Cold weather precautions

Hi fellow COPA members! This is my first post so please forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask these questions. I am a Texan but now find myself in Chicago renting an unheated hanger (in Chicago) for my SR22. What are my best options to ensure that I don’t inadvertently damage my plane/engine/avionics/components…garage heater in hangar? Does Cirrus make any pre-heat equipment ? Anybody up here in the Frozen North have suggestions for safe, smart cold weather precautions? Thanks in advance for your help!


I’m also in Chicago but I’ve had a heated hangar here for years. And this year most of the time it’s been pretty reasonable temperature wise.

If you have electricity in your hangar consider either the Tannis or Reif engine heating systems. Both work well, can be turned on remotely and will ensure your engine is warm for a safe start.

I am in Ottawa Canada in an unheated hangar for years. Second Jerrold’s Tannis or Reiff suggestion. I would add an insulated engine cover and a heater for the cabin. I have Reiff Turbo XP, run it for 4+ hours prior to engine start when below freezing OAT, always with the engine cover. You may find LCDs to be slow under -15C or not working at all under -20C. That’s what the cabin heater is for.

A set of shovels and some non-corrosive ice-melter permitted for airport environments - to clean whatever the airport snow removal crew left behind.

If the hangar roof has snow accumulation and is slanted be extremely cautions when pulling the plane out (or just standing under the roof lip or leaving a car there - DAMHIK).

When the sun is out, water might drip from the roof even if it’s below freezing. If you pull the plane out through the shower, it will ruin your departure schedule as the water will freeze to wings.

But, we get no friggin’ hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes and I get to ski every weekend 5 months in a row!


This is how you fix that problem. [:P]


Phillip, Attached is a picture of the pre heater/cooler I built. I have used this for 10 years on both Cirrus I have owned. In the winter I switch it on remotely using a switchbox from a text message. In summer I use only the blower without heat to cool down the engine compartment. The unit is mounted on a homemade stand that wheels to the side of the hangar and lowers enough for the wing to pass over. Works very well.

Another idea on keeping the cabin (and therefore LCDs) warm are heated pads. I have two of these and they fit the foot wells perfectly. I prefer them because it feels like they are a lower fire risk.