Training: Winter Icing Is Still an Issue

 - March 4, 2013, 12:57 PM

Despite the first day of spring being just a few weeks away, encounters with icing at altitude still represent a very real problem. Responsibility for understanding the intricacies of ice formation, as well as how to exit an area of icing before a loss of aircraft control occurs, still falls on the cockpit crew. Here are some valuable icing resources that are easily accessed from any Internet connection that are worth bookmarking for next year’s season. The Pilot’s Guide To In-Flight Icing is a NASA-designed online course focused on pilots of all experience levels. It looks primarily at ice avoidance, detection and exit strategies, and has a special section on super-cooled large droplets (SLD). NASA also offers a course on ground-icing issues from the same site. The National Weather Service’s Aviation Digital Data Service Icing Page is the place to find an easy-to-understand chart of freezing levels up to FL180 that also offers a near real-time cloud analysis, as well as icing forecasts out to 12 hours. Although it is a bit dated, New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority offers a useful icing resource: The Aircraft Icing Handbook.