Monday, March 17, 2014

A very brief introduction to winter maintenance

Regular maintenance is important to any aircraft operation whether it be the owner of small plane, a tour operation, charter operation, airline. military, rescue or aerial firefighting. 

Aircraft used in aerial firefighting may only be active for the period when they are paid by the contracting agency to be available for aerial firefighting duties. Sometimes these aircraft are only used part of the year. At other times, and depending on the business the operator is in and the type of aircraft they fly, the contractor will be flying their aircraft through out the year.

As many of you know, when an aircraft hasn't been flown in awhile, it doesn't come out of the hanger ready to fly, maintenance is performed. Many operators have what is sometimes known as a winter maintenance period when maintenance that requires a lot of time is performed by their maintenance staff. Of course, aircraft are maintained year round, not just in the winter or off season. Maintenance checks are preformed through out the year. I am in the process of putting together some articles focusing on winter maintenance. I am not quite sure when these articles will be ready, could be at least a couple of weeks, if not longer.

In the meantime here is an article that peaked my interest in winter maintenance, a press release from the American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association that may be found here. You will learn a little about winter maintenance performed by Columbia Helicopters and Neptune Aviation in what has turned out to be an earlier fire season out west.

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