Youíve probably noticed itís
gotten pretty cold and unfriendly outside. That only means itís time for the
winter duds. Did you ever think how cool it would be to fly from the snow?
Get some skis, dress warmly, and go flying! I like the DuBro line of skis
because they have a good torque rod set up to keep them at the proper angle
to the airplane. The proper angle means the front of the skis is higher than
the back with respect to the airplane fuselage. This means when you land,
the skis wonít dig in and flip the airplane.
There are other commercial skis out there so donít
hesitate to use them. Look for a sturdy spring system to keep the skis at
the proper angle. Also, look for a reliable way to put the skis on the
landing gear. If there are several inches of snow, donít think dressing for
cold weather will keep you warm for hours. Waterproof boots, double socks,
and long underwear are needed. Hunters already know this. If your flying
field has a heated shed, that is the best way to keep warm. You can run out
and fly for 15 minutes, then run back inside to warm up.
If you have floats, youíll find that flying off snow
with them is easier than flying off water. Snow can be an abrasive, so if
your floats are painted, using them on snow may require another coat of
paint later. I wouldnít use molded fiberglass floats in the cold as the
material gets brittle. Plastic floats work great, such as the ones made by
GeeBee Products. Taking off and landing on snow is as easy (or as hard) as
doing it on grass, and it is often much prettier.