When does an aircraft have to go under “Storage” or a storage program?

Simple, when we know that the aircraft is not going to fly for a prolonged time.

Technically? We have seen jobs that have to be done every 3 days as per manufacturer to a week interval before the next maintenance action.

Maintenance Action? Yes.

Having the aircraft stored or preserved does not mean that no action is going to be performed on it after inducing it into storage; in fact preserving means to keep something in the same conditions as it was as possible for a prolonged time and for this we have to consider the following factors:

1. Aircraft Manufacturer Instructions

It is mandatory to follow the aircraft manufacturer’s specifications for this job.

2. Engine/Propeller requirements

An engine or a propeller always have to be considered as separate entities that require specific attention, refer to the engine manufacturer for detailed procedures.

3. Environment

Humidity is one of the worse enemies for the aircraft preservation program, therefore humidity indicators is a must for the process. All intakes, exhausts, pitot probes and ports are covered, the list of actions get much longer, leading edge surfaces, windows, props are covered too by a layer or a film to keep the surfaces inhibited and ventilation machines often are installed in the interior of the aircraft to keep it dry.

4. Aircraft Weight

As heavy an aircraft gets, more pressure is applied to each tire/wheel causing deformation, therefore aircraft wheels are rotated during aircraft storage and the intervals can variate depending on the manufacturer’s requirements.

Considering the above, the aircraft maintenance planner engineer builds the progression of tasks that are to be performed within specific periods of time (intervals) based on the manufacturer specifications. Having control of the compliance of each tasks is mandatory.

Once the aircraft and engines are under preservation, they cannot be operated before performing the list of tasks compliance requirements that where accumulated during the time parked IAW the operator’s AMP and in addition a set of tasks for “Unpreserving” the aircraft have to be done too.

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