Maintenance Best Practices for Airplane Landing Gear
Airplane maintenance is one of the most important investments you’ll make. It is also one of the easiest things to overlook by those who are inexperienced or unsure of what steps need to be taken. The airplane landing gear is specifically designed to be highly durable. It’s rugged and designed to handle extreme conditions. However, it’s not immune to wear and tear, like any other component. In fact, it’s extremely vulnerable to corrosion and damage as a result of the highly damaging conditions it operates in. Proper airplane maintenance for landing gear is critical for safety and to protect the investment long term.
Landing Gear Take a Beating
There are many components that experience potential damage in airplane landing gear due to the type of exposure the landing gear system has. The force of constantly hitting runways puts a great deal of stress on the entire system. That strains the function of these components over time.
When the aircraft brakes or accelerates, the horizontal forces present are exerted on the gear itself. This can easily lead to damage to various components. Also, due to improper jacking or mishandling from ground support, other system components can suffer damage or higher wear and tear development rate than some may expect.
All of these reasons are why it is crucial to stay on top of landing gear maintenance. Not doing so puts the entire plane’s safety at risk, not to mention the degradation of the plane’s value.
Landing Gear Maintenance Best Practices
There are several steps plane owners need to take to keep the entire landing gear system operational and in good condition. There are several steps to focus on first, as best practices.
Protect landing gear from corrosive agents
One of the most important first steps is to take precautions to protect the gear from any type of corrosive agent. These agents can break down the materials on the landing gear, weakening them, especially with routine exposure. Conduct regular checks to ensure there are no corrosive agents present, including on all materials. If present, a further inspection of the system and the source of those agents are critical before flying.
Keep critical system components lubricated
When metal or other materials rub next to each other, that speeds up the deterioration process. Insufficient lubrication like this causes wear and tear, leading to easy breakdown and damage. The best possible step here is to ensure all components are properly lubricated. Be careful with the grease used. Again, you do not want to use those forms that may cause corrosion. Instead, use only the right ones recommended by the airplane manufacturer and place them in the ideal locations. The manual can provide more insight into this.
Avoid unnecessary impact on the struts
One of the biggest stress points is on the struts. They are vulnerable to dings, nicks, and dents, all of which worsen their integrity and can make them more susceptible to failures and fatigue. Protect these areas from any type of damage.
Maintain a logbook
A logbook provides an efficient way to record everything occurring with the airplane. It should record all aspects of airplane maintenance. One of the key reasons for this is to track the lifespan of various components. Every component on the plane has a lifespan. Replacing them, especially when damaged, ensures safety. If there is damage, don’t wait to remove and replace those components. If they look okay and in good condition but are getting older, replacement may also be beneficial.
Consult with the experts
While routine maintenance can and should be done by the aircraft owner, this is no replacement for working with an experienced airplane maintenance team. The list provided here is far from exhaustive. It’s always best to consult with the airplane manufacturer, the FAA, and your ground support equipment manual for the complete instructions, regulations, and guidelines for operation and overall maintenance for the landing gear, as well as other components of your system. Don’t go it alone.
Let Blue Line Tech Help with Your Landing Gear Maintenance
Our team is readily available to help take on any tasks you have. We have the equipment you need and the reliability you can count on to keep your landing gear in good condition.
Blue Line Technical Services is one of only a handful of Diamond Authorized Service Centers in the country. Every mechanic is highly trained with a level of expertise to service any and all of your aircraft's maintenance needs with a particular focus on Diamond Aircraft and other airplanes made within the last 20 years. Whether you are flying in once a year for a yearly inspection or are in need of a full-service overhaul, Blue Line Technical Services can provide your maintenance needs with a sense of safety, accountability, and excellence. If you hate being grounded, come to Blue Line, where we can service your aircraft on time, every time, and get you back in the air. Find out more on our website, Facebook, Instagram, or call us at 919-578-3728.
Blue Line Technical Services is one of only a handful of Diamond Authorized Service Centers in the country. Every mechanic is highly trained with a level of expertise to service any and all of your aircraft's maintenance needs with a particular focus on Diamond Aircraft and other airplanes made within the last 20 years. Whether you are flying in once a year for a yearly inspection or are in need of a full-service overhaul, Blue Line Technical Services can provide your maintenance needs with a sense of safety, accountability, and excellence. If you hate being grounded, come to Blue Line, where we can service your aircraft on time, every time, and get you back in the air.