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Weather Wise: Precipitation and Icing


 Cold temperatures, low clouds, precipitation, and icing present unique challenges for general aviation pilots. Precipitation can quickly change from VMC into IMC, so it’s paramount to conduct thorough preflight planning that includes at least two backup plans—and to stay alert to changing conditions while in flight. Learn how to recognize and avoid dangerous precipitation and icing and find tips on exit strategies for unexpected and inadvertent icing encounters.

This safety spotlight explores basic precipitation and icing weather theory and associated hazards.

You’ll review:

  • Precipitation types and factors
  • How structural icing affects the airframe
  • Icing levels and their significance for GA aircraft
  • Types of anti-icing/deicing equipment available
  • Preflight tools to help with decision making
  • How to develop backup plans and personal minimums
  • Strategies for dealing with an icing encounter
  • The value of PIREPs
  • Cockpit weather tools

SiriusXM Aviation

SiriusXM’s satellite-delivered weather is always available inflight with no altitude limitations or line-of-sight restrictions. It provides coast-to-coast, high-resolution radar and weather features not available with ADS-B – helping you know what weather lies ahead so you can fly with confidence. To receive a two month trial of SiriusXM Aviation Weather and Entertainment or learn more about other SiriusXM offers, please go to