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Working In Snow - How Tough  
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3511 times:

Out here apart from the north,it never snows.How tough would it be for Mx to be carried out in the Snow.What are the difficulties.Bare hands would not be used,Gloves would reduce grip.
Anyone.
regds
MEL


Think of the brighter side!
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDalmd88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2559 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

Cold and snow just sucks. I'm from Upstate NY originally. I grew up in the stuff and my first job was up there. Everything is harder. Just changing a landing light is a chore out on the ramp. The snow itself isn't too bad but the cold fingers make it real hard. I once had to change a Garrett 331 fuel control on the ramp in ROC. It was 40F and dark of course. That was quite possibly my worst road trip. We couldn't wear gloves, that job is impossible with any gloves. Our hands were soaked with fuel and getting very red. With the drive from and back to SYR I think it was a 14 hour deal.

User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3483 times:

Snow seems to slow things down a lot. As mentioned, you can't wear gloves so you need to stop and warm your hands, and yourself.

Fueling is not fun at all. The hoses get stiff and harder to manage. Pulling them off the reel is a task with no traction. Everything including yourself is less manueverable because you're layered in clothes.

I liked snow before I worked outside in it  Sad



DMI
User currently offlineWbmech From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3176 times:

Snow itself isn't a big problem, it is the cold and wind that make it more difficult. Although six to twelve inches of snow on the ramp makes it awfully hard to taxi and tow aircraft around. I would prefer heavy snowfall at 25 degrees above zero than a clear and sunny day at -5 to 5 degrees above.

User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3171 times:

I remember changing a reverser motor on a JT9 on cold wintery night. I got up on top and just stayed there until it was done with my partner handing me tools and parts as required. Took about an hour or so. When I got up the my "snow silhouette" was on the nose cowl about 2 inches deep.



User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

Cold weather and snow can certainly make things difficult. I did my fair share of work in northern Canada.

The cold often forces you to do the maintenance in steps. Your hands can only hold out so long.

In the arctic, the snow is extremely dry and fine. The wind blows it everywhere. We often found that even after we got the airplane fixed, we had to wait for weather conditions to change and clear the snow out of every single little nook and cranny. If the flight crew failed to put the engine tents and covers on before they abandoned the airplane on the ramp, it could take several hours to prepare for a start again.

Batteries hate the cold which really doesn't discriminate between lead acid and ni-cad. We would often remove the batteries and put them indoors to heat them up until we needed to use them. All our airplanes had battery heaters too if you had a place to plug them in.

In the end, snow and cold are just hurdles that you can jump with the proper clothes, tools and attitude, but it makes any job twice as hard to do in my opinion.


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3098 times:

As said above, snow and cold are hurdles that make the job that much more time consuming and miserable. My great uncle worked at Pittsburgh International as a A&P mechanic, so he certainly got his share of miserable work. Rampers and mechanics have it worse than the guys working the rail yards up north in that the railroaders were at least allowed to build fires in empty steel drums to warm themselves. Still, working in snow is a royal pain.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3065 times:

i remember talking to our fueling supervisor one day. the wind was gusting to about 20 that day and he was bitching about how hard an overwing fueling on a DHC-8-200 was. can't wait 'till we have to use mainline-size push tugs to push out our SF3s....  Laugh out loud the CRJs are another story...


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7107 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

My hats off to all you guys who work in the not so desirable conditions. Thank you to you guys and all your collegues.

User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

I remember changing a main wheel on a Dash8 in the snow- unpleasant, of course, but also funny as every time I tried to pick up the nuts used on the lockbolts, they'd fall out of my fingers, as though my brain and fingers were no longer connected! No doubt the pax onboard thought I was merely clumsy, which didn't help their confidence.  Smile Then there is the joy of replacing a wing anti-ice valve on an F28 in the dark and blowing snow, or an HBOV torque motor on a dash8, where you can have frozen and burnt fingers at the same time! I've also spent my fair share of time in the deicing bucket too, so hats off to all you guys out there in the snow. Now that I'm working in the desert, I can leave my gloves and boots at home, thank God.

User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2960 times:

New years day 04, I was sent to gatwick to fix an engine vibration problem, we did a Fan blade re-lube, we took the blades out did the necessary lubing and put them back in during the sleet and snow, not much fun! it seemed like it was dark all day!, needless too say, we stopped for hot drink or 2!!.
Comes with the territory It would seem, I believe whenever possible doing large defect rectification/AOG, getting the aircraft into a hangar is a major bonus. But it obviously sometimes just doesnt work out that way.
regards
a/c


User currently offlineEfohdee From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2920 times:

Never had to work in actual snow, but working in below freezing temps with ice and frost is normal in the winter. Gloves just dont work when doing tasks requiring dexterity with small components. And is it just me or is it much harder to install cotter keys when its cold? Also the ice makes it slippery so the fall danger quadruples. I think the worst I've had was when once we did a swashplate lube, the temp was about 5 degrees F and the wind was blowing about 15-20 mph. Getting cold grease on your hands burns because it sticks to your skin and doesn't run off like water. Would rather have taken a dip in the lake that night.  Big thumbs up

User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2861 times:

Not trying to start a competition, but charging the nose oleo at -35 (F or C, your choice), plus a breeze, is an experience I could have done without. Every job takes at least twice as long, because you're naturally more clumsy because of frozen fingers, and also, have to keep pausing to warm up.

Lots of things will break at those temps that would never be a problem otherwise.

Also, the people who manufacture tow tractors and other service vehicles - don't any of them come from cold climates? The heat in those things is invariably atrocious.



The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

Let's talk about what happens to the aircraft in cold weather.

Engines take longer to start and fog a lot more.
Fuel sumps freeze.
Every actuator on the aircraft appears to leak at the same time.
Gear struts leak.
Grease fittings don't take grease and pop out into your frozen hand.
Glycol (type IV, of course) is on everything.
Windows shatter with improper warming procedures.
Wire bundles turn into tree limbs.

I could go on forever.


User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2776 times:

the only problem, in my opinion, with winter operations are the babies that keep crying that it's too cold to work outside and sit on the heaters in the breakroom.


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Well, working back in Bangor (BGR).... -25F actual, standing behind a running Saab 340 prop wash trying to parallel the GUC's... that sucked...no gloves..!!

It's funny for me now to be working in the south and hear the guys whine when the hangar doors are opened when it's 40. "Waa, it's cold, shut the doors". All I can says is "Dude, you have no idea what cold really is"



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 2685 times:
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I read somewhere that deHavilland designed the gas caps on their Beavers and Otters so they could be removed/replaced without taking off your mitt. Also apparently you can add engine oil in a Beaver from inside the cockpit.


Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2474 times:

One of the times I flew in to Murmansk (MMK), no stranger to the cold, the ground-crew came out with what looked like a barrell full of something on fire, as there was clearly heat and steam coming out of it. They put it directly under something on the front-part of the underbelly. Is this needed to open the cargo doors? Or loosen some part? It was a TU-154B-2.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2471 times:

I've heard stories from AMEs working in Moscow that when they leave their tools on the Snow it tends to sink away.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineMidnightMike From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2892 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2393 times:

I worked cold weather operations in the Navy, it is a pain when you have to take your gloves off and they are numb from cold. Snow can be a pain if it is windy out and the damn snow is all over the place. Ice is much more dangerous, espicially when it is hiding under the snow.


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User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

Used to be stationed at K.I Sawyer AFB in the U.P. of Michigan, the first thing I noticed when I checked out a tool box was that all the tools were painted fluorescent orange. That was because if we dropped a tool in a snow bank you could find them. About 250 inches of snow a year was about average, the dry powder stuff was much better to work with than the wet slushy stuff. Living 20 miles from Lake Superior and 60 miles from Lake Michigan was the price you pay for living in a northern tier base.


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2284 times:

You had Orange tools in the toolkit,Every tool was painted.
Did the paint peel off on contact with skydrol or was it Manufactured painted.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBuzz From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 697 posts, RR: 21
Reply 22, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2281 times:

Hi HAwk21M, Buzz here. I don't work in the snow much, normally it's "warm" enough here in the Pacific Northwest that we get rain. I find that i stay "dry" when it's snowing. Maybe i'm used to getting wet? (grin)
But we do get some below freezing dry winds, and freezing rain. Freezing rain is normally just below freezing (25-30 degrees), "warm" rain (40 degree) falling into sub- freezing surface winds causes a layer of ice to form on everything. You walk carefully, drive carefully, work about 1/3 as fast as normal. Lots of tree branches break (the electricty fails too), lots of people slide into ditches or get in low-speed car crashes.
But when freezing rain happens, nobody can get to the airport - pilots, passengers, ramp service. And since the airplane needs de-icing nothing leaves on time... ususally 2 or 3 hours late.
Even type 4 de-ice fluid only gives 15-20 minutes of protection. Type 1 fluid was heated engine anti-freeze, it's good for melting the ice off, flaking off bits as it goes. Then you're to cover it with a layer of type 4, which turns into jelly. About 80 mph or so it's blown off. It does leave kind of a residue.
Working out in the weather isn't fun sometimes.
g'day
Buzz Fuselsausage: Line Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by choice, taildragger pilot for fun.


User currently offline747tEACH From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 176 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2252 times:

HAWK21M: The degree of difficulty in working in snow and cold is approximately the same as changing a fuel pump and fuel flow regulator on an RB-211 at night in a howling monsoon while my two helpers (one Sikh, one Hindu), took the occasional fight break. Which I did in Bombay back in about '85. Regards,

User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2223 times:

FFG is hardest LRU too change on RB211 in the best conditions.

25 Aogdesk : I work in Buffalo NY...'nuff said. Yeah, working winter ops can be a little difficult. My fingers don't last long, so changing JT-8 fuel controls and
26 Venus6971 : to Hawk21M, no they didnt come from the manufacture that way. We just said it with Krylon. We don't use Skydrol or any other phosfate ester based hydr
27 Post contains images HAWK21M : Am I glad I work in Mumbai or What. Snow at work isnt about Making Snowman & Santa. regds MEL
28 LMP737 : Once you get used to it snow is not that bad. The problems start when it gets to cold to snow. That's when you have to be real careful about what you
29 HAWK21M : How is working in snowfall in visability terms. regds MEL
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