Aircraft Maintenance and Routine Check during Lockdown

The story of utmost priority for the safety and comfort of the passenger in the aviation history of Nepal began on October 11th, 1997 when for the first time Beechcraft 1900D made its maiden flight from Tribhuvan International Airport. Since for more than two decades, the name Buddha Air has become the known trademark for everyone. During all these years, we have outreached as Nepal’s largest and longest operating privately-owned domestic airlines and still striving for the best. However, in these critical hours, while everyone is desperately awaiting a long haul of lockdown to end and resume their normal life, our staff in Buddha Air are committed to keeping the fleet safe and ready for the day you desire to fly to your destination.

We all know that aircraft maintenance is the first rule of safety but did you know when aircraft are immobilized for weeks what exactly the maintenance procedure is? Well, there is a lot to do for our team of engineers! 

Aircraft maintenance in a fixed-interval time or a situation of long-term immobilization, the procedures are almost and require much effort and dedication.

During routine flights, a significant part of the maintenance of the aircraft depends on its flight hours, flight landings and calendar days (i.e. utilization) that help engineers to monitor the life limits of various aircraft components. These components are replaced when they approach their life limits (preventive maintenance). Apart from this, carrying out periodic/routine inspections of the aircraft and its various systems and rectifying any discrepancies observed keep the plane and its systems functioning properly. However, when an aircraft is immobilized for an extended period, then besides routine maintenance, engineers need to focus on its preservation as well.

Buddha Air adopts a unique preservation program on its aircraft that is based on the guidelines recommended by the aircraft manufacturer while its fleet is currently immobilized due to the pandemic. This program enables the correct aircraft preservation and prevents aircraft structure and systems damage and deterioration. Dust, salt, and other pollutants continuously accumulate on the structure and promote corrosion. Therefore, preventive measures are taken to protect the aircraft's external and internal structures from environmental damage such as corrosion by periodic cleaning and applying corrosion preventive compounds and inhibitors. Flight control surfaces (flaps, ailerons, elevators, and rudder) are protected to prevent dust accumulation and avoid bird/insect nests by means of appropriate screens and nets. Fuel tanks are treated with biocides to prevent possible microbiological growth in the tanks due to water contamination of the fuel and the accumulated water in the fuel tanks is drained periodically. Engine ground runs are carried out every 7 days to ensure their general performance. During ground runs, various aircraft systems (air conditioning, pressurization, hydraulics, avionics) are brought online to ensure their proper functioning, which prevents passivation of aircraft batteries as well.     

Besides monitoring and resolving technical issues, there is also a new protocol that Buddha Air has recently introduced to its staff members and engineers under the guidelines of WHO and IATA. Our team of experts working in the ground for maintaining and preserving the aircraft are well trained and directed to follow the COVID-19 protocol by wearing a proper mask, sanitizing hands, and keeping social distance to avoid any chance of infection and other consequences of coronavirus.