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.