Preparing Your Aircraft for Winterby Sean Barr
Winter is coming. Now is a good time to make sure your airplane is ready for the cold. At Sweet Aviation, your safety and satisfaction are our top priority, and we’ll give you everything you need to make sure your winter season flying is just as enjoyable as always — from helpful tips on winterizing your aircraft to routine or seasonal checks, maintenance, and detailing.
Below you’ll find information on preparing your aircraft for the colder months. If you have questions, require assistance with any of these tasks, or need your aircraft serviced or upgraded, our factory-trained experts are here for you.
- If you’re using a straight weight oil, get an oil change before late October. If you’ll fly less often this winter, consider adding CamGuard to ward off corrosion and inhibit engine deposits.
- Ground check your TKS panels to make sure they’re all wetting out completely, allowing up to 15 minutes or more if this hasn’t been done in a while. This is something you may be more comfortable having a professional do.
- It’s also a good idea to ops check your engine heater. With your engine cold, plug it in for an hour and either use your engine gauges to make sure your oil and each of your cylinders are well above ambient temperature, or remove your cowl and physically check to make sure they’re warm. If you are not comfortable doing it, we’ll be happy to test it for you.
- If cold seats are not your thing, Cirrus sells an avionics heater add-on for your Tanis system that raises cabin temperature by as much as 30 degrees and preheats your sensitive avionics equipment. The kit is between $850 and $1,000 installed and well worth the investment for the improvement to both your safety and your comfort. Cirrus typically has to back-order them, so if you’re interested, don’t wait until it’s already winter to order.
- Don’t forget – we love detailing! Keep your aircraft looking like new with the special treatment of our extraordinary detailers. This is something we can do while it’s here for service or we can make a separate appointment for you.
Take care of these simple checks and changes, and you’ll be ready for the ice, snow, and freezing temperatures — or at least your aircraft will be!
If you’re not comfortable doing the steps above or just don’t have the time, call us at (260) 267-5505 to discuss your Cirrus needs and get your maintenance scheduled.
Director of Maintenance & Certified Aircraft Mechanic
Sean is originally from the Detroit, Michigan, area. After graduating with honors from the US Air Force Academy with a BS in political science and a German language minor, he went on to serve 11 years on active duty as an Air Force special operations pilot. During that time, he logged over 2,100 hours of flight time, including over 1,000 hours of combat time over Iraq and Afghanistan. He flew C-130, AC-130, and PC-12 aircraft and earned a Bronze Star and 11 Air Medals. He later earned an MA in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and spent two years pastoring a small church in Lynchburg, Virginia, while attending A&P school. After graduating first in his class from Liberty University’s aviation maintenance technician program, he earned A&P inspector authorization through self-study. Sean has four daughters, and in addition to his flight and theological interests, he also enjoys traveling, camping, hunting, and time with his family.