With winter and cold temperatures approaching, now is the time to remind pilots to be extra cautious during preflight checks. Hence, General Aviation News has recently reprinted an article from Darcy Kaapke of CourtesyAircraft.com to remind pilots of the hazards of not being fully prepared for take-off in winter time or in cold temperatures. These hazards include condensation in the fuel tanks, thickening of the aircraft engine’s oil, poor battery efficiency, frost on the spark plugs and (of course) snow and ice on the wings.
One of the most important tips Darcy reminds pilots is to pre-heat the engine and the cockpit as cold starts are not recommended for aircraft in super cold temperatures. Hence, an external pre-heater or power source is an option for pre-heating the aircraft but even then, pilots should always ensure that they give their aircraft adequate time to warm up before taking off.
Darcy’s article is well worth reading and will help to ensure that you and your passengers have a safe season of flying this winter.