The weather has been fairly poor most of the last two weeks. We’ve had snow almost every day, so the flying opportunities have been few and far between. I managed to get out to the airport on Wednesday though. First, I got quite a bit of exercise clearing snow between the hangar and the taxiway. I’m the only guy in the hangar who is flying this winter - one of the other guys has gone south, and Ron, the hangar owner, is in the middle of a big cockpit refurbishment. So, if I don’t clear the snow in front of the hangar, it probably won’t get cleared by anyone else. We had a bit of freezing rain a few days before my hangar visit, and I hadn’t had a chance to clear the snow away first. Thus the freezing rain landed on top of some snow drifts, and this produced quite a ridge on one side of the ramp to the hangar. It was quite a job getting a wide enough path cleared so I could go flying. Lesson learned - get out to the hangar more often to clear snow, as it is much easier when it is fresh.

It had been quite cold overnight, so I preheated the engine for 2.5 hours before attempting a start. I almost didn’t get it started, as it was quite slow to turn over. Lesson learned - I clearly need a longer preheat time when it is cold. Today I finished the first prototype of a remote control preheat system - I’ll install it the next time I’m at the hangar. This should allow me to select the preheat ON several hours before arriving at the airport.

The runway was very, very icy. The official runway condition report was 70% ice, 20% packed snow and 10% bare and dry, and that looked about right. Fortunately the wind was very light, or I wouldn’t have attempted to go flying. The taxiing and take-off were uneventful, but I did get sideways for a short period during the landing roll out. I managed to get the aircraft straightened out before it hit a spot with some traction, so no harm was done, except to my heart. Hopefully we’ll get some warm sunny days sometime soon to clear some of the ice. Otherwise, I’ll have to restrict the flying to days with very low crosswind.

We’ve had a bunch more snow since Wednesday. I had hoped to get out to the airport to clear the snow today, but there was so much fresh snow down that I was pretty sure the taxiway to the hangar would be impassable. I didn’t want to risk getting the car stuck, so I stayed home. They should have the taxiway cleared by tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll probably head out to clear it out.