FAA Prohibits Takeoffs with Polished Frost

 - December 23, 2009, 6:24 AM

The FAA has issued a final rule that prohibits Part 91K, 135 and 121 operators from taking off with “polished frost”–meaning frost buffed to make it smooth–on an aircraft’s wings, stabilizers and control surfaces. The new rule takes effect at the end of this month. Previous FAA guidance recommended removing all wing frost before takeoff, but allowed it to be polished smooth if the aircraft manufacturer’s recommended procedures were followed. However, the FAA said that manufacturers never published these procedures. The new rules include four alternatives for removing frost: using wing covers to prevent frost accumulation on wings, waiting for frost to melt, storing the aircraft in a heated hangar or de-icing the wing surface.