Winter Flying in a Cherokee

Winter Flying in a Cherokee

Frost in the windows

Some are mesmerized by flying in the Canadian winter. I read that they sort of know because they flew in cold weather too. (- 5 degrees celsius is by no means considered cold around here! By any extent.)

The winter 2014-2015 was especially cold with the longer extreme cold strike. We had for like 30+ days in a row of temperature below -30 degrees celsius. If you are living a warm country and wondering how this is, let me tell you: this is freakingly COLD! And no, we never get used to that and start enjoying this. At least not me.

However, it is still possible to fly, when temperature reach sowhat warmer degrees and this is what happened on January 2nd 2015 when I was graciously invited to go flying in a low-wings Cherokee 140. The temperature was about -15 degrees when we departed, but it got much below that when it got time to wrap up the airplane with all its covers. The wind just made it even more « fun ». This is where real passion for flying comes into FULL effect. You know you are crazy about flying when you are ready to endure all this for an hour in the air! (And it’s totally worth it! I would do this anytime without a second thought!)

This was my first time in a low-wings airplane and I was even more lucky to be put in the left seat. This aircraft is a breeze to fly, especially compared to the good old Cessna 170, a tail-wheel airplane. Way less work is required on the rudder to make it do and go where you want it to. You can pretty much steer it like a car. Well, I imagine like a soon-to-be flying car. (Yes, I know they already exist but I haven’t driven/flown one yet, so imagination is key here.)

Beside the cold, as you will be able to watch on the following video, we were kept busy throughout the flight with keeping the windows clear of frost. This keeps things entertaining and there are no chance you would fall asleep. (If the outside view is not enough for your eye buds. Yeah, eyes buds are just like taste buds… but they delight in the magnificient view of the world from above with your eyes.)

We departed from the Ottawa Rockcliffe airport and made 2 circuits at Ottawa Carp airport. En route, I’ve practiced steep turns and stalls, just to get a feel of the airplane. Although I had not flown for nearly 2 months, these were easily done. Another way of saying this airplane is easy to fly.

Some of the controls are a little different from what I’m used to so far. For example, the elevator trim control is above you, incorporated in the roof, compared to being in the lower dashboard, in the front of you. No much no worry about here, just need some getting used to.

Enjoy the video and I’m looking forward to your comments!

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