S80 Ground Checks

From:         M.Misener@freenet.hamilton.on.ca (Mark Misener)
Organization: Hamilton-Wentworth FreeNet, Ontario, Canada.
Date:         30 Mar 96 16:01:09 
Followups:    1 2 3 4 5
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Last week I was on an American Airlines S80 Chicago to San Diego (and
return). I noticed that the ground crew were putting up ladders against
the leading edge of the wing near the wing-root, and were running some
kind of plastic brush, or something back and forth (from lead edge to
trail edge). I couldn't see exactly what they were doing from where I was
sitting, but, I've been on plenty of flights, and I don't recall seeing
anyhting like it before. On top of that, I was talking to a friend of
mine, and he said that he was also on an S80 recently, and observed the
same thing. He also mentioned that he noticed a parked S80 with the skins
removed at the wing-roots. Does anyone know what was going on?