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No Flying During The Cold Weather? How To Safely Store Your Plane During The Winter

If you're not going to be flying your plane during the winter, you won't want to leave it sitting out in the elements. You'll want to make sure that it's properly winterized. Those frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on your small plane, especially if it hasn't been given adequate protection. The last thing you want is to start the new flying season with a list of aviation repairs that need to be performed before you can take off on your first flight. To help you avoid that, here are four important steps you should follow before you put your plane to bed for the winter.

Start with Clean Oil

If you're going to be storing your plane all winter, you want to start with clean oil. That might seem unnecessary, but it isn't. Leaving dirty oil to sit throughout the winter will leave your engine at risk for some serious damage. First, the oil probably contains dirt and other contaminants that can eat away at the engine all winter long. Second, because the oil is dirty, it won't be able to protect your engine against moisture damage. Protect your investment by changing the oil before you put your plane into storage for the winter.

Fill Up the Fuel Tanks

If you haven't filled your fuel tanks prior to storage, you'll need to take care of that as soon as possible. You might not realize this, but leaving your fuel tanks empty during winter storage is a good way to ruin your fuel system. First, a full fuel tank will prevent moisture build-up. Second, a full fuel tank will prevent the tank bladder and gaskets from drying out and cracking. Prevent fuel system failure by topping off the fuel tanks before you put your plane in storage.

Take the Battery Home with You

If you're not going to be using your plane all winter long, it's a good idea to take the battery home with you. Bringing your battery home and keeping it out of the bitter cold will help prevent damage. It will also help the battery maintain its charge.

Avoid Winter Ground Runs

If you're worried about your plane being in storage all winter long, you may be tempted to head out and turn the engine over a couple of times a month. That's actually one of the worst things you can do to your plane. Ground runs can shorten the life of your engine by causing uneven heating. Eliminate the danger of costly engine damage by avoiding ground runs while your plane is in winter storage.