Jump to content

Is an aircraft considered in "storage" while in inspection?

Recommended Posts

As our aircraft increase in time (Airbus) they continue to sit in the hanger longer for scheduled inspections. Parts need to be replaced for TBO, NDI and rebuilds are required and an 800 hour inspection we are currently working on has been inside for 4 months.


While we initially brought it in not knowing we would have these problems pile on top of each other and the aircraft sit, Airbus has a procedure for "long term storage" that is defined by them as anything over 3 months.


I don't think it technically should be considered storage because it is still being worked on. By their AMM, they expect the fuel to be drained, the main transmission filled with preservation oil and tilted 90 degrees on its axis (the only way to accomplish that is to pull it out now).


The higher ups have been voicing their concerns as to "why wasn't the aircraft put into long term storage before you brought it in" but my main question is, is an aircraft actively in maintenance and inspections considered to be "storage"? I personally don't think so.


Of course the other problem with this is why we should be expected to anticipate and act on a worst case scenario every time we bring in an aircraft because there is a chance it might sit longer than 3 months. Does anyone know of a definition or explanation of this with Airbus/Eurocopter?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pokey

Unfortunately the bottom line is: Whatever baby wants, baby gets. In this case? the baby is the manufacturer & if you deviate from the "3 month rule" in any way, shape, or form; you had better have it in writing from an authorized individual from the factory ( & even that? they will fight you in court if anything happens).


If this is your ship? i would either hire faster mechanics or comply with the rule. Talk to you insurance company too, that may make your coverage void in case of an accident. And? it may happen months, down the road. Take no chances.... I'm sure Airbus has a Y U G E legal department too, may want to have 'your people' talk to 'their people'


These days? it all comes down to putting the blame on someone. How do you think the judge will react if it crashes and kills ppls & you tell him: "well? technically it was being worked on & not 'stored' ". Dunno about you, but i would not want to be the one to try to explain that to him.


How about them "grounded" Puma's? wonder if they were put in 'storage'? the pics i seen of them, they were just "sitting around".


Bottom line? if you have ANY doubt, then make it right.

Edited by pokey
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Storage is storage. An aircraft undergoing maintenance is not in storage. If the aircraft does have preservation procedures during periods of lack of use, however, then these may need to be addressed.


Bear in mind that storage procedures vary according to climate, location, duration, nature of storage, etc.


There are a lot of aircraft that see seasonal use and little operation in between. For some, the period of inactivity is storage, but for others, not so much. That the aircraft isn't being used doesn't necessarily mean it's in storage. The aircraft may be maintained in a ready state, even started or operated every few days, or weeks, as local program dictates.


We see a lot of aircraft that get operated seasonally, and few of them undergo storage procedures. We see it in piston and turbine aircraft.


Remember that many of the storage procedures are for the protection of the aircraft and components. If fuel is to be drained, for example, to prevent algae buildup or water accumulation in the tank (and rust) from condensation, then it doesn't matter if someone is replacing bearings at the tail rotor...the fuel is still subject to the same concern, and should probably be drained. The environment matters; if you're in an environment where condensation is a big issue, or temperature is conducive to microorganisms in the fuel, then the concern for draining the fuel should be greater than a constant cool temperature in a dry environment. Likewise, preservation fluids in an engine or transmission are there to prevent corrosion, and it doesn't matter that work is being done on another part of the aircraft. If the engine or transmission isn't being used, then it needs to be preserved according to manufacturer recommendations.


Condensation inside the transmission will pool in the lower areas of the transmission, and with it corrosion may occur. If that is around shafts and bearings, damage will occur. Preservation requirements, such as putting a preservative oil or fluid into the transmission, and repositioning or reorienting the transmission to a different angle, are to keep condensation from settling in certain areas, and to avoid corrosion problems.


When the engine or transmission is operating, condensation is removed by virtue of temperature, and oil and fluid is circulated to flush galleys, resorvoirs, and any areas where material might sit or flow or collect. If the engine hasn't been run, or transmission operated, the fluid sits static and condensation and acids in the system will collect in certain locations that can cause damage.


Discuss this matter with the maintenance department or shop overseeing your program, or that is doing the work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...