FAA Might Put Freeze on Polished Frost Rule

 - May 8, 2008, 12:18 PM

The FAA today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to remove wording in Parts 91, 125 and 135 allowing pilots to take off with frost on wings, stabilizers and flight controls “if the frost has been polished to make it smooth.” The polished frost rules are found in 14 CFR 91.527(a), 125.221(a) and 135.227(a). According to the FAA, 11 known crashes shortly after takeoff followed efforts to smooth or polish frost, in addition to many other accidents that occurred after pilots “consciously decided to take off without removing frost from the wings of their aircraft.” The polished frost regulations, which apply to large and turbine-powered Part 91 aircraft and all aircraft under Part 135, in the revised version would also automatically apply to any size fractional-share aircraft operated under Part 91 Subpart K. However, the exception stating “that takeoffs may be made with frost under the wing in the area of the fuel tanks if authorized by the FAA” would be retained under Parts 91, 125 and 135. Comments on the NPRM are due within 90 days.