Aircraft Detailing

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by bgreenhaw, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. bgreenhaw

    bgreenhaw Filing Flight Plan

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    Brandon Greenhaw
    I am a teacher/coach and do boat and car detailing in the summer for some extra bucks. Has anyone here had any dealings with aircraft detailing companies and would it be worth it to try and add detailing GA aircraft to my menu? Is it something the average GA pilot/owner at small airports would spend a few bucks on a couple of times a year like a boat owner would?
     
  2. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Airplane owners are even cheaper than sailboat owners, but there is some work you can pick up there.
     
  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We've got a couple of guys around who do detailing. Several things to lookout for:

    1. You probably need to bring your own water supply. Most hangars/tiedowns do not have water and the airport and airport businesses probably aren't going to look favorably on you running a business on their hose.

    2. Make sure you are using supplies that are friendly to aluminum and acrylic windshields.
     
  4. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

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    Going rates for a single in my area are about $100 for an exterior wash. $500 for a detail, wax, interior, etc.

    The most important thing in my mind is someone who knows aircraft. There isn't anything you can do washing a car that will get people killed, not so with aircraft.
     
  5. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I won't let anyone else fuel my plane, much less wash and/or wax it.
     
  6. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Brandon, let me throw a couple of things out for you to think about. Around my airport there is more need of this service on the corporate planes. Most of the smaller planes the owners themselves do this. On the corporate planes there is a huge potential liability. On our plane I hang around pretty close while it is being cleaned up even though I know the person doing it and he happens to be an A&P. A broken static wick can be $200-$300. Wax in the static port, not good! A broken temperature probe for an air data computer, you don't want to know. Don't even ask about a windshield with a scratch in the UV coating. On the inside, I don't let anyone clean up forward of the front cabin divider.
    Unless you have liability insurance or a good enough relationship with the owner to get a waiver of liability you might want to think this through a little. JMO.
     
  7. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    I used to manage the FBO business at Teterboro's Falcon Jet Facility. My Line guys did the detailing on some of the Jets. But there were two or three other companies doing it as well. It can be a good money maker at the right facility/airport, with the right contacts. But your people have to be well trained and know how to behave around airplanes (especially, very expensive ones). A wing tip on a Falcon 10 went for $10 grand back then (1985). You have to be careful about the solvents you use to clean with. Many can damage interior finishes, windshields, and paint finishes. You definately need insurance. You can't hire min-wage flunkies, and you have to have access to a hangar, water source, etc. It is definately doable, but its going to take some research, coordination and agreements with each FBO, and a word-of mouth reference chain that can only be built with time and good work. Its nothing like detailing a car.

    You might want to check this out if you're serious about this: http://wingwaxers.com/bizopp.html

    Good luck! :blueplane:
     
  8. bgreenhaw

    bgreenhaw Filing Flight Plan

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    After a little Google research I found several places that have training and certification classes and those seem to be required to get insured. As with most things in GA, insurance drives the bus on this too. Seems like it could be a decent business but the training is out of my reach right now. Thanks for the responses.