The winter surge is in full force, leaving many pilots feeling restless while they await better flying weather. The good news is that cabin fever doesn’t have to get the best of you — or distract you from your aviation goals.
If you find yourself grounded for the season, here are three great ways to use winter downtime to level up your flying:
With less time spent at fly-ins or simply chatting with fellow pilots at the hangar, you may find yourself missing the camaraderie of the close-knit general aviation community. While nothing will replace in-person interactions, you can still stay connected via online platforms. Use your newfound downtime to plan a backcountry flying trip with friends or schedule an airshow meet-up. Simply having something to look forward to will make the dreary winter months pass much faster!
And, if you’re still experiencing flying withdraws, one cure is to stay up-to-date with aviation publications, like Hartzell Propeller’s annual Leading Edge magazine.
Just like playing an instrument or training for a sport, flying is a skill that requires ongoing practice to maintain proficiency. Even when you’re grounded for the winter, you can still take steps to retain your flying skills and even build new ones. For example, if you have access to a flight simulator at home or a nearby flight school, make a commitment to practice regularly. If you don’t have access to a sim, there’s always good old-fashioned chair flying! Sit in a chair and visualize yourself at the controls performing a specific maneuver or procedure, going through all the motions with your hands and feet. You may feel silly operating an imaginary airplane, but the value of this exercise is very real.
Another way to keep your flying skills sharp from the comfort of home is by participating in online classes and webinars for WINGS credit. Not only will you refresh your flying knowledge to enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience, but you’ll also cover your flight review requirements by completing any phases of WINGS.
With more time on your hands, you might find yourself daydreaming about ways to update and improve your airplane — and your overall flying experience. Maybe you have your eye on a new glass-panel avionics display, aircraft preheat system, or refurbished interior to make your airplane a little more comfortable. Or, maybe you’re looking forward to an upgraded engine/propeller combination to power your next flying adventure. No matter which mods you’re dreaming of, now is the time to plan ahead, talk to other pilots, and ask questions to ensure you’re well-informed before making a decision.
For example, if a new propeller is on your wish list, use your downtime to research the options for your aircraft, such as a Hartzell Top Prop propeller conversion. A propeller conversion is by far one of the smartest investments you can make to enhance the safety and performance of your airplane — not to mention the aesthetic appeal. If your current prop is approaching TBO, consider the advantages of upgrading your propeller rather than having the old one overhauled. Depending on the age and condition of your propeller, there may not be a great price difference between overhauling the legacy prop and switching to a new-generation design.
Contact us today to learn more about our Top Prop airplane propeller conversion program. We’re always happy to help you find the best propeller system for your specific aircraft and mission profile!