a key factor influencing the safety thereof, maintenance activities and certified aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) need to be considered when evaluating the impact of the introduction of composite materials in the aeronautical field. Consequently, the conducted study specifically focuses on aircraft maintenance activities, especially as it pertains to the interaction of certified AMTs with composite materials. The goal of the study was to highlight and understand the opinions and perceptions of AMTs on composite materials and how, from a front-line perspective, aviation maintenance activities have changed with the introduction of novel materials. The input gathered from AMTs is a tool to understand potential pitfalls, deficiencies in training and resources, and safety threats from a maintenance perspective that may stem from the increased use of composite materials. With this purpose, certified maintenance technicians in the United States were surveyed and their responses were analyzed to identify recurring themes in the topics presented. Responses indicated issues related to formal composite-centered AMT training, knowledge, and resources available for composite maintenance.
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