Preparing your Aircraft for Winter
Aircraft maintenance is crucial, especially in the winter when the colder temperatures bring inconveniences and risks to your aircraft. So, it’s good to get head and make sure that your aircraft is ready. Here are some things to consider when preparing your aircraft for the best, and worst, time of the year. It’s crucial to wash, wax, and detail your aircraft. Once the snow comes in, it’ll be difficult to clean off the residual bugs, dirt, and oxidation on your plane. Since snow and ice easily cling onto pre-existing surface contaminants, it’s important to wash and wax because a waxed exterior will shed ice and snow. You should also use aircraft-specific window cleaner and polish to protect and seal aircraft windows.
Don’t forget to change your engine’s oil to remove harmful acids and contaminants. Use a thinner oil and consider anti-corrosive additives to make sure that while you’re flying less, you’re still making sure that your aircraft is in perfect condition for the colder temperatures. Lubrication is also important. Most aircraft owners don’t realize that their aircraft maintenance manuals have a lubrication schedule and chart that details when and how to apply aircraft lubrication. Lubricants like grease and oil are your best bet against excessive wear and corrosion.
After you check the exterior and oil, you need to look at the batteries and check that they’re working at full-capacity. Make sure to replace every battery, not just the aircraft’s main battery. Doing so will increase the safety of flying in extremely cold weather. Another thing you’ll have to check and inspect is the heating system, because most likely your aircraft heating system hasn’t been used in months. You need to ensure that the combustion heater is safe and ready.
And lastly, make sure that you’re stocked with the necessities. Extra batteries, oil, flashlights, water bottles, and the like should be evaluated and replenished as needed. Reload your aircraft with only the necessities. But don’t forget your hot chocolate, and remember, flying in the winter is daunting, but will be lot of fun with just a little extra preparation.