This past winter, general aviation pilots around the Northeast had the opportunity to purposely land on an icy runway. The snow was plowed to create a 2300' x 100' runway for about a two-week window in February. This provided recreational pilots a destination in Alton Bay, NH to land their piston aircraft on a frozen lake surface and enjoy a warm beverage and cider donuts.
Within the same winter season, professional flight crews had the opportunity to evaluate how the new RCAM values were applied in their operations. Looking back at your flight operations, did you hear RCAM numbers reported on the ATIS? Were these runway condition reports easily integrated into your aircraft performance planning? Has your company operations manual been updated to reflect these new procedures?
As the summer season begins, use this downtime to ensure you are properly prepared for the next winter season. Maybe while crewing a trip this past winter you experienced an event while following company procedures that could be improved upon. Take the time to provide meaningful feedback to your manager so that they may revise company manuals. Or perhaps you may have time remaining at the end of training event to practice a Top of Descent landing calculation using RCAM values and your available flight deck documents.
Lastly, stay informed with the latest industry updates by frequenting Advanced Aircrew Academy’s blog and Winter Operations and Surface Contamination training module.