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Chock

EGCC Winter Operations

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The winter ops guys, who do anti icing and de icing at EGCC had an open day today on Stand 21 of EGCC, where you could check out the equipment and ask about stuff. I was actually off work today, but I thought it would be interesting, so I drove in to attend it anyway.

First pic shows one of the new white MAG de icing trucks, this can spray different mixtures of glycol and heated water (up to 80 degrees) so it can either de ice, or anti ice an aeroplane. To the right of that is the ant-icing truck which they do the runways with if they think it is going to ice over, it has the icing spray arms partially folded, with those extended, it can spray an area of runway 30 metres wide. It uses different stuff to the de icers which spray the aeroplanes, which is more environmentally friendly than the glycol the de icer spray trucks use on the planes.

In the distance you can see the main control tower and on the right, the Fairey Apron Thomas Cook maintenance hangar. It's called the Fairey Apron because it is where Fairey Engineering used to have a construction facility which built, amongst other things, Lancaster bombers during WW2. In front of that you can just about make out some of the red and white barriers which deflect the jet blast of aircraft in the area between stands 101 and 100. Normally there is a British Airways Dornier 328 on that stand, but sometimes it is used by private jets too, for example, there was a Cessna Citation on there a couple of days ago.

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Not really very visible on this pic behind all the people, is one of the snow blowers (you can really only see its blower exhaust stack, but on the front of it is a roller system which collects the snow, you can actually see that roller a bit better on the very last pic on this post).

Behind that, on Stand 23, is an IcelandAir B757. On the ground you can see Stand 21's yellow centreline with the various markings for where the front wheel is supposed to stop for different aircraft on the stand, so that the air bridge will connect properly. Normally the crew will use the Safedock system to ensure this happens, which displays a distance to go reading in Metres and has left and right steering cues, but if that goes unserviceable, a marshal can use paddles or lights to steer it to the correct stopping point. We also use these markers to make sure we stop the aeroplane in the correct place when towing them onto a stand, which is why the names and models of the various aeroplanes are painted on there. We tried to get one of the airfield ops girls to paint 'spitfire' and 'concorde' on one of the the stands the other day where these marking are, but she wouldn't do it unfortunately!

Most of the time, Stand 21 is used by EasyJet Airbuses, except for today of course, since it was being used for this event. If you're wondering why some people have umbrellas incidentally, it's because they were giving them out to people who attended, as you can see, it was actually very sunny, but it wasn't particularly warm!

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The yellow Mercedes truck on this pic is one of the snowploughs which can also blow snow and drop anti icing material. In front of that is one of Swissport's de icing trucks.

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On this pic you can see the MAG de icing truck has its work platform lowered and there are two people in it, normally there'd only be one person in there, but they were showing people how it worked. You have to wear a full safety harness when in that and there are two hoses for different tasks, one is de icing, the other is anti icing. The truck cab has a glass roof with a windscreen wiper on it so the driver can observe the platform when it is raised up.

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In the background of this pic and the one below it, you can just about make out two green John Deere tractors which are basically identical to those you'd find on a farm, but in addition to being used for cutting the grass on the airport, they can also tow winter equipment such as brushes and blowers. The small red car is one of the airfield operations cars.

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Edited by Chock

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Real men deice in an open bucket. None of that closed cab stuff. That's for girly men.😁

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Brrrrr I feel cold.  Us desert folk with thin blood do not do well in the cold (which is always why my employers would send me into the depths of Canada in the winter, lol, when I was a road warrior, just to have a laugh.  Problem is I knew Canadian tax law so well they depended on me for those clients). 

My most horrible experience was the first famous Detroit stranded passenger blizzard in 1999 on my way to Ottawa.  Our puddle jumper taxied out to the runway when the jet behind us reported that we had severe icing.  We were deiced and made more attempts to take off, but kept icing over, finally they shut down the airport.  Northwest did not want to clear us thru the gate again so they kept us on an unheated aircraft for hours, I was in the worst pain of my life, curled up in a fetal position in our puddle jumper to fend off the below zero cold. 

Finally all of us became so desperate we threatened lawsuits, plus we needed the facilities by then.  Meanwhile in Ottawa my poor clients, who were going to pick me up at the airport there and take me to their hotel, were wondering what had happened to me.  God Bless them, they waited there when I finally got there, seven hours late.  I should have sued but we had no rights back then, the airlines treated the stranded Detroit passengers like dirt. 

Then they did it again and Congress finally had enough, even though weather delays were acts of God incarcerating passengers on frozen aircraft with no food or water was evil.  Northwest paid by going out of business even though the real blame was on Mesaba, that owned the puddle jumper NWA brand.  I finally arrived in Ottawa to a compassionate client that fed me, then ordered me not to work the next day until I had eight hours of sleep.  They were such wonderful people, those Canadians, they gave us a tour of Ottawa, I saw people skating on the frozen canals, then they drove us over the border into Quebec and back.  I have an affinity for Canadians to this day, God Bless them and their compassion to me that cold night in 1999.  And there in Ottawa I also learned I was going to be a Daddy and my client and colleague who helped me on the systems training and implementation celebrated with me.

John

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Excellent info. I actually taxied past all this  yesterday and wondered what was going off, I though they were doing some training exercise.

It was like a scene from the film Airport.

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From the deicing bucket in December of 2013. Deicing at DFW was easy money most of the time.
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