Winter is on its way, and along with the fun of the festive season it’s also bringing sleet, snow and ice – none of which are great news for aircraft owners, pilots or charter companies! Prepping your aircraft and storing them correctly are key to making the most of this season as well as reducing repairs and maintenance.
Aircraft maintenance and storage tips from Monmouth Executive Airport
- Change your oil: Winter is the perfect time to change your oil, removing old oil that is filled with dirt and contaminants. When you do this, be sure to use a preservative oil mixture (one quart of preservative oil is recommended). After doing this, take a quick flight to make sure the engine becomes well-lubricated with the new mixture.
- Check the sparkplugs: Remove your sparkplugs and spray the fitting with a preservative oil mixture before putting them back into place.
- Fill your tanks: Even though you won’t be using your aircraft for a while, filling up your fuel tanks to capacity is a good idea. This reduces the moisture that can condense within your tank if it is only partially fuel, and minimizes cracking in flexible rubber tanks. The fuel will easily last the winter, as quality fuel is good for at least a year.
- Remove your battery: If you’re not going to be flying much this winter, now’s a good time to remove your battery as it likely won’t hold charge while in storage. Store the battery in a safe location out of the cold. You can also hook up your battery to a trickle-charger every few weeks to maintain the charge and keep the battery in good working condition.
- Critter-proofing: Mice, rats and other small animals will see your aircraft and hangar as a good place to hide out from the bad weather, and they can cause considerable mess and damage to your aircraft. No food should be left in the vicinity and all holes should be securely plugged. Pitot tube covers and vent covers are essential.
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