1. Science / Technology

7 Tips For Aircraft Maintenance In Winter

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Handling an aircraft in extreme weather conditions can be challenging since its parts such as landing gears, batteries, airframe and fuel system might not work properly. Additionally, extremely low temperatures can disturb the engine oil thickness consequently making the engine performance even worse.

 

Even so, it is challenging but not impossible to have a smooth flight during the winter. You can overcome the wintertime aircraft maintenance problems by taking preventive measures.

 

In this article, we have mentioned a few maintenance tips required to keep your aircraft up to date throughout the year. 

Change Engine Oil

 

During the cooler months, it becomes necessary to change the engine oil after every 50 flight hours to remove contaminants, water molecules and harmful acids from it. These contaminants can cause corrosion and wear to the engine parts.

 

Additionally, water contamination in engine oil can freeze it or change its viscosity due to low temperatures. 

 

You can also change the type of oil you were using in the summer. For instance, you can use thinner oil as it is more appropriate for winter and its viscosity remains suitable even when the temperature is too low. 

 

For this purpose get in touch with a reputable aviation parts distributor to get advice about the aircraft engine mount repair and suitable oil for your aircraft.

 

Look At Aircraft Battery

 

Aircraft battery is another important component that requires extra care and maintenance in cold months. Batteries do not work well in low temperatures therefore you should adopt the following advanced inspection techniques to keep them in good condition. 

 

  • First and foremost, perform a capacity test on the main battery of the aircraft to ensure that it is working at the required capacity or not.
  • Replace the main battery if it fails the security check.
  • Check the other batteries including gas detection batteries, headset batteries, or flashlight batteries.
  • Replace all batteries that are old or not working appropriately.

Exterior And Interior Cleaning

 

Before the winter season begins, perform deep clean on aircraft interior and exterior. If not cleaned deep cleaned regularly, the dust and grime can harm the surface of the aircraft. Since corrosion or oxidizing processes might occur on unclean surfaces.

 

Therefore clean the outer surface, fan, windshield, floor, seats and windows with high-quality cleaning agents.

 

By cleaning the aircraft you can protect its outer surface and prevent oxidation that can damage the aircraft body.

Lubricate The Airframe

 

Cleaning the aircraft exterior is not enough. You should apply a protective layer against moisture and dust on its surface. As a matter of fact, the amount of moisture in the air rises throughout the winter, which can lead to rusting or corrosion on an aircraft's surface especially in the resting state. 

 

Therefore, lubricating the airframe is extremely important to reduce the chance of rusting and corrosion. For this purpose, you can apply oil or wax on the airframe since it will not only protect the surface but also make it frictionless, preventing wear and tear.

 

Moreover, the lubricated surface will not get covered with snow as it can not cling to oily surfaces so it will slide off the aircraft.

 

Inspect Heating System

 

Inspect the heating system before the winter season begins, since you will be using the heaters after a long time. Therefore it is essential to undertake a complete inspection of its wires, exhaust system, and other valves.

 

Additionally, check the exhaust system to make sure there is no chance for carbon monoxide to contaminate the air in the aircraft. If you are utilizing a twin-engine aircraft, you should also verify the functionality and condition of the combustion heater.

 

Check Engine Preheater

 

An engine preheater is used to heat the engine and let it start smoothly. Therefore, if you are using a preheater make sure it can warm the engine to a specified temperature.

 

Nowadays, portable preheaters are also used in aircraft which require less maintenance. Nevertheless do not rely on a portable preheater without validating its performance.

 

Inspect The Fuel System

 

A properly functional aircraft fuel system is important throughout the year. However, in cooler months fuel system inspection and preventive measures should be done on a regular basis to avoid ice build-ups in filters and valves.

 

Additionally, fuel tank maintenance should be done since low temperatures can have a significant impact on fuel condensation and quality. Therefore, follow useful steps to avoid corrosion and other problems in the fuel tank.

Final Words

 

After the end of summer, preparing an aircraft for winter is the most important thing to do. At this time perform detailed inspection and maintenance of your aircraft and its systems to enjoy smooth and tension-free flights throughout the cooler months.

 

Aircraft maintenance is not walking in a park; one must use expert skills to inspect its system. For this purpose aircraft, maintenance and service companies can provide technical assistance 

 

Thus you must hire an aircraft service expert for preparing your aircraft to function efficiently in cooler months.

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