October 12, 2021
Your Winter Jet Maintenance Guide
Own a Private Jet? Ensure It’s Well Cared For All Year
Private jet travel is suitable for every season, but your company pilot and crew must take extra care when preparing for and flying during the winter months.
Added weather hazards, ice, and colder temps can complicate flight plans and affect schedules, but a well-prepared team means your business executives don’t needlessly worry about whether they’ll arrive in time for their meetings or if they’ll enjoy a pleasant flight.
Particularly smaller aircraft, like some business jets, must receive adequate preparations to ensure safety and a successful flight.
Your team should use these suggestions to ensure winter flights and jet maintenance go as smoothly as possible.
Know What Your Business Jet Needs During Winter
Your private jet’s manufacturer will provide guidance on winterization of the aircraft. Refer to the aircraft flight manual for specific information for your make and model. If your used private jet didn’t come with a printed manual, you can request one from the manufacturer.
Some tasks you may need to perform to prepare for colder weather include changing the engine oil to multigrade or other manufacturer-suggested cold-temperature oil, and installing a winterization kit to keep engine cylinders warm. Some aircraft require isopropyl alcohol in the fuel during flights in low temperatures.
Check-ups that follow a seasonal schedule can help ensure you’re checking every system thoroughly at least once a year. Winter is an ideal time to renew the carbon monoxide detector aboard the aircraft and check the system for any damage. Your team should also be checking that the plane’s battery is fully charged and that the alternator is working correctly.
Protect Your Business Jet Crew and Passengers
Just as you’d pack an emergency kit in your car before driving in inclement or cold weather, your jet should be equipped with supplies for everyone onboard at any given time.
Each person should bring aboard a coat suitable for cold weather, and the luggage area should include heavy blankets and winter survival kits, including flashlights, bottled water, and nonperishable emergency rations.
It also is good advice to request that passengers bring aboard a sturdy pair of winter boots when flying, just in case. These can, of course, remain in their luggage in a cabin cargo area, for easy access.
Tasks to Complete Before Flying in a Private Jet in Winter
Trained crews know that there is much to be done when preparing for a flight any time during the year. However, during the winter in particular, you’ll want to ensure a thorough check of several aircraft systems.
Test the cabin heater, heated pitot, and demister to ensure they’re working properly. Because standing water can freeze and cause blockages, you will need to check that all drain holes are clear of dirt and debris so water can flow smoothly and won’t have time to freeze.
Check that the plane’s deicing system is operational, and that the inflatable boots inflate properly on the tailplane. You’ll also want to check the carb heat and alternate air inlet just before takeoff.
Mud and salty slush can build up in wheel pants and elevator hinges. Clean the airframe of any build-up before takeoff. Check that it is working properly, along with the propeller and windscreen systems.
After refueling, let the fuel settle in the tanks before checking for any residual water in the system before take-off. Then, check the pitot head covers, static vent plugs, tie-downs, and control surface locks are fully operable.
Carefully Plan Flights to Avoid the Worst Weather
Your crew should be tracking the weather forecast to preemptively prepare for icing and other winter challenges ahead of time. Proactivity is key to ensure there is plenty of lead time to change meeting plans; your executives may need to plan for flexibility.
For all flights, but particularly in the winter, your route plan must be accurate. Plan an alternative in case of ice, snow, or sleet.
Shop for Used Private Jets for Sale on AircraftExchange, and Get Aircraft
Maintenance Help from Industry Leaders
Business travelers rejoice when they toss aside their jet cards and board an aircraft that their company owns. Owning a private jet means flexible flight schedules, privacy, confidentiality, and a more relaxing trip.
But it also comes with lots of responsibility you should ensure your company is ready to take on. Get professional advice about preowned jet maintenance when you talk to reputable private aviation industry experts affiliated with the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA).
Not only can AircraftExchange, a jet listing website run by IADA, help you locate a used private jet for sale, but it can also get you in touch with reputable service providers.