Fly with a buddy. In the wintertime there are fewer people using the forest preserve. This is both good and bad news. The GOOD news is that you have more open parking spots. The BAD news is you have fewer people watching out for you and able to offer assistance if you get hurt. So it’s just a good practice to fly with a buddy in the winter months. We do this without thinking during the summer months. Generally, in the summer, every time I see someone flying there is a spotter standing next to the pilot watching out for all of that ground clutter. In the wintertime we not only could use the extra set of eyes the spotter gives us but we’re not alone in the “Great White North”, if a problem does arise. Besides I always find its more fun to fly with friends than alone. Can’t find somebody to fly with? Then let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to get back and don’t forget your cell phone.

Beware of Wind Chill! Now this isn’t the normal temperature wind chill. This is the wind chill caused by the prop wash when you’re adjusting your engine. Be especially careful if you have spilled any fuel on your hands, as this will just make the wind chill’s effect on your hands even worse. Wipe your hands off before fooling with a running engine in the winter. Better yet don’t get any fuel on your hands at all.

Well that’s the first H.I.T.S column for 2009. Hope you enjoy these little bits of information and if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, let me know and I’ll try and include them in future columns. The same is true if you have some “Hints”, “Information”, “Tips” or just “Stuff” you’d like to pass along. Better yet, jot them down yourself and send them to Ray. He’s always looking for new contributors for the newsletter, and it’s worth points too.

Fly Smart, Fly Safe, Larry Dudkowski