January 1, 2002
By Julie Summers Walker
"It's getting really cold in my area now; is there a certain kind of oil that I should use in the wintertime?"
"What is the proper way to heat the engine on my airplane? The temperature outside is positively frigid here now."
"What should I use to get the ice off of my airplane's wings? We've had icing conditions for more than a month here."
These are typical questions heard by the aviation technical specialists in AOPA's aviation services department at this time of year. When the weather turns cold in most of these United States, flying takes on a whole different set of concerns for pilots.
"Flying in the winter offers new challenges but great rewards," says aviation technical specialist Brent Hart, who learned to fly in Minneapolis. "You have the best performance from your aircraft, the air you fly in is much smoother, the skies are crisp and blue and offer great visibility, and an added bonus is the thrill of landing on ice!"
However, says Hart, winter flying takes more preparation. "You must think ahead," he says. Here are a few tips from this veteran winter flier, but much more information can be found on AOPA's Web site (see " AOPA Web Resources").
As an AOPA member, you have access to the best resource anywhere for information and answers for pilots. AOPA provides information for its members through a vast array of communications technologies. You can reach experts in all fields of aviation via AOPA Online ( www.aopa.org/members/), the AOPA Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA), and e-mail ( [email protected]). Aviation technical specialists respond promptly to member requests while AOPA Online provides members with access to information and resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free AOPA Pilot Information Center gives you direct access to specialists in every area of aviation. The center is available to members from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
AOPA Aviation Services' subject report on winter flying includes articles from AOPA Pilot and FAA advisories and circulars. www.aopa.org/members/files/topics/winterfly.html
The FAA's General Aviation Accident Prevention Program guide Tips on Winter Flying. www.aopa.org/members/files/topics/winter-tips.html
ASF Safety Advisor on Aircraft Icing, with flying tactics for flying in icing conditions. www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa11.html
AOPA's Online Weather services with downloadable graphics. www.aopa.org/members/w
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.
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