Aircraft Maintenance: What to do during the COVID-19 crisis

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Although some of the regulations governing airmen have been temporarily relaxed or extended, the regulations governing aircraft maintenance remain steadfastly in place. This is because it’s critically important that all aircraft, from the smallest LSA to the largest commercial transport aircraft, remain airworthy to safely perform their duties. The requirements for proper maintenance and inspection are even more important if your aircraft has been sitting dormant during the crisis. Aircraft begin to deteriorate from the moment that they are parked as the corrosion process starts on components that are no longer moving and receiving lubrication, seals begin to dry out, and the internal components of the engine lie dormant.

Fortunately, aircraft maintenance facilities are considered essential businesses and remain open during the crisis. If you find yourself grounded, or simply don’t have the mission or motivation to get airborne, consider this an ideal time to get your aircraft into the shop and ready for action as soon as the crisis passes. There’s no rule that scheduled inspections or maintenance have to wait until the last minute; you can perform an annual inspection at any time and restart your aircraft’s compliance calendar.

Consider the following maintenance and inspections that can interrupt your routine flying schedule:

Oil and filter changes. Annual/100-hour inspections. Pitot/static and altimeter checks. Transponder checks. Airworthiness directive inspections. Overhaul/replacement of life-limited components. Cleaning, polishing, and protecting the interior and exterior.

This is an excellent opportunity to get ahead of the maintenance curve and clear your summer flying calendar of maintenance downtime. In addition, if your aircraft is not yet ADS-B compliant, this is the perfect time to remedy that. Only weeks ago, most people faced long wait times to get quotes and appointments for avionics work. If you were one of these people, try calling again because times have changed, a least a little. And, not only could you get the work done sooner, but the cost may have decreased as well. Many avionics companies are offering rebates and discounts on their products right now, so it pays to take advantage of these deals while supporting the industry that supports us.

And that’s a very important consideration. The general aviation industry is a fragile one—from our local FBOs and maintenance facilities to the engine; avionics; and other manufacturers that invest millions of dollars in research, development, and certification in the hopes that we (the aircraft owners) will keep flying

This post was originally published by AOPA on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.

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