Flying the Alps in the winter

By axeljerabek

Flying the Alps in the winter

Flying during the wintertime requires prepared airfields wich allow you to take off and land with ski instead of wheels. The sights are amazingly far since the humidity is really low when the air is far below zero degrees of celsius. Have a look at our flight to the Watzmann near the austrian boarder.

The Heubacher Falke SF 25 on skis

For the snowy airfield the plane has to be on skis and the landing strip has to be prepared for your snow trips.

Interior check

Like on every flight, the plane has to be checked carefully. On the inside...

Exterior check

... and the outside. In case of an emergency there aren't many airfields you can use as alternative landing places, since most runways are not prepared for your skiing adventure.

The cockpit and windshield check

The cockpit has to be free of humidity and ice on the windshield. In low temperatures the ice would really be dangerous for your navigation.

Getting out of the deep snow

While maneuvering on the ground you have to use your rudders and thrust really careful. Deep snow and too much thrust could get you into trouble. Taxiing to the runway is different as on wheels. The snow track is a bit bumpy, so be careful. Taking off requires quite some practice and you don't really have a center line for orientation.

Leaving and climbing heading south

From the first moments in the air, you can really feel that these winter flights are special. The landscape is in an amazing light.

Maintaining a stable climb

Climb rates in the winter are pretty stable since the air is cold and dense. The mountains seem pretty close due to the clear air.

The sun is bright

The light of the sun in the wintertime is also really bright and the white landscape reflects more light into the cockpit. Sunglasses are a must!

High contrast landscapes

You will soon feel the high contrast of the clear and crisp looking landscapes below your aircraft.

White rocks

The rocky mountains seem pretty close and add a perfect aura to the landscapes.

Entering the valley to the Watzmann

The Watzmann is 2713 meters above sealevel, located in the very southeastern part of germany. The wind is blowing snow over its edges.

The steep edges

It seems almost impossible to walk this mountain. The edges are steep and full of snow. But we were observing it from the air and pretty close.

Untouched snow

You can see that no liveform touched this snowfields on top of the mountains.

Steinernes Meer

South of the Watzmann is the area called "das steinerne Meer". This is a flat elevation with lakes and trees.

The end of the valley

With the lake Königssee below. The valley is a big pool surrounded by the mountains of the Watzmann group.

The top of Watzmann

The snowy top of the Watzmann itself offers an amazing view from inside the aircrafts cockpit.

The eastern end of the valley

The narrow valley does not allow any mistakes. There are no alternatives escaping the narrow valley.

The end of the valley

At the end of the valley the Teufelshorn is shaking off its snow. The wind blows strong an cold over the tops of the mountains.

The sun still throws a shadow

Flying behind and under the mountain tops gives you a little break from the suns bright lights.


The wind is blowing the snow at the top of the Teufelshorn. This is quite an inhospitable area in the wintertime.

Watching the does climb

At the rocky parts of the mountains you can spot does climbing the steep terrain.

Lake Königssee is partly iced

About the half of the lake Königssee is iced in the wintertime.

Back from the high mountains

Descending into the north leads us back into flatter terrain leaving the high rocky mountains and the strong icy winds behind us.

Runway 06 in sight

Spotting the runway with its prepared snow track is not as easy as an asphalt runway during the summertime. Only branches of trees mark the limits of the airfield.

Touchdown RWY 06

Keeping an eye on people doing sports near the runway while ready to touch the ground. Back from a wonderful flight into another world.

Here some other flight on ski

Airfield Unterwössen, SF25 on ski


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