You may be familiar with the term “spring cleaning” for your home, your car, or your office, but this concept is just as important for your aircraft as well. In order to keep your aircraft and all of its components in safe working condition, there are some maintenance steps you should take during the tail end of winter and before the spring, and these are done in order to prepare your aircraft for safe flying in the seasons ahead.
If you own a personal aircraft, you’ve probably had it sitting for some time during the cold and windy winter season. During the winter, conditions aren’t typically ideal for a nice day of flying, and it’s understandable to get excited about getting into the air once again. Like a car or other motor vehicle, aircrafts will begin to deteriorate when left to sit idle for longer periods of time, and you’ll want to make sure you carry out a thorough cleaning and inspection process before taking your aircraft back into the air again.
The first step you should take in your spring cleaning process is cleaning, and this will include both the insides and the outside of the plane. While it may seem like your aircraft should be perfectly clean after sitting stored for a number of months, you may be surprised at just how necessary the cleaning process may be. You should first start with taking a careful approach at cleaning the entirety of the outside of the aircraft, and this is done not only to clean the aircraft, but to give you a way to properly inspect all aspects of it. Through this inspection, you’ll be able to determine if anything on the aircraft is in need of repair, and these are things that you can prompt your aircraft mechanic to investigate when you schedule your mandatory yearly inspection. For all commercial operations, a 100 hour yearly inspection of all aspects of the aircraft is mandatory to ensure safe flying for all passengers.
While looking over your aircraft, make sure to take note of any leaks that may be present, as these are things that will require prompt repair before taking your aircraft into the air again. You’ll also want to service your aircraft’s batteries to ensure sitting in the cold weather did not cause them to drain or become damaged, much like what can happen to a car’s battery when left sitting idle for some time. During your annual professional inspection, the oil levels, air and fuel filters, and oils, lines, and fittings will also be inspected to ensure each component works sufficiently for flight.
For those looking to make sure their aircraft is in working order in time for flying season, it’s important that the aircraft is checked thoroughly both on the outside and the inside to ensure your venture will be a safe one. Through a personal inspection done while cleaning, as well as a yearly inspection by a professional aircraft mechanic, you can have the confidence you need to have great flights all season long!