Flying again

I was out running earlier.

Watched a BA passenger jet fly over head.

Made me think.

With an estimated two thirds of the worlds passenger jets grounded due to COVID.

Whats the increased risk for the first flights?

Alot of these planes will have lay dormant for a year or more.

I know nothing about planes.

This is probably the 1st time in modern history this has happened.

If it is.

There will be no playbook to follow.

Doing a bit of digging on the subject.

The best place to store planes is in the desert apparently.

Doubt many are.

“Humidity can wreak havoc on grounded planes. The jet fuel planes use, for example, can absorb moisture, resulting in water forming in the fuel tank.”

“Water can breed microbes, and these contaminants can cause damage to the fuel tank and to an aircraft, which then impacts safety”

Silica gel bags are needed to avoid corrosion.

With so many planes grounded round the world, these bags are in great demand. “Every airline needs this for corrosion prevention, so it’s very hard for us to procure,” said Yap. “We’re working day and night trying to procure (them).”

Pest problems.

Of the many guidelines, one of the key ones is to keep wildlife out of the planes. With airports quieter than ever, planes have become a perfect nesting ground for creatures of all shapes and sizes.

“You may find birds or maybe small rodents crawling in here, which may damage all these electronics and the hydraulic lines in the aircraft,” said Philippine Airlines senior aircraft technical specialist Manuel Quizon Jr.

“Overlooking even the tiniest of pests could prove catastrophic. He pointed to a 1996 plane crash: The pilot had received inaccurate information from one of the plane’s tubes for measuring airspeed — because nest debris from an insect was stuck inside.”


As the pandemic goes on, however, revised travel restrictions have led to some planes being reactivated for passenger service. This means the job of an aircraft engineer is now more complicated.

“We have to do inspections, remove the covers and run the engines, so that everything’s working fine,” said Yap. “The reactivation depends on our aircraft storage duration; we need around one to three weeks to get it back to life.”

These new playbooks will come in handy next time.


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