Amphibious Float Hydraulic Maint
It’s a foggy morning, the plane is full of cool morning dew. It paints a pretty picture. But your hydraulic system is screaming for help.
It is not uncommon to perform winter maintenance on a customers floats and pass by the required maintenance on the hydraulic pump reservoir. It can not be done. The aircraft is on skis somewhere catching crappies. The pump is no where to be found. The powerpacks can be mounted in several areas of the aircraft. Some are worse than others. Mounting on the firewall presents heating and cooling problems resulting in condensation. Condensation in the floats is pretty harsh with 100% humidity and with those pretty dewy mornings the aft fuselage is a problem area as well.
Wipline floats require 100 hour/yearly cleaning of the pump reservoir and screen. This is a collection area for water, dirt and debris. We find reservoirs are neglected catch points for all sorts of bad stuff. High amounts of moisture over a years time can cause a black slime which slows gear retraction times and starves the pump of fluid. It is also a good indication of any problems starting. Just like an engine, your hydraulic system can make metal. If a cylinder is galling or a pump is failing, metal chips can be found. If you remove your floats and perform winter maintenance, be sure to clean your reservoir and add fresh fluid.