FAA issue a new rule on icing on smaller aircraft


Part 121 operators and scheduled airlines are mandated to fit ice protection systems on their aircraft

Last week, the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) issued a new rule to enhance aviation safety by requiring
Part 121 operators and scheduled airlines to install ice detection equipment in
their existing fleets or to update their flight manuals to make sure crews know
when they should activate their ice protection systems.   

“We want pilots to have the best technology
available to detect icing conditions so they can take the steps necessary to ensure
passenger safety,” said US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“This rule incorporates the latest research
on aircraft icing,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “Making sure
protection systems are turned on when icing conditions are detected will help
eliminate accidents that can occur if pilots fail to turn on the ice protection
soon enough.”

For aircraft equipped with an ice-detection
system, the new rule mandates that the system alert the crew every time they
need to activate ice protection. The system can either automatically turn on
the ice protection or pilots can manually activate it.

For aircraft without ice-detection
equipment, the crew must activate the protection system based on cues listed in
their airplane’s flight manual during climb and descent and at the first sign
of icing when at cruising altitude.

The rule applies only to in-service aircraft
weighing less than 60,000 pounds, corporate and charter aircraft operators of
aircraft below this weight limit should take note since studies show smaller
aircraft are more affected by undetected icing or late activation of the
ice-protection system.

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