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Guest Peter Sidoli

flying in bad weather with no anti-icing

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Flying around the C208 from Feelthere, which I enjoy a lot, I was wondering, how do those guys fly this airplane around when the weather is bad? if you have to go through clouds, do you just climb to shed off the ice buildup? Those guys are nuts!! I'm trying to find out the proper procedures for flying in my hopes of one day becoming a freighter pilot like that.Thanks

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You don't want to fly when there is icing-and if you get into it accidentally you get out -fast! Yes-it may sublimate-but avoiding it is really the only solution. If you know you may get in it only a very short time-and know for certain you have an out.......My Baron has anti ice-but is not certified for known. On Monday I flew-there was a thin layer of stratus about 1000 ft. thick at 3000 ft. I had to go thru it on climb out (no ice-only in it less than a minute) descend thru on approach-I was in the clouds about 5 minutes. In that time I picked up about a 1/4 of rime-which I broke most off with the deice boots. With no anti ice I probably would have just not made the flight at all-or gone vfr below the clouds.Here is some great info:http://aircrafticing.grc.nasa.gov/courses.htmlhttp://flightaware.com/live/flight/N7345Rhttp://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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AlexIf you are flying a non deiced/anti iced aircraft you have to really watch the temperatures before you go.You have to check that the plus degree levels are above the MSA for your route and have to be confident that there is a decent margin where if you do pick up ice you can descend to loose it.Climbing above the icing level doesnt always work in a non deiced/anti iced aircraft.One of the problems is that the prop picks up ice and as it does so the prop looses efficiency and hence thrust.The airframe is picking up ice and the two bits together can mean that you have full throttle and no climb.I can remember training for my IR in a piper warrior single a number of years ago. We were at FL 80 in cloud and neither I or my instructor noticed the ice straight off.First thing I knew was that I could nt hold altitude and was continually adding power to do so. Then there was no more power and the aircraft started to sink.We were then aware of the problem and my instructor asked for FL60 which we were given but "not below" that went out the window as we sailed past FL60 to 4000 feet before the ice melted off.This was unforecast ice and had it not melted off we would have carried on down to the ground had the lower temperatures been wrong.If you are in such an aircraft and are likely to fly in cloud dont go unless you are sure you can loose it with a descent.Never ever count on climbing through unless again you are very confident that you have a big big margin of warm air below you and the ground.As Geof said any deicing anti icing is better than none. Even if the airframe has no deicing anti icing capability a "hot" prop will help to at least help you keep more of the power.Even in an approved into ice aircraft you do not want to hang around there.One of the best bits of advice in flying is to never take on anything where you have no "outs". If you do anything where all your escape routes are closed you are playing Russian Roulette and in the arms of the Gods.Peter

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If I can add-this is where live xm weather is so incredible for a pilot!I flew a trip in November where the temps were at/ below freezing at altitude and the cloud bottoms were 4000 ft. with tops at 18,000-solid overcast. Not a problem for the lowlands of Michigan/Ohio where I could fly below the clouds-but as I flew south thru Kentucky and North Carolina the mea's would continue to go up-till I needed to be 8000 ft. over the smokies. This could have been a big problem.When halfway down Ohio the temps were still hovering around the freezing level-but looking at the xm freezing level readout I could see that by mid Kentucky they would be around 38 F up to 5000 ft. and over the smokies not only a little higher but that the clouds would be breaking up.Sure enough-that is exactly what happened-I was able to climb into the clouds over Kentucky below freezing and right when I got to Knoxville the clouds broke up. Without the xm, and not knowing exactly-I might have been forced to make a landing to wait it out or get more timely information. The xm weather gave me the timely info I needed.I consider xm an essential for any long xc trips now...http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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The C208 has deicing equipment. Prop heat, windshield heat, intertial seperator and leading edge boots and is certified as such so in theory there shouldn't be any issues with flying into known light to moderate icing conditions. Known severe icing conditions can't be flown in though. However, it seems that some oprators are experiencing marginal performance in moderate icing.With leading edge boots, the general procedure is to wait for about 0.5" of ice to build up and then inflate the boots to crack the ice off. The props are electric so can remain on and have a system of alternating the power to each blade i sequence to reduce electric loads. Because ice is a tripple whammy (loose prop performance, changes wing shape and adds lots of weight) many aircraft have much heigher minimum speeds because the stall speed rises so much as a result.Next time you are at an airfield, see if there are any Senecas there. If there are, you may notice, upon close inspection, small dints and cracks on the port side (left) front cargo door. This is glass fibre and takes the full impact of ice being shed from the prop. Charter and air taxi pilots will testify that the sound of ice hitting the side of the fuselage is quite unnerving at first, but you soon become accustomed to it.There is only one word that can be used to describe pilots who venture into known icing conditions (freezing levels are clearly marked on aviation met reports) and that is "nutter". In cumulus cloud between about 0deg and -8deg OAT (can be +10deg to +2deg TAT) you have litterally minutes to live. At other tempratures or in more stratiform cloud types icing can remain very light. But flight into known icing in aircraft no certified regardless of actual equipment installed is illegal anyway.Geofa,Do you know why the Baron isn't certified. It seems rather anomolous to have a long range high performance twin that practically can't be used in the IMC for half the year.

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I believe the Baron I have is not certified because it has alchohol props/windshield (vs. electric) and the wing from the nacelles to the root have no boot coverage. I think "certified" also requires quite a bit of rigid testing by the FAA which also adds to the expense.....Here is a great read on "certification":http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa22.pdfI haven't had much trouble even in my part of the world where icing is forecast daily for almost 6-7 months. It just takes a little planning and xm weather helps a lot!http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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>Next time you are at an airfield, see if there are any Senecas there. If there are, you may notice, upon close inspection, small dints and cracks on the port side (left) front cargo door. This is glass fibre and takes the full impact of ice being shed from the prop. Charter and air taxi pilots will testify that the sound of ice hitting the side of the fuselage is quite unnerving at first, but you soon become accustomed to it.

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one thing no one has mentioned is raw speed as anti-ice protection. if the temperature is hovering just below 0, fly the airplane FAST. this increases the TAT the wing feels and may keep you ice free. plus speed is life.also anytime you are in ice in a reciprocating engine, bug your speed!flying checks in a seneca (no pleasure to fly a nice V, but rather a I/II/III) my check airman also told me the greatest prop deice/anti-ice system is not those electric boots, but rather those blue handles (propeller pitch controls) in the cockpit. rapidly cycling the propeller pitch once (not unlike those runup checks) will shed ice very quickly.the boots needing .5" or more before applying is from the older boots which "bridged" the ice when popped prematurely (ie the ice would simply expand with the boot and create a "bridge" between the ice and deflated boot making them uneffective). recent nasa studies with more modern boots have shown this to not be as much a problem as widely believed.http://icebox.grc.nasa.gov/

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>one thing no one has mentioned is raw speed as anti-ice>protection. if the temperature is hovering just below 0, fly>the airplane FAST. this increases the TAT the wing feels and>may keep you ice free. plus speed is life.I took off in a Citation which had been parked out over night. We had to deice her removing ice and frost off the lifting surfaces. As we accelerated past 200 kts it was like magic to watch all the remaining ice melt away.>also anytime you are in ice in a reciprocating engine, bug>your speed! Explain this one?>flying checks in a seneca (no pleasure to fly a nice V, but>rather a I/II/III) my check airman also told me the greatest>prop deice/anti-ice system is not those electric boots, but>rather those blue handles (propeller pitch controls) in the>cockpit. rapidly cycling the propeller pitch once (not unlike>those runup checks) will shed ice very quickly.I have heard this many times. I was also told that there is a danger with this method of loosing some ice and not in a uniform way.The result is a badly out of balance prop.But if your in a mess then try anything.>the boots needing .5" or more before applying is from the>older boots which "bridged" the ice when popped prematurely>(ie the ice would simply expand with the boot and create a>"bridge" between the ice and deflated boot making them>uneffective). recent nasa studies with more modern boots have>shown this to not be as much a problem as widely believed.>>http://icebox.grc.nasa.gov/Thanks for the link. I have argued this point with a colleague Peter

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If you are looking for good ice stories, I highly recommend Ernie Gann's book Fate is the Hunter. He had an interesting experience early in his career flying as copilot in a DC-2 picking up heavy ice (so bad the rudder was frozen). One of the things the captain started doing to keep the engines going was pulling back the mixture and then slamming it forward enough to force the engines to backfire which helped clear the ice out of the carburetors. If you like flying stories, I can't recommend the book enough!

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>>also anytime you are in ice in a reciprocating engine, bug>>your speed!> >Explain this one?well ice seems to like to mess with engine gauges, so as a backup bug your airspeed as it is a good "performance" measure. typically you're in level cruise at a specific setting at a constant speed. upon entering icing conditions you don't adjust power/thrust, so simply bug your speed and see if you get reduced performance (ie a reduction in speed).it is also good to bug your speed in climbs/descents in recips. it will help you decipher an iced up pitot tube (oops i forgot to turn on the pitot heat or it ain't hot enough).>I have heard this many times. I was also told that there is a>danger with this method of loosing some ice and not in a>uniform way.>The result is a badly out of balance prop.>But if your in a mess then try anything.as you said if you're in a pickle, do what you can. i've done this technique and it gets rid of ice pretty well.

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