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7 Ways To Reduce Wear And Tear On Your Aircraft

This story was made in partnership with AOPA Pilot Protection Services. Make sure your certificates are protected before your next flight. Learn more and get started here.

Your aircraft will thank you!

1) Don't ride the brakes.

It's a habit that many of us find ourselves doing from time to time. You wouldn't hold the brakes in your car while trying to accelerate, would you?


2) Eliminate side loading.

Practice makes perfect. Make sure you are utilizing the wing-low method to your advantage when coming in on final for a crosswind landing. Making precise rudder and aileron applications can help assure a smooth landing.


3) Lean the engine.

Especially during ground operations at low RPM settings, having a full rich mixture setting can cause spark plug fouling.


4) Hangar the aircraft.

This is pretty obvious, but if there's a storm coming, protect your plane from hazards like blowing debris and hail.


5) Watch your airspeed.

Make sure you are flying your aircraft at the appropriate speed for the situation. If you are not in smooth air, make sure you're below Vno. If you encounter turbulence, you might want to slow to design maneuvering speed (Va).


6) Avoid over cranking.

We've all had those days where the engine refuses to start. If it's being stubborn, make sure to give the starter and battery a break for a few minutes to cool, before cranking it again.


7) Apply power smoothly.

Jamming the throttle forward can cause stress on your engine (you don't jam your car's accelerator to the floor every time, do you?). If you're applying takeoff power, clearing your engine during extended flight-idle, or any other time you're throttling-up, remember to apply power smoothly.


How else can you reduce wear and tear? Tell us in the comments below.

Protect your certificate with AOPA Pilot Protection Services. Learn more and get started here.

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