The SAS team recently completed a major project in Pittsburgh that involved a Tail Stand modification, allowing an older version tail dock to be used safely and effectively with an Airbus A320. The issues were:
- Levels 2 and 3 of the stand were too short, preventing workers from safely accessing the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer.
- Additionally, there was no APU access platform; all work had to be completed from mobile stands and ladders.
To correct these deficiencies our team:
- Added four feet of forward access platform, along with sliders and guardrail to levels 2 and 3. This allowed the aircraft mechanics to surround the vertical stabilizer on levels 2 and 3 for complete and safe access. It also allowed workers to pass from side to side, forward of the vertical stabilizer, instead of just the back side of the vertical stabilizer. That provided efficiency and safety.
- A custom APU platform was added to the main level of the tail stand. Working closely with end users, a working height of the APU platform was determined. The APU platform included 10 rolling sliders that locked into an in-use position and an open position. The open position allowed for ground access to the APU in case the APU needed to be removed.
The Pittsburgh project was great example of our communication and coordination with existing ground support teams. The entire tail stand modification was complete in-dock, and total down-time for the end user was only 3 days.