Winter weather can be the worst flying weather for pilots. Unfortunately, winter flights involve hidden dangers not always apparent to non-aviation personnel. These hidden dangers, such as freezing rain, freezing drizzle or sleet can have catastrophic consequences if not properly accounted for. Winter skies are often characterized by low ceilings, fogs, and terrain obscuration.
Winter is frequently a season of dark, cold and adverse weather that makes flying a challenge.
Every winter, thousands of flights are delayed or cancelled for reasons raging from blizzard condition to frozen engine oil. While this may not seem significant, at night we lose depth perception. And while some pilots can turn to enhanced vision system, not all A/C have light-gathering or infrared vision systems installed.
Temperature differences on either side of fronts, frequently generate strong winter cyclones. These storm systems tend to be strongest in the early and late winter when the differences between polar and subtropical air are greatest. The greatest danger to aviation, when it comes to cyclones, is ground based. Airports may close as a storm approaches, and aircraft and facilities may be damaged by the high winds, heavy rains, and even tornadoes that accompany these cyclones.
Regardless of whether an aircraft is certified for flight into known icing conditions, it is always best to avoid areas where icing is forecasted or reported, or flying in or beneath rain clouds when the operational air traffic is in the icing danger zone. Aircrafts must be de-iced if there is frost, snow, or ice on the aircraft, and should also be de-iced if the aircraft is likely to encounter ice accretion during taxi or departure.
As every season brings different challenges, winter is no exception. While planning and organizing flights, we also take into account all risks associated with the weather and we inform clients about all possible changes. Luckily pilots are well prepared in aeronautical schools and can fly you safely to desired destinations. Just buckle up, grab a drink and enjoy the flight.