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Sat, Jan 10, 2009

A Few Aero-Tips For The (Icing) Season #6: Known Icing Conditions

Ice... Ain't Nice!

For those of us who have "hit the boots" (or the equivalent system on your favorite bird) a few times in the last few days due to the ever-present seasonal 'charms' of in-flight icing, we thought a series of short tips from Cirrus Design's Scott Winter (yes, that IS his real name) might help us all to consider some of the realities of this time of year. So... here are the first of seven tips for dealing with icing. Y'all be careful out there!

Icing Aero-Tip #6: Known Icing Conditions

In a recent letter of interpretation (which is still being "clarified"), the FAA Eastern Region offered a definition of what is considered known icing conditions. The letter states that known icing conditions exist when visible moisture or high relative humidity combines with temperatures near or below freezing.

It continues to state that since clouds are visible moisture, flying through them when the temperature is at or below freezing would constitute flight into known icing conditions. Althought somewhat ameliorated since then, the letter strictly concludes with "Flight into known icing conditions when the airplane flight manual or pilot operating handbook prohibit such flight constitutes a violation whether the aircraft accretes ice or not."

About Scott Winter

Scott is a member of the Flight Standards Department at Cirrus Design Corporation in Duluth, MN (one of those places that see more than its fair share of icing encounters). Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, he discovered his passion for aviation at an early age. After obtaining his Private Pilot Certificate prior to his senior year in high school, he attended Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree majoring in Professional Flight. In December 2006, he completed his Master's of Science degree from MSU spending time focusing on aviation weather, scenario-based training, and visualization techniques to enhance the methods used to educate aviators.

Note: ANN thanks Cirrus Pilot William Dobson and other members of the Cirrus community, for the use of the excellent SR20 icing pix...

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com, www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa11.pdf

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