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Flying through known or forecast icing



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 14th 05, 11:56 AM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

Ok, I know this is one of those "it depends" answers, but I'm curious as to
what folks are willing to do in the winter time.

Assumptions:

Single engine piston aircraft with NO de-icing equipment.

Situation:

It's wintertime. You want to fly XC and there are midlevel clouds in the
forecast with the potential for icing to occur.

It looks like the band is thin enough to climb through and cruise in the
clear above the weather.

SO:

1) If the cloud layer is forecast to potentially have icing, can you legally
and would you climb through the layer to get up high for your trip? how
thick a layer, type of forecast, time spent in the layer, etc. What would
you be willing to risk transition through possible icing?

2) Would that change any if those same conditions were now reported icing
from a recent PIREP?

3) If it's reported, can you transit the cloud layer legally?

4) Let's say yoru trip starts off VFR but by the time you get to your
destination, a cloud layer has formed that has reported icing in it. Can or
or would you be willing to transit this layer to land at this destionation
or would you turn around or divert to land someplace to stay out of the
clouds?

Thanks.



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  #2  
Old December 14th 05, 12:30 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing


John Doe wrote:
Ok, I know this is one of those "it depends" answers, but I'm curious as to
what folks are willing to do in the winter time.

Assumptions:

Single engine piston aircraft with NO de-icing equipment.

Situation:

It's wintertime. You want to fly XC and there are midlevel clouds in the
forecast with the potential for icing to occur.

It looks like the band is thin enough to climb through and cruise in the
clear above the weather.

SO:

1) If the cloud layer is forecast to potentially have icing, can you legally
and would you climb through the layer to get up high for your trip? how
thick a layer, type of forecast, time spent in the layer, etc. What would
you be willing to risk transition through possible icing?

**A. Known icing vs forecast are two different animals. It has been my
experience that ice generally appears in longitudinal bands of varying
depth and width. I'll make a climb thru the clouds watching for any
signs of ice and with my anti ice on. Most of the time I can get to on
top conditions or out of the ice band before any serious problems
occur. If I am cruising and start picking up ice, I'll usually ask for
higher...my reasoning being the temps will drop even more reducing the
possibility of more ice and if not, I can always go lower where
hopefully the temps will get above the ice range. Either way, an
altitude change nearly always cures the problem. Over the mountains you
are limited in altitude reduction?

2) Would that change any if those same conditions were now reported icing
from a recent PIREP?

**B If there is a current PIREP of ice, I'll get a higher altitude
rather than take a chance of taking on a load that I can't handle. Like
I said, horizontal bands of ice and if you hit it the long way, you'll
be in the ice for ??? If you penetrate it perpendicular, your exposure
to ice is much shorter. However, even brief exposure to severe ice can
bring you down like an aluminum snowflake and not very pretty!

3) If it's reported, can you transit the cloud layer legally?

**C Not unless you have an aircraft certified for known icing.

4) Let's say yoru trip starts off VFR but by the time you get to your
destination, a cloud layer has formed that has reported icing in it. Can or
or would you be willing to transit this layer to land at this destionation
or would you turn around or divert to land someplace to stay out of the
clouds?

**D. Not this pilot! I'll take a divert rather than drop down thru
known icing. Twice I have been forced to the ground with rapid ice
accumulation and was lucky to make it to the end of a runway both
times. I've picked up severe ice in a number of aircraft that had
anti-ice and de-ice equipment and still did some serious perspiring
while I got thru it. Ain't something you can fool with for long without
going to the ground like an ice cube!
PIREPS are the most reliable source of icing information and I'll
always ask/give them even if I get just a trace. I flew regular freight
routes in the Great Lakes, and in the Rockies with single and twin
engine aircraft for years.

Thanks.


  #3  
Old December 14th 05, 04:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

John Doe wrote:

1) If the cloud layer is forecast to potentially have icing, can you legally
and would you climb through the layer to get up high for your trip? how
thick a layer, type of forecast, time spent in the layer, etc. What would
you be willing to risk transition through possible icing?


No. Legally, forecast ice is "known icing."

4) Let's say yoru trip starts off VFR but by the time you get to your
destination, a cloud layer has formed that has reported icing in it. Can or
or would you be willing to transit this layer to land at this destionation
or would you turn around or divert to land someplace to stay out of the
clouds?


If I want to stay VFR, I won't be transiting any clouds. Being unwilling to risk
a violation if I file IFR and then fly through reported icing, I would divert.

George Patterson
Coffee is only a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to
your slightly older self.
  #4  
Old December 14th 05, 04:58 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

George, your heart is in the right place...but if you think that someone at
ATC has a pad of ticket forms just ready to write you up, you are sadly
mistaken. I was told by an officer of the controller's union that
controllers are not interested in the certification status of an airplane or
a pilot.

A former Assistant Administrator for Regulations and Certification told me
that it is the pilot who encounters icing conditions and makes no attempt to
escape who would get a violation...but only if that failure resulted in an
accident/incident or required special handling by ATC. No one at a Center
operating position knows if a pilot climbs or descends through a cloud.

Bob Gardner

"George Patterson" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
John Doe wrote:

1) If the cloud layer is forecast to potentially have icing, can you
legally and would you climb through the layer to get up high for your
trip? how thick a layer, type of forecast, time spent in the layer, etc.
What would you be willing to risk transition through possible icing?


No. Legally, forecast ice is "known icing."

4) Let's say yoru trip starts off VFR but by the time you get to your
destination, a cloud layer has formed that has reported icing in it. Can
or or would you be willing to transit this layer to land at this
destionation or would you turn around or divert to land someplace to stay
out of the clouds?


If I want to stay VFR, I won't be transiting any clouds. Being unwilling
to risk a violation if I file IFR and then fly through reported icing, I
would divert.

George Patterson
Coffee is only a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to
your slightly older self.



  #5  
Old December 14th 05, 05:15 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

Bob Gardner wrote:
George, your heart is in the right place...but if you think that someone at
ATC has a pad of ticket forms just ready to write you up, you are sadly
mistaken. I was told by an officer of the controller's union that
controllers are not interested in the certification status of an airplane or
a pilot.


No, I don't think "they" are just waiting to write me up, but the OP asked if it
was *legal*, and it's not.

A former Assistant Administrator for Regulations and Certification told me
that it is the pilot who encounters icing conditions and makes no attempt to
escape who would get a violation...but only if that failure resulted in an
accident/incident or required special handling by ATC. No one at a Center
operating position knows if a pilot climbs or descends through a cloud.


I've been told that too; however, I'm not going to go through clouds without an
IFR clearance, and I wouldn't take either of the aircraft I've owned through an
area in which icing has been reported. Now, if icing had only been *forecast* in
that area but not reported, and the bottom of the cloud deck was well above
minimums, I would chance it.

George Patterson
Coffee is only a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to
your slightly older self.
  #6  
Old December 14th 05, 08:17 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

: No. Legally, forecast ice is "known icing."

Not to tangent too much, but doesn't that regulation regarding "prohibited
flight into known icing conditions" without certified de-ice equipment loophole old
planes? I seem to recall something about if the POH for the aircraft does not say the
magic words, "Flight into icing conditions prohibited," then it's not illegal.
Certainly not a good idea and guaranteed to bite you on "careless and wreckless" if
something happens, but strictly speaking not immediately illegal.

With the scAIRMETS for icing constituting "known-icing" everywhere north of
the Carolinas for significant chunks out of the year, most GA planes are operating
illegally.

-Cory

--

************************************************** ***********************
* Cory Papenfuss *
* Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student *
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University *
************************************************** ***********************

  #7  
Old December 14th 05, 08:28 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

Tain't legal. The simple answer.

The more important question is: Can you figure out a way to do it
safely
so you don't draw attention to yourself?

For example... you never punch up thru a layer unless you have pilot
reports about
tops or you stay over a place that has wx good enough to get back with
100% certaintly if things go badly as you try to get on top.

As you go along, you must be sure you always have a 100% out. If it's
less than a 100%, you might get in a bad situation.

So you can operate not legally but with safety if you can figure this
out.
If you can't play out the whole solution, or don't have a continuously
updated 100% out, it's a no go.

On top is the answer in little airplanes. You don't start down until
you can get cleared the whole way down. You need good deals with
ATC to get this. Never descend thru a layer unless you have
reported weather underneath and are absolutely sure you can make
the approach. Search on N100KC for a dreadful example of violating
this idea.

The guys who claim they will never do this actually will when the
chips are down! So best is to think the problem through in great
detail rather than assume you will never do it.

Just one more thing: Always understand the wx well enough to
recognize the chance for freezing rain. It will bring you down! Night
time
makes this all much worse!

Bill Hale

  #8  
Old December 14th 05, 08:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

As you said, the answer 'depends' on how risk averse you are.

Legally, the answer is, you cannot climb into icing conditions
(forecast or reported) no matter how thin the layer is.

In reality, you can use some judgement in the decision. Is the freezing
level above the MEA? It is icing rime or clear? How thin is the layer?

ATC is not traffic cops. Their job is to keep you separated from other
traffic. They don't care whether you have de-icing equipment or not, or
whether you are complying with all the other FARs.

  #10  
Old December 14th 05, 09:23 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr,rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Flying through known or forecast icing

wrote in message
...
: No. Legally, forecast ice is "known icing."

Not to tangent too much, but doesn't that regulation regarding "prohibited
flight into known icing conditions" without certified de-ice equipment
loophole old
planes? I seem to recall something about if the POH for the aircraft does
not say the
magic words, "Flight into icing conditions prohibited," then it's not
illegal.
Certainly not a good idea and guaranteed to bite you on "careless and
wreckless" if
something happens, but strictly speaking not immediately illegal.


No, there isn't any such loophole in the wording of the FARs: "91.527(b)
Except for an airplane that has ice protection provisions that meet the
requirements in section 34 of Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 23, or
those for transport category airplane type certification, no pilot may
fly-(1) Under IFR into known or forecast moderate icing conditions; or (2)
Under VFR into known light or moderate icing conditions unless the aircraft
has functioning de-icing or anti-icing equipment...".

Notice that there is an explicit prohibition against flying into *known or
forecast* moderate icing conditions (that's under IFR; under VFR, the
prohibition applies to known (not forecast) light or moderate icing).

There is an exception though: "91.527(d) If current weather reports and
briefing information relied upon by the pilot in command indicate that the
forecast icing conditions that would otherwise prohibit the flight will not
be encountered during the flight because of changed weather conditions since
the forecast, the restrictions in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section
based on forecast conditions do not apply".

So if there's a forecast for icing, but other evidence (such as PIREPs)
indicates that the predicted icing conditions have not come about, then the
forecast becomes moot. But a mere absence of PIREPs (or other evidence)
leaves the forecast-based prohibition intact--to override the forecast, you
need evidence of non-icing conditions, not just non-evidence of icing
conditions.

--Gary


 




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