Pilot's tip of the week

An Alternative To Water


Subscriber question:

"Not to be too graphic, but if I drink enough water to stave off thirst on a long flight I have to stop too often or use a 'receptacle' in the airplane, which isn't easy. Do the pros fly thirsty or do they know something I don’t?" — William P.


“Pilots have invented about as many ways to balance fluid intake versus outflow as they have methods to hot-start an engine. Here’s my solution, proven on many long-distance flights: Grapes.

I wash and chill clusters of grapes (green or red, your choice, but definitely seedless) and keep them handy in a small cooler or insulated bag. They’re mostly water, so snacking on them helps you feel less thirsty without gulping liquids. Grapes also are a low-calorie, low-salt, satisfying snack that doesn’t leave crumbs in the cockpit.

Other mostly-water fruits, like oranges, also can work, but they all require peeling and handling that can get sticky. Grapes come in tidy, ready-to-eat, single-serve clusters.

Next time you plan a long leg, bring a bunch of grapes and see if they improve your endurance.”

How do you handle hydration on long cross-countries?

tip(NEW) IFR Mastery scenario #149 “Capital City Confusion” is now available. Loss of control on an approach is a terrifying thought—and you just recovered in a valley with limited visibility and no airport in sight. Is it better to climb to safety with a known issue or scud run a few hundred feet above the ground to find an airport and some terra firma? Watch the Intro video.

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