What is FOD – Foreign Object Detection?

Foreign Object Damage (FOD) is damage caused by Foreign Object Debris (also abbreviated FOD), i.e. a substance, debris or article alien to a vehicle or system that has potential to cause damage. Foreign Object Damage is any damage attributed to a foreign object (i.e. any object that is not part of the vehicle) that can be expressed in physical or economic terms and may or may not degrade the product’s required safety or performance characteristics. FOD is an abbreviation often used in aviation to describe both the damage done to aircraft by foreign objects, and the foreign objects themselves.Internal FOD refers to damage or hazards caused by foreign objects inside the aircraft. For example,

  • Tool FOD is a serious hazard caused by tools left inside the aircraft after manufacturing or servicing. Tools or other items can get tangled in control cables, jam moving parts, short out electrical connections, or otherwise interfere with safe flight. Aircraft maintenance teams usually have strict tool control procedures including toolbox inventories to make sure all tools have been removed from an aircraft before it is released for flight. Tools used during manufacturing are tagged with a serial number so if they’re found they can be traced.

It is estimated that FOD costs major airlines in aircraft repairs and additional indirect costs as flight delays, plane changes and fuel inefficiencies.In the United States, the most prominent gathering of FOD experts occurs at the annual National Aerospace FOD Prevention Conference. It is hosted in a different city each year by National Aerospace FOD Prevention, Inc. (NAFPI), a nonprofit association that focuses on FOD education, awareness and prevention. Conference information, including presentations from past conferences, is available at the NAFPI Web site.

Foreign Object Detection Presentation


FOD is referenced in AS9110 Rev BSection 7.1 Planning of Product Realization

NOTE Quality objectives and requirements for the product include consideration of aspects such as… foreign object debris/damage (FOD),

Section 7.5.1 Control of Production and Service Provision

The organization shall plan and carry out production and service provision under controlled conditions. Controlled conditions shall include, as applicable…i. provision for the prevention, detection and removal of foreign objects (including tools)

Section 7.5.5 Preservation of Product

Preservation of product shall also include, where applicable in accordance with product specifications and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, provisions for…b) prevention, detection and removal of foreign objects,


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