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Turboprop Charter Caribbean

Aircraft & Ice Are Not a Good Combo

Posted by Alyson Wuamett on Feb 13, 2014 5:00:00 PM

deicing jetsWith today’s modern technology fog, rain, wind and even violent thunderstorms are generally no trouble for jets. Jets are usually unaffected by icing concerns too since sophisticated systems have been designed to use hot air bled from their engines to keep the wings and surfaces warm. However, the jet can run into trouble if it has sat idled at low power for an extended period of time. The aircraft may then require a deicing to help remove ice buildup. Deicing fluid is a mixture of heated chemical called glycol and water.

Preventing a buildup of snow and ice is a crucial element for safe take off during cold wintery weather. The specific shape of the plane’s wings and rear tail are engineered to provide proper lift for flight. If the snow or ice disrupts the flow of airflow, it could hinder the ability to lift the aircraft.

Deicing the wings before takeoff does not mean the plane is in the clear for the remainder of the flight. Pilots have to be extremely cautious at high altitudes to not run into “icy clouds” or climates. Even airliners can occasionally encounter conditions that call for a speedy decent to warmer air.

The bottom factor here is the fact that your plane is certified and capable to fly in any “extreme conditions” however, weather-related flight cancellations seldom happen because a plane can’t handle the situation. The cancellation usually steams from the airport shutting itself down.  

But as the saying goes, “better safe than sorry”

Topics: Aviation Safety