Overhead Lifeline Systems for Aircraft

Southwest Airlines Atlanta Maintenance serves the fleet as a full capability aircraft maintenance hub that services the entire range of Southwest Airlines’ 737 aircraft.

In 2011, FLS installed several systems that provide SWA the ability to park three earlier model 737s in the rear of the hangar. Recently, the maintenance team required the capability to locate two larger 737-900 aircraft near the front of the hangar.

The cable-based lifeline system configured by FLS allows the worker to tie off to a self retracting lifeline before ever stepping foot onto an unprotected area.

Project Details

FLS designed, fabricated and installed a total of six (6) cable-based overhead lifeline systems capable of supporting 2 users each, as well as all required structural steel supports at end and intermediate connections. Three systems covered each wing and fuselage of one aircraft in the new “Bay 1”, while the other three system provided the same coverage for “Bay 3”.

Experience in Cable Based Lifeline Systems

FLS was able to design the systems to not interfere with the existing fall protection systems, and to maintain clearance envelopes around aircraft.

A major challenge of this project was the unusual structure of the hangar itself – a tube truss fabric shelter – that required engineering atypical support connections, as well as bird netting that had been installed below the structural steel.