Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

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ArthugG
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Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by ArthugG » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:51 pm

Hi all,
I am becoming worried about leaving the aircraft without running for a long period. The airfield where I'm based is agreeable to me pulling the aircraft out of the hangar and ground running it. They will open the hangar doors, I only have to touch the aircraft and all appropriate distancing is perfectly practical. I could also take the opportunity to put a charger/conditioner on the battery to keep it in good order.

The problem is the 25 mile car journey to the airfield. This is not for food, medical supplies or to go to work. I could link it to a supermarket shop en-route, though this would not be the primary objective of the trip. Can it be argued that I am doing essential maintenance and that this would be acceptable?

The engine is a 100hp 912. I would be interested to hear views on how long it can be left without coming to harm.

I'd be grateful for views and links to any government guidance. Has the LAA published any guidance about this that I have missed?
Last edited by ArthugG on Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Arthur Griffin
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Clive
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Clive » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:17 pm

Edited in case I was hanging myself.

I think one of the things about the lockdown restrictions is the lack of clarity that means that questions like Arthur's have come up all over.

'You can go to work if you have to and cannot work from home'

So doing something urgent and important that you pay someone to do can be done by the person you pay, as they are working.....but you can't do that activity yourself as it's not 'work'.
I suppose they don't want to explain it anymore than that as they fear it will be twisted by people to go out and about as they like.
I feel one needs to be able to explain yourself if challenged and morally be doing the right thing. Certainly this Covid frightens me and I'm paranoid about meeting people, my seldom shopping trips are a pain and the goods are quarantined for 3 days when I get them.

There is less exposure going to a deserted airfield than there is queuing at Tescos, one is definitely allowed and the other is OK as long as it is 'work....'

Regarding inhibiting. Currently at our airfield most aircraft are just parked up. One is now inhibited, that aircraft that was sold to an Italian group last year, they wanted it doing as it looks like it'll be some time before an trans-Europe flight will be possible. That was using Aeroshell 2F.
It was run up to temperature to circulate as recommended by Shell and is now shutdown and won't be moved for the foreseeable.
My Lycoming has been ground run since the lockdown once but I wasn't panicking about it there was just an opportunity.
I've never been sure about ground running and I know some engines can just develop condensation if they don't meet normal running temperature.
That temperature generally means flying the aircraft.
My other aircraft was inhibited in February prior to a two month holiday so I'm not touching that, used 'vapour oil' as that is on straight oil post rebuild.
I'm not a believer or 'turning the prop' on a stationary engine, I think that will just scrape off the oil from the last time it was run.
That said I have seen bores corroded along the piston or ring line that was clearly through being parked up at some time (with condensation).

I'm using 100 plus on the Lycosaurus after being recommended it by an engine overhauler as the one he can tell that has been used.
Though I believe most modern oils now have good corrosion protection additives.

Interested, like Arthur, in folks thoughts on corrosion inhibition with standard oils?
I note Aeroshell sport Plus 4 claims good corrosion protection (Rotax oil of choice, I think).

Hoping we will soon be out and about soon with full permission though, properly managed social (physical) distancing is OK else lots of countries wouldn't be expanding to it very shortly.

Regards, Clive
Clive James

tnowak
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by tnowak » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:16 am

Personally, I would consider a trip to my local airfield to carry out essential preventative work on my engine as "work". Work isn't specified as where you go to earn a salary...

In the next week or so I will be doing similar to inhibit/protect my Cont. A65 as best I can. The engine hasn't run since 7th March - the last time I flew.
Tony
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Gerry Holland » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:57 am

Well the sun seems to shine on the righteous!
Counter Terrorism Border Police from Bristol Airport have asked me to meet them at the Airstrip to do normal review of Flights and Visitors over past months.
I see that as an official reason to play in the Hangar on Saturday.
The weather of course will be dull and damp so perhaps I'm not that righteous.......
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Chris Thompson
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Chris Thompson » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:44 am

Would be interesting to ask them why they consider this is an essential shopping trip?
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Chris Martyr
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Chris Martyr » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:40 pm

I’m sure that most grass strips have an excellent relationship with the respective Police/BF authorities . Where I’m based certainly does and I’m sure Gerry’s strip does too .
Chris Thompson wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:44 am
ask them why they consider this is an essential shopping trip
Gerry comes across as a pretty affable sort of chap and I wouldn’t mind betting that last time , he spoilt ‘em rotten with mugs of builders tea and chocolate fingers .
So after going stir-crazy around Brizzell Airport for the last month , they probably can’t wait to see him again ... :D
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Gerry Holland » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:49 pm

Chris....Thank You!
As for being affable...a rare accolade.
We get visits every few months, sometimes by Police Chopper but normally 4 X 4.
Bristol Terminal is effectively closed so as you say, a good time to find and check local Airfields.
Hope our Single Seat Fly In at Sandown survives.
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Gerry
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Chris Martyr
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Chris Martyr » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:40 pm

Gerry Holland wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:49 pm
Hope our Single Seat Fly In at Sandown survives.
Regards
Gerry
Why shouldn’t it ? It was/is an excellent proposition . The date can possibly be a “moveable feast” , but the concept is set in stone . :D
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Gerry Holland » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:55 pm

Chris. Yes it will happen! Look forward to seeing you and others there.
Just need to keep an eye on the sneaky singletons in two seaters!
Gerry
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Leith
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Leith » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:46 pm

In my view, this would not be classed as “essential” travel or “work” as it is, after all, a discretionary journey made in the interest of a sport, a leisure activity or a pastime in much the same vein as travelling for a quick round of golf! The acid test would be the result of getting caught and, if that creates adverse publicity, the whole GA community will inevitably suffer!
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Gerry Holland » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:55 pm

I'm struggling Leith..... In my case .
The single seat Fly In is on June 13th.....might happen, might not on that date.
Secondly I'm attendng my Airstrip on 18th of April to meet with Counter Terrorism Border Police (Old Special Branch) to review Resident and Visitor Movement Logs.
We are not even cutting the runway but leaving to harvest haylage the end of May.
That is allowed as farming task.

I think the vast majority of Pilots are staying very grounded and making no attendance to aircraft.

Regards
Gerry
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Clive
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Clive » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:01 am

i was trying to paste a link to a reasonably good article on the Sky news website but this board won’t let me do that, also won’t let me paste a picture in.

The article was about clarification of what you can and can’t do from the NPCC National Police Chiefs Council, gist of it was examples of do’s and don’t, to quote a comment on DIY you can’t go out to buy a pot of paint but you could go out to buy stuff for ‘essential maintenance’
I would have thought travelling to your airfield for such maintenance was explainable.
If you look out the article it’s headed as an ‘Explainer’ and titled Coronavirus: New details on why you can leave home by police chiefs.
Dated Friday 16th

Regards Clive
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Chris Martyr
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Chris Martyr » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:07 am

Clive wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:01 am
you can’t go out to buy a pot of paint but you could go out to buy stuff for ‘essential maintenance’
Surely that refers to essential house maintenance though doesn’t it Clive ?

Urgently needing a replacement ballcock in your cistern , or perished tap washers could probably save you from an unscheduled ‘water feature’ about the house .

Not sure how impressed Plod would be at a chap needing ‘essential items’ for his own aircraft though .

.......“.Oh really sir ? ,,,,, and I suppose you need a bottle of windscreen washer fluid for your Lamborghini too do you “ ?
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Clive
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Clive » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:59 am

Still need an understanding plod, if you have your tools etc with you, overalls on.
‘Essential maintenance’ just like the NPCC said.....good quote see.....😜
I also have a secret weapon, well not very secret but handy....a van!
Clive James

Leith
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Re: Travel to airfield for self maintenance. Acceptable or not?

Post by Leith » Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:32 pm

Well, how strange is that? The CAA have just published more guidance re GA Aircraft Maintenance and specifically mention test flights etc. Given this, it appears that one can do essential maintenance and conduct a test flight if required. All we need the is the key to the hangar door!
Leith Whittington
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