October 2001 Issue

When Flying in Ice

When it comes to flying ice-capable equipment, the bottom line is: If you’re gonna do it, do it right

[IMGCAP(1)] On Valentine’s Day 2000, Indy racer Tony Bettenhausen went down in a Baron 58 that was approved for flight in known icing conditions. FAA records show that in mid-afternoon the day before his fatal accident, he called Nashville Automated Flight Service Station to file an IFR flight plan and get a standard weather briefing.

He was told that along his route of flight there was a convective Sigmet reporting a line of thunderstorms 30 miles wide, with tops to 30,000 feet. In addition, the forecast called for moderate rime and mixed icing from the freezing level to 24,000 feet, with moderate turbulence below 15,000 feet. He updated the weather later, then wisely decided to cancel...

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