Equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace is developing two new in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS). Scheduled to be ready for entry-into-service in 2015, the first system will detect supercooled droplets of less than 50 microns in diameter. This size is consistent with current standards for large aircraft (CS-25, Appendix C under EASA rules).
Concerned that some pilots of turbine-powered aircraft may not be paying enough attention to their aircraft’s need for fuel-system ice inhibitors as outlined in the aircraft flight manual (AFM), the FAA has issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE 13-29 to remind crews that these inhibitors must be added to ensure safe aircraft operations.
Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R3) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight-into-icing conditions.
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.
Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are neither equipped nor approved for flight into icing conditions.
Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) has added new capabilities to its altitude icing wind tunnel (AIWT), such as simulating flights at 25,000 feet and the addition of hot air supply for models that use it for de-icing. The improvements will help NRC meet client demands for development and certification work recognized by regulators such as Europe’s EASA and the U.S. FAA.
Anti-icing surfaces under development at GE and EADS could one day reduce and possibly even eliminate the need for existing anti-icing techniques. Research organizations at the two major aerospace companies are currently working on surfaces that would naturally repel ice without using energy.
Helijet has selected Max-Viz EVS-1500 infrared enhanced vision systems for three Sikorsky S-76s used in EMS operations. “Air Ambulance flight crews are reporting that not only can they see terrain features and man-made structures at night, but they are seeing fog and cloud formations and concentrations of precipitation during the day enabling them to pick safer routes ahead,” said Helijet chief pilot Brendan McCormick. According to Max-Viz (Booth No.
Taking a proactive approach toward the anti-icing regulations proposed by the FAA in June 2010–and still unscheduled for adoption into the FARs–Spirit AeroSystems (Booth No. C11720) has been working with Wichita State University and an undisclosed supplier to develop two new anti-icing systems for nacelles surrounding large aircraft engines.
The FAA has finally put a regulatory nail in the coffin of ice bridging with a new rule requiring Part 121 airline pilots to activate deicing systems at the first indication of ice accumulation.
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