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6 Of The Best Winter Flying Tips

Winter is here, and it's time to start pre-flighting with gloves on! Here are some tips to stay safe every time you fly this winter.

1) Plan how your want to preheat your engine.

According to maintenance expert Mike Busch, starting a cold aircraft engine without preheating can cause as much piston wear as 500 hours of normal operation.

Click here to learn about 3 of the most popular preheat methods.

Iditarod.com

2) Call the airport to check runway conditions.

Winter hazards aren't limited to non-towered airports. While plows are clearing the runways, they can leave ice or slush on the surface. That means you're dealing with a contaminated surface when you land.

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3) Consider how the weather has changed between when reports were filed and your arrival time.

Sun can melt snow into slush, which can quickly pull you off the runway centerline. And slush will freeze into ice as the temperature drops, making directional control difficult, as well as reducing your braking action.

Wirelizard

4) Know your regional patterns.

Whether it's lake effect snow in the Eastern Great Lakes, or dense valley fog on the West Coast, pay attention to the patterns your local area experiences. If you're flying a cross country, take a look at the weather trends for your destination several days ahead of time.

Mike Cetinich

5) Do you know how advection fog forms?

It's common in winter months - advection fog forms when moist air moves over an already cold surface. The air cools quickly at the surface, and the temperature reaches its dew point. As the air becomes saturated, it condenses into a low-lying cloud layer.

Swayne Martin

6) According to the FAA, frost can reduce your wing's max lift by up to 30%.

Because frost disrupts airflow over your entire aircraft, it can increase drag by up to 40%. In the past 10 years, there have been over 30 general aviation accidents related to aircraft taking off with frost. Each one could have been prevented by removing frost from the airplane.

What other winter flying tips do you have? Tell us in the comments below.

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