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Ch 13 - Icing

Ch 13 - Icing
Introduction
Aircraft icing can have serious negative
effects on both the powerplant and the
aerodynamic performance of your aircraft
As a pilot, your life and the lives of your
passengers depend on your ability to
understand icing and to take the proper
preflight and inflight steps to deal with it
safely

Ch 13 - Icing
In this chapter, you will learn to identify

and report the various types of icing,


understand its causes, and become
familiar with the meteorological conditions
under which it is most likely to occur
When you complete this chapter, you
should have a basic understanding of the
icing threat and the knowledge of how to
avoid it or at least minimize the problem

Ch 13 - Icing
Section A Aircraft Icing Hazards

Induction Icing
Structural Icing
Ground Icing
Section B Observing and Reporting Structural
Icing
Observations of Icing Type and Severity
Icing PIREPs

Ch 13 - Icing
Section C Microscale Icing Processes

Temperature
Liquid Water Content
Droplet Size
Section D Icing and Macroscale Weather
Patterns
Cyclones
Influence of Mountains
Icing Climatology
Section E Minimizing Icing Encounters

Ch 13 - Icing
Section A: Aircraft Icing Hazards
Icing refers to any deposit or coating of ice
on an aircraft.
Two types of icing are critical in the
operation of aircraft: induction icing and
structural icing.

Ch 13 - Icing
Induction Icing

Induction icing a general term which applies to


all icing that affects the power plant operation.
The main effect of induction icing is power loss
due to ice blocking the air before it enters the
engine, thereby interfering with the fuel/air
mixture.
Induction icing includes carburetor icing and icing
on air intakes such as screens and air scoops.
Carburetor icing occurs when moist air drawn into
the carburetor is cooled to a temperature less than 0
degrees Celsius by adiabatic expansion and fuel
vaporization.

Ch 13 - Icing
Structural icing

Structural icing Airframe or structural icing


refers to the accumulation of ice on the
exterior of the aircraft during flight through
clouds or liquid precipitation when the skin
temperature of the aircraft is equal to, or less
than 0 degrees Celsius.
The primary concern over even the slightest
amount of structural icing is the loss of
aerodynamic efficiency via an increase in
drag and a decrease in lift.

Ch 13 - Icing
Ground icing Another important form
of structural icing to be considered is that
which may occur prior to take off.
An aircraft that is ice-free is as critical
for takeoff as it is in other phases of
flight, if not more so.
Causes of ground icing include
freezing rain, freezing drizzle and wet
snow.
Also, frost can be a significant hazard.

Ch 13 - Icing
***Test data indicate that ice, snow, or frost

having a thickness and roughness similar to


medium or coarse sandpaper on the leading
edge and upper surface of a wing can
reduce lift by as much as 30 percent and
increase drag by 40 percent

Ch 13 - Icing
***A hard frost can increase the stalling

speed by as much as 5 or 10 percent.


An aircraft carrying a coating of frost is
particularly vulnerable at low levels if it
also experiences turbulence or wind
shear, especially at slow speeds and in
turns.
Frost may prevent an airplane from
becoming airborne at normal takeoff
speed

Ch 13 - Icing
Section B: Observing and Reporting

Structural Icing
Observations of Icing Type and Severity
Rime ice Structural icing occurs when
super cooled cloud or precipitation droplets
freeze on contact with an aircraft.
The freezing process produces three different
icing types: clear, rime, and mixed ice.

Ch 13 - Icing
Rime ice is the most common icing type.
It forms when water droplets freeze on
impact, trapping air bubbles in the ice.
This type of ice usually forms at
temperatures below -15 degrees Celsius.
Rime ice appears opaque and milky white
with a rough, porous texture.

Ch 13 - Icing
Although rime icing has serious effects on
the aerodynamics of the aircraft wing, it
is regarded as the least serious type of
icing because it is lighter, easier to
remove, and tends to form on the part of
the aircraft where, if available, anti-icing
and/or deicing equipment is located.

Ch 13 - Icing
Clear ice forms when droplets impacting

an airplane freeze slowly, spreading over the


aircraft components.
Air temperatures are usually between 0 degrees
Celsius and 5 degrees Celsius.
These conditions create a smooth, glossy surface
of streaks and bumps of hard ice.
Clear ice is less opaque than rime ice.
It may actually be clear but often is simply
translucent (clear ice is also called glaze).

Ch 13 - Icing
Clear ice is the most dangerous form
of structural icing because it is
heavy and hard
it adheres strongly to the aircraft
surface
it greatly disrupts the airflow over
the wing and it can spread beyond
the location of de-icing or antiicing equipment.

Ch 13 - Icing
Runback icing when ice spreads beyond the

ice protection equipment.


Mixed ice a combination of rime and clear ice
forms at intermediate temperatures (about -5
degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius) and
has characteristics of both types.
The variation in liquid water content in this
temperature range causes an aircraft that is
flying in these conditions to collect layers of
both less opaque (clear) and more opaque
(rime) ice.

Ch 13 - Icing
Icing intensity The severity of icing is

determined by its operational effect on the


aircraft.
Icing intensity is classified as trace, light,
moderate and severe and is related to
rate of accumulation of ice on the aircraft
the effectiveness of available de-icing/antiicing equipment
and the actions you must take to combat the
accumulation of ice.

Ch 13 - Icing
Icing PIREPs
Icing PIREPs Pilot reports of structural icing are
often the only direct observations of that hazard
and, as such, are of extreme importance to all
pilots and aviation forecasters.
The critical information that an icing PIREP should
contain includes location, time, flight level, aircraft
type, temperature, icing intensity, and icing type.
Excellent aids to pilots in the diagnosis of icing
conditions are graphical presentations of recent
icing PIREPs from the Aviation Digital Data Service
(ADDS).

Ch 13 - Icing
Section C: Micro scale Icing Processes

icing occurrence, type, and severity depend on


three basic parameters:
Temperature
Liquid water content
Droplet size

Ch 13 - Icing
Temperature icing types and critical outside
air temperatures include
Clear (0 to -5 degrees Celsius
Clear or mixed (-5 to -10 degrees Celsius)
Mixed or rime (-10 to -15 degrees Celsius)
Rime (-15 to -20 degrees Celsius)

Ch 13 - Icing
Liquid Water Content (LWC) simply a
measure of the liquid water due to all the super
cooled droplets in that portion of the cloud
where your aircraft happens to be

Ch 13 - Icing
Droplet Size
Super-cooled large droplets (SLD)
associated with heavy icing and especially
with runback icing problems
Collision/coalescence small water
droplets can grow into large super cooled
droplets
through this process, water droplets are
super cooled and they initially formed in
subfreezing surroundings

Ch 13 - Icing
Warm layer process - small water droplets can

grow into large super cooled droplets


through this process, when snow falls into a
warm layer (temperature greater than 0
degrees Celsius) where ice crystals melt, and
then fall into a cold layer (temperature less
than 0 degrees Celsius) where the rain droplets
become super cooled.

Ch 13 - Icing
***The presence of ice pellets (PL) at the

surface is evidence that there is freezing


rain at a higher altitude

Ch 13 - Icing
Section D: Icing and Macro scale Weather

Patterns
Cyclones and Fronts extra tropical cyclones
provide a variety of mechanisms to produce
widespread, upward motions. These include
convergence of surface winds, frontal lifting and
convection.
Influence of Mountains mountainous terrain
should always be considered a source of icing
hazards when subfreezing clouds are present.
Icing Climatology refers to the average
distribution of icing for a given area

Ch 13 - Icing
Section E: Minimizing Icing Encounters know
capabilities of your aircraft, decision tree
Freezing level analyzed on the freezing level
chart and appears on some aviation forecast
charts
Freezing level chart solid lines on this chart
indicate the position of particular freezing levels.
The dashed lines indicate where the freezing
level intersects the ground.
The open circles indicate the location of
sounding stations where freezing levels are
reported in hundreds of feet MSL.

Ch 13 - Icing
Summary
Icing can affect an aircraft in many
ways, including the degradation of
aerodynamics, and causing difficulties
with control surfaces, powerplant
operation, propeller balance, operation
of landing gear, communications,
instrument accuracy, and ground
handling

Ch 13 - Icing
Summary
An icing encounter does not leave much
room for error
This is especially true when it is combined
with the additional complications of
turbulence, wind shear, and IMC
In this chapter, you have learned how
induction and structural icing can form

Ch 13 - Icing
Summary
You are now aware of the types and
severity classifications of structural icing,
and how temperature, liquid water
content, and droplet size contribute to
icing type and severity
You now understand that the production
of supercooled large droplets, such as
found in freezing precipitation, is of
particular importance for severe icing

Ch 13 - Icing
Summary
- In addition, your brief examination of an
icing climatology has demonstrated how
extratropical cyclones, airmasses, and
fronts interact with moisture sources
and mountains to make some
geographical areas more conducive to
icing events than others

Ch 13 - Icing
Summary
- Finally, on the basis of icing causes and
characteristics, a number of practical
rules of thumb have been established to
help you avoid or at least minimize icing
effects
- Keep in mind that these are general
guidelines; they have not directly
addressed the capabilities of your aircraft
to handle icing situations

Ch 13 - Icing
Summary
- More details with regard to tools and
procedures for the general assessment
of all weather conditions, including icing,
in the preflight phase of flight will be
presented in Part IV of this text

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