With the continuous shortening of days and the temperature starting to drop even lower here in Canada, now is the right time for those in northern climates to regularly inspect and maintain their aircraft. The colder temperatures result in increased inconveniences and risks, requiring airplane operators to plan ahead of time or before winter fully kicks in.
Here are some of the top airplane maintenance tips you must consider to maintain your aircraft during the colder months of the year:
Exterior Washing, Waxing, And Detailing
Before it starts snowing non-stop, now is your opportunity to clean and protect your airplane's paint and windows. Getting rid of all the dirt, residual bugs, and oxidation is vital for your plane's conservation. External factors, such as ice and snow, can cling to contaminants present on your aircraft's exterior.
A freshly waxed surface readily sheds ice and snow - at least on the ground during preflight. Using specialized window cleaner or polish can also help protect and seal your aircrafts windows.
Changing The Oil
Changing your aircraft engine's oil helps to remove harmful acids, mixed water, and additional contaminants. The oil does its job by collecting these pollutants and keeping the engine in optimal condition. If you're utilizing straight weight oil, now is the right time to switch to a thinner oil for colder temperatures.
Since winter conditions often mean less flying, using an anti-corrosion additive will also come in handy. Do not forget to perform oil sampling and trend analysis with each engine oil change.
Lubricating The Airframe
The majority of aircraft maintenance manuals come with lubrication charts and schedules, which many aircraft owners are seldom aware of. Find the manuals, purchase the lubricants listed, and apply them to your aircrafts mainframe as per the given instructions.
Oil, grease, and other prescribed lubricants can help protect your airplane against excessive wear and corrosion. Lubrication also helps prevent exerting unnecessary strain on components that become stiffer to operate in colder regions.
Maintaining Or Replacing Batteries
Batteries usually do not perform well when it comes to low temperatures. That's why it's essential to maintain them in top condition during the winter season. Starting with your plane's main battery, have it tested to make sure it still operates at the required capacity. Replace the battery if it fails the capacity test.
Consider a sealed battery to reduce battery maintenance, as these battery types don't need to be topped off with water. Apart from upgrading your aircraft's main battery, don't forget to replace every other battery if required, including flashlight batteries, headset batteries, and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Inspect The Heating System
Most operators use their aircraft's heating system for the first time in months during winter. Many single-engine aircrafts obtain their heat from the exhaust system. So, it's best to scrutinize your aircraft exhaust system to ensure that carbon monoxide does not infiltrate your breathing air during flight. If you're using a twin-engine, make sure that the combustion heater is safe and in working condition.
If you're using an engine preheater, test and inspect it to ensure it is working correctly. If you're using a portable preheater, make sure it's in optimal condition as well. Lastly, you can also consider using an in-cabin heater for an increased comfortable flying experience.
Acorn Welding is an experienced aircraft maintenance service provider based in Canada. Visit our website to get to know about our high-quality aviation products and services or contact us for personalized service.