Did you know that asbestos is also found in aircraft? Most people only think to get asbestos testing Perth for homes. Some might check out old boats. However, they don’t think to have this done for aircraft, and this can be a bit of a risk.
Asbestos shows up in the components of aircraft. In fact, it shows up in some areas, including the engine and heating systems.
There are various sections of the plane that might have the material. Cargo bays often use it for insulation. Gaskets, torque valves, heat shields, the cockpit, brakes, and even electrical insulation might all have asbestos. This can be troubling if you’re skydiving and the plane isn’t protecting you from it.
Asbestos monitoring isn’t exactly easy on most planes. The material is kept in sealed areas, which are only opened during severe maintenance tasks.
However, it is a serious concern. In Italy, the discovery of several massive planes having asbestos fibres in areas that could lead to exposure of passengers and crew led to drastic action. They were ordered to abandon and then dismantle the aircraft, potentially to scrap them.
During that dismantling, they found more asbestos than was initially reported. There were quantities of it from the furnishings to the mechanical and structural components. Operations had to grind to a halt because no area of the plane didn’t expose people to risk.
Visibly damaged mechanical parts and furnishings could lead to exposure. The damage also means there is a high likelihood that the asbestos isn’t intact, the fibres potentially free in the air. It’s a subtle but toxic contaminant that can kill you.
Now, there is good news.
First, aircraft manufacturing codes have forbidden the use of the material. Newer planes are now free of it unless it makes its way into the cargo. If you skydive from a more modern aircraft, that means you don’t have to worry about it at all.
The second is that more and more people are having their planes inspected, consulting professionals on how to get rid of it. The process can be gruelling, but smaller planes are more straightforward to check. There is rarely not much of a need to take them apart piece by piece.
Though be aware that older ones might still have the material. The main issue is that replacing it isn’t always easy or affordable for skydiving companies. It depends on the plane, in the end.