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zfehr

Beech Baron 58, icing and a story

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Here comes a little story for those wanting to pass some time, along with a puzzling question.I was making a morning flight in Norway when stormy weather surprised me. I was currently flying a load of fish from ENSO to ENNO (really!) using Cargo Pilot and didnt want to head back. Anyway it seemed like I would pass through the stormy weather barely at its south end, and there where mostly clear skies beyond. I could have headed south, but that would mean canceling FS ATC or create a new flightplan enroute. So I took the chance, thinking my Beech Baron 58 would handle the ice for the few minutes. I was just passing 7500 feet when my airspeed indicator went zero. Thats FS-way of telling icing is starting (no visuals yet as you know). I turned on all the ice protection: pitot heat, prob de-ice and boot heat. I also made sure cowl flaps where closed so the engine would stay warm. Shortly the airspeed operated again. But it was quickly dropping passing 130 kts and below! I double checked to see if the three ice protection switches where on - yes they where - and set the airplane to slow descent to maintain airspeed. But while waiting for the anti-ice to work I discovered something else. MANIFOLD PRESSURE NEEDLE WAS READING ZERO. AND I ALSO CLEARLY COULD HEAR THE ENGINES GOING SLOWLY. I pushed the throttle to max and even hit F4 a couple of times but no luck, the engines where operating at idle. I have flown through icing conditions with Cessna 172 (also a piston engine) in FS2004 and no such thing. The aircraft gets heavier but at least the engine keeps working good.IS THIS AN ERROR IN THE BEECH BARON 58 OR DO PISTON ENGINES REALLY GO TO LOW MANIFOLD PRESSURE DURING ICING?For those interested... the end of the story:I asked ATC for a lower altitude but got request denied. I should have guessed that because I was flying over mountains in the fjords and 9000 was the prefered altitude. It was nastily approaching and emergency. I could not safely descend and I could no get rid of the ice phenomenon. Finally there was a break in the cloud cover, I could see the mountains. People seem to like them because they are so tall, but for me I liked them now because they where so low. I could see ground and I could see water, meaning I could safely descend to sea level. I could now safely go to VFR, I canceled the flighplan and headed for lower warmer air. As I descended below 6500 feet the engines roared to life... clearly it must be low temperature and icing causing the engine problem. BUT WHY I WONDERED? I NEVER HAD THIS IN THE CESSNA. HAS FS GOTTEN MORE REAL OR WAS IT A BUG? I made it safely out of the chilly weather and flew safely around the storm, arriving but 30 minutes late. At least I learned something... if theres an option, never think twice about going around thunderstorms.-Kinetic

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Hi Kinetic,I suspect the problem is an error. Maybe there is a carb-ice factor written into the Baron that shouldn't be there. The Baron will maintain most of it's manifold pressure in light to moderate iceing conditions. Manifold pressure will be slightly reduced is if the intake air inlet iced over. In such a case there is a little door on the intake system inside the cowling that opens and allows the engine to access air from that area. That does result in a slight reduction in manifold pressure. Good story. Flying for real has the same kind of lessons. If you live, you learn. Thunderstorms will always be on the top of that list for me.

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Just a question, did you push mixture to full when you discovered the manifold pressure down? With engines going back to power at lower altitudes sounds like engines leaned out too much.I don't think (key word here - think, as I'm not positive) that FSX models the ice effects on the engine performance. Could be wrong.Phill

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It may be an error. On the other hand it could be icing on the induction air scoop or filter-and this may be modelled in FS. The Baron has a spring-loaded door on the firewall that is supposed to open automatically if such icing occurs-but if that malfunctioned......Also-keep in mind-many of the icing systems are not "known" icing certified. They are there to help you get out of trouble as soon as you can. In bad icing conditions the boots may just not be able to keep up.The best rw procedure is to tell atc you are experiencing icing and can accept a "heading change". That way they can usually get you to an altitude or heading that gets you out of it. If you are surrounded by hostile terrain you don't have many options.Since pilots get themselves into situations like this-I'd call it a step towards reality-though perhaps not 100% perfect.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Many thanks for your views! I thougth it was an exciting story :)I did not change the mixture, it was set to lean by the altitude. I will try it the next time I get if I get into icy conditions and it happens.If the cowl flap spring loaded door malfunctioned, could it help to open the cowl flaps?-Kinetic

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"Also-keep in mind-many of the icing systems are not "known" icing certified. They are there to help you get out of trouble as soon as you can. In bad icing conditions the boots may just not be able to keep up."I'd even say that as soon as it starts to stick it's a matter of seconds before you carry pounds of it. It creates a feedback loop with the iced surface increasing exponentially.I don't know for sure what is the envelope for the Baron but I wouldn't go anywhere near icing conditions.Before, there were inflatable boots to break off the ice mechanically, which was instantaneous if it worked but with heating or liquid... looks more preventive than curative.

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Geof and others might like this story:A pilot I've talked to here in Oregon used to make the trip from here up to Alaska 2+ times a year in his 56TC Baron, that is the same fuselage Baron as the one Geof owns but with the monster 385 hp engines later used on the Beechcraft Duke. He absolutely hated getting into icing conditions for obvious reasons. His way out was amusing though. If he started icing up he would descend back to the pre icing altitude, put max continuous power to the monster engines and accelerate to the yellow line, then pull up into a better than 3,000 fpm climb. He was rarely in icing conditions more than 30 seconds and would flick the boots on as he climbed out on top. Unfortunately a B55 at 10,000 to 14,000 feet doesn't have that power option. I am sure Geof appreciates being able to replace both his engines for less than one of the hanger queen engines used on the 56TC.

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If I may, I will bring this thread back from retirement...I can say that I have now experienced icing in FSX. They have a weird way of implementing it, I guess, but it IS NOT a bug as reported in this thread.It was in what I think to be typical icing conditions (temp 25-35 degF, in and around clouds, precip in area (aka dewpoint near air temp)).It was EXACTLY what Kinetic described in the original post. Manifold pressure gradually went down to zero and the engines were just idling along. I don't know how realistic this is but probably the end effect on the user aircraft is the same...??As soon as I descended a little bit, VROOM! Back to life come the two Lycomings (I was flying the Eaglesoft Piper Twin Comanche). Again, probably not very realistic but the threat on my virtual life is the same as if the ice did alter the aerofoil and slow me down.That's what I get for flying a plane with no de-icing equip (except pitot heat) in Sweden in November!I am considering modding the panel, adding a de-ice switch, and setting the deice value =1 in the aircraft.cfg for the Twinkie!RhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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