Just because you aren’t a pilot, doesn’t mean you have to be grounded. Sometimes the work of an aviation maintenance technician will bring you to new heights! You may be wondering what I mean. Although much of your training will be on the ground, you may also need to work on aircraft at a height. That’s where aircraft maintenance stands come in!
Getting You Off the Ground
Whether you’re working on a helicopter or an Airbus, all aircraft need maintenance. Just like aircraft, maintenance stands come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on how high you need to go or the type of work you need to do, there are different options available to you. Some are better suited to routine maintenance, while others are optimal for a full overhaul of your systems.
When it comes to picking out the right maintenance stand, there are some things you need to ask yourself first.
- What types of planes will you be working on? Commercial or smaller, private planes?
- How high do you need to be able to go?
- Do you want something more versatile or do you want your stand to have a set purpose?
- Do you need your platform to be mobile or fixed?
- Do you want it to have stairs or a ladder to access the platform?
- Do you need a platform or is a ladder all you need?
B-Series Maintenance Stands
The B-Series of aircraft maintenance stand is a popular option. All of these stands are meant to be versatile and mobile. The B-Series can be broken up into two different designs.
- Models B-1, B-2, and B-7 have stairs.
- The B-4 and B-5 models have ladders.
No matter which way you get up to the platform, once you have reached it there is a hydraulic pump that will raise and lower you so you can easily access every part of the aircraft. All of these models are rated to carry 500- 750 lbs. so they can easily support you and all tools you would need to conduct your repairs. The highest a B-Series maintenance platform can go is 5.79 meters, or approximately 19 feet.
Because there are a variety of styles and heights in the B-Series, these are great for daily maintenance. They can easily be moved and adjusted for a wide assortment of maintenance and repair needs. However, what if you need to conduct maintenance that’s a bit more extensive?
Phase Maintenance Stands
These stands, unlike the ones in the B-Series, are large. They have a platform that wraps around the aircraft, either partially or fully. Because of this they are not as mobile. In fact, they take longer to assemble than the more versatile varieties. Even though they take longer to set up, they are usually in operation for much longer amounts of time than other platforms. They are most often used when extensive work is being done, even going so far as completely taking apart and putting a plane back together. And because they are bigger, that means that multiple maintenance technicians can be working on an aircraft at the same time.
As stated, these are very often large, immobile structures. However, that means they have features that the smaller, more mobile stands do not. There can be air and electrical access points in these types of platforms. This keeps you from having to pull air hoses and electrical cords up and over the top of your platform. While convenient, this is also great for safety purposes.
You may see these in other industries, but they can also be used in aircraft maintenance. However, because scissors lifts weren’t designed specifically for aircraft maintenance they have a few drawbacks. Most maintenance stands that are specific to aircraft have railings that are able to be moved, giving technicians easier access to their work. A great plus to scissor lifts is their variety of heights. Currently, the tallest scissor lift available can reach heights of 13.8 meters, or roughly 45 feet! It is unlikely that your average aircraft technician would need something this tall.
Maybe you don’t need a maintenance platform to complete your tasks. There are also specialized ladders for conducting your aircraft maintenance. These can be used for duties ranging from cleaning to engine maintenance on all number of aircrafts. Although many platforms can be raised or lowered, ladders tend to be a fixed height. They can range from as little as 3 ½ feet to as much as 14 feet. Whatever sized aircraft you are working on, there is a maintenance ladder for you.
How to Know What Maintenance Stand is Right for You
As you can see, there’s a lot of things to consider when picking what aircraft maintenance stand is right for you. However, before you can pick out the right aircraft maintenance stand, you have to know how to do the maintenance. Want to learn more about being an aviation maintenance technician? Check out what NCI has to offer!