Real Answers from Real Pilots

Where to train - weather concerns

Training in Florida is attractive because of all the good flying days… but I’m wondering if the sun and heat are going to be an extra and unnecessary burden as I learn. I barely leave the house if it goes above 85F and I’m not a fan of constant sun. My understanding is that the temperature drops approx 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit every approx 3300 feet and that there’s no air conditioning or window tints in the smaller planes. I’m thinking of possibly training in Chicago through the Fall and then switching to Florida through the winter and early Spring. I spoke with ATP about this and I know they prefer to keep students at one base until achieving CFI, but I got the idea that I could, if necessary, switch between bases.

Any feedback on what it’s like up in the air with no A/C and no tinted windows when it’s horrendously hot on the ground?

Thanks!

Flying in Florida the heat really isn’t all that bad. Yeah during preflight and startup it can be warm, but once the engine is started the plane cools off pretty good. They have fans in them as well which help to cool you off. Once you get up in the air, and are at cruise you won’t be hot at all, you might even get a little chilly. As my flight instructor says, he likes flying high enough that he has the option to turn the heat on (as in it gets too cold.) I would say putting up with a little bit of heat for a few months would be worth not having to switch training centers in the middle of the program.

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Patricia,

There’s no question that taxiing around FL in the summer can be quite uncomfortable. As for in the air, the reason there’s no A/C is because you generally don’t need it. As you pointed out the temp decrease with every 1000’. At 3.3deg x 5000’, that’s a 16.5deg so if it’s 90 on the ground it’s a very comfy 73.5deg at altitude.

As admin told you they definitely don’t like students shifting around a lot and it might not even be possible depending on where you are in training. Personally I’d find a location that you’re comfortable in and chose that.

Btw, keep in mind while commercial airplanes all have A/C the airlines don’t like wasting the gas on flight crews or sometimes the ground A/C is out of service. Getting into and preflighting stifling hot airplanes in the summer is a realty of the job you may want to prepare for.

Adam

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I trained in Florida. It can get hot in the planes during preflight and taxiing, but you quickly forget about it once you take off.

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