background image




Potential Flight Hazards

l. Glaciers. Be conscious of your altitude when

flying over glaciers. The glaciers may be rising faster

than you are climbing.

7−5−14. Operations in Ground Icing


a. The presence of aircraft airframe icing during

takeoff, typically caused by improper or no deicing of

the aircraft being accomplished prior to flight has

contributed to many recent accidents in turbine

aircraft. The General Aviation Joint Steering

Committee (GAJSC) is the primary vehicle for

government−industry cooperation, communication,

and coordination on GA accident mitigation. The

Turbine Aircraft Operations Subgroup (TAOS)

works to mitigate accidents in turbine accident

aviation. While there is sufficient information and

guidance currently available regarding the effects of

icing on aircraft and methods for deicing, the TAOS

has developed a list of recommended actions to

further assist pilots and operators in this area.

While the efforts of the TAOS specifically focus on

turbine aircraft, it is recognized that their recommen-

dations are applicable to and can be adapted for the

pilot of a small, piston powered aircraft too.

b. The following recommendations are offered:

1. Ensure that your aircraft’s lift−generating

surfaces are COMPLETELY free of contamination

before flight through a tactile (hands on) check of the

critical surfaces when feasible. Even when otherwise

permitted, operators should avoid smooth or polished

frost on lift−generating surfaces as an acceptable

preflight condition.

2. Review and refresh your cold weather

standard operating procedures.

3. Review and be familiar with the Airplane

Flight Manual (AFM) limitations and procedures

necessary to deal with icing conditions prior to flight,

as well as in flight.

4. Protect your aircraft while on the ground, if

possible, from sleet and freezing rain by taking

advantage of aircraft hangars.

5. Take full advantage of the opportunities

available at airports for deicing. Do not refuse deicing

services simply because of cost.

6. Always consider canceling or delaying a

flight if weather conditions do not support a safe


c. If you haven’t already developed a set of

Standard Operating Procedures for cold weather

operations, they should include:

1. Procedures based on information that is

applicable to the aircraft operated, such as AFM

limitations and procedures;

2. Concise and easy to understand guidance that

outlines best operational practices;

3. A systematic procedure for recognizing,

evaluating and addressing the associated icing risk,

and offer clear guidance to mitigate this risk;

4. An aid (such as a checklist or reference cards)

that is readily available during normal day−to−day

aircraft operations.

d. There are several sources for guidance relating

to airframe icing, including:




4. Advisory Circular (AC) 91−74, Pilot Guide,

Flight in Icing Conditions.

5. AC 135−17, Pilot Guide Small Aircraft

Ground Deicing.

6. AC 135−9, FAR Part 135 Icing Limitations.

7. AC 120−60, Ground Deicing and Anti−icing


8. AC 135−16, Ground Deicing and Anti−icing

Training and Checking.

The FAA Approved Deicing Program Updates is

published annually as a Flight Standards Information

Bulletin for Air Transportation and contains detailed

information on deicing and anti−icing procedures and

holdover times. It may be accessed at the following

website by selecting the current year’s information