How Are Aircraft Serviced Between Flights and During Maintenance?

A standard modern aircraft is a complex vessel, often relying on hydraulics, oils, gases, electricity, and related systems to properly and efficiently function. As various systems may require the replenishing of fluids and oils over time or may need additional equipment to initiate their operations, aircraft are regularly serviced between flights while they are on a runway or in a hangar. While every aircraft may differ in its makeup and thus may require varying needs for servicing, there are a few common procedures that are often practiced for a great number of models to ensure their readiness for continued operations.

As a common procedure during servicing, aircraft fluids are regularly checked or maintained prior to conducting a flight. Typically, the engine oil of the aircraft may be observed for quality with the use of either a dipstick or a sight gauge. In order to discern the levels of engine oil within the oil tank, markings are provided on the dipstick or around the sight gauge. While reciprocating engines are typically checked after the engine has been inactive for a period of time, a turbine engine must be inspected after it has been powered off as dry sump oil systems often conceal seeping oil. When filling engine oil reserves, it is crucial that the engine never overfills and that the correct oil type is chosen for the engine in question. To ensure that servicing is properly conducted for the health and safety of the aircraft and personnel, one should always refer to the maintenance manual of the specific aircraft model that is being worked on before conducting any operation.

When aircraft are awaiting to begin their next flight, they often rely on exterior equipment for power generation for the means of maintaining electrical system operations and for starting engines. Coming in the form of ground support electrical APU systems, such units may vary in size and type to support a range of aircraft from small reciprocating engine models to large commercial airliners. The most simplistic APU devices are high-capacity batteries, used to initiate the operations of light aircraft. More robust units are often fitted with generators, permitting a large amount of output power that caters towards turbine aircraft engine models. To ensure safety when utilizing such equipment, ground electrical power units should be parked and braked in an area away from moving aircraft.

Hydraulic ground power units are useful during maintenance, providing the aircraft with hydraulic pressure so that systems may be operated during various procedures. With such equipment, the aircraft hydraulic system may be drained, filtered, refilled, or checked for leaks. Such systems are often electrically powered and may operate at pressures upwards of 3,000 psi. As such, caution should be practiced when pressures are at high values as streams can be extremely dangerous to surrounding individuals.

When taking advantage of ground support air units or systems that service an aircraft with gaseous oxygen, proper safety measures should be followed at all times. Two individuals are always required for gaseous oxygen servicing, one person managing the control valves while the other monitors system pressure. Oxygen servicing should also never be done while procedures that present the risk of ignition are being carried out. While gaseous oxygen is typically non-flammable, rich oxygen environments can increase the speed and degree at which combustible materials burn.

Through the proper utilization of servicing equipment and the use of aircraft manuals and specifications, servicing can quickly and safely be conducted to ensure that an aircraft is ready for its next flight operation. ASAP Components is an online distributor of aircraft parts, offering competitive pricing on ventilation system components, aircraft batteries, APU parts, and numerous items and tools related to maintenance services. As you explore our various catalogs, we invite you to request quotes for your comparisons through the submission of an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website. Get started today and see how we can fulfill all your operational needs with ease at ASAP Components.


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April 22, 2021

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