Traveling during the winter is always exciting, especially when it means you get to skip the cold and head in the direction of a warm destination.
Because so many people have the same idea, the world of air travel becomes inundated with one issue after the next. Travel delays due to snow, ice, and other wintry hazards can lead to even more travel delays and, finally, cancellations. Just flip on the evening news and you can hear the horror stories of travelers just trying to reach their destination.
While it mostly impacts commercial air travel, private air travel is not out of the woods. They, too, can be subjected to all types of travel issues during the winter months. So, before you head out, we’ve got a few safety tips for winter jet travel.
1. Check the Weather Before You Travel
One of the first things you should do when traveling during the winter months is to check the weather before you travel. It may take a lot of heavy winter weather to ground a private jet, but it is always a possibility when it comes to winter storms. So, keep an eye on the weather as you get closer and closer to your day of departure.
You may not know whether or not your flight is impacted until just before it is time to go, but at least you have an idea of what is going on in case you need to make alternate arrangements. And with that, you will want to make sure you have a backup plan just in case.
2. Choose the Right Jet
When it comes to winter travel, you don’t want to have to stop. It is impossible to know what may happen should you have to land before you reach your destination. Will you be able to make it back in the air due to ground weather conditions? The only way to find out is not to land.
Once you are in the air, you want to keep going so be sure to work with your charter concierge team and select a jet that can get where you want to go without having to stop to refuel.
3. Airport and FBO Operations
Although jets can move about on ice or snow-covered runways and taxiways they shouldn’t have to. The airport or FBO you choose to depart from and arrive at should have a crew that works to clear it off so that you can take off easily and safely – and arrive the same way.
Most often, the snow will be plowed and formed into mountainous ridges on either side of the runway. They need to make sure that this won’t interfere with the wings of your jet so that you have full clearance.
Be prepared that sometimes jets handle differently during the chilled weather – especially when landing. Markings on the runway may be obscured, crosswinds could be present, and the tail may act like a weather vane. Careful, diligent flying is the easiest way to land safely. A pilot with experience will be just fine.
4. Dress Accordingly
Never assume you are going to need warm clothes for your flight, but always dress as you will. Some winter weather can get relentless, keeping you grounded for some time. And, you never know what may be happening when you land – you could find yourself quite a ways out on the tarmac and have to make the trek into the FBO.
Either wear warm clothes or pack them in a suitcase that you have easy access to. That way, should you find yourself needing something warm, you can grab it without issue.
5. Know Your Alternate Airports
The beauty of flying on a private jet is that you have access to so many different airports that commercial flights don’t. So if one airport is having trouble, you can easily switch to another option without any issues.
This makes it easy for those trying to get as close as possible to their destination while keeping their safety in mind. Know your alternate airports and their accessibility just in case.
6. Make Sure the Jet is Safe to Fly
The health of a private jet is so important to the safety of everyone on board. This is why you should know that during the winter, any small and seemingly insignificant issue with a jet will be amplified.
Having a jet thoroughly checked over with this in mind is crucial for a safe flight. Be sure that you have access to a highly-skilled, trained, and experienced team of aviation maintenance technicians to give the jet an inspection before you go.
De-icing the plane is also very important. It cleans the surface off from anything that may disrupt its airflow and ability to safely depart. It is crucial that you ensure your chosen FBO has the proper tools and equipment necessary to de-ice the jet. Don’t allow them to simply use a heat source to remove the ice, as that will give it a chance to melt and refreeze in other places that could be dangerous.
7. Work with a World-Class Charter Team
Who you book your flight through can play a huge role in your overall experience. Something as simple as choosing the right jet can make your trip successful.
At Sun Air Jets, we have highly-experienced representatives that help you navigate private travel. We have hangars to keep aircraft safe and protected from outdoor weather conditions and we also have a team of aviation maintenance technicians that have a significant amount of training and experience in making sure our entire fleet of private charter jets is safe to head into the cold weather.
Any questions you may have or any concerns that need to be addressed can be asked so that you are prepared for your travels. Did we mention we have an incredible safety record?
Winter travel can be a snow load of fun when it is done with the right precautions. Follow these safety times for winter jet travel wherever you may go this season.