New Certification Rule To Offer Icing Protection

 - August 4, 2009, 1:33 PM

The FAA yesterday amended its certification standards for icing protection on transport-category airplanes. The new rule, which goes into effect September 2, will require new systems to increase pilot situational awareness during icing conditions. “We’re adding another level of safety to prevent situations where pilots are either completely unaware of ice accumulation or don’t think it’s significant enough to warrant turning on their ice-protection equipment,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. Under the new rule, Part 25 aircraft must have one of three methods to detect icing and activate the aircraft’s de-icing systems, such as an ice-detection system that automatically activates or alerts pilots to turn on the ice-protection system; a definition of visual signs of ice buildup on a specified surface, combined with an advisory system that alerts the pilots to activate the ice-protection system; or identification of temperature and moisture conditions conducive to airframe icing that would advise pilots to activate the ice-protection system. According to the amendment, after initial activation the system must operate continuously, automatically turn on and off or alert the pilots when it should be cycled.