Sunday, 14 June 2020

How an airline gets ready for takeoff after 12 weeks of hibernation..........

Inside Brussels Airlines



There is no doubt about it,  modern jet passenger aircraft were not designed and built to stand still,  hibernating during the spring was not part of the grand plan.  However, that's just what the bulk of the Brussels Airlines fleet did,  sit at watch the clouds pass by in the skies overhead in which these mechanical beauties longed to return.


Yet, idle for long they will not be, from tomorrow - Monday, they, or at least some of them, will finally be taking to the skies again. Yet, restarting flight operations after 12 weeks of hibernation doesn't happen overnight. Getting an aircraft out of parking mode and making it airworthy again takes about as much time as parking it did in the first place.  It takes a lot of hard graft and determination by a dedicated crew of engineers and maintenance personnel to get the fleet ready for action again.

To make a hibernating aircraft into one fit and ready for the skies can take around 200 man-hours and includes testing all computer systems, getting the cabin ready, unwrapping the landing gear and engines, restocking oils and other such vital liquids and then tested again - nothing is left to chance in aviation.


It isn't just the aircraft that need a little time to come back to operational life!  In normal circumstances, a commercial pilot who flies on a regular basis goes through a strict training regime every 6 months, to keep up with all procedures. Now that Brussels Airlines pilots have not been in a cockpit for 3 months they do not meet the mandatory "3 landings in 90 days" standard, they have had to undergo a little bit of retraining to get themselves back to flight-ready mode! A simulator test, as well as a theoretical exam and Crew Resource Management training help, to get them ready for tomorrow!

Oh and yes, it is not only the crew at the pointy end of a plane need a little retraining, but those in the cabin also undergo a refresher course to make sure they are fully trained on the new safety procedures and are up to the task awaiting them. 






All images Brussels Airlines





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