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Process Of Storing Aircraft  
User currently offlinec5load From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6860 times:

Looking at some of the photos in the database of Pinal Airpark, I got to wondering what kind of process do aircraft go through when they are put into storage. I'm sure there are different steps depending on how long the plane will be in storage, but what are some of them? Are the fuel tanks drained and purged? Is there any kind of preservation substance put on the upholstery or the walls to keep rodents and bugs out? Besides covers, is there anything done with the engines?


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25132 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6852 times:

A couple of 2009 articles have some information on storage procedures.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...04/04/20090404parkedplanes-ON.html
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...2008968722_aircraftboneyard02.html

There are many previous threads on the subject. A few below.
Desert Storage At Marana (by Chumley Apr 4 2009 in Civil Aviation)
How Flyable Are Stored Aircraft? (by Manfredj Nov 19 2008 in Tech Ops)
Planes Parked In The Desert (by Ualcsr Jan 10 2007 in Civil Aviation)
Aircraft Stored In Arizona (by Pressclub Aug 28 2002 in Tech Ops)
Long Term Aircraft Storage Question (by UAL Bagsmasher Oct 14 2002 in Tech Ops)


User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6663 times:

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Are the fuel tanks drained and purged?

This would depend on the type of acft. Most if not all comercial airliners do not require this. IIRC, a GIII we put in storage reccomends doing this.

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Is there any kind of preservation substance put on the upholstery or the walls to keep rodents and bugs out?

We never put anything but plastic over the seats, to keep the dust off of them. We have put down some rat traps that are like a big pad of sticky glue, which kinds smells like peanut butter, and will set off some bug sprays in the aircraft to kill any that might be calling it home.

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Besides covers, is there anything done with the engines?

This depends on how long the engine/aircraft will stay in storgage. If they will be there a long time, we preserve the engine fuel system with 10-10 oil. This helps keeps seals from drying out. Also makes for some pretty smokey starts when putting them back into service. Depending on the customer and the program they use, we either drain the oils, and leave them empty, or drain the oils, and refill with fresh oil.

Nothign is really done with the fuel system for the plane. Some compaines will have you add Bio-bore to the feul tanks to keep microbial growth from happening, but thats about it.

The gear and flight controls are usually lubed. Nothing is done to the hydraulics.

All in all putting an aircraft into storage is pretty simple. Some complaines follow the maintenance manual for preservation, some companies like UPS or AA, have their own programs. One thing I remember sticking out as odd, was the kitty hawk 727's. We'd put the mylar, the silver looking paper over the windows, on the out side of the cockpit windows, then on the inside they wanted cardboard placed against the inside of the windows. They were the only company I remeber wanting the extra stuff done. Like I said it's all pretty simple, some acft take longer because of size, but it is a good way to learn an aircraft, let me tell ya!



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9596 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6661 times:

The big thing is what is done when they come out of storage. They usually require some sort of C or D check or a hybrid. I know UA is having a lot of complications as they bring 747s out of desert storage.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6443 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
I know UA is having a lot of complications as they bring 747s out of desert storage.

What kind of copmplications?



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9596 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6321 times:

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 4):

What kind of copmplications?

There is a lot of documentation and checks that need to be done. It is not a simple process of getting a plane ready for operations. Most airlines also don't have a standard procedure for that.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6298 times:

I would agree that there is a lot that needs to happen to place a bird back in to revenue service, depending certain requirements. But I would think an airline like United would have a SOP for this sort of thing. Activating an aircraft in storage is pretty simple. Remove all coverings, lube the gear, and controls, de-preserve the engines, do a gear swing if required, do a functional check of the systems, leak check on the pitot/static lines, and then wait for a flight crew to take it to the heavy check if thats where its going (obviously easier said then done at times). Each storage facility knows exactly how long it takes to reactivate an aircraft. The airlines know this, and plan for it. They tell the storage facility when they want the plane to leave, and it better be ready then, because if they airline missies its slot for the check, the facility will be paying the late fees. Once its in the C-check thats straight forward. I dont see the complications here.


I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9596 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6133 times:

I wasn't trying to say it is overly impossibly complicated, but bringing a plane from the desert is a lot of work and takes months of processing at the airline.

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 6):
I dont see the complications here.

-Which airframe will be used?
-What type of C check or D check is needed or is it a hybrid?
-Where will the check be done?
-What is the status on all the time limit control parts?
-Are there any AD's or mandatory maintenance items?
-How will the interior be handled since it does not match the fleet? Will it get upgraded, or will new manuals have to be created to add everything that had been changed on the other aircraft?
-How will scheduling allocate an aircraft that is in a different configuration than the rest?

It takes months to bring a plane like a 747 out of the desert and into revenue service from the point the decision to bring a plane into service is made until it is flying passengers. There are far more people involved behind the scenes related to the certificate than just the mechanics that do the job cards that are provided with the work. Those job cards have to be generated by someone and the process is the same whether it is one airplane out of the desert, or the writing a procedure done on every plane on the fleet at a regular check interval. The FAA does not distinguish.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinesp90 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5959 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
They usually require some sort of C or D check or a hybrid.

Any chance the aircraft was in need of a C or D check anyway? I mean if the airline had to park a bunch of planes why not start with the ones that are coming up on major checks first.


User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5506 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5833 times:

Quoting sp90 (Reply 8):

Any chance the aircraft was in need of a C or D check anyway? I mean if the airline had to park a bunch of planes why not start with the ones that are coming up on major checks first.

Very often the determining factor.

---

Many outside the aviation world do not realize the scope of documentation which must be maintained for each and every airframe and powerplant; this includes updated documentation relating to the configuration of equipment (cabin, cockpit, airframe). Bringing all of this up to date is a vital part of the reactivation process.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5743 times:

Quoting sccutler (Reply 9):
Very often the determining factor.

---

Many outside the aviation world do not realize the scope of documentation which must be maintained for each and every airframe and powerplant; this includes updated documentation relating to the configuration of equipment (cabin, cockpit, airframe). Bringing all of this up to date is a vital part of the reactivation process.




Exactly. This actually makes the reactivation process easier on the airline. Before they tell the storage facilty to reactivate an aircraft their OPS/Maint/QC departments know eveyrthing that is coming due on all their aircraft. If they didnt, then what are they being paid for? Knowing this, the airline, knows its projected rush dates, so if they know they are going to need planes in the air quickly to meet demand, they will choose to activate the ones that (on paper) would take less time to be put back into full revenue service. The airlines have done this long enough now, that they have all this down to an art, if you will. When they park a plane, they pretty much know when they will be reactivating it to send it to its check. That is if they arent retiring it from its fleet.



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlinemacabi From United States of America, joined May 2010, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 5 days ago) and read 5181 times:

I imagine that planes that are stored for short term storage don't require C-Check in order to takeoff.
However what happens with long term storage? Does the reactivation process require a C-Check or C-check level capabilities.

Can a storage facility supply long term aircraft (for say a B737) storage services with having only A and B check capabilities?


User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5099 times:

Quoting macabi (Reply 11):
Can a storage facility supply long term aircraft (for say a B737) storage services with having only A and B check capabilities?




I don't see why not. If a plane was sent to be parked after D check (probably never would happen), or a heavy C check, if the program was set up correctly, and most of all ran correctly, I don't see why a good A or B check prior to re-activation would't be acceptable. In places such as ROW, MHV, VCV, and MZJ corrosion is pretty non existent, which is why people prefer to park planes there. However, I'm sure the biggest caveat to this would be the length of time the aircraft stayed in storage.



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 12):
I'm sure the biggest caveat to this would be the length of time the aircraft stayed in storage.


Frequent Calender checks are required to mantain airworthiness.The AMM lists the Intervals & items.
regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinemacabi From United States of America, joined May 2010, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4793 times:

Quoting: HAWK21M: Frequent Calender checks are required to mantain airworthiness.The AMM lists the Intervals & items.
regds


My main interest is knowing if a facility can have a long term storage for say a B737 that stayed their for about a year then reactivate it and let it take off without doing heavy C-check of MRO work on it. Is that possible?

Can the ground crew prep it for take off (level a and b) and have it go through the C-check/heavy MRO in some other airport?

Also, I saw that a C-check is supposed to be done every 18 months. Is that calendar or is it based on flight hours (or both). If a plane is stored immediately after going through a c-check for 18 months, does it need to go back to a c-check when it comes out of storage? (just for argument sake).


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4727 times:

Quoting macabi (Reply 14):
My main interest is knowing if a facility can have a long term storage for say a B737 that stayed their for about a year then reactivate it and let it take off without doing heavy C-check of MRO work on it. Is that possible?

In general, yes, if you planned properly.

Quoting macabi (Reply 14):
Can the ground crew prep it for take off (level a and b) and have it go through the C-check/heavy MRO in some other airport?

Yes.

Quoting macabi (Reply 14):
Also, I saw that a C-check is supposed to be done every 18 months. Is that calendar or is it based on flight hours (or both)

It depends on how the maintenance program is set up. Hard-time letter checks haven't been required on any new aircraft since the 90's. Most aircraft are on MSG-3 maintenance programs now, which specify intervals for individual tasks (can be calendar time, flight time, or flight cycles, or a combination) and it's up to the operator to determine how they want to package the tasks.

Quoting macabi (Reply 14):
If a plane is stored immediately after going through a c-check for 18 months, does it need to go back to a c-check when it comes out of storage? (just for argument sake).

Generally no, assuming all other procedures have been met..

Tom.


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