Ground support equipment (GSE) refers to the various equipment at an airport that is used for servicing aircraft between flights. This equipment can range in type, many being used for ground power operations, aircraft mobility, or cargo & passenger loading procedures. Due to the roles that such equipment serve, it is important that they are well maintained and properly used to avoid breakdowns or hazardous situations. In this blog, we will discuss the basics of GSE maintenance, ensuring that you understand how to properly care for your various investments.
The towbar is a device that is used for towing an aircraft, and such equipment may range in size, shape, and design to accommodate various needs. Before using a towbar, it is crucial that one confirms that it is the correct towbar for the aircraft in question before conducting a basic inspection. When looking over the towbar assembly, one should ensure that there are no bolts or pins that are loose or missing, and all components should be secure. If there are any cracks or breaks, such issues should be remedied right away. It is crucial that the shear pin is functional as it serves as a safety device, and the pintle hook should be matched with a correctly sized towing eye. Additionally, all inspections should be recorded in a preventative maintenance catalog for proper tracking.
When using tailstands, otherwise known as jack stabilizing stands, one should always check that the stand matches the fuselage it will be used for to prevent damage. If the fuselage exceeds the weight limits of the tailstand, it can quickly begin to break down. As such, specialized tailstands exist with alarms that warn mechanics when an overload condition occurs. For the maintenance of jack stabilizing stands, the neck should be inspected to ensure that it moves smoothly, and the stabilizing pin should be free of any abnormal wear or bending.
Work stands require inspection prior to each use and periodic maintenance to ensure health and integrity. Prior to using a work stand, it should be checked for the presence of all components. After, the frame should be looked over to see that supports are free from wear or damage. To prevent damage during use, the load rating should never be exceeded, and all safety features and hydraulic components must be sound. Lastly, inspect the platform and steps so that any slippery substances can be removed.
Jacks are common to many GSE operations, and axle, tripod, and collapsible types are all common. When inspecting a jack prior to use, the pumps should be checked over for any possible leaks, faulty valves, or obstructions that may hinder operations. Generally, jacks should be inspected annually and every 90 days, and they should be tested prior to placing them under an aircraft. To protect such equipment during storage, the jack should be covered so that water does not enter the ram piston assembly.
Beyond such examples, there are numerous ground support equipment types that require regular maintenance for proper functionality and reliability. At Aviation Sphere, we operate as an online distributor of aircraft parts with over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items readily available for purchase on our website at any time. Explore our vast offerings at your leisure, and our team of industry experts is always on standby 24/7x365 to assist you throughout the purchasing process as necessary. If you would like to learn more about our services and capabilities, or are simply ready to initiate the purchasing process, give our team members a call or email at your earliest convenience and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner today.
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