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Features January 2015 Issue

Winter Runways

Winter Runways

In winter, understanding runway and taxiway conditions becomes paramount. Where does the information come from, what does it mean, and what do we do with it?

The chief advantage of being instrument-rated is being able to travel in less-than-ideal weather. But, in winter, the triumph of a well-flown ILS to minimums in moderate snow can quickly turn to sheer terror after your smooth touchdown if you find yourself slipping off the side of an icy runway. Handling the aircraft is one thing; but, we must first understand what information is available about runway conditions, and how we can use that information to enhance our decision making and influence our technique.

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