AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Safety-Conscious Winter Aviation Operations

Given the necessity of air transport for both private and commercial interests, it is incumbent on aircraft manufacturers to create vessels with the capacity to operate in a wide range of environments. Although winter conditions can vary drastically depending on the locale's latitude and geographic landscape, most can be characterized by snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. These obstacles may impede safe operations if the necessary precautions are not taken ahead of time. In addition to routine maintenance, further intervention is often suggested in the context of winter operations. In this blog, we will explore some practical guidelines for getting an aircraft winter-ready.

In addition to the regularly prescribed oil-changing regimen, there are further considerations regarding this parameter in a cold season. The primary factor to consider when choosing between the following interventions is whether or not one plans to frequently fly during the winter. In general, long-term storage is considered over 60 days without operation. If regular use is planned, the operator may consider switching to multi-grade oil instead of the standard weight. Alternatively, choosing a preservative oil will help prevent rust and corrosion if the aircraft is to be kept in storage. In either case, it is important to allow the new oil to be distributed amongst the aircraft.

Another variable to be held in regard is exterior cleanliness and protection. Winter operation increases the propensity to attract dirt, insects, snow, and ice to the exterior surfaces. As such, it is critical to perform regular cleaning and waxing to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice, as these add weight and drag. In addition, window cleaner and polish may also be applied to the cockpit and passenger windows to enhance visibility.

Adequate lubrication should be followed at all times, but special attention should be given in the event of cold weather, as extremely low temperatures can cause susceptible components to stiffen. Once this happens, mechanical strain can severely affect a part's safety and operational lifespan. As a safeguard, sufficient lubrication should be applied in accordance with the applicable operating manual.

Batteries are also at risk in cold weather, necessitating regular inspection and replacement as necessary. The electrochemical reactions taking place in lithium-ion batteries require satisfactory heat to occur. Although most thermal management systems help to mitigate this issue, it is still necessary to test battery performance in critical elements.

In addition to the general maintenance that should be performed before cold-weather operations, additional preparedness should also be of chief concern. Everything from double-checking preflight checklist items to considering abnormal variables like tire pressure and ice buildup will drastically increase flight safety. Although such interventions will take much longer than warm-weather operations, the extra diligence will pay off in the form of enhanced comfort and peace of mind for both aircrew and passengers.

When routine inspection demands replacement products, trust Automatize Buying as your reliable distributor of high-quality aircraft components. With our extensive inventory of over 2 billion listings and unwavering commitment to excellence, we provide a streamlined procurement experience backed by customer support at every stage of the fulfillment process. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to understanding your unique needs and will always deliver a tailored solution that exceeds your expectations. Whether you require parts for maintenance, repairs, or upgrades, we have you covered. Peruse our online category at your leisure, keeping in mind that you may initiate the purchasing process at any time using our Instant RFQ service.


December 2, 2022

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