Features

January 2010 Issue

Top Three Aircraft Icing Myths Busted

Some real-world examples demonstrate in-flight icing is a problem no matter what airplane you fly.

Many myths persist about the capability of airplanes to fly in ice, appearing to support techniques for ice avoidance or landing an ice-laden airplane that make ice accumulation acceptable. "Speed saves." "More power is better than ice protection." "Known icing certification makes flying in ice safe." Like any myth these are rooted in truth, but they are not necessarily true themselves. With apologies to the Discovery Channel I present these icing myths, busted. Hereís our first in-flight icing myth: "Keep your speed up and you can land with a load of ice." Landing an ice-laden airplane can be tricky, even with clear approaches to the longest runway around. Performing a tight, circling approach at night in low visibility? We donít even want to think about it.

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