What’s the best time of year for pilot training?
Each spring in the Midwest, we anxiously await Daylight Saving Time which translates to more hours for flying. But even with the additional daylight hours and mild temperatures, each season has its advantages for flight training. If you are investigating the best season to begin your flight training, there are pros and cons for all four.
Spring in southern Ohio tends to be wet. We average just under four inches of rain from March to May. But what is different versus the Notthwest (which, in the same time period, averages about 2.3 inches of rainfall) is that Midwest rain seems to be either on or off. We will get short down bursts and then back to sunshine within minutes. The weather moves through quickly so we don’t experience long periods of time with “no fly” weather. The winds are calm in the morning, the skies are likely to be severe-clear, and the temperatures are perfect. There are plenty of rolling hills nearby with fun airports scattered throughout to make for beautiful scenic flights during the spring awakening of the surrounding forests.
Summers in Ohio average in the mid-80s which is not terribly oppressive, but the humidity can be a challenge. That said, long days and blue skies with minimal thunderstorm activity are to be expected. Summer is the busy season for flight training. Renting an airplane is more difficult because of the higher demand and the pattern is going to be busy.
Flying in our area lends itself to lunchtime flights for some of the best $100 hamburgers you can find.
Every pilot loves a good view. While the Fall can signal the end of your long summer days, the changing of the leaves in southern Ohio never grows old. I highly recommend everyone make a trip to experience the fall foliage of the Midwest at least once. The weather is cooling down with average temperatures in the 60s. Precipitation is at its lowest point of the year during the fall averaging less than nine days per month with rain.
Winter is a great time to fly. The airplanes love the cold, dry air and sunny skies warm you up in the airplane so it’s not uncomfortable. Best of all, with the shorter day, it is easier to gain night experience. All pilots need night flying to stay current or earn those minimum night flying hours for Private pilot. We also encounter less traffic and better aircraft availability. Flight training in the winter is a lesser-known trick to new pilots, but those who have flown through the season know it is a great time to fly.
What about you?
Now it’s your turn! Let your fellow pilots know where you fly and what time of year is best. Share your experience below in the comments or you can send to the editors at Student Pilot News. Email us at [email protected]. Blue skies ahead!
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