Say Hello to Winter!

The weather starts to change, a great time to fly?  What is better than cold, crisp air over the fall colors?  Flying helicopters in the Pacific NW - bright trees make excellent markers amongst the evergreens for shooting approaches, the vegetation opens up more and more landing zones.  The King Air 350 seems to leap into the air much faster with the Pratt's breathing that dense air.

Its time to start thinking about ground layer fogs associated with winter weather and more obviously icing, especially low level icing.  Break out the books, review your limits and performance under icing conditions.

At the same time - we need to get the survival gear out and make sure that it is ready.  Over water is a topic for another day, but surviving for any length of time in the cold is going to need extra gear to survive.  I like to make sure that my pack contains things that pull double and triple duty.  A couple of winter items that I like to carry are:

- Flat snow shovel.  You can dig with it, carry stuff with it, anchor things with it, and slide on your butt down a hill on it.
- Snow shoes and Poles.  Poles serve many uses, and snow shoes, especially for a helo pilot are a must have
-Fire.  Carry a legit fire starter you can operate with one hand and tinder like Vaseline covered cotton balls.
-Garbage bags.  Good for everything under the sun
-Personal locator beacon.  No reason not to have one!

We will add more to this post later - we are hading to a Course with Mt. Baker Mountain Guides for some AIRRE training!