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Aviation Learning Center Document Winter Flying Tips - P-8740-24
Author: FAA Date: 1996
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About Winter Flying
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Most pilots are familiar with winter conditions in their particular area; however, often a distance of a few miles may change the environment enough to present new problems to an inexperienced pilot. There are certain precautions that are significant to winter flying. Flight planning during winter months will require special knowledge in order to protect the aircraft as well as the pilot. Extra precautions should be used. Often roads that are well traveled during the summer months will be abandoned in the winter. To be forced down far from civilization may create a serious problem of survival. With today's extensive highway system, following a highway would not extend most flights in small aircraft by more than a few minutes. Even the vehicles on the road can give valuable information. You may see cars and trucks coming toward you with fresh snow adhering to the front of the vehicles. In most cases, you may as well start making a 180-degree turn due to reduced visibility ahead.

File a flight plan. A flight plan, in conjunction with an ELT, and a little knowledge on winter survival may save your life. Experience has shown that the advice of operators who are located in the area where the operation is contemplated is invaluable, since they are in a position to judge requirements and limitations for operation in their particular area.

When flying to a business appointment, always give yourself an out by informing your contact that you intend to fly and will arrive at a certain time, unless the weather conditions are unfavorable. You, the pilot, have complete responsibility for the GO or NO GO decision based on the best information available. Do not let compulsion take the place of good judgment.

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