Foreign Object Debris (FOD)

FOD stands for Foreign Object Debris. It refers to anything that may cause hazards to an air charter or people on the ground. Additionally, it includes any damage resulting from these foreign objects.

One of the more obvious examples of FOD is debris on an airport runway. This can seriously jeopardize the safety of passengers during takeoff and landing. This would include things like:

  • Rocks on the runway
  • Broken or damaged pavement
  • Aircraft parts littered on runway
  • Ground equipment left on runway

However, FOD isn’t limited to areas outside of an air charter. It can also refer to things happening inside the aircraft. For instance, if a cockpit component were to become dislodged and inhibit the operation of the controls, this would be considered FOD.

Tools left behind by aircraft maintenance or manufacturing crews are another common source of FOD. Fortunately, there are strict checks put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Weather-borne FOD

Furthermore, the weather can also be a source of FOD. This would include things like:

  • Hail, which can damage windshield and turbofans
  • Ice forming on wings and propellers
  • Dust and other airborne particles that clog air intakes

And believe it or not, but birds are also considered FOD. They pose a legitimate threat when they collide with a jet charter’s engines.

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