Learning to fly in Winter!
10 Reasons Why Learning To Fly In Autumn & Winter Is A Winner!
1) Flying schools aren’t as busy. Many people take off their flying head and put on their Christmas head for Winter, so take advantage! You won’t have to share the aircraft and instructors and can actually fit more hours in as a result of this despite the days getting shorter!
2) Air Traffic Controllers and airspace aren’t as busy. The majority of holiday flights go in the Summer months so airspace isn’t as congested and controllers work loads can be dramatically reduced. This allows more opportunities to practice circuits, going solo quicker and completing the cross country qualifier more easily.
3) Amazing visibility. Those lovely cold days with blue sky and sunshine, so cold you can actually see your breath! Visibility can be outstanding, get ahead of the rest by sacrificing the duvet day for a flying day! Summer can bring increased chances of thunderstorms, haze and smog, all of which can lead to lesson cancellations.
4) Better aircraft performance. The air is colder and denser leading to much improved aircraft performance. Take-offs and landings can sometimes be much easier as a result of this.
5) Night flying opportunities. The days are obviously shorter so take advantage and experience the magic of flying at night! You can’t really do a Night Qualification safely in the Summer as it never gets truly dark.
6) Save some money. Contrary to popular belief, you can build a Night Qualification into your PPL course and save the separate issue fee that would be charged if you did it separately! Some schools offer discounted rates for Winter flying. If they don’t, propose it to them, especially if there are plenty of aircraft sat on the ground twiddling their thumbs. You get nothing in this life unless you ask; worst they can can do is say no.
7) Become a better Pilot. Obviously Winter flying isn’t without its hazards; icing, freezing fog and snow to mention but a few. This will ensure you’re always planning ahead and religiously checking Met Form 214/5, TAFs and METAR’s to ensure the flight can be made safely. It’s all too easy in the Summer with wall to wall sunshine and long days to get into the habit of just relying on good weather, a dangerous philosophy.
8) Winter Wonderland. Let’s face it, every Pilot learns to fly to see the world from the third dimension. Seeing it covered in snow is truly breathtaking and makes it so worthwhile. It also improves your navigation skills as snow covered towns and countryside can look vastly different to normal.
9) Bring out your winter flying jackets and gloves! Yes, you can wear your cheesy RAF sheepskin flying jacket or the fighter pilots bomber jacket with your even cheesier flying gloves without looking like a complete turnip! At TGC we still think you’d look a bit of a turnip though!
10) Smiley happy people who usually smell better! Yes we said it (and wrote it). Long days at airfields in temperatures in excess of 30 degrees celsius can make people whiff a bit! Less chance of this with shorter days and much reduced temperatures. Staff are usually happier as they go home or to the pub earlier! Peoples moods can drastically affect your training.
So, food for thought there we think. Don’t discount learning to fly in Autumn or Winter, most of us at TGC did, and we’re all the better for it!
Also remember to get your ground school exams passed as soon as possible too or the list above will be drastically shortened!