Spring has finally arrived, and warmer temperatures are beckoning pilots everywhere to take to the skies. But if your airplane has been sitting unused throughout the winter, it will take a little extra time and attention to ensure you’re ready for that first spring flight.
In addition to spring cleaning your aircraft, don’t forget to add these easily overlooked to-dos to your list:
When it comes to your airplane, surprises are generally not a good thing. That’s why it’s so important to inspect your aircraft for unexpected damage regularly — not just on an annual basis. Leaks, corrosion, cracked seals, and other mechanical issues are all cause for concern, but further damage may be prevented if these problems are addressed early.
Be sure to perform a spring inspection of your plane inside and out, checking all components for hidden issues. When inspecting the aircraft propeller, check for nicks, dings, and cracks as you normally would before any pre-flight. Especially if your airplane was stored outdoors, look carefully for signs of corrosion and leaks around the seals. Prolonged exposure to snow and cold weather can exacerbate such issues.
Another tip for the spring season is to inspect for any evidence of nests made by mice, birds, squirrels, insects, or other wildlife. Small critters love to take up residence in cozy airplanes, where they can wreak havoc on your airplane’s engine, upholstery, avionics, and other electronics.
When was the last time you looked at your airplane’s maintenance logs and repair records? Make sure routine maintenance tasks are up-to-date, such as oil and filter changes. Take a peek at your airplane propeller owner’s manual and logbook, too. If your prop is approaching TBO, it may be a good idea to schedule overhaul services now to avoid downtime during the thick of the summer flying season. Remember, propeller overhauls are important for the overall safety, reliability, and performance of your aircraft!
Spring is all about new beginnings. If it’s been a few months since your last flight, now is the time to knock off the rust and fine-tune your flying skills. You could schedule a quick lesson at your local flying school or refresh yourself at home with an online course or webinar. With spring’s arrival, strong wind conditions are a serious consideration. Use this opportunity to build your proficiency in crosswind planning and techniques. You’ll be glad you did!
If you’re up for a challenge, consider pursuing advanced training or a new certificate, rating, or endorsement this spring. Remember, great pilots are always learning. Expanding your knowledge and skillset isn’t just practical; it’s a fun way to improve your overall proficiency and experience even more of the aviation world.
Do you have any questions about proper care and maintenance for Hartzell propellers? Contact us today. We’re always happy to answer your questions.