Aerospace Maintenance Competition

Blind-Bolt Removal Instructions


A picture of the Composi-Loks to be removed from the test article

The E-Drill Fastener Removal event, sponsored by Perfect Point, tests a technician’s ability and speed when removing titanium fasteners from an aircraft structure. This is a required process in aircraft lifecycle maintenance, but the industry hasn’t seen significant disruption for the last 50 years. It’s a time-consuming task that, if done improperly, can lead to costly damage.

The event requires technicians to each remove five fasteners using a Perfect Point E-Drill. Fasteners are of a blind-bolt configuration and exact part numbers are presented at the competition.

Each one- or two-person team will remove one of the industry’s most difficult-to-remove fasteners from a recently refurbished Global 5000 inboard flap. The technicians will use an E-Drill to remove five additional fasteners. Typically, an E-Drill is five times faster than traditional methods, far less likely to damage aircraft structures, and is less strenuous on the technician. An E-Drill can cut down fastener removal process time significantly, while reducing FOD and protecting both the worker and the aircraft.

To be successful, teams need a basic understanding of how to use the E-Drill tool. Job cards for both methods will be provided during the preparation time and during the event. Points are accrued for process time, quality and the ability to complete the task.

Supplied Parts List / Description

  • Offset Vacuum Locator (OVL): The OVL will be used to locate the hand tool concentric with the fastener head prior to removal.  There is a vacuum relief valve on the right-hand side that is used to move and engage the OVL to the work piece – push to relieve the vacuum, release to engage.
  • Bombsight: The Bombsight will be used to ensure concentricity is established prior to using E-drill. Place Bombsight into OVL, release the vacuum on the OVL, and align it to the fastener head using “alignment pin” installed on bottom of Bombsight.  If not using a Bombsight with the physical alignment pin, use the optical rings to establish the location visually.
  • E-drill hand tool: Used to cut the head of the selected fastener when fitted with the correct electrode, adapter, and guide.  These will be provided and properly installed for the contestant.
  • Punch Buddy: Designed to fit into the groove left by the electrode and and to punch fastener out when used with the provided hammer.
  • Hammer

Removal Instructions

  1. Identify the Qty. (5) Blind-Bolts to be removed from work-piece
    1. Judges will pre-mark work area with tape
  2. Using the Offset Vacuum Locator and Bombsight(s), locate the tooling over the first fastener head. (See Figure 1 & 2)
    1. Place tool over the fastener and allow vacuum pressure to lock tool to work piece
    2. Insert Visual Bombsight into the open end of the locator and precisely align the fixture over the fastener head.
      1. Depress vacuum release lever on side of tool base to release vacuum and allow for precise movement of the fixture.
      2. Once aligned remove visual bombsight
Fig. 1- Locator placed over fastener

Fig. 1- Locator placed over fastener

Fig. 2- Visual bombsight centered over fastener head

Fig. 2- Visual bombsight centered over fastener head

  1. Check final alignment with Mechanical Bombsight
    Fig. 3- Correct tool grip and locator usage

    Fig. 3- Correct tool grip and locator usage

    1. Insert mechanical bombsight into tool opening
    2. Spin mechanical bombsight, while holding light downward force. If fixture alignment is acceptable, the mechanical bombsight will lock onto the fastener head.
      • If alignment is acceptable, remove mechanical bombsight and continue
      • If alignment is not acceptable, repeat from step 2.2
  2. Insert E-Drill Hand-Tool into OVL Fixture and Cut Fastener
    1. Press down E-Drill with firm force into the locator

Note-The amount of force required must be great enough to compress the sealing O-ring at the nose of the hand tool, as well as compressing the light spring on the grounding pin.

  1. Execute Cut Sequence
    1. Squeeze and hold trigger until Green light on back of Hand-Tool illuminates.
  2. Place E-Drill Back into handtool stand
  3. Repeat steps 2-5 until Qty. (5) fasteners are cut
  4. Replace Hand-Tool into the Hand-Tool Stand before continuing to punch out.
  5. Align the Air punch nose adapter into the Cut Ring on the fastener. (Fig. 4)
  6. Once aligned, pull trigger while pushing down on the tool.

Note: If fastener does not separate after, re-locate E-drill and re-cut the fastener

Air Punch in Use

The video at the bottom of the page shows the full process on 3 fasteners.

Post Removal

  • When finished, ensure all fastener heads are discarded in the supplied containment tray.
  • Wipe away any excess water.
  • Restore all tooling to start position
  • Audibly confirm that you have completed the competition task

Score Card

We will be using the official AMC score card to judge this event.  Description of penalties are below:

  • Eye protection is required
  • Any displays of unprofessional behavior
  • Improper use of tooling or equipment
  • Improper storage of tooling during and after event
  • Release of trigger before cut is complete
  • Causing damage to test article or tooling (ie: skidding punch across flap, hitting flap with hammer, throwing punch/hammer onto the flap, etc.
  • Expelling excessive water
  • Failure to place fastener head into provided receptacle
  • Removing unassigned fasteners
  • Failure to clean up prior to saying “done” (leaving FOD, gear adrift, etc)