In the Northern hemisphere the winter is leaving us but the memories of all that bad weather stay with us. For fearful flyers the winter seems to be more hazardous for aircraft. The difficulties we have driving our cars an snow or ice covered roads would seem to be quite simple compared to an aircraft travelling at hundreds of miles per hour.

But as we know there are so many safety checks on aircraft that flying in the winter is as safe as at any other time. Most drivers make little change to their driving habits in poor weather apart from de-icing a tiny patch of windscreen and driving a little bit more slowly. As you’d expect in flying it’s a whole lot different.The rules for clearing snow or ice from a plane would fill a text book …and then when de-icing is complete there’s a limit period of time before it has to be done again. But of course that doesn’t influence whether it is done or not …if it has to be …it is.

For taking off and landing there are limitations on the weight of aircraft according to the sort of contamination on the runway. If the snow is too deep or the runway not long enough taking off is prohibited. Curiously the things that concern motorists and drivers the most are things that pilots don’t have to worry about. There aren’t idiot pilots coming around corners too quickly or getting too close and skidding on the taxiways.

The biggest danger in winter is getting to and from the airport.

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