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Aviation Learning Center Document Ground Deicing Procedures for Turbine Aircraft (SAFO)
Author: FAA Date: March 2006
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Recommended Action
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After considering the most common reasons for improper deicing, or no deicing, before flight, TAOS recommends the following:

1. Directors of safety, directors of operations, and fractional ownership program managers, as applicable, and flightcrew members of turbine aircraft, are encouraged to perform a comprehensive review of current deicing policies and procedures, with special emphasis placed on the following:

a. Does the operator have sufficient standard operating procedures (SOP) for winter weather operations, including the following:

  • (1) A regular review of cold weather SOPs.
  • (2) A regular review and familiarity with the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) limitations and procedures necessary to deal with icing conditions before flight, as well as in flight.
  • (3) Procedures to ensure that the 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.
  • (4) Procedures to protect the aircraft while on the ground, if possible, from sleet and freezing rain by taking advantage of aircraft hangars.
  • (5) Procedures to take full advantage of the opportunities available at airports for deicing and not refuse deicing services simply because of cost.
  • NOTE: A "best practice" by the operator may be to ensure the flightcrew is not influenced by the cost of deicing by arranging direct billing with the service provider. The flightcrew should make its deicing decision based solely on safety of flight reasons, not cost or scheduling concerns.
  • (6) Procedures to cancel or delay a flight if weather conditions do not support a safe operation.

b. Is the information applicable to the aircraft operated?

c. Is the information concise and easy for flightcrews to understand and use?

d. Does the information provide for a systematic procedure for crews to recognize, evaluate, and address the associated icing risk, and offer clear guidance to mitigate this risk?

e. Is the information readily available during normal day-to-day aircraft operations (e.g., checklist or reference cards)?

f. Have the company manuals, checklists, and training programs been updated with the latest manufacturer information?

2. TAOS encourages operators of turbine aircraft and 14 CFR part 142 training centers to perform a comprehensive review of current winter weather operations training, with special emphasis placed on the following:

a. Is the information applicable to the aircraft operated?

b. Are flightcrews required to demonstrate a satisfactory working knowledge, both during training and checking, of the effects of airframe icing on the specific aircraft, and recommended procedures or best practices for evaluating and mitigating this risk?

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