The most critical part of owning any plane is aircraft maintenance. No matter if you have a helicopter, or an entire fleet that you use for aircraft charter, aircraft maintenance is extremely important for the longevity of your aircraft as well as the safety of the passengers.
Like your car, your aircraft needs to be maintained regularly to ensure that all the components are working smoothly. Aircraft manufacturers provide a set of specifications to the buyers when they purchase an aircraft. Taking care of your aircraft helps you in keeping it running for a long time and keeps you safe in the air.
Similar to vehicles, there are different kinds of aircraft. Therefore, the individual manufacturer requirements might differ from one another. However, the basics are the same. Generally, an aircraft requires an annual inspection every year. Moreover, it is important to check everything all year long, especially before every flight.
Here are the key tips for aircraft maintenance:
Know Your Aircraft
One of the best things to know if something is not right about your aircraft is knowing all about it. You should be familiar with everything about your aircraft. Make a point to learn about it. Moreover, you must have gotten familiar with your aircraft if you fly it. You would know if something seems off about it. For example, if you are having a ride and feeling vibrations or smell fuel when you should not be, it’s time to call up a professional. Out of the ordinary is something you should take notice of immediately.
Regular Basic Checks
An aircraft comprises a variety of components. They need to be checked regularly instead of annually. This lets you keep your aircraft in good shape and prevent wear and tear. Take a look at your spark plugs, fittings, and hoses. Make sure that all of them are in good condition and do not require repair or replacement. If they do, do so right away.
Oil Changes Are Vital
Clean oil is necessary for the smooth and safe running of your engine. After every 25 hours of flying time, change your plane’s oil.
Cleaning and Debugging the Aircraft
Spring is the best time to get your aircraft deeply cleaned. You should take advantage of the warm weather. It could help you clean the outside of your plane and clear away any dirt, bugs, or oil.
If you like to do the basic things yourself, then you should know that while cleaning the propeller, use the mildest cleaning solution. Say dish soap and water. Also, wash the blades in a down position. This way, the water would not trickle back toward the hub.
For cleaning the glass surfaces, use aircraft-specific Plexiglas polish only. This would help you prevent the windows from getting scratches.
Clean and Organize the Interior
Once you have cleaned and polished your aircraft from the outside, it’s time to inspect the interior. Clear it out of any clutter. Take out the trash, clean the seats, disinfect everything as it has become important due to the global pandemic.
Use the appropriate seat cleaners according to their material. Restock batteries, flashlights, and any other thing you think requires replenishment. Vacuum the interiors and clean the panel windows from the inside. Make sure the aircraft smells fresh and clean.
Inspect Tires and Pressure
During winters and cold weather, the tire pressure can get low. Particularly, if you haven’t flown your aircraft for quite a while now and it has been parked in the same position for some time. Using a pressure gauge, check that the tires are inflated properly. It should be according to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook. Checking tire pressure is necessary to avoid any landing or take-off problems.
Look for Problem Areas
When you are cleaning the aircraft both from the interior and exterior. Try to look for issues like leaks, corrosion, or any mechanical issues. For instance, rubber holes develop leaks during cold temperatures. To find them, look for any signs of blue stains around the engine components. Keenly observe the aircraft propeller to find any obvious signs of damage like gauges, nicks, rust, or missing hardware.
Find anything? Address them right away.
Design a Maintenance Management Plan
Maintenance management plans are great to align tasks to your staff regarding aircraft maintenance. They ensure the safety and security of your plane. This way, you can track if the routine inspection has been done and who did it. These plans help ensure that maintenance is performed on time and everything is in working order.
Whether you charter your aircraft yourself or use Empireaviation.com, a reliable aircraft charter company, for it, make sure that you keenly maintain your aircraft yourself or outsource the task to a company to do it for you.