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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: Winter Air Ops
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SJFedor
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,689

« on: December 22, 2006, 10:59:32 PM »

Guys-

I was sitting here staring at the grey, rainy tennessee sky, debating about flying today, when I realized, hey, it's winter, it's icing season!

So, does anyone have any best practices as to how to deal with frozen aircraft, better/safer ways to preflight/postflight, situations you've been in with icing conditions and how you handled it, anything relating to flying in the wintertime.
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Steven Fedor, NREMT-P
Master Ambulance Driver
Former Capt, MP, MCPE, MO, MS, GTL, and various other 3-and-4 letter combinations
NESA MAS Instructor, 2008-2010 (#479)
Al Sayre
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,514
Unit: SER-MS-001

Mississippi Wing
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 02:22:39 AM »

This was recommended by an A&P and it seems to work pretty well.  Head on over to Walmart and get yourself a pump sprayer in the garden dept. and a few gallons of Generic De-Icing fluid (Methyl Alcohol & Ethylene/Propylene Glycol) in Automove.  Sprayer + 4 gallons cost about $20.00.  Wet down aircraft with de-icing fluid and wait for ice/frost to melt.  I have it sitting at the Squadron just in case we get a call on a nice frosty morning.  I'd hate to be sitting on the ground waiting for the frost to melt when there is a mission to fly...

I try my best to stay out of icing conditions and so far I've been pretty lucky, so I can't help on that front.
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Lt Col Al Sayre
MS Wing Staff Dude
Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
GRW #2787
bosshawk
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,585

« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 02:53:48 AM »

Fedor: there are tons of places to find information on winter flying, especially concerning ice.  The AOPA website has a bunch of good stuff and the FAA has some good info on their website.

I have encountered ice on a couple of occasions, which I will quickly review for you.  Took off out of Medford, Oregon the end of May into IFR wx: clouds, rain and freezing level around 7k ft.  On climb to 7, started to get the fuzzy stuff on the leading edge: called ATC and asked for a clearance back to Medford.  Before he could get it for me, flew out of the stuff into the clear between layers.  As I proceeded North, heard other aircraft having ice problems, but reports that the stuff ended at 10k.  was prepared when I popped back into the clouds and was ready to ask for 10, when I realized that the MEA was only about 4k.  So, as I started to pick up ice again, abeam Portland, asked for 6 and was out of the freezing stuff.  That was in the end of May----go figure.

Another time was in Central CA, this time in winter.  Freezing level was lower than forecast and I got into the stuff at 7k, again.  Watched it build for a couple of minutes and told ATC that I needed to get down: no dice, MEA right at my altitude.  Told him that if I didn't get down pretty quickly, would come down from the weight and lack of airspeed.  Just about to declare an emergency when he cleared me down below the freezing level.

Lesson: don't fly when it is predicted to be freezing anywhere near your planned altitude.  Ice is nothing to fool with.

Sitting in your living room in Tennessee watching the nasty clouds go by: continue to watch and enjoy the warmth of your living room.  Probably not a good day to go flying.

Be careful and stay alive.
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Paul M. Reed
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Former CAP Lt Col
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SJFedor
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,689

« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 03:07:14 AM »

Absolutely, it's just hard to find a happy medium down here. It's either cold with icing conditions, or warm with violent severe t-storms. I can't get ANY actual!!

I just started this topic cuz it's always a good refresher, and I know some of the higher time pilots usually have a few good icing stories that you can always derive the same lesson from: don't fly in it.
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Steven Fedor, NREMT-P
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Former Capt, MP, MCPE, MO, MS, GTL, and various other 3-and-4 letter combinations
NESA MAS Instructor, 2008-2010 (#479)
JohnKachenmeister
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Posts: 3,352

« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 08:07:11 PM »

I experienced carb icing over Cleveland once.  I was right on the edge of freezing, (OAT=35 F) with light fog, with 7 miles visibility.  I took off from Cuyahoga Co. on the east side of the city.  Conditions were poor, so I opted to fly south, then turn west toward Toledo to go around the CLE class B.   This plan was the alternate to flying out over Lake Erie, where I figured the horizon would not be easy to see between gray sky and gray ice.

I was flying a C-172, with a carb., and noticed I was slowly but steadily losing power, once I got above about 1700 feet.  The light bulb on the Memory Desk at Cranial Command Central took about 10 or 15 seconds to come on, but it did, and I pulled cab heat.  Initially, the RPM dropped another 75-100, but then it immediately started to climb back up.

The fog cleared south of Sandusky, and I shut the carb heat off.  The rest of the flight was beautiful, with a sky full of stars and almost no other air traffic.  For a flight that started out so bad, it was amazing that I didn't want it to end.  Once the fog cleared it was one of those nights that make you thank God that you had the skill, brains, and money to become a pilot.

But now I live in Florida.  The only ice I encounter now is in cocktails, and I like it that way!
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: Winter Air Ops
 


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