I live in Texas where it is snowing, well since it is Texas I would not call it snow really, but rather ice. Does anybody have any good, or interesting stories about aviation during these kind of conditions?
Maybe I'm just a little conservative, but I never go flying in the winter in IFR conditions.
I, however, have a friend who is pretty much gung ho about it. He's a CFI who's flown King Airs and Caravans. Sometimes, I have to put the brakes on say to him, "I don't think this is such a good idea."
I view icing as a death sentence whereas he views it as a minor annoyance.
I probably wouldn't go up if I'll have to cruise within 1000 ft of the freezing level and there is forecast IMC for my route of flight. That is assuming, of course, that the aircraft I'm flying doesn't have any kind of anti-ice or deicing system.
Had to scrub a flight from AUS yesterday because it freezing at the surfcace with Freezing Mist, light rain, ovc at 1,200 AGL.
I don't think it was being cavalier, but I flew from RNO to SLC yesterday all in IMC. I did an extensive preflight weather briefing and then headed East. I got into IMC quickly and just kept watching the tire (Cessna 172S) for accumulation of snow and ice. It never built up. Based on one PIREP and the MEA for the area, I was up to 13,000 and on top for a bit. Once there what little, stress little, ice there was on the tire sublimated away.
Anyway, 3.4 hours of actual with no ice build up. I don't know if I would be so quick to dismiss days with IMC and temps below freezing, especially if the temps are 11 degree Celcius and below. Just be ready to turn around and really stay on top of the weather (figuratively and literally).
I agree with you ophir, when it's below -10 the risk of icing isn't so bad, and assuming there weren't any PIREP's, SIGMET's, or AIRMET's which warned of Ice, I'd probably strongly consider making a flight in such conditions if I needed to.
The problem lies in places like Michigan, where starting in December and through maybe February or March there is a constant Airmet out for icing in clouds from ground level to 10,000'. That turns all those cute puffy little clouds floating around into floating death blobs waiting to strike. If the temp is below freezing on the ground you'll never shed any ice you get on the plane. I won't touch clouds in the winter inless I have ice protection equipment, not that I've even flown a plane with such gadets. As an example for the tempature problem, the high tomorrow is going to be 25 deg so any flight into IMC is asking for some serious trouble in these parts.
Hey AA- what part of Texas are you in? I'm at the ATP Dallas location, and it is an absolute $h!tstorm over here. Forget driving- you can barely walk! An inch thick of frozen sleet on everything, and more freezing rain due for tonight. Arlington Municipal, where we fly out of, is obviously closed, though DFW seems to be fine with all thier slick de-icing equipment. I live just south of there, and theres no shortage of folks dropping out of the soup on the ILS 35L.
My last leg from PHX to DFW on monday, we hit ice from INK continuously until we were on a 15 mile final for 36L.
There was lightning so we turned on the radar, but at that point, the icing had covered our radome so the radar was more or less useless so we just shut it off.
On final approach, most of the cockpit windows except the three up front were completely iced over and the winds were going from a strong left crosswind, to a strong right crosswind and kept changing, even during the transition to landing on 36L.
The bad thing with DFW is that the ILS for 36L is offset almost 2 degrees so when I popped out of the clouds about 500 AGL, I had to drift left to get on the extended centerline of the runway. Luckily, I had a right crosswind at that point.
Once we landed, holy crap, ICE big time. We taxiied about as slow as I've ever in a MD-88 and the lines for the de-ice ramp were amazingly large.
We finally get to the E concourse and the jetway driver had to crack the ice and chip a little to get access to the door handle in order to open the door.
We got thru deplaning so I tried to hit the American C concourse to get home and the trains were shut down because of the freezing rain so I hopped on the intraterminal bus.
American boarded at 7:30pm and we didnt' get out of the deicing queue until, and get this, 3:00am. I got back to PHX at 4:45 and was in bed by 5am. Ack!
Geez man, you have my sympathies! I couldn't imagine having to land in this mess. A couple of guys came in to GKY in one of ATPs Seminoles on Monday (no deicing equip) and were reporting fuselage dents and paint missing from ice flung off of the propellers- no fun man!
Be safe, and good flying.
I did a flight from IAD to PIT recently in which we picked up a lot of ice. It was the first time that I had seen the heated windshields start to ice over.
My airplane sat outside for two days in Richmond during the big blizzard a couple of weeks ago. In RIC, there was as much freezing rain as there was snow, so when we got back to the plane it was totally encased in about a 1/4" of clear ice. It usually takes us 10-15 minutes to deice, but this time it took close to an hour.
I will say that I am impressed as to how soft a landing can be on a snow covered runway. You can really get some greaser landings.
AA- Yeah, the ice is pretty bad here too. It's melting pretty good now, but it's supposed to freeze over again tonight and be a REAL nightmare.
Austin's a kickass town. I have a good friend there that I visit from time to time, and there is no shortage of places to go, girls to chase, beer to drink, etc. Much, much different than DFW, where it's pretty much sports bars and techno clubs.
Hmmmm, those prop tips on the Beech 1900 are going a goodly percentage of the speed of sound... that means the ice comes off at close to that speed... and that aluminum can't be that thick... I bet you were glad about the kevlar!! :