Missing the Winter Flying

Currently there is a heat wave blasting the southwest. Luckily Reno is only going into the low hundreds compared to the low 120’s in Las Vegas. Reno is a beautiful place to live. We get all four seasons and have many amazing lakes and mountains surrounding us. We also get about 300 days of sunshine every year. During the winter we get days where the temperature is right about freezing, but the sky is completely clear and beautiful. This makes for a wonderful day of flying. The air is cold is dense and the little Cessna’s perform so much better.


On a VFR approach into Hawthorne, Nevada (KHTH). Over Walker Lake looking at Mt Grant, 11,280 ft. Check out Buller Creations for more of my Aviation Photography.

During the winter the mountain caps are covered in snow and the surroundings are absolutely beautiful. Airports are easy to spot as the back runways stick out from the snow. The air feels crisper and seems the clearest it will ever be. The air is smooth and climb rates are great during this time.

There are a few downsides. There are obviously less sunny days during the winter, but still a very good amount. If there is any sort of clouds in the winter it is almost guaranteed that you will get iced up if you enter them. 

Winter flying is nice for the pilot, but harder on the pilot. The pre-flight is often done right around dawn when it is extremely cold outside. Make sure to check for frost that may have built up on the plane overnight. The engine is going to need some extra priming, so keep the fuel pump on for a few more seconds before turning the key. Pair of gloves, with the fingertips cut out, is a very good idea to have. The fingertips are cut out to allow use of small knobs and dials. 

This summer heat has me missing the cool winter days. This grass is always greener though…

Any winter flying stories of your own? Comment below. 

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