Now shall we deice the aircraft or not?


All of the following decided not to deice their aircraft or not to de ice and anti ice correctly

“On November 28, 2004, about 0958 mountain standard time, a Canadair, Ltd., CL-600-2A12, N873G, registered to Hop-a-Jet, Inc., and operated by Air Castle Corporation dba Global Aviation as Glo-Air flight 73, collided with the ground during takeoff at Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), Montrose, Colorado. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and snow was falling. Of the six occupants on board, the captain, the flight attendant, and one passenger were killed, and the first officer and two passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The flight was en route to South Bend Regional Airport (SBN), South Bend, Indiana.“

The probable cause of the accident was given as:

“…the flight crew’s failure to ensure that the airplane’s wings were free of ice or snow contamination that accumulated while the airplane was on the ground, which resulted in an attempted takeoff with upper wing contamination that induced the subsequent stall and collision with the ground. A factor contributing to the accident was the pilots’ lack of experience flying during winter weather conditions.”

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On 4 January 2002, a Challenger 604 operated by Epps Air Service, crashed on takeoff from Birmingham, UK, following a loss of control due to airframe icing.

This is an extract from the History of Flight section of the official report into the accident published by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB):

“The next morning, the handling pilot and the observer arrived at the aircraft together at approximately 1040 hrs. Evidence from the dispatchers indicated that the APU was started at about 1050 hrs. The commander arrived at approximately 1100 hrs. At different times, each of the two crew members was seen to carry out an independent external inspection of the aircraft. Aircraft refuelling commenced at about 1105 hrs and the aircraft fuel tanks were reported full at about 1140 hrs. Then, following the arrival of the two passengers, the aircraft doors were closed. The occupants were the same as on the arrival flight. During the morning, various witnesses had seen frost/ice on the wing surfaces of N90AG. Other aircraft had been de-iced during the morning, with associated reports of severe to moderate ice accumulation. Evidence from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) indicated that the operating pilots discussed the presence of frost on the leading edge prior to engine start. However, neither requested deicing and N90AG was not de-iced. The Birmingham METAR at 1150 hrs was as follows: surface wind 150°/6 kt; visibility 8,000 metres; cloud scattered at 700 feet agl and broken at 800 feet agl; temperature minus 2°C with dew point minus 3°C; QNH 1027 mb.

Following ATC clearance, engine start was at 1156 hrs and N90AG was cleared to taxi at 1201 hrs. All radio calls during the accident flight were made by the commander, seated in the right cockpit seat. During taxi, the crew completed their normal Before Takeoff Checks; these included confirmation that the control checks had been completed and that anti-ice might be required immediately after takeoff. Flap 20 had been selected for takeoff and the following speeds had been calculated and briefed by the pilots: V1 137 kt; Vr 140 kt; V2 147 kt. By 1206 hrs, the aircraft was cleared to line up on Runway 15. At 1207 hrs, N90AG was cleared for takeoff with a surface wind of 140°/8 kt. The pilot in the left seat was handling the controls. Takeoff appeared normal up to lift-off. Rotation was started at about 146 kt with the elevator position being increased to 8°, in the aircraft nose up sense, resulting in an initial pitch rate of around 4°/second. Lift-off occurred 2 seconds later, at about 153 kt and with a pitch attitude of about 8° nose-up. Once airborne, the elevator position was reduced to 3° aircraft nose-up whilst the pitch rate increased to about 5°/second. Immediately after lift-off, the aircraft started to bank to the left. The rate of bank increased rapidly and 2 seconds after lift-off the bank angle had reached 50°. At that point, the aircraft heading had diverged about 10° to the left. Opposite aileron, followed closely by right rudder, was applied as the aircraft started banking; full right aileron and full right rudder had been applied within 1 second and were maintained until the end of the recording. As the bank angle continued to increase, progressively more aircraft nose-up elevator was applied. Stick-shaker operation initiated 3.5 seconds after lift-off and the recorders ceased 2 seconds later. The aircraft struck the ground, inverted, adjacent to the runway. The last recorded aircraft attitude was approximately 111° left bank and 13° nose-down pitch; the final recorded heading was about 114°(M).

Causal factors identified in the report included:

“…The crew did not ensure that N90AG’s wings were clear of frost prior to takeoff…[and]..reduction of the wing stall angle of attack, due to the surface roughness associated with frost contamination, to below that at which the stall protection system was effective..”

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Still not conjvinced, here are some more examples of professional pilots not understanding what being a professional pilot entails

  • SH36, vicinity Edinburgh UK, 2001 (GND LOC HF) (On 23 February 2001, a Loganair SD3-60 suffered double engine flameout shortly after take-off from Edinburgh, subsequently attributed to snow and ice accumulation in the engine intake systems. The crew ditched the aircraft into shallow water but the aircraft was severely damaged by the impact with the water and the forward fuselage was submerged. Neither crewmember survived.)
  • JS41, en-route, North West of Aberdeen UK, 2008 (HF GND WX LOC) (On 9 April 2008, an Eastern Airways BAe Jetstream 41 operating a passenger charter flight departed Aberdeen for Vagar, Faroe Islands in snow and freezing conditions, but had not been de-iced and anti-iced appropriately. During the flight the crew experienced difficulties controlling the aircraft. Descent into warmer air was initiated after an emergency was declared.)
  • D328, Isle of Man, 2005 (RE GND HF) (On 28 November 2005, a Dornier 328 being operated by EuroManx on a scheduled passenger service departing from Isle of Man for an unspecified destination was unable to rotate at the speed calculated as applicable and the take off was successfully rejected.)
  • C208, vicinity Pelee Island Canada, 2004 (WX HF GND LOC) (On 17 January, 2004 a Cessna 208 Caravan operated by Georgian Express, took off from Pellee Island, Ontario, Canada, at a weight significantly greater than maximum permitted and with ice visible on the airframe. Shortly after take off, the pilot lost control of the aircraft and it crashed into a frozen lake.)
  • DH8A, Ottawa Canada, 2003 (GND RE) (On 04 November 2003, a de Havilland DHC-8-100, being operated by Air Canada Jazz, was on a scheduled flight from Ottawa, Ontario, to Montréal (Dorval), Quebec, with 19 passengers and a crew of three. After deicing, the aircraft taxied to Runway 07 and was cleared for take-off. The crew carried out normal pre-take-off checks and commenced the take-off run. As rotation was attempted, the pilot felt a restriction to movement of the pitch controls and, as a result, the take-off was rejected.)
  • MD81, vicinity Stockholm Sweden, 1991 (GND HF LOC FIRE) (On 27 December 1991, after take-off from Arlanda Airport, Stockholm, an MD-81 operated by Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), experienced a failure of both engines following the ingestion of clear ice detaching from the wings. Subsequently, the crew executed a successful forced landing.)
  • B463, en-route, South of Frankfurt Germany, 2005 (LOC GND) (On 12 March 2005, a BAe-146-300 climbing out of Frankfurt experienced a loss of elevator control authority and an uncommanded descent at up to 4500 fpm whilst in a nose high pitch attde which was eventually arrested and subsequently attributed to the freezing of re-hydrated ground de/anti-ice fluid residues. The crew decided to continue to their originally-intended destination since it offered the prospect of more favourable weather conditions for landing. The aircraft later landed at Stuttgart after using elevator trim to control pitch attitude.)
  • CL60, Montrose USA, 2004 (GND LOC HF FIRE) (On 28 November 2004, a Challeger 601 operated by Global Aviation crashed on takeoff from Montrose, Colorado, USA, following loss of control due to airframe icing.)
  • C208, Helsinki Finland, 2005 (WX GND LOC HF) (On 31 January 2005, a Cessna 208 stalled and crashed on take off from Helsinki-Vantaa following failure to properly de-ice the aircraft.)
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