Winter

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Globetrotter

Pilot Magazine | May 13, 2015

Bill Harrelson’s weight-class world record flight over both the north and south poles almost ended before it began.

National Bushwheel Awareness Week: Quirky gathering in the Idaho wilderness

Pilot Magazine | Apr 06, 2015

Turbulent plumes of swirling mountain air jostle our pair of Carbon Cubs as we approach Johnson Creek Airport (3U2) for the start of National Bushwheel Awareness Week, a quirky annual gathering that attracts more than 100 backcountry airplanes and the STOL fanatics who fly them.

Weather Watch

Pilot Magazine | Apr 06, 2015

In convective seasons of yore, pilots were advised to check three big weather products for the best preflight advice concerning the location and intensity of any anticipated thunderstorms.

Wyoming transformations

Pilot Magazine | Mar 11, 2015

Afton, Wyoming—Before their transformations can begin, the worn, hard-flown Cessna 152s selected for the AOPA “You Can Fly” program must get to this mountain valley.

Pilot Getaways: Mineral Canyon, Utah

Article | Mar 09, 2015

The most profound reason to visit Mineral Canyon is simply to experience the natural wonder of the picturesque, river-worn canyons. The canyons are a spectacle to behold from the air.

ATC angels

Pilot Magazine | Mar 09, 2015

Let’s face it, pilots sometimes find themselves in real “aw, shucks” situations. Despite superior skill, judgment, ingenuity, good looks, or enthusiasm, things just aren’t working out.

Stuck on top, no gyro in IMC: Top ATC assists

Article | Mar 04, 2015

With solid instrument meteorological conditions extending hundreds of miles in every direction, a VFR-only pilot was stuck on top. The controller who helped him was among those honored March 4 with the Archie League Medal of Safety Award.

Alton Bay draws crowd

Article | Mar 04, 2015

An ice runway that has become a New England destination tradition continues: 2,600 feet of Alton Bay have been scraped clean by dedicated volunteers.

IFR Fix: Cold and calculated

IFR Fix | Mar 02, 2015

The caustic combination of crosswind and an ice-crusted runway sent the aircraft skidding into a snow bank built up by plowing along the runway edge.

Aircraft Maintenance: Warm panel, cool wallet

Aircraft Maintenance | Feb 24, 2015

Pilots focus on preheating the engine during cold weather, but what about the cockpit? More than 30 percent of an aircraft's value is often tied up in the panel.

IFR Fix: Alternate realities

IFR Fix | Feb 18, 2015

For a pilot who flies IFR infrequently, should weather requiring an alternate raise a caution flag about the go/no-go decision?

Aircraft maintenance: Removing snow and ice

Aircraft Maintenance | Feb 12, 2015

For pilots in parts of the country where they are measuring the snowfall in feet, here are some tips to keep in mind when clearing the path to your aircraft. For starters, snow blowers and aircraft are a bad combination.

Pilot Getaways: Shenandoah Mountain retreat

Article | Feb 10, 2015

In Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, you'll find a fly-in community with an unusual combination of skiing, snowboarding, and golf just a few steps from the tiedown area. Family-friendly Bryce Resort is known for its all-season fun for everyone, according to Pilot Getaways.

Fly like a fighter: Dress for egress

Fly like a fighter | Feb 09, 2015

Many pilots won't fly over large bodies of frigid water necessitating a wet suit, but the same principle for preparedness—dress for egress—applies wherever you fly. Retired Air Force pilot Larry Brown shares his lessons learned from flying an F-15 over the North Sea in a "poopy suit."

New England digs out

Article | Jan 28, 2015

The blizzard of Jan. 26 and 27 impacted airports around New England, and prompted some creativity as cleanup began.

Question of the Month

Article | Jan 18, 2015

Michael Vanderweide noted on AOPA’s Flying Club Facebook Page that his club, based in Virginia, has a Stratus 2 and iPad and hangar temperatures can exceed the 30 degree minimum and the 100 degree maximum that this equipment is supposed to be stored in, and he’s looking for suggestions to keep these two things warm during the winter and cool during the summer in a hangar. His question generated several responses. See what other flying clubs suggested.

P&E: Weather Watch

Pilot Magazine | Dec 09, 2014

Like it or not, winter’s here. But that doesn’t mean we have to helplessly await the coming onslaught of rotten winter flying weather.

Training Tip: The power of preheat

Article | Dec 01, 2014

It’s such a frigid morning that for the first time this season the threshold has been reached for applying cold weather aircraft operations.

M2entoring

Pilot Magazine | Nov 11, 2014

A winter storm had left more than a foot of powdery snow on the airport, which—while largely cleared off the taxiways and runways—made conditions for a first flight more unusual than normal.

P&E/Proficiency: Alaskan adventure

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

Dwayne King, the founder of the Christian nonprofit Kingdom Air Corps who has decades of experience flying in northern Alaska and eastern Russia, specializes in training missionary pilots how to fly safely in remote areas over unforgiving terrain.

Cold in the cockpit

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

Then came the giant bang! followed immediately by turbulent, rushing, and very cold air into the cockpit as the passenger-side door popped open.

Safe Flight offers icing conditions detector

Article | Oct 20, 2014

Safe Flight has developed an icing detector that senses icing conditions before ice develops, allowing pilots to escape.

Safety

Article | Oct 15, 2014

Information on avoiding dangerous icing encounters.

What’s in your hangar?

Pilot Magazine | Oct 03, 2014

For more than 25 years, the FAA has taken the position that hangars at federally funded airports should be reserved for aeronautical use.

Companies offer upgrades on remote electrical boxes

Article | Sep 26, 2014

Remote electrical outlet makers SwitchBox and Regal have introduced new models in time for winter's chill.

Weather Watch: Low pressure lowdown

Pilot Magazine | Sep 05, 2014

Pilots sometimes ask me what I think is the most important weather concept to understand. Wow, that’s a tough one.

Topics Weather, Winter

P&E Weather Watch: ‘Back door’ cold fronts

Pilot Magazine | Aug 08, 2014

When we think of cold fronts we immediately conjure up a number of facts relevant to our flight planning—that they can be angry, fast-moving (say, 50-plus mph across the ground), and violent, packed with severe thunderstorms and the worst turbulence.

Big city seaplanes

Article | Jul 15, 2014

A seaplane base on the East River turns an hours-long drive from Manhattan to the Hamptons into a brief flight.

‘I was getting a little nervous up here’

Article | Mar 27, 2014

The low-time pilot was trapped above the clouds, with bad weather for hundreds of miles. He had no autopilot, no GPS, and was not talking to ATC. Fortunately, an air traffic controller spotted him and took action.

Aircraft maintenance: Cold weather checkup

Aircraft Maintenance | Mar 24, 2014

Even late-winter presents a number of unique challenges to the aircraft’s systems, and it pays to take the time to do what you can to protect your aircraft (and yourself) while we’re still in winter’s grip.

An icy long weekend

Pilot Magazine | Mar 10, 2014

We all know the hassles associated with winter-weather flying.

Topics Winter, Weather

Aircraft maintenance: Proper engine preheating

Aircraft Maintenance | Mar 10, 2014

Preheating is about far more than just oil temperature. Proper preheating involves heating the entire engine, so that all critical engine parts can be brought into the ‘safe’ temperature range.

Aircraft maintenance: Myths, realities of engine preheating

Aircraft Maintenance | Feb 27, 2014

The engine heater and a small cabin heater have been keeping the aircraft warm and ready to go for almost two weeks. Heresy, you say? Leaving a preheater on for this long will corrode the engine, you say? Not necessarily.

IFR Fix: 'Missed the gorilla'

IFR Fix | Jan 28, 2014

The question isn’t whether turbulence will distract you. The question is how long it will divert your attention, and what the consequences will be.

Alton Bay ice airport opens for 2014 season

Article | Jan 23, 2014

The Alton Bay ice airport, a popular winter destination for pilots in the Northeast, opened Jan. 19 for the 2014 season.

Weather Watch: Wind wise

Pilot Magazine | Jan 22, 2014

Well, we’re coming out of the depths of winter, and staring March in the face. For pilots—and, well, just about everybody else—thoughts now turn to the strong winds so characteristic of the colder months, and especially the transition from winter to spring. What do we need to know to be wind wise about this time of year?

Radar apps for winter weather

Apps of the week | Jan 06, 2014

Track winter weather with these apps.

Mission to 'Mars'

Pilot Magazine | Dec 19, 2013

Loaded near maximum weight, a flight of two Quest Kodiaks cruised in the Arctic summer sky over vast swaths of barren tundra and sea ice fraught with history.

IFR Fix: The sig in sigmet

IFR Fix | Dec 13, 2013

Two CFIIs plunge into icing conditions after failing to recognize the significance of a sigmet for icing.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Unpredicted unadvised unaware

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2013

The loss of a TBM 700 turboprop over New Jersey two years ago surprised many pilots. The Pratt & Whitney-powered single-engine turboprop is certificated for flight into known icing (FIKI).

Wx Watch: Eyes in the sky

Pilot Magazine | Nov 20, 2013

It’s a hackneyed phrase, but true: A picture’s worth a thousand words.

WX Watch: Look out below!

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

Mention inversions and most pilots will get the general idea that these represent situations where temperatures rise with altitude rather than fall.

Ice-protection firm focuses on UAS market

Article | Aug 20, 2013

Worries about your unmanned aerial system icing up during a “long loiter” in a cold environment may soon be a thing of the past.