What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Richter?

What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Richter?
© Sonja Brüggemann

Sebastian Richter, 44

Aircraft engineer

… has been with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg for 17 years

“I’m checking an aircraft fuselage for possible cracks using an ultrasonic instrument. It was developed for industrial purposes but it’s essentially the same as the ones we all know from the doctor’s office. My team of 13 and I also use other methods to detect damage to aircraft and their components. Are there any hairline cracks? Is the material beginning to corrode? We want to spot any damage as early as possible, so we run the appropriate tests at regular intervals. We often have to work on places that are hard to reach and require more than a visual inspection with the naked eye. Thanks to our high-tech equipment, though, we can investigate the deeper levels of a material. We can also detect cracks using the eddy current method. It involves sending eddy currents through a conductive material. That creates a magnetic field, which is interrupted wherever flaws exist – and the measuring instrument shows us precisely where they are.”