Thursday, April 30, 2020

Checks that parked planes undergo to remain in ready-to-fly mode

Chennai: The city airport must be lying largely empty. But a posse of aircraft maintenance engineers walks in every day.
Their duty: to keep a tab on the planes that have been parked and secured at parking bays so that they could stay fit for flying at the shortest notice when the aviation ministry greenlights resumption of flight services after shutdown is lifted.
Planes are not parked and forgotten till there is a need to fly them. Instead, they need additional care on the ground and are put to a series of checks to ensure that all its systems – hardware and software - are functioning well.

Around 50 planes, most of them A320 and B737, belonging to IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet, Air India and Vistara, used to fly domestic and international routes, are parked at the bays.

Aircraft engineers have covered the face of the engines and sensors on fuselage, exhaust cavity of auxiliary power units so that planes are protected from dust, birds and insects.

An AirAsia India spokesperson said, “A daily walk-around check is carried out to ensure these covers are in place. Every adversity presents an opportunity. We are using the downtime to touch up the aircraft interiors including seat covers, carpets, seat belts, lavatories. The cabins are also deep cleaned.”

“Planes usually undergo scheduled maintenance based either on the number of hours flown or the number of calendar days. There has to be more checks and precautions that need to be taken because this is the first time so many planes are grounded for such a long time,” said an airlines official.
Wheels, hydraulics and controls that steer the plane, electronics, emergency equipment like inflatable slides are checked.

The AirAsia official said ,“Our engineers are accomplishing checks donning personal protection while always maintaining social distancing measures.”
30/04/20 V Ayyappan/Times of India
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