Despite the first day of spring being just a few weeks away, encounters with icing at altitude still represent a very real problem. Responsibility for understanding the intricacies of ice formation, as well as how to exit an area of icing before a loss of aircraft control occurs, still falls on the cockpit crew. Here are some valuable icing resources that are easily accessed from any Internet connection that are worth bookmarking for next year’s season.
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.
Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) has added new capabilities to its altitude icing wind tunnel (AIWT), such as simulating flights at 25,000 feet and the addition of hot air supply for models that use it for de-icing. The improvements will help NRC meet client demands for development and certification work recognized by regulators such as Europe’s EASA and the U.S. FAA.
Kilfrost (Hall 4 Stand G4) is introducing what it claims to be the first aircraft de-icing fluid made from sustainable sources. The new corn-based DF Sustain fluid is an environmentally friendly alternative to monopropylene glycol and it has already been approved by aviation authorities in the U.S. and Japan.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized new regulations that will provide relief to airports where de-icing fluid is used. The EPA had proposed more stringent de-ice effluent limitations in 2009, but the agency has incorporated voluntary pollution-reduction programs, according to the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA).
GE Global Research presented new findings on nanotextured anti-icing surfaces and coatings last week at the American Physical Society Conference in Boston. While there are many applications for this technology, aircraft are at the top of the list.
Less than 12 hours after the Giants beat the Patriots on Sunday at the Indianapolis-hosted Super Bowl, area FBOs were just beginning to be able to enjoy their own victory celebrations. “The weather was great. The people were great. It was a fabulous experience,” said Andrea Montgomery, co-owner of Indianapolis Executive-based Montgomery Aviation. “We had to do a little de-icing at around midnight. We had pretty much everyone out of here by 2:30 a.m.
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.
Gulfstream has completed several icing certification test points on the G250. S/N 2001 has flown with simulated ice shapes applied to the non-heated areas of the aircraft, including the nose, tail, winglets and engine pylons. Meanwhile, S/N 2002 completed anti-ice system dry-air testing, paving the way for certification flight testing into known icing conditions, which at press time were expected to start in the U.S.
Improper de-icing procedures led to an accident that substantially damaged a Flexjet Challenger 300 last winter at Chicago Executive Airport, according to the NTSB. The Safety Board concluded that the operator of the de-icing vehicle did not adhere to company procedures and did not maintain clearance between the vehicle’s boom and the airplane during the de-icing operation.
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