Today’s modern aircraft use specialized equipment and parts to help them stay on the air. Statistics show that there were about 24,142,000 flight aviation hours logged in 2015, and this came with some maintenance practice. Given that failure of any part can lead to disastrous consequences, airline companies should ensure that they do thorough checks to ensure compliance with the highest safety standards to avoid accidents.
Qualified engineers and technicians carry out routine maintenance checks with the entire overhaul cycle broken into blocks with a cycle of tests. This guide will explore some of the necessary routine maintenance practices every aircraft has to undergo.
Your aircraft cleaning schedule will largely depend on how often you fly your aircraft. If you’ve got a dynamic operation, such as utility operations or medical services, it’s best if you consider regular than “as needed” cleanings. Here is a cleaning schedule that can work for you.
Following a flight – You should undertake full interior sanitization by wiping down areas behind the exhaust stack, large streaks, rotor head, and nose. The metal finishing used on the aircraft will allow a wipedown to be a quick and painless process.
Every Week – Engine transmission and deck opening to remove and clean oils and dirt.
Every month – Full exterior and interior cleaning with a focus on engine components, sections that overlap swashplate, and other areas found behind access panels.
Every six months – Full exterior paint sealant to protect
While there have been significant improvements in the levels of vibration over the years (between .05g to .1g), this is still significantly higher compared to the industry set standards. While it’s impossible to eliminate vibration in aircraft, it’s best to lower it as much as possible. If left unattended it can negatively impact the operator’s comfort, instrumentation, component life, firewalls, and structural integrity.
A helicopter vibration analysis can help keep everything in check. This mostly involves analyzing the helicopter to measure phase and amplitude. Amplitude is the severity of the vibration and is measured on a scale of 0 to 1.2 IPS (inches per second). Zero IPS rating means “good” while 1.2 IPS rating is dangerous. The phase is the relationship between reference on the rotor and peak signal.
It is easy to detect the central helicopter rotorimbalance because the pilot can easily feel the imbalance from the back of their seat. Such a sensation needs preventive maintenance before it can have significant damage to other components. It’s difficult to spot vibrations if you’ve got issues like fan wheel or tail rotor imbalance. Fatigue cracks is the first sign that something is going wrong. The result is an expensive, time-consuming repair that doesn’t conform to your schedule. Balancing fans is an aspect of preventive maintenance which can help you make significant savings on your repair bills.
DynaVibe GX3 dynamic fan balance equipment makes checking for an imbalance easy. It helps you determine whether the fan has a significant imbalance that can steadily create fatigue-cracks.
For the aircraft that fly over areas of heavy industry—with a high concentration of sulfuric acid or the salt-laden environments—doing regular compressor washes is crucial as it helps to prevent corrosion. If you’re always flying in a salty-environment, daily desalination is a must. If you operate near a sea but don’t fly over it directly, you still are traveling on a saline environment.
An engine inlet protection which can either be an inlet barrier filter or particle separator is perfect insurance for an engine that operates in different atmospheric conditions. If your engine temperature margins begin to decrease significantly, you should start by checking the status of your compressor. If it’s dirty, you should use a compressor wash kit to clean it using water and soap solution.
Routine maintenance like regular washing helps to maintain an optimal engine performance by keeping the costs down and delaying premature engine removal.
Aircraft routine maintenance is essential if you want to have a functional aircraft that will serve you for a long time. By following the few maintenance practices highlighted in this article, it should go a long way in helping you get a functional aircraft.