Aircraft Care Tips

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Much has been written about the pros and cons of various methods.  Here is a summary of what many people suggest as well as some tips from our very own Sky Chick and Burning Man’s general suggestions.   End of the day tie-down should include some type of dust prevention and passengers enjoy helping!  Pilots who park for the entire Event can be extra diligent (especially with rental planes) as shown below…

  • Install the best air filter you can get and change it after your trip.  (Some air filters are better for fine dust than others).
  • Close any and all ports when parked.
  • Park and plug it up!  If it is a hole, cover it or stuff something in it!  Towels, foam, pillows….
  • Tape, plastic wrap…get creative!  Fabric covers are NOT recommended as wind causes fabric to move and fine dust gets underneath caushing potential scratches. Caution: not all tape is created equal.  Make a list to insure that all tape/wrap is removed prior to flight!  If gifting rides, removing tape first trip in the morning is something passengers enjoy doing.
  • Cover your seats…auto covers, old T-shirts, blankets, towels, anything to protect upholstery from dusty, sweaty, sunblocked bodies!
  • Ziplock airsick bags…for those unforunate passengers

After the Event some people recommend a vinegar and water rinse before washing or vinegar, added to a  detergent wash…vinegar is used to  break the bond caused by the highly alkaline dust.

  • change your air filter,
  • re-pack wheelbearings
  • look/clean everywhere…open inspection panels, etc check spinner and nose gear strut as pilots have reported playa gunk.

Advice from one pilot:  I did get dust in my wings this year even though I taped everything up, but last year was pretty dusty in general.  My IA gave me a neat trick which works on my plane because it is a high wing.  Roll one main wheel up on a car ramp to tilt the plane over, then remove the wing tip and the inspection covers nearest the fuselage.  I used the compressor to blow out most of the dust then ran a hose down the wing and washed everything else out.  My plane is a 1961 and I think this was the first time it was done, because I got a lot more than playa dust to come out.  The plane spent some of its life in Arizona so there was a lot of red dust as well, plus three old bees nests that had been hidden behind the wing ribs.  After the washing I use the compressor again to blow out the remaining water.