Weather and Flying Conditions

Weather is a factor for every pilot. Whilst we would love to have perfect blue skies every time we fly, in reality this is not practical. George’s climate is typically moderate and does not get excessively hot or excessively cold for long periods. We do enjoy all 4 seasons and can maintain a flight training programme throughout the year. Naturally, there are days when we cannot fly and those days can be frustrating for a student; as a training institution we see them as an opportunity. In aviation you can never be over prepared for a lesson, so bad weather presents a student with valuable study time and allows them to prepare for the next lecture, or the next exam, or the next flight briefing.

Students must be prepared, both physically and financially to fly 10 hours per month as a minimum. Students who are prepared,  motivated and are actively involved with their flight training easily achieve an average of 15 hours per month during their initial training periods. During the hour building phase of flight training a student can achieve 25 – 40 hours in a single month. In George and our surrounding areas we can experience during the year some of the following weather conditions:

  • All 4 Seasons during the year
  • Coastal Fog at night and during the day
  • Steady cross winds
  • Gusting conditions and the rare Berg (mountain) Winds
  • During winter, Snow on the mountains and the Karoo (North of our mountains)
  • Light frosts
  • Crystal clear nights and days
  • Hot days with relatively high humidity
  • Thunder storms

These conditions are invaluable for a pilots training as it prepares them to undertake long distance flights away from their training base. Rarely do pilots find similar weather conditions on -route like those at their training airfield. Therefore, pilots trained at FTC are permitted once suitably qualified to plan long distance solo navigations in South Africa. Students who have challenged themselves to long distance flights have all said that their training at FTC in George had prepared them well for flying in differing weather conditions and without doubt helped them to make positive decisions during flight when faced with changing weather.

All of these weather conditions provide FTC with a training environment second to none. Our pilots make weather related decisions with relative ease, after all it’s not just what they have read about, they have seen it, and done it!

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