Winter is a magical season that brings us many joys and many holidays, enjoying the home atmosphere, but also the snow magic. However, winter can sometimes make it difficult, especially if it is cold and with a lot of snow. Harsh weather can present a problem in many spheres of life, and traffic is one of them. One of the biggest issues for the aviation industry is airplane maintenance during wintertime.
In this period of the year, MRO companies had a bloom as there are numerous demands to store or preserve jets. Preventive maintenance and engine preheating are essential to reliability. Airplanes parked outside in cold weather need to be suitably secure and preflight. Whether it’s airplanes from one of the airlines ’fleets or smaller private jets, some winter maintenance tips are still universal. That is especially true for large airlines that had to land a large number of aircraft due to the current pandemic situation.
Safety isn't expensive, it's priceless
Changing your engine’s oil eliminates damaging acids, contaminants, and any water that is in the mix. Changing oil is a regular maintenance procedure because it gets contaminated after 25 to 50 hours in an aircraft engine. The oil is doing its job by collecting these contaminants, but it is of great importance to go into the winter with a clean slate. The longer the oil is exposed to the atmosphere, the more water it absorbs, increasing the risk of forming acids. Inserting in new oil and a new filter can help reduce corrosion-causing moisture inside the engine.
Lubricate the aircraft with the proper grease or lubricant before winter. That is the best protection against excessive wear and corrosion for every mechanism on the airplane. When an aircraft is parked for an extended period, there is a great chance of deterioration of its components and structure if preservation procedures are not followed. Apply lubricants according to the instructions. One of the ways to decrease the risk is to add additional protection.
Hydraulic and aircraft braking systems require to be drained and the old fluid excreted from the system before winter temperatures. Suitable adjustment, inspection, and maintenance of the brakes is crucial for effective operation.
Nothing burns like the cold
Your engine needs preheat. Most manufacturers’ maintenance manuals have sufficient information so an owner or mechanic can properly preserve an aircraft. Most experts recommend preheating anytime that temperatures drop near or below freezing. Oil must flow to all parts to ensure proper lubrication. In cold circumstances an engine may not obtain the proper flow of oil, producing extreme wear in a short time.
The preheating process differs because of various factors, including aircraft type, temperature, the level of self-sufficiency required. It’s necessary to estimate what you are trying to achieve and what safety precautions are necessary.
Secure your heating and ventilation systems are in high-grade condition. Inspect it thoroughly to assure that carbon monoxide cannot infiltrate your breathing air in flight. If you detect carbon monoxide in your aircraft, do not continue to operate it in this condition. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from cracked exhaust units and unserviceable heat exchange assemblies can be very dangerous.
Here you can read more about the importance of regular aircraft maintenance.