Now we have all heard the “Do your annual in fall so your aircraft is ready for spring” or “Do your annual in spring so it doesn’t sit through the cold winter with fresh oil.” Truth be known it is purely at the discretion of the owner. We at A.M.S. believe that both have advantages, and in this post we will talk about both of them.
For the owners that prefer fall for their annuals, the major advantage is time. Since the flying season is winding down it allows the owner to accomplish their annual and winter prep their aircraft. Fall enables time for additional work that is required due to inspection findings, modifications, or upgrades that the owner wold like to accomplish. This allows the owner to basically start up and go in spring.
For owners that prefer the spring annual, the major advantage is having a fresh inspection ensuring items like the battery is fully charged, tires and struts are topped up. This allows the owner to encounter fewer problems when beginning the season. A spring annual also ensures items that are changed like tires are subjected to one less winter.
Regardless of when you choose to have your annual accomplished the best advice we can offer is to plan having all calendar items timed to your inspection. Transponder, altimeter, and pitot/ static checks when coupled with your annual, allow for a season of flying with minimal disruptions.