US Air Force FOD Improvements

Improvements in US Air Force FOD incidents due to use of magnetic sweepers.

As seen on the chart , using data compiled by the United States Air Force, incidents from “FOD” or “Foreign Object Debris” inversely decline nearly 1000% when using magnetic sweepers along flightlines and aircraft traffic areas. This chart shows the ratio of FOD incidents per 100k flight hours when using magnetic sweepers.

Flat Tire Reduction

Flat aircraft tireRecently Southwest Airlines’ Houston station spent approximately $7000 for tire repair costs. More significant was the time ramp equipment was out of service. As you know, keeping equipment in serviceable condition is essential to running an efficient operation.

Southwest’s Ground Equipment Maintenance Foreman decided to try Shields Magnetics and their product line, including the magnetic ramp sweeper. This product is designed to pick up metallic FOD in order to prevent ingestion in aircraft engines and to prevent tire damage to ramp equipment. Initially Southwest purchased three Magnetic Ramp Sweepers. These immediately proved very effective. They followed up with an order to equip each of their bag tugs with a unit. The result has been that tires repairs have been significantly reduced, from somewhere in the vicinity of 15 flat tires a week down to two or three.