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Thread: Tied Down Outside In A Coastal Area?

  1. #1

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    Tied Down Outside In A Coastal Area?

    It being my only possibility I'm interested in hearing from those who've tied down an aircraft outside in a coastal area about any maintenance/repair issues you believe that environment has caused.

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    I had my T-Craft tied down about seven miles from the ocean for a few years and at one point had to replace rotted lower longerons in the tail, but that's probably due to years outside in general, not being on the coast specifically.

  3. #3

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    My plane was tied about 1/2 mile from the ocean for about 30 years. I don't see any difference with corrosion if it gets flown often.

  4. #4
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Marine atmospheres contain chlorides such as salt particles or droplets of salt-saturated water. Since salt solutions are electrolytes, they corrosively attack aluminum and magnesium alloys. Some alloys are resistant corrosion better due to their chemical makeup.
    The USN P-3 community had a mandatory wash requirement if operated below something like 1000 ft AGL over salt water. Even still corrosion was a long term problem.
    Dave Shaw
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  5. #5

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    As Airmutt says, coastal air is very salty. He mentions airframe corrosion, and that's something to watch for. But electrical connections are also very prone to this same corrosion. Headset jacks, push-to-talk switches, paddle connectors in the battery area and behind the panel, etc. These will need to be sprayed with electrical contact cleaner from time to time.

    If the coastal area is in the Florida to North Carolina area, you will also need to be familiar with repairing hail & tornado damage. Just sayin'........
    Last edited by flyrgreen; 02-07-2020 at 03:31 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrgreen View Post
    As Airmutt says, coastal air is very salty. He mentions airframe corrosion, and that's something to watch for. But electrical connections are also very prone to this same corrosion. Headset jacks, push-to-talk switches, paddle connectors in the battery area and behind the panel, etc. These will need to be sprayed with electrical contact cleaner from time to time.

    If the coastal area is in the Florida to North Carolina area, you will also need to be familiar with repairing hail & tornado damage. Just sayin'........

    What I don't quite 'get', especially about electrical issues, is my car is parked outside about the same distance if not closer to the ocean than the airport I have in mind and shows very little effect from being there and modern cars are nothing if not dependent on electrical connections to make their way through the world..

  7. #7
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marauder View Post
    What I don't quite 'get', especially about electrical issues, is my car is parked outside about the same distance if not closer to the ocean than the airport I have in mind and shows very little effect from being there and modern cars are nothing if not dependent on electrical connections to make their way through the world..
    Manufacturers of modern cars go to great length to hermetically seal connections in wiring harnesses and switches. The same care usually isn't present in our 'primitive' aircraft wiring and components.
    Sam Buchanan
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  8. #8

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    I did extensive research about exposure issues before I bought my aircraft.

    I'm not by the coast, but one of the most informative videos I found about corrosion was MZeroA's repair video for a 172 that was damaged in high wind. Apparently it had serious, unknown corrosion issues from it's time in Tampa.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NmTeVwN3cg
    1978 Grumman AA1C w/O-320

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    Manufacturers of modern cars go to great length to hermetically seal connections in wiring harnesses and switches. The same care usually isn't present in our 'primitive' aircraft wiring and components.
    I can only speak from experience that my car is 19 years old and certainly doesn't have hermetically sealed connectors in the harness and switches yet continues with no electrical issues due to environmental conditions.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisadviceisworthles View Post
    I did extensive research about exposure issues before I bought my aircraft.

    I'm not by the coast, but one of the most informative videos I found about corrosion was MZeroA's repair video for a 172 that was damaged in high wind. Apparently it had serious, unknown corrosion issues from it's time in Tampa.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NmTeVwN3cg

    Scary stuff there, thanks for posting this video. Don't know when it was made but one thing that kind of surprised me was a shop so deeply involved in inspection/repair didn't already have a borescope.

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