in Maintenance / Features

Desert dust’s open season on engines

Posted 16 September 2019 · Add Comment

Maintenance trends in Africa map the prevailing weather conditions. During the Harmattan season, for example, MROs usually notice a spike in engine-related events.

Gavin Kiggen, ExecuJet’s vice-president, Africa, said migratory bird strike and other foreign object debris (FOD) events occur regularly during the December-January period, when strong winds carrying dust from the Sahara Desert can increase the risk of damage to some engine components. “The fine dust, over time, can cause damage, but when an aircraft flies through an intense dust storm, this can cause aggravated issues on components.
“We have also found that aircraft air-conditioning systems can get clogged quickly, requiring more frequent cleaning and/or replacement.”
Operating from three locations in Africa – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Lagos – ExecuJet sees numerous examples of these problems.
Its newly-built Nigerian facility, which offers fixed-base operations (FBO) and MRO services, recently concluded the C-check on a Learjet 45, which included repairs to difficult-to-access flight controls.
Said Kiggen: “This was such a rare occurrence – it was only the fourth Lear 45 in the world that had this specific repair done – but the team in Lagos did a sterling job.”
 

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