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Spring is Coming! 3 Ways to Prep Your Plane

Date: March 27, 2024 Category: Blog Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Spring is in the air, and if you’re like many general aviation pilots, you’re itching to get back in the skies after a long, cold winter. But before you do, it’s important to prep your aircraft and ensure it’s in tip-top shape for another busy flying season. 

We have a few tips to get you started: 

#1: Spring Clean Your Airplane (and Propeller!) 

In the spirit of spring cleaning, now’s a great time to freshen up your aircraft inside and out. Start by washing the exterior of your airplane to remove any insects, dirt, or dust that may have accumulated during storage. We recommend cleaning your aircraft propeller using a mild solution of dish soap and water. (Just make sure to wash the blades in a downward direction to ensure soapy water doesn’t run into the propeller hub!) 

When it comes to the interior, remove any trash, vacuum thoroughly, and wipe down surfaces. This is a good time to check the logbooks and records — including your propeller owner’s manual and logbook. If your prop is approaching TBO, schedule your overhaul service at the Hartzell Service Center or one of our Recommended Service Facilities. This way, you can avoid prolonged downtime and make the most of the summer flying season! 

#2: Inspect Carefully

A pre-flight inspection is always recommended, but if your aircraft has been sitting for weeks or months, it’s even more important to carefully check for any surface damage or mechanical issues. Here are a few key signs to watch for:

  • Hangar rash, which can occur on the wings, cowling, propeller blades, etc.
  • Leaks in rubber hoses or around seals and gaskets. 
  • Nicks and gauges in your propeller blades
  • Missing or loose hardware
  • Signs of wildlife such as chewed wires and rodent droppings, feathers or fur in your cabin or cowling
  • Water or foreign matter in the fuel system
  • Worn-down or underinflated tires
Hartzell service technician inspects a composite aircraft propeller

Note: If you notice any damage to your aircraft propeller, don’t ignore it. Even a small crack or nick can worsen during flight and potentially lead to blade failure. 

#3: Consider Upgrades

Time away from your airplane may have you dreaming about ways to improve its performance and ramp appeal come springtime. The beauty of owning your own aircraft is that many customizations and modifications are within reach!

For example, you might consider new wing tips, a more powerful powerplant combination, STOL kit, or even advanced avionics. It all depends on your performance goals, typical flight missions, and the value you want to add to your aircraft.  

At Hartzell Propeller, we take pride in providing pilots access to quality propeller upgrades through our Top Prop STC performance propeller conversion program. We offer options for leading aircraft brands, including Beechcraft, Cessna, Piper, Mooney, Pilatus, Daher TBM, and many others. 

A Top Prop conversion allows owners to upgrade to our innovative new propeller designs featuring scimitar propeller blades, blended airfoils, and dependable carbon fiber composite propeller blades. Check out our Top Prop catalog to learn more. 

Spring into Flying Season

Whether you’re planning local flights or a cross-country adventure, you’ll be glad you took the time to prep your plane for the flying season ahead! 

Do you have any questions about proper care and maintenance for Hartzell propellers, or want to learn more about our propeller conversions? Reach out today. We’re always happy to answer your questions!

Hartzell Propeller