Aircraft Icing an Ongoing Concern, FAA Warns Pilots

 - November 8, 2007, 10:36 AM

The FAA today released a new fact sheet, “Safer Flying in Icing Conditions,” to remind operators that aircraft icing is a “continuing concern in all parts of aviation, from small planes to jumbo jets.” To combat icing-related accidents, the FAA is employing a multi-pronged approach to icing issues, using immediate safety actions and longer-term rule changes. Since 1994 it has issued more than 100 Airworthiness Directives to address icing safety issues on more than 50 specific aircraft types–most notably the ATR 42, Mitsubishi MU-2 and Cessna Caravan. Earlier this decade, the FAA addressed myths surrounding activation of pneumatic de-icing boots by requiring activation of boots at the first sign of ice accumulation. In April the agency proposed a rule that would require an effective way to detect ice buildup or let pilots know that icing conditions exist, and produce timely activation of the ice-protection system. And three months ago the FAA published a final rule outlining new airworthiness standards for the performance and handling characteristics of transport airplanes in icing conditions. NASA also recently introduced a free online in-flight icing training course.