Course Outline

SFTY 335 : Mechanical and Structural Factors in Aviation Safety

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Last approved: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 17:36:23 GMT

Last edit: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 17:36:22 GMT

College of Aeronautics (WAERO)
Mechanical and Structural Factors in Aviation Safety
This course examines the influence that design, manufacturing, metallurgy, and maintenance have on aircraft accidents. A detailed analysis of the failure process will be conducted. Additional topics of discussion include: stress and design loading, fatigue, corrosion, and the envelope of operation.

This course will provide the necessary background, beyond aircraft accident investigation to better analyze aircraft material and structural failures. The students will be exposed to various mechanical and structural factors which produce accidents.

Upon course completion, students will be able to:

1. Apply the principles and concepts of mechanical and structural factors in an aviation safety environment.

2. Analyze the mechanical and structural factors that produce accidents including design, construction, manufacturing, repair, and maintenance.

3. Differentiate between the commonly used structural materials in aircraft construction and be able to determine applicability to design criteria.

4. Analyze typical air loads on an airplane in order to calculate external design loads, limit loads, and ultimate limit loads.

5. Calculate the applied bending, tension, compression, torsion, shear and combined stresses and strains on various aircraft components, given their external loads.

6. Identify and compare different types of structural failure modes in order to determine how a structure might have failed.7. Examine current maintenance procedures and practices, focusing on the problem areas in both commercial and general aviation, and how they contribute to structural or mechanical failures.

8. Explain structural and mechanical design factors as they apply to airworthiness and crashworthiness.

9. Analyze an in-flight breakup in order to determine the sequence of failures, as well as primary and secondary failures.

10. Compare advanced structural materials used in the construction of aircraft, such as composites, and be able to determine and analyze failure modes.

Upon course completion, students will be able to:

11. Demonstrate appropriate selection and application of a research method and statistical analysis (where required), specific to the course subject matter. (Effective July 1, 2013)

Located on the Daytona Beach Campus, the Jack R. Hunt Library is the primary library for all students of the Worldwide Campus. The Chief Academic Officer strongly recommends that every faculty member, where appropriate, require all students in his or her classes to access the Hunt Library or a comparable college-level local library for research. The results of this research can be used for class projects such as research papers, group discussion, or individual presentations. Students should feel comfortable with using the resources of the library. 

Web & Chat:
Text: (386) 968-8843
Library Phone:  (386) 226-7656 or (800) 678-9428


Written assignments must be formatted in accordance with the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) unless otherwise instructed in individual assignments.

ActivityPercent of Grade
Input Grading Item100

Undergraduate Grade Scale

90 - 100% A
80 - 89% B
70 - 79% C
60 - 69% D
0 - 60% F

Graduate Grade Scale

90 - 100% A
80 - 89% B
70 - 79% C
0 - 69% F
Dr. Ian R. McAndrew - 3/1/2015
Mr. Scott Burgess - 3/1/2015
Dr. Dennis Vincenzi - 3/1/2015
Dr. Kenneth Witcher - 3/1/2015
Key: 117