Southwest Airlines: How to Wash a Plane





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Uploaded on Jan 12, 2012

Video Transcript:
I'm Ian Kinsler. I'm Lead Mechanic on line RON in Houston. Tonight we're gonna watch how Houston performs C-check washes. We'll try to get over here as soon as possible because these planes fly at 6 a.m. or 6:30.

So, any kind of delay is gonna cause trouble, so we try to get over there as soon as possible and let the Appearance Techs do their thing.

We do the washes four nights a week Sunday through Wednesday, the night after they go to C-check. The main purpose of the wash isn't cosmetic. It's to clean up components for inspectors the next night to inspect everything and get a good look.

They cover the engines—they don't want water there—sensors, anything important like that, any opening in the airplane they don't want water ingestion.

They wash it pretty much like a car—every square inch that's not covered up they'll wash it and make it look like a brand new airplane. To wash a plane, the whole time involved I'd say maybe five hours. They build up a lot of crud and dirt, that's the dirtiest part of the airplane—the landing gear—hydraulic fluid runback, that's where they really want to scrub, the underside. As you can see, the rest of the airplane is pretty clean, but the belly is the dirtiest part. That green slimy stuff is the soap they use. It will get all the grimy stuff off. It does its job—it's pretty strong.

They'll make sure everything is rinsed down. They'll call the inspectors, and they'll make sure everything is clean. They'll take all the tape off,;the inspectors will double check that—all the probe covers, wheel covers—then they will turn it over to the Mechanics.


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