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I live in SC so not a ton of icing problems most of the year and I have zero experience with it other than knowledge of sorts.  What exactly are the conditions to avoid for icing?  I'm aware of the freezing level, icing forecasts, super cooled droplets, etc. When should you just plan on not going?  It seems to me that if the freezing level is at 3k, clouds at 6k with a temp of 25 degrees F or so(or even lower), that whatever is in the clouds should blow around the plane.  How do you predict when super cooled droplets exist or not?  Do you always avoid clouds in freezing conditions? Hopefully this brings about some good real world pointers that are difficult to read in books.   

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In those conditions, I'd fly anywhere from 3000 to 5500, but be prepared to descend if near the cloud bases (there's virga, and precip that doesn't reach the ground to watch out for).

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I am not equipped for icing except for heated pitot.  I have to rely on my knowledge and my decision making and based on previous experience I just don't go there. I had a CFII who would take me into real IFR and one day after briefing with no ice forecast we did a fly thru a solid layer from 1K to 5K at -1 to -4 Celsius. No ice, just like the briefer said, not even frost or a trace. Two hours later coming home to same airport we originated and picked up ice all the way from 5K down to 500ft and ended up with over 1/2 inch on leading edge. It was not forecast and we spoke to the briefer together on speaker phone before both departures. None forecast not even trace, but as they say ice is where you find it, not where it's forecast. We would not have survived a missed approach, it accumulated way too fast. 

I will consider flying thru a thin layer a couple hundred feet if no icing forecast, but otherwise I stay clear of clouds when close or below freezing level. 

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I is impossible to prepare for icing conditions. Why? Because it is unpredictable. Your best preparation should be what options are available IF you encounter ice. Ice can form slowly and predictable BUT it can also form very rapidly how do you know?

Last week I encountered scattered clouds in a thin layer, outside temp was 24°F. I thought there would be NO ICE because the layer was thin and the clouds scattered (not much moisture) I was right, no ice. However, as the flight progressed the clouds got thicker and went from scattered to solid and there was lots of ice in the clouds. This was at 6000' the freezing level was at 3500' a quick request for lower started melting the ice right away and I was in the clear at 3000' There was no chance to climb, tops were 8000' to 9000'

The safety valve was the warm air below. Always, always, always have a way out, you can't predict what icing conditions will actually be.

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This time of year if freezing is possible, especially if going to the Midwest, I’ll file IFR, but go Vfr and never let a wide area of thick overcast get between me and the ground.  If I allow myself to get stuck on top, it’s just a little easier to activate an IFR clearance to get down.  I tend to think that if you’re flying VFR, then you’re less likely to inadvertently encounter ice while following ATC instructions.  

I have wondered at what temperature is it just too cold for ice to be possible.   Some have told me that if it’s 20F or below between you and the ground, no problem to fly through IMC?

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On my way to KAGC to see my grandson on Xmas I am applying Rain-X to the wing leading edge to reduce the possibility of icing. My son at Pittsburgh use it all the time to keep the windshield from icing up. Cheaper and lighter than TKS.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=rain-x+in+ice&qpvt=rain-x+in+ice&view=detail&mid=3291E77C545D9A86A3D43291E77C545D9A86A3D4&rvsmid=346E60DF96A8CBCD4A64346E60DF96A8CBCD4A64&FORM=VDQVAP

José

Edited by Piloto

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That is great for glass, but your wing is painted aluminum. You might want to check and see how it works on that........

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I've been in rain in warmer weather and a couple of times I've been in very light, dry snow (just a few flakes going by) and had no problem. True icing conditions are the one thing that I think I have to be the most cautious about flying, especially as I go for my instrument rating. I would talk to local IFR pilots as much as possible especially near those mountains which can generate their own version of weather. The thing about ice is you can think you know enough and get away with something a few times and then get into a situation that only seems a little different but generates a lot of ice and no good way to get rid of it. You might follow local pilot reports to get a better idea of the South Carolina weather scene in the winter.

The phrase "tickling the tail of the dragon" comes to mind.  

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I live in SC so not a ton of icing problems most of the year and I have zero experience with it other than knowledge of sorts.  What exactly are the conditions to avoid for icing?  I'm aware of the freezing level, icing forecasts, super cooled droplets, etc. When should you just plan on not going?  It seems to me that if the freezing level is at 3k, clouds at 6k with a temp of 25 degrees F or so(or even lower), that whatever is in the clouds should blow around the plane.  How do you predict when super cooled droplets exist or not?  Do you always avoid clouds in freezing conditions? Hopefully this brings about some good real world pointers that are difficult to read in books.   


I lived and flew in Buffalo for a number of years before I moved to the balmy mid-Atlantic. Icing is one of those weather phenoms that is really unpredictable. I mentioned in a thread a while back that while flying IMC in western NY, I was on the same airway as another plane (a Cherokee). He was asking for an altitude change due to heavy ice accumulations while I had flown through the same area without picking up anything. Difference? Was speed a factor?

When I start planning for winter flights, I start off at the FAA guide as a refresher: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_91-74B.pdf

As for the flight planning, start off with the tools available from the various sources. These are indicators where conditions exist that could result in icing. I also look at the temps aloft to see if an inversion exists and at what altitudes they are at. These altitudes are helpful if I need to get out of Dodge. Going up may be a better exit strategy than going down. In addition, I pay really close attention to any PIREP in my area of flight that indicates someone has encountered icing.

I will try to plan my flights above or below the clouds if I can. I also note the cloud bases at my destination to make sure that I am not spending a lot of time on an approach in clouds that could hold ice.

Of course the fun doesn’t stop there. You pick up the ATIS and hear, “braking action reported as poor by truck” or “snow mounds lining the edge of the runway”. And as you pop out above the DA, have the airport made only to encounter an unexpected white out.

Ah, winter flying. What fun.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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1 hour ago, Cruiser said:

That is great for glass, but your wing is painted aluminum. You might want to check and see how it works on that........

We've already conducted our own, independent study right here at MooneySpace. One of our members with a TKS equipped airplane used Rain-X on his landing light cover (which is not TKS protected).  It made no difference in ice accretion compared to the NAV-light covers on the wingtips.  The problem seems to be 170 MPH instead of 70 MPH highway speeds.

Josè used to put WD-40 on his leading edges.  At least he doesn't do that anymore.

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40 minutes ago, Cruiser said:

That is great for glass, but your wing is painted aluminum. You might want to check and see how it works on that........

I am using Rain-X for plastics and painted surfaces.

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34 minutes ago, Andy95W said:

We've already conducted our own, independent study right here at MooneySpace. One of our members with a TKS equipped airplane used Rain-X on his landing light cover (which is not TKS protected).  It made no difference in ice accretion compared to the NAV-light covers on the wingtips.  The problem seems to be 170 MPH instead of 70 MPH highway speeds.

Josè used to put WD-40 on his leading edges.  At least he doesn't do that anymore.

Interesting, do you know when he posted his Rain-X findings? I could not find it with the "search" function.

Thanks

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1 hour ago, Andy95W said:

We've already conducted our own, independent study right here at MooneySpace. One of our members with a TKS equipped airplane used Rain-X on his landing light cover (which is not TKS protected).  It made no difference in ice accretion compared to the NAV-light covers on the wingtips.  The problem seems to be 170 MPH instead of 70 MPH highway speeds.

Josè used to put WD-40 on his leading edges.  At least he doesn't do that anymore.

Even if it made a difference, the outcome would be even worse as you'd end up with a bunch of runback ice entirely destroying the shape of the airfoil. Last thing you want is super cooled water not freezing on the leading edge and running back on the wings surface where it would promptly freeze. That's all that Rain-X would accomplish, if it actually worked. But it doesn't even actually accomplish that on a car standing still if you look at the video Jose posted. The ice still forms on the windshield, it's just makes it easier to remove. I'm also rather suspicious of the video, as there clearly is water underneath the ice, so looks to me like someone first run the defroster first. I landed my 206 with about an inch of ice on my wheel pants two weeks ago in Driggs, ID. TKS took care of the rest, but even that wasn't pleasant as the whole airframe was vibrating from the landing gear being buffeted by rough, uneven shape of the ice. Nose wheel was ice free due to prop spray.

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15 minutes ago, AndyFromCB said:

Even if it made a difference, the outcome would be even worse as you'd end up with a bunch of runback ice entirely destroying the shape of the airfoil. Last thing you want is super cooled water not freezing on the leading edge and running back on the wings surface where it would promptly freeze. That's all that Rain-X would accomplish, if it actually worked. But it doesn't even actually accomplish that on a car standing still if you look at the video Jose posted. The ice still forms on the windshield, it's just makes it easier to remove. I'm also rather suspicious of the video, as there clearly is water underneath the ice, so looks to me like someone first run the defroster first. I landed my 206 with about an inch of ice on my wheel pants two weeks ago in Driggs, ID. TKS took care of the rest, but even that wasn't pleasant as the whole airframe was vibrating from the landing gear being buffeted by rough, o remove the uneven shape of the ice. Nose wheel was ice free due to prop spray.

You can always apply Rain-X on top of the wing so will make it easier to remove the snow/ice before departing.

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Just now, Piloto said:

You can always apply Rain-X on top of the wing so will make it easier to remove the snow/ice before departing.

I have been watching the Rain-X on the leading edge posts for several months, but I have not decided whether you are serious or not....B)   And even if you post that you are, I'm not sure whether that would make more more or less convincing.

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Any merit to rubbing TKS on prior to flying?  Sounds pretty obvious that a proper preflight is the best tool for flying through cold clouds. Is colder better? For example, If temps show no inversion and temperatures are progressively colder as you climb is there a zone where ice won't accumulate because it's simply too cold and everything suspended in the clouds is benign/frozen. I'm guessing that's what an icing forecast attempts to predict. Sorry to act dumb but that's because I am.:wacko:

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26 minutes ago, Piloto said:

You can always apply Rain-X on top of the wing so will make it easier to remove the snow/ice before departing.

 

3 minutes ago, INA201 said:

Any merit to rubbing TKS on prior to flying?  Sounds pretty obvious that a proper preflight is the best tool for flying through cold clouds. Is colder better? For example, If temps show no inversion and temperatures are progressively colder as you climb is there a zone where ice won't accumulate because it's simply too cold and everything suspended in the clouds is benign/frozen. I'm guessing that's what an icing forecast attempts to predict. Sorry to act dumb but that's because I am.:wacko:

I spray RV Antifreeze before I leave my aircraft if I'm not going to hangar it and there is potential for frost and then spray again before flight if I'm departing same day. If staying a couple of days, then I generally pay for a heated hangar on my last day in the mountains. Clearing frost/ice on a Cessna sucks big time.

Edited by AndyFromCB

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2 hours ago, Piloto said:

Interesting, do you know when he posted his Rain-X findings? I could not find it with the "search" function.

Thanks

My mistake, it was the WD-40 that he tested on the landing light lens that didn't work.  Someone then posted that Rain-X would eat through the paint so nobody tried it.

Maybe you could be our test-bed for Rain-X.  If you apply it to your wings but not the wingtips and then post pictures if you pick up any ice?  But please, be careful out there.

 

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2 minutes ago, Andy95W said:

My mistake, it was the WD-40 that he tested on the landing light lens that didn't work.  Someone then posted that Rain-X would eat through the paint so nobody tried it.

Maybe you could be our test-bed for Rain-X.  If you apply it to your wings but not the wingtips and then post pictures if you pick up any ice?  But please, be careful out there.

 

I have already applied Rain-X for plastics and have not seen any paint degradation. What I have noticed is an increase in speed of about 3kts. When applied it leaves a shine on the surface similar to when waxing it.

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When going to Idaho this past Monday sitting in the back :(of a CRJ200 we encountered icing conditions during the approach but as  we proceeded down lower the ice began to melt off.  I could see it building on the winglets and the flaps as they were deployed.

Thought to myself I would not want to be flying that approach in my plane.

 

 

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On 11/28/2017 at 5:55 PM, INA201 said:
I live in SC so not a ton of icing problems most of the year and I have zero experience with it other than knowledge of sorts.  What exactly are the conditions to avoid for icing?  I'm aware of the freezing level, icing forecasts, super cooled droplets, etc. When should you just plan on not going?  It seems to me that if the freezing level is at 3k, clouds at 6k with a temp of 25 degrees F or so(or even lower), that whatever is in the clouds should blow around the plane.  How do you predict when super cooled droplets exist or not?  Do you always avoid clouds in freezing conditions? Hopefully this brings about some good real world pointers that are difficult to read in books.   


There is an excellent knowledge course in the wings program advanced phase 1 IIRC. 


https://www.faasafety.gov/gslac/ALC/CourseLanding.aspx?cId=33
-dan

Edited by exM20K
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6 hours ago, 1964-M20E said:

When going to Idaho this past Monday sitting in the back :(of a CRJ200 we encountered icing conditions during the approach but as  we proceeded down lower the ice began to melt off.  I could see it building on the winglets and the flaps as they were deployed.

Thought to myself I would not want to be flying that approach in my plane.

 

 

Where in Idaho?

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To avoid icing, it helps to...

Stay away from water on cold days...

Like fire, Ice requires three things...

  • moisture
  • temps below freezing
  • an initiator (impurities such as dirt, an airplane, or a single ice crystal)

It is possible to evaporate tons of moisture off a great lake, support It in the air at altitude, allowing it to chill below freezing... this causes a super-cooled liquid to exist that is incredibly ready to freeze...

The physical oddity of super-cooled water... It is ready to freeze.  Just waiting for that initiator to fly by...

 

If flying into moisture on a cold day.  Ice is a possibility.  Know where the outs are going to be.... warmth of above freezing levels, above or below your altitude.  Or clear moisture free air above or below....

Flying a super clean airplane sounds helpful... but the mechanical act of smacking into supercooled fluids causes the initiation of ice formation to occur.

Somebody posted YouTube videos of supercooled water turning to ice.  Around here somewhere...

 

Acretion in these conditions can happen rapidly. Getting to a solution for this challenge needs to be started quickly.

A U turn may be needed quickly.  Do not hesitate.  Use the E word if necessary....

Accumulating Ice is a drag in two varieties...

  • It loads the plane with weight that doesn't follow the plane's WnB requirements...
  • It changes the shape of the lifting surfaces making them less efficient...
  • The power delivered by the engine gets affected when ice forms on the prop blades... less efficient power delivery...
  • Ice blocking the air intake... can be a real hazard.
  • Alternate air system being used can be effective.  But, the more restrictive air intake lessens the power available...

Just when you need more power to support more weight....to climb a few k’... the power may not be available for long.... and climbing requires excess power.  Increasing altitude delivers lower MP for NA engines.....

Always have a plan B.

 

Another physical oddity to keep in mind... decreasing air pressure around the plane is a cause of lowering temperatures... it is why ice forms in carburetors and can make the top of the wing a target in really special cases.

Ice on the leading edge of the wing can alter how the air splits to go over and under the wing. A real aerodynamics challenge during landing operations....

PP ideas only, not a CFI or weatherman....

Best regards,

-a-

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All Rain X and its brethren will do is present a hydrophobic surface to the water.  It forms drops instead of sheets.  If it supercools those drops will quickly freeze.

The main advantage to things like Rain X is they should make it easier to wipe off the bugs.

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