About a hundred years ago, more or less (time flies…), in the nascent aeronautical industry, the topic of breaking this kind of records became fashionable:

  •  How long it was possible to go around the world
  •  If you were able to deliver mail by plane
  •  How long did it take to cross the Atlantic Ocean
  •  …

Of course, aeronautics has been an industry that, in a century, has shown us achievements that human beings could never have dreamt of before (except wanting to fly).

Speaking of records, one of the greatest achievements of civil aviation was the Concorde.

Maybe you remember it, it was this engineering marvel:



It was a supersonic (yes, it could double the speed of sound) passenger transport aircraft that was in service between 1976 and 2003.

For the first time, the Atlantic Ocean could be flown across in 3 hours and 20 minutes, compared to 8 hours for any other commercial flight.

Although… It was not something that ordinary mortals could enjoy.

The round-trip ticket to New York cost about… 9,000 euros!

A luxury flight at a speed of 600 meters per second (about 2,160 kilometers per hour, to give us an idea)


Okay, the Concorde is great, but what does it have to do with FOD? And what is FOD?


Okay, let's get down to business.

FOD means Foreign Objects Debris

These include anything in an inappropriate location that could damage equipment or injure personnel.

FOD includes a wide range of materials:

  •  Loose hardware
  •  Pavement fragments
  •  Catering supplies
  •  Construction materials
  •  Aircraft parts and engines
  •  Wild life
  •  …

We can find it at terminal gates, on loading platforms, taxiways, landing strips and boarding platforms ...

And this is where our friend the Concorde comes in.

This photo probably sounds familiar to you:



It is the mythical accident of Air France Flight 4950, which occurred on July 25, 2000, when it was taking off from Charles De Gaulle airport (Paris) bound for New York.

The Concorde was wonderful yes, but it had a weak point.

His takeoff was practically vertical, so the 185 tons he weighed were concentrated in his rear axle.

113 people lost their lives.


What happened?


It was not until 2004, when it was seen that, before the Concorde took off, a McDonell Douglas DC-10 from Continental Airlines lost a titanium strip of about 3 cm wide and 43 cm long during takeoff.

And by chance, that band was RIGHT in the area where the wheels passed, when the takeoff runway was 45 meters wide!

So, what happened was that the front tire of the left main train hit the foil, jumping through the air, so that a piece of rubber from said tire severely damaged the lower part of the wing, causing the fuel to explode.

Hence the shocking tail of fire that we see in the photo of the accident.

What happened next, we already know.


So, the Concorde accident was due to a FOD!


Yes, specifically, from a runway FOD.

Because it turns out that there are different types of FOD, in fact, there are 3 that are the most remarkable:


The runway FOD we have talked about


That is, various objects such as those dropped from aircrafts (the case of the DC-10), or from vehicles, birds ... that are present on a runway and that can negatively affect a moving aircraft (during takeoff and landing).

The runway FOD has the greatest potential to cause damage.


Taxiway and / or Platform FOD


While this type of FOD may seem less harmful than the previous one, it should be noted that the jet generated by the reactors can easily throw small objects onto the runway.


Maintenance FOD


They are objects, such as tools, materials or small parts that are used in maintenance activities (for example, aircraft maintenance, construction work, etc.)

And they may cause damage to aircraft.


What effects does FOD have?


Our example of the Concorde accident makes this quite clear, but apart from cracking airplane tires, they can also cause other damages, the most notable being:

  •  Damaging aircraft engines if swallowed;
  •  Blocking in aircraft mechanisms that prevent them from operating properly;
  •  Injuries to people after being propelled by the jet of the reactors.

In fact, it is estimated that the damages generated cost the aerospace industry 4 billion euros a year.

And lives.


And why does this happen?


There are many factors that contribute to the FOD, such as:

  •  Poor maintenance of buildings, equipment, and aircraft.
  •  Inadequate staff training.
  •  Stressing the staff that lead to a worse inspection.
  •  Climate (e.g., FOD can be generated by strong winds; or its detection may be hampered by adverse weather).
  •  The presence of uncontrolled vehicles (eg contractors) at the aerodrome


What can FOD be?


The nature of FOD is varied.

It can be composed of any material and can be of any color and size:

  •  Aircraft and engine parts (nuts, bolts, washers, safety cables, etc.)
  •  Hand tools
  •  Construction waste
  •  Plastic and / or polyethylene materials
  •  Snow or ice in winter

And a long etcetera


And how can we combat this?


We are not going to go into detail here, but you can always download our White Paper about FOD  if you want to go deeper into it.

But we are going to tell you that an FOD management program must be carried out, and to be successful it must contain the following concepts:

  •  Prevention
  •  Detection
  •  Elimination
  •  Evaluation

In short, it is essential, above all, to raise awareness of what FOD is, to create training and education for maintenance workers.


But can you help us from EGA Master?



Hand tools are potential objects to become FOD, since they can be “lost” or forgotten, increasing risks and decreasing safety.

It is very typical to see this phenomenon in cases such as airplane repair, maintenance of wind turbines, construction at heights ...

For this reason, we at EGA Master, together with our sister company EGA Solutions, have been concerned with developing, and offering as a solution, a tool control system avoiding the loss of the same.


And what solutions are those?


Well, among them are:




The EGAWARE software allows you to control which tool each user takes or returns to stock:

  • The user logs in with its username and password.
  • The worker picks up the tool with which he will work with.
  • The worker scans the barcode.
  • The software detects that the tool has been taken.
  • The worker returns the tool and scans the code again.
  • The software detects that the tool has been returned.





Avoid mistakes in the tool selection, increasing efficiency and therefore productivity.

Each door is assigned a radio frequency card that is passed through the RFID reader of each roller cabinet allowing the opening and locking of the drawers.

Laser technology that detects errors such as a drawer that has not been completely closed.

LEDs in the drawers that facilitate visual recognition of the status of each drawer (open / locked).




FOD is a great-risk-field where taking the convenient measures is required: both training, organizational measures, culture and proceedings, as well as means that make easier the task of avoiding FOD radically.

In EGA Group, we are committed in helping you making it real, in the safest and most efficient way.


Be Safe…Be Efficient