May 2009 Issue

Induction Icing

Knowing how and when induction icing happens can help you prevent it.

The sputtering sound of your airplane’s powerplant, followed by a sudden silence, and the realization that you are now the pilot of a heavy glider, can certainly get your immediate attention. As the cold, dry winter is replaced by the more-humid air of summer, we’re back in the season for one type of induction icing, carburetor ice. We are in the middle of the season again, where induction system icing will pull down a few unsuspecting pilots who have elected to fly in known (or possible) icing conditions. I can almost hear you now, saying, " I think he means carburetor ice...." Well, partly; induction system icing takes a number of unpopular forms. This includes all kinds of fuel metering devices (fuel injection, as well as carburetion), and the vulnerable parts of the induction system, where ice can accumulate. These can include the air filter, or bends in the system, and any of the critical areas of the fuel-metering accessories.

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