Many people that have a limited knowledge of aviation always ask us “do you guys fly year round? Like… do you fly in the winter?” The short answer is yes, and we love it! Let me explain why.
There are 3 main reasons:
1. Aircraft Performance
3. Smooth Air
Aircraft perform much better in the winter than they do in the summer. The colder temperatures give way to more dense air (as opposed to summer where the air is hotter and less dense). When the air is dense; the airplane’s engine produces more power, and the wings of the airplane create more lift (basically speaking) because they have more air to work with.
This is one of the main reason pilots love flying in the winter! You get to fly faster and climb higher. Who doesn’t want that?
Contrary to popular belief, we actually believe that it is more comfortable to fly in the winter. Most people do not realize that the vast majority of small trainer airplanes do not have air conditioning units! This makes the summer a little tricky because the air in the sealed airplane can get very hot and there isn’t much a pilot can do to cool down on those particularly hot days.
However, most all airplanes DO have some sort of heating unit! That means that in the winter when it is cold outside we can still kick on the heater and create a comfortable temperature in the cockpit. And trust us… it’s much easier to learn to fly an airplane when you’re in a comfortable atmosphere.
Lastly, Smooth Air
Not everyday in the winter is smooth, but pilots can definitely tell a difference in the smoothness of the air between cooler and hotter days. Typically hotter days are going to create windier situations and updrafts. The more dramatic the winds and updrafts are, the stronger the turbulence.
Not that turbulence is particularly dangerous, but nothing compares to flying fast on a clear, crisp, smooth day.
If you’re considering flight training right now, do not wait any longer! You do not want to miss all the awesome winter flying.