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  • Alisha Sweeney

Summer Flying

Updated: Jun 13

Boise summers can be the perfect respite after a short, cold winter. The sun is strong, the days are long, and the Boise River calls to you like a sweet siren. However, like most things, there is a flip side. Heat can be a nuisance, impacting both aircraft and pilot performance. Most pilots know how heat degrades performance, but another challenging aspect of flight becomes apparent as soon as you step onto the black tarmac. The FAA describes this as thermal stress.

Thermal stress contributes to pilot fatigue and impaired performance. Pilots can adopt similar precautions this summer, especially when planning long flights.

How can we help ourselves in these situations?

  • Wear breathable fabrics (think cotton, linen, bamboo) to allow your body to cool down through sweating.

  • Hydrate! Pilots need to be strategic about monitoring their fluid intake. Solo pilots must be particularly vigilant, as they have no one else to monitor their condition. Electrolytes are a helpful additive, as well as coconut water, which contains potassium, magnesium, and sodium.

  • Schedule ground lessons during the hottest times of the day. The blocks between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. tend to be the warmest. If you see triple-digit temperatures, schedule ground lessons or study time during these blocks to give yourself and the aircraft a nice break.

Planning is crucial. Take precautions to minimize the impact of heat on both yourself and the aircraft.

Idaho summers are incredible! Don't forget to find time to enjoy the Sawtooth Mountain Range, our stunning Idaho lakes, and all of the local events popping up all over the state.

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