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How Aircraft Cleaning Can Save You Money

September 10, 2012 | bevel wise

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It’s no coincidence that many individuals who have auto detailing or FBO line experience try everyday to get into the business of aircraft cleaning and detailing; sadly however, many are led to think that cleaning an aircraft is identical to cleaning cars.

To set the record straight: Nothing could be further from the truth!

As anyone in this industry knows, aircraft have many critical parts and extra precautions must to be taken into consideration before, during, and after the cleaning process to eliminate the possibility of causing costly damage.

Furthermore, caution must be used to ensure every product used is approved for that particular aircraft and the proper use of those products is adhered to at all times. Thanks to the ever changing consumer market, many of the products we use have changed and are continually enhanced thereby making these procedures sometime difficult and time consuming to learn and perfect. Even more, a failure to adapt to these new products/procedures can lead to ineffective work.

In the current economy, everyone’s operating on reduced budgets, and often we’ll hear things such as: “We just have a line guy take care of the aircraft” or “Our pilots handle that”. The problem is that many of these cost cutting methods actually end up costing you more in the end thanks to decreased durability or damage to paint, leather seating, carpets, etc. Additionally, (and albeit more importantly) we’ve found that many local cleaners and or FBO’s (including line service members) don’t carry the proper liability insurance or use aircraft approved products, which can damage the aircraft and run up maintenance costs.

aircraft cleaning

This image shows corrosion on a main landing gear pin bore.
Image courtesy of FAA.gov

One instance we’ve seen is an owner going in for a heavy inspection only to find that the bearings in the landing gear are heavily corroded and need to be replaced; the cause? A corrosive product was used to regularly clean the landing gear. Unfortunately this error cost the owner not only triple how much a normal cleaning would cost; but lost the aircraft for well over a week and required supplemental lift costing thousands more.

The point is that by using trained professionals who maintain strict requirements to regularly maintain the appearance of your aircraft, you can be assured you’re prolonging the life of your aircraft’s components and thereby keeping your regular inspection costs lower and free of any avoidable surprises.

By treating your aircraft appearance as scheduled maintenance you will always have an aircraft you can be proud of, you’ll actually save money doing it.

*The following was taken from a letter written by John Craft, Vice-President of Immaculate Flight. The letter, originally was featured in our September 2012 E-Newsletter.
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