QWe’re just pulling an
aircraft out of winter
storage as it didn’t fly
this past season. What
are the basics for getting
a stored airplane ready
to take to this fresh
spring air again? Why recommend completing an aircraft Annual Restoring a n aircraft Inspection in the spring instead of during a season from intermediate (over 30- with a minimal amount of flying, like winter? denise waters 45 days) or long-term (over QSpring is a great time for Annual Inspections for a number
90-180 days) storage to the of reasons. An aircraft flown less in winter, with no one in-
flight line requires a systematic approach. First, refer to all specting it daily, can ultimately demand attention that only
manufacturers’ instructions. Second, create/revise a checklist an Annual Inspection can address. A part’s condition and life
of what needs to be accomplished. It keeps focus, allowing expectancy sometimes follows a quicker tempo during inac-you not to overlook anything. It also saves time and money. tivity. If an aircraft is recovering from long-term storage, an
Review it with another mechanic. Four basic steps: 1. Visu- Annual addresses the work needed. Ever drive past an airfield
al Inspection, 2. Depreservation, 3. Re-Inspection & Mainte- in winter? It is sad to see an aircraft tied down outside, tires
nance and 4. Ops Check, will restore an aircraft to flight. frozen to the tarmac, with flight surfaces buried in snow. A
1. Visual Inspection provides an overview. Learn what few days later, with a temporary thaw, that airplane appears
you are dealing with. Notice anything happened during stor- ready for flight. But looks can be deceiving. Ice, snow and
age? Corrosion status? Visits from any furry or multi-legged wind damage aircraft. As the days become better for flying,
friends? Unblock inlets. Remove red-flagged plugs and des- the aircraft must be dependable and operate without surpris-iccant bags. Update checklist with visual findings. 2. Depre- es. Finally, it’s a lot more fun working on an airplane in the
serve following manufacturer instructions. Include de-pick- hangar than the usual household spring cleaning chores! ✈
ling the engine, exchanging out dehydrator plugs, changing ...................................................................................................
oil and more visual work. Inspect fuel tanks which may have Denise Waters (WAI #221) is an FAA-certified A&P mechanic
been drained. Was everything preserved correctly? 3. Open and pilot. She enjoys air racing as a passion.
up all areas to re-inspect with flashlight and mirror like an
annual inspection. Service as needed. Confirm paperwork.
Review all logbooks and AD’s to make sure everything is current. 4. Perform Ops Check to verify all systems, including
avionics. Upon satisfactory completion the aircraft should be
ready to spring into action.