Even as researchers study ways to improve detection of in-flight icing and make airframes and engines more resistant to icing conditions, they continue to struggle to understand the icing phenomenon–especially the formation of ice crystals–according to speakers at a conference on the subject organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne, Germany recently. Ice-prevention techniques present their own challenges, which aircraft makers, airports and ground handlers are endeavoring to solve.
Aircraft departing from two U.S. airports have a quicker and more environmentally friendly option for de-icing than traditional glycol. At New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and Wisconsin’s Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (RHI), departing aircraft that require de-icing can roll into an open-ended hangar where targeted infrared (IR) waves remove frost, snow and ice with a minimum of glycol usage, increasing aircraft throughput and decreasing de-icing time and cost.
Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are neither equipped nor approved for flight into icing conditions.
European aircraft operators should brace for a harsh winter, according to de-icing specialist Kilfrost. The supplier said it anticipates strong demand for its products this year based on long-range forecasts that call for a winter as severe as the one seen two years ago. Based on its predicted demand and the delivery lag, the company has already ramped up production at its manufacturing plant in northern England to ensure a steady supply of de-icing fluid at dozens of airports across the region.
A revised FAA Notice 8900.196 has been published to provide inspectors with information on de-icing fluid holdover times, as well as a list of the fluids themselves and recommendations on various other ground deicing/anti-icing issues. While the primary audience is flight standards district office (FSDO) principal operations inspectors responsible for air carrier de-icing programs, it is also of value to FSDO personnel and aircraft operators.
In the wake of recent revisions to the FAA’s 2012-2013 deicing holdover tables, NBAA is encouraging aircraft operators and service providers to review the changes, which could affect their procedures as winter weather arrives. The new guidance includes small changes to rated holdover times and the length of time an aircraft may wait to depart following application of an approved de-icing fluid.
With fall approaching in the northern hemisphere, the FAA has issued Notice 8900.196, a revised document offering updates to the agency’s deicing program for the coming winter flying season. The update includes holdover times as well as a list of deicing and anti-icing fluids.
The FAA has issued an update to its 2010-2011 Ground Deicing Holdover Time Tables and Guidance on its website. The document contains a revised listing of the lowest operational use temperatures (Lout) for anti-icing fluids, which were supplied to the agency and Transport Canada by the fluid manufacturers.
The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and National Air Transportation Association (NATA) both recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on proposed new rules for limiting de-icing fluid runoff at commercial airports. The EPA proposal would establish standards for the amount of aircraft de-icing fluid that airports must recapture and prevent from entering wastewater runoff.
Seeing Susan Saint James on the Today show early last month remembering the life of her 14-year-old son, Teddy Ebersol–one of three people who died in the crash of a Challenger 601 at Montrose, Colo., on November 28–brought into stark focus the pain of business aviation’s recent dark spell.
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