December 22, 2011
By Thomas B Haines
While it's unclear yet whether icing played a role in the crash of a TBM 700 in New Jersey on Dec. 20, it is clear that moderate to severe icing was in the area near the single-engine turboprop as it departed Teterboro for Atlanta. Five people onboard were killed as the airplane crashed onto I-287 just 14 minutes after takeoff. No one on the ground was injured.
The presence of ice in that area is a good reminder that we are coming into the worst icing time of year, according to Kevin Hawley, head of business development for CAV Ice Protection, the company that makes the TKS “weeping wing” anti-icing system.
In studying NTSB reports, Hawley says that January and late March are the two most likely periods for icing accidents to occur. In a video interview for AOPA Live Dec. 20, he notes that regardless of the type of anti- or de-icing system on the airplane, pilots must recognize icing situations and immediately exit them. Because pilots fail to recognize bad icing situations quickly enough, exiting icing is only effective 28 percent of the time, he explains.
See the video for more on icing scenarios, strategies, and how TKS works.
The Air Safety Institute's online course WeatherWise: Precipitation and Icing also is a good resource for understanding icing scenarios. To better understand the various icing levels, from trace to severe, see “Wx Watch: Icing Intensities” in the Dec. 2009 issue of AOPA Pilot.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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