MnDOT Aeronautics Bulletin
An option for safety
It is a good idea to have your favorite mechanic remove your aircraft wheel pants for winter flight operations. By doing so, you will greatly reduce the chances of snow and ice buildup packing into the wheels and brakes, and freezing solid when you climb to altitude. Also, when you remove the wheel pants, you will be able to more clearly see the condition of the wheel, brake pads, and most of the tire.
Have your qualified mechanic add an entry to your equipment revision list, and weight and balance sheet. It should say something similar to the following: 'CG and aircraft empty weight with wheel pants on is______________: with wheel pants removed, is_________________."
With the tires in plain sight you will be able to easily check the tread depth and tire condition prior to takeoff and after landing. Bear in mind that when you land on a runway that is wet, there is always a possibility that some amount of hydroplaning can occur.
Enjoy winter flying by properly preparing yourself and your aircraft for the unusual conditions winter weather presents!