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- AIRCRAFT CARE TIPS
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Advice from 2 pilots on how to pack/camp/care for your plane.Camping with a Cessna 185 some personal notes from Dog Pilot and Letter from a 2010 Virgin Burning Man Aviatior from System before he knew his future as Air Commander / Air Operations Manager.
AIRCRAFT CARE TIPS
- 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
- 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 Colin: 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.
Last year I forgot to clean my nose gear strut before flying each day (C182). It appears that playa dust built up in the strut seal and after I got back found a big puddle of hydraulic fluid. Rebuild kit was cheap, but a bit of a pain on labor. This year I’m going to tape up the strut seal and clean it well before each flight.... I had a lot of dust around the brakes and wheels, having the wheels off to do the bearings makes it easy to get in and clean the brakes as well. This year I’m going to clean that area really well before flying down to make sure there is no excess grease that can attract dust.