I was going to write about flying in the winter and all its pros and cons; then thought better about it because in the UK we normally have mild winters. Generally, it is the poor visibility, low cloud base and wet, windy weather that stops us.
However this spell of very unusual, easterly winds have brought the temperatures to below freezing in late February and early March, while the day gets longer. This is the time of the year we start to pull our aircraft out of hibernation and plan to go flying. But the unseasonal cold winds have made our local country roads more treacherous because we are not prepared with snow tyres or chains on our cars. Our normal driving skills and duty of care to our passengers and other drivers are no match for icy roads and stressful school runs nor the pressure of reaching the office on time.
I write this blog for my student pilots and old pilots who may not be as familiar with airframes and engines as I would like them to be. I am making a broad generalisation and assuming that most new pilots have not much hands-on experience of dealing with Rotax engines and modern glass cockpits fitted to composite aircraft. Having made this bold statement, I will venture further to say that many qualified and long experienced pilots on light aircraft have never seen the inside of the engine compartment nor looked behind the instrument panel facia of certified aircraft (because they are not allowed to touch anything, but the oil dip stick, yoke, rudder pedals, throttle, mixture control and perhaps the propeller pitch lever).