Why Doesn’t Snow on the Wings Matter?

 - April 16, 2012, 4:47 PM

Russia’s aviation safety record has been, by all accounts, poor the past few years, with the number of fatal accidents per million flights nearly tripling in 2011 compared with 2010. A recent takeoff crash of a UTair ATR 72-200 from a Siberian airport killed 31 of 43 occupants. Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency said the aircraft was not deiced prior to takeoff, nor did the crew request it.

Last week, a chilling YouTube video surfaced that shows an Airbus A320 on takeoff roll with snow covering most of the wing. The Russian text accompanying the video, as translated by an AIN source, states that the video was shot on “departure from Sheremetyevo without de-icing the aircraft” in early January. An Aeroflot source said the snow blowing off proves there was no ice issue.