User avatar
HAWK21M
Topic Author
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

Working In Snow - How Tough

Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:46 pm

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
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 2412
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:05 pm

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.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2820
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:10 pm

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
 
wbmech
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:02 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:40 am

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.
 
air2gxs
Posts: 1443
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 1:29 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

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.

 
airplay
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:43 am

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.
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:44 pm

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."
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:16 pm

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."
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6812
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:10 pm

My hats off to all you guys who work in the not so desirable conditions. Thank you to you guys and all your collegues.
 
avt007
Posts: 1989
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:06 am

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.
 
A/c train
Posts: 674
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 7:57 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:00 am

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
 
efohdee
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:52 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:47 am

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
 
320tech
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:38 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:03 am

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.
 
air2gxs
Posts: 1443
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 1:29 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:37 am

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.
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:58 pm

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."
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:36 pm

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"
 
Arrow
Posts: 2325
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:44 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:36 am

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.
 
afay1
Posts: 1206
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:37 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:02 pm

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 avatar
HAWK21M
Topic Author
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:11 pm

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
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:51 am

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.
NO URLS in signature
 
Venus6971
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:55 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:19 pm

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 avatar
HAWK21M
Topic Author
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Wed Dec 15, 2004 7:22 pm

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
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Buzz
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:44 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:05 pm

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.
 
747Teach
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 3:05 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:46 pm

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,
 
A/c train
Posts: 674
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 7:57 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:36 am

FFG is hardest LRU too change on RB211 in the best conditions.
 
aogdesk
Posts: 748
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:26 am

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:46 am

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 handling the small hardware can be a bit of a challenge. Equipment doesn't start, snow drifts around the airplane so that its 2" at the NLG and 4 1/2 feet at the mains. Had to change a fuel feed line at the pylon on a PW powered 757 when the temp (not wind chill) was -15 and the wind was screaming. I sat up there at 0400 laughing out loud because I wondered how I could have chosen this as a career choice....of course, now I'm warm so I know why I did.
Strange things happen too.....I was R&Ring an APU load control valve in the right wheel well of a 727 and had a torpedo heater running to provide some heat. (I know....not a good idea.....) Anyway, while I had both my hands buried in a crevice about the size of a paper towel tube, I smelled something burning. I asked my partner if he smelled it too, and he did. A moment later, I looked down to see that my insulated coveralls had moved too close to the heater, and that my leg was now on fire. Long story short, my partner almost peed his pants and I've given up on torpedo heaters around airplanes.
Yeah, winter weather can get brutal, but hey, it builds character and makes for some good beer drinkin stories too.....
 
Venus6971
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:55 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:57 pm

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 hydro fluid we use mineral based Mil-H-5606. We also had 2 plastic snow shovels onboard every KC-135 to clear the wings and a 50 foot piece of rope to run along the fuselage to knock off snow. If you can get away from not deiceing the much better for you, using bleed air from a air start unit works well to.
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Topic Author
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Fri Dec 17, 2004 5:18 pm

Am I glad I work in Mumbai or What.
Snow at work isnt about Making Snowman & Santa. Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
LMP737
Posts: 4857
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:43 am

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 are doing. Instead of concentrating on what you are doing you are thinking about how cold it is. It's times like this you can get yourself hurt.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Topic Author
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Working In Snow - How Tough

Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:51 pm

How is working in snowfall in visability terms.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: qcpilotxf and 14 guests