December 22, 2011
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.
Pilot Safety and Skills,
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
Air Safety Institute,
AOPA and EAA leaders will expand the collaboration begun in recent years, pledging to cooperate on wide-ranging issues from youth programs to member events.
Takeoff is consistently the phase of flight with the second-highest number of pilot-related accidents.
A student pilot flying a single-engine trainer at modest altitudes has different weather-information needs than a corporate pilot planning a trip in the flight levels. But before either aviator can plan a route or make a proper go/no-go decision, both need a macro view of the weather.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.