For departures from an airport with icy conditions, it should go without saying that any accumulation of frost or snow should be cleared from the wings and the rest of the airframe. Once clear and the engine started, it's wise to test out the braking and steering action early on. Of course, you need to be alert for patches of snow and ice — especially clear "black" ice on dark pavement. Approach the first turn on the ramp or taxiway carefully, since side-slipping is a different hazard from braking straight ahead. And when it comes to braking, we've been spoiled by cars with automatic braking systems that sense a skid and compensate with high-speed "pumping" action. Only big jets and turboprops have this feature, so for the rest of us, a little retro pumping action can regain some of the braking action we have lost when the wheels lock.