Why is it important to do storage?
Proper storage of aircraft and engines during periods of non-operation is crucial for maintaining their condition and ensuring their readiness for future use. When an aircraft is not in regular operation, various factors such as environmental conditions, humidity, and prolonged inactivity can have a negative impact on its systems and components.
By following specific storage procedures, you can mitigate these risks and protect the integrity of your aircraft. Storage involves performing necessary checks, inspections, and preservation actions to prevent corrosion, maintain lubrication, and safeguard critical systems. It also ensures that the aircraft is protected from external elements and potential damage, minimizing the risk of deterioration and ensuring a smooth return to service when needed.
Where can I find storage procedures for my Aircraft and Engines?
Storage procedures for your aircraft and engines can be found in your Maintenance Programme, which provides comprehensive guidance for the maintenance and operation of your specific aircraft model. Additionally, you can refer to the Airframe and Engine Maintenance Manuals that are specific to your aircraft.
These manuals contain detailed instructions and guidelines for storage, including step-by-step procedures, checklists, and recommended time intervals for performing checks during the storage period. They cover aspects such as parking, preservation of critical systems, regular inspections, and reactivation procedures.
It is essential to consult these resources to ensure that you are following the manufacturer-recommended procedures for storing your aircraft and engines. This will help you maintain their optimal condition, prolong their service life, and minimize potential issues that may arise during storage and reactivation.
What happens when no storage is performed?
When no proper storage procedures are performed for an aircraft during periods of non-operation, several risks and issues may arise:
- Corrosion: Without appropriate storage measures, moisture and environmental factors can lead to corrosion of critical components and systems. Corrosion can compromise the structural integrity, electrical connections, and functionality of the aircraft, resulting in safety hazards and costly repairs.
- Deterioration of Fluids: Fluids such as fuel, oil, and hydraulic fluids can degrade over time if not properly managed during storage. This deterioration can lead to engine performance issues, fuel system contamination, and reduced lubrication effectiveness, potentially causing damage and affecting the aircraft’s operability.
- System Malfunctions: Lack of regular inspections and maintenance checks during storage can result in the malfunctioning of various systems, such as electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic systems. This can lead to operational inefficiencies, increased downtime, and additional maintenance requirements when the aircraft is brought back into service.
- Increased Maintenance Costs: Neglecting proper storage procedures can result in increased maintenance costs in the long run. The lack of preventive maintenance during storage can contribute to accelerated wear and tear, necessitating more extensive inspections, repairs, and replacements when the aircraft is returned to service.
- Safety and Compliance Risks: Failure to follow recommended storage procedures can compromise safety and regulatory compliance. Components that are not properly preserved or inspected may fail during operation, potentially endangering the aircraft, passengers, and crew. Moreover, non-compliance with storage guidelines and requirements may result in regulatory penalties or restrictions.
To avoid these risks and ensure the longevity and airworthiness of the aircraft, it is crucial to perform proper storage procedures as recommended by the manufacturer and outlined in the aircraft’s maintenance documentation.
References from EASA!
Here we have listed Safety Information Bulletins form EASA related to parking and storage:
- EASA SIB 2020-18 Nickel Cadmium Batteries – Risk of Capacity Reduction during Aircraft Parking and Storage
- EASA SIB 2020-14 Pitot-Static Issues AFter Storage due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- EASA SIB 2020-07 Progressive Restart of Aerodrome Operations after Complete or Partial Closure
- SAFO21003 Inspection of Lavatory Fire Extinguishing Bottles on Aircraft Parked or Stored for a Prolonged Period of Time in a High-Temperature Environment
(Photo: Barry Ambrose)