If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to prep your aircraft and your hangar for the cold winter months. In New Jersey, we know that in the coming months we’ll probably experience freezing or below-freezing temperatures, so ensuring your aircraft and your hangar are prepped is critical. Preparing for winter is way more involved than preparing for summer, so our team at Monmouth Jet Center has put together this helpful list to help you get winter-ready.
Oil and De-icer For Your Aircraft
You should be using lower viscosity oil in your engine during the winter months because it circulates better, especially when the engine is cold. Lower viscosity oil is beneficial for pressure and circulation, and if you’re unsure about which oil to use in your aircraft’s engine, ask the maintenance crew who services your aircraft.
De-icer fluid is another winter essential. It removes frozen contaminants like snow and ice from the exterior of your aircraft, which can interfere with a safe take-off if not removed on a regular basis. De-icer is usually applied using a large spray nozzle at a very high pressure, operated by a line service technician.
Preheat Your Aircraft Engine
Have you ever tried to start your car on a freezing winter morning, and found that the engine struggled to start? Aircraft engines can have difficulty starting in the winter, just like car engines. A temperature-controlled hangar can help keep the engine warm when your aircraft isn’t in use, and many aircraft have an electric plug you can use to heat the engine oil. If you know you’ll be using your aircraft, call ahead and have the hangar crew preheat your engine for an easy start.
Insulating & Heating Your Hangar
Your aircraft is probably in its hangar most of the time, so it’s essential to keep the hangar at an above-freezing temperature. But heating a big space like a hangar can be expensive, especially when the heat is running constantly. Instead of heating the entire space you can invest in things like under-floor heating and insulation to keep the temperature up.
Winter Accessories for Your Aircraft
- Wing covers: These will help protect the aircraft’s wings and prevent ice build-up when your aircraft isn’t in use or in a hangar.
- A full aircraft cover: If you want to protect your entire aircraft, you can keep it covered while it’s in its hangar. This helps protect the aircraft and prevents the engine from getting too cold.
- A carbon monoxide detector: It is required to install a carbon monoxide detector both in your aircraft and inside your hangar, especially if you’re using any type of heating method. Exposure to carbon monoxide can become deadly in a matter of minutes, so protect yourself.
For more information about prepping your aircraft and your hangar for winter, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at Monmouth Jet Center today or visit our website at: https://monmouthjetcenter.com/