It’s a Hard Life for the Aircraft Landing Gear!
Whilst the aircraft Landing gear may appear at first glance, to be strong & powerful, the reality is a little different because the Landing Gear is susceptible to both to corrosion and stress.
If the Landing Gear is not managed in the most effective way the Landing gear operational life may be reduced which will add to the in-service costs per aircraft hour and result in additional overhaul costs.
Can we improve the general health of the Landing Gear?
Sure we can, the Landing gear is designed to work with the stresses and strains of normal operations, but these can be significant consider the force of a “heavy” landing, severe breaking during the landing and roll out and poorly performed towing activities. All of which can take their toll!
In appropriate washing of Landing Gear can cause problems due to the potential of forced water ingress displacing lubricant and leading to the potential of corrosion.
Landing Gear is particularly susceptible to a number of solvents including paint stripper which can lead to ‘hydrogen embrittlement’ with an increased potential exposure to the risk of fracturing.
No Substitute for Maintenance Best Practices
A lack of lubrication leads to accelerated wear on the various moving components together with additional costs for restoration and or rectification.
Ensure that all Landing Gear lubrication activities are carried out in accordance with the manufactures approved data. It is not necessary to perform additional lubrication tasks, however it is important to do the tasks correctly.
In all cases ensure that you obtain the correct lubricant or a manufactures acceptable alternate product. Using the wrong grease could result in damage to bushing and add no value at all to the maintenance process.
Paint Strippers Beware!
Paint stripper is a potentially lethal product and must be kept away from the landing gear at all costs. If the acids which are present in Paint Stripper are allowed to contaminate the gear, there is a real possibility that hydrogen embrittlement could occur which could lead to cracks, which in turn in the worst case can result scrappage
Back to Birth
The technical records associated with the landing gear are arguably equal in value to the cost of the gear or its components. Loosing traceability can result in the need to replace components with missing history.