By AOPA ePublishing staff
Whether you rent or own the airplane you fly, you want to be sure it’s in top condition when you climb aboard on that first glorious spring day. That’s why it’s a good idea to use these last weeks of winter to brush up on maintenance issues and take care of any needed repairs.
Start with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s “Spring Preflight” Safety Hot Spot, a collection of resources, articles, and tools to help you get your aircraft ready to fly after its long winter nap.
If you fly an older bird, as most of us do, you may already know it can be hard to tell the difference between an airplane’s individual quirks and serious age-related issues. The Air Safety Foundation’s online interactive course Aging Aircraft is an entertaining way to learn the difference between an aircraft’s chronological age and its “true” age, and mitigate the risks of flying an airplane that may have been made before you were. To delve deeper into corrosion-related issues, check out the “Aircraft Corrosion” subject report from the AOPA Pilot Information Center.
While you’re at it, review your airplane’s most important systems with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Engine and Propeller online course. Not only will you learn to spot maintenance issues, you’ll learn how to minimize expensive wear and tear on these critical components.
As you prepare your airplane for spring, you might want to get involved and save money by doing some of the needed maintenance yourself. Just be sure you follow the FAA’s requirements. Review the rules and get tips with AOPA’s Guide to Preventive Maintenance then test your knowledge of what you can and can’t do with the Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Quiz on preventive maintenance.
Taking care of maintenance issues may not be the most fun part of flying, but handling it now, while the weather is still gloomy, means you’ll be ready to go when spring’s window of opportunity opens.
February 21, 2008