Rain & ice

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!

I’m now wondering about performance in icing conditions. As a guy who flies in the “ice belt” – Ohio, lee of the Great Lakes – this is a real issue. “Icing performance” is of particular interest to those of us who DO use our planes in the winter. [Please, no flames about avoiding ice, etc. I accept all such wisdom as fact!]

I’d like to hear of some experiences. I’m kinda wondering if I made a mistake buying a “fair WX [no ice]” airplane. I’m kinda expecting greatly reduced winter utility/usability compared to my C182! (Which is also why I didn’t buy a Mooney!)

SO, will the SR20 haul 0-1/8", 1/2-3/4", of ice – or what? ;

If you’re asking about how much ice you can haul, you clearly DO NOT “accept … as fact” the wisdom of avoiding icing.

This is very dangerous thinking. You could probably haul 6" of ice, IF you got to choose to where put it and what shape it took. Unfortunately, that’s up to Mother Nature, who is not known for her kindness to the unprepared.

You want to reliably fly IFR in the winter? Get a plane with “known icing” capability. I’m no prude about testing the waters when it comes to winter flying – but if I DO encounter icing, I get out of it. Right now. I don’t wait for “x” inches to form before I get serious.

I know you said no flames, but your post begs for an honest reply and this is one.

Joe

[Please, no flames about avoiding ice, etc. I accept all such wisdom as fact!]

SO, will the SR20 haul 0-1/8", 1/2-3/4", of ice – or what? ;>

I’d like to hear of some experiences. I’m kinda wondering if I made a mistake buying a “fair WX [no ice]” airplane. I’m kinda expecting greatly reduced winter utility/usability compared to my C182! (Which is also why I didn’t buy a Mooney!)

When you start getting into high-loading, laminar flow wings, it takes very little disturbance to greatly impact the performance (and I’d guess that it’s also a lot less predictable.)

One of the Wings Aloft instructors told me that they picked up a load of ice ferrying an aircraft to the south, and that the performance deteriorated more quickly than they had expected. Furthermore, once they got into clear air, the ice was in no hurry to depart the airplane. I’d expect that this was due to the white color, and also due to the insulating nature of the composite construction. When they finally landed (far from any clouds) the folks on the ground couldn’t figure out where the ice came from.

Due to the color of the wing, the ice is also fairly difficult to see, though the stall strip helps some.

You really really don’t want to mess around with a plane like this in ice…

Your question is an excellent one. And I appreciate the answers you got from current Cirrus owners with data.

I’d like to respectfully disagree with the other posters, some of whom I’m sure have many times my experience, who say “never fly in icing conditions”.

I finished my instrument rating with Field Morey (www.ifrwest.com). I highly recommend taking instrument flying lessons from Field.

One of the things that we did was to fly in icing conditions in his T182RG with a hot prop and nothing else in the way of de-ice (of course it has a heated pitot). As the ice built, Field had the other student (I was in back - rats) stall the plane. We noted the increase in stall speed and he made the point that most pilots know that one must carry a higher approach speed when carrying ice. We then descended into warmer air and landed.

Was this a useful learning experience? Yes. I’ll certainly remember the lesson. Was it scary? No. Was it unsafe? I believe that it was not. Field would never do this unless he had a huge amount of warm air below him to melt the ice. Would I do this on my own? No.

I believe that under some conditions, with some pilots, it is not an emergency to accumulate some ice. I would not fly into known icing. If I got into those conditions by accident, I’d treat it as an emergency. But what is not OK for me is not necessarily not OK for all pilots.

Also, Rick asked for information on the characteristics of the aircraft with ice. That would be useful information to have even if you, like me, wouldn’t fly into it on purpose. I.e., even if is an emergency to you – especially if it is an emergency – it is good to know what to expect in the way of changed flight characteristics.

So, does anyone else have some experience with ice on SR20’s?

Rob, waiting for SR22 #38

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!

I believe that icing conditions should be avoided, treated like an emergency and laminar flow wings are probably more prone to degradation of effiency with icing. There is some promising news in icing protection for small aircraft. At Oshkosh this year there is a company(sorry can’t recall the name)working on lightweight,hopefully affordable, deicing equipment. Protection for the wings is given by thin metal strips which vibrate at a high frequency when electric pulses are given and breaks up ice accumulation. Protection for the prop.is heating elements and for the windsield also by heating elements “like in the rear windshield in cars”. This system is not meant for “Known Icing” but for emergencies.

                 Don Kusenberger

Just had my first ice encounter with N163CD. Now I do not want to enter into a debate about ice or risk management. Personally, I do my best to avoid ice and to always have an out if there is a possiblility of icing (ie., the ability to turn back, go higher or lower). In this case, I was IFR in the clouds from PSP to MYF at 10,000ft when I noticed rime ice growing on the leading edges. Tops were at about 11,000 feet; I had mountains below. The options were to turn back or go higher. As I was about to ask for higher, I hit an area of broken clouds and the ice came and went fairly rapidly. Airspeed fluctuated by about 10kts while cruising at 150kts indicated. The ice was easy to see as it began to form near the wing cuff; also, forward visibility was lost as the ice stuck to the windscreen. I was able to decend in and out of broken clouds to MYF, at about 3500ft. the ice was gone.

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!

I’m now wondering about performance in icing conditions. As a guy who flies in the “ice belt” – Ohio, lee of the Great Lakes – this is a real issue. “Icing performance” is of particular interest to those of us who DO use our planes in the winter. [Please, no flames about avoiding ice, etc. I accept all such wisdom as fact!]

I’d like to hear of some experiences. I’m kinda wondering if I made a mistake buying a “fair WX [no ice]” airplane. I’m kinda expecting greatly reduced winter utility/usability compared to my C182! (Which is also why I didn’t buy a Mooney!)

SO, will the SR20 haul 0-1/8", 1/2-3/4", of ice – or what? ;>

OK, so you think I’m stupid enough to go out and look for ice or not get out of it, huh? Jeees. Or, maybe you think WX forcasting is perfect??

Back to my question (for others, I guess) … how much penalty does this super-duper high-performance wing yield in nasty conditions? If RAIN causes problems …!?

If you’re asking about how much ice you can haul, you clearly DO NOT “accept … as fact” the wisdom of avoiding icing.

This is very dangerous thinking. You could probably haul 6" of ice, IF you got to choose to where put it and what shape it took. Unfortunately, that’s up to Mother Nature, who is not known for her kindness to the unprepared.

You want to reliably fly IFR in the winter? Get a plane with “known icing” capability. I’m no prude about testing the waters when it comes to winter flying – but if I DO encounter icing, I get out of it. Right now. I don’t wait for “x” inches to form before I get serious.

I know you said no flames, but your post begs for an honest reply and this is one.

Joe

[Please, no flames about avoiding ice, etc. I accept all such wisdom as fact!]

SO, will the SR20 haul 0-1/8", 1/2-3/4", of ice – or what? ;>>

OK, so you think I’m stupid enough to go out and look for ice or not get out of it, huh? Jeees. Or, maybe you think WX forcasting is perfect??

Back to my question (for others, I guess) … how much penalty does this super-duper high-performance wing yield in nasty conditions? If RAIN causes problems …!?

If you’re asking about how much ice you can haul, you clearly DO NOT “accept … as fact” the wisdom of avoiding icing.

This is very dangerous thinking. You could probably haul 6" of ice, IF you got to choose to where put it and what shape it took. Unfortunately, that’s up to Mother Nature, who is not known for her kindness to the unprepared.

I have had some experience with icing in the SR-20. Others have probably, too, since you pick it up in Duluth (duh). I was there in October during the first storms of the winter season. We picked up ice on two occasions, and I noticed a 10-knot drop (or so) in cruise at 6,000 msl with about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of rhime ice on the wing L.E. and horiz. stab. L.E. We landed in Duluth, left the plane out for four hours, rolled it into the hangar and stood there and watched the strips of ice fall off, so we got a pretty good idea of how much there was. My instructor and I both wanted to get lower and not pick up any more ice, since performance was definitely affected. I do not have much experience with ice, even though I flew Pipers quite a lot. Flying out West in CA this is not too common. I don’t know if this helps, but there must be others with similar experience.

You want to reliably fly IFR in the winter? Get a plane with “known icing” capability. I’m no prude about testing the waters when it comes to winter flying – but if I DO encounter icing, I get out of it. Right now. I don’t wait for “x” inches to form before I get serious.

I know you said no flames, but your post begs for an honest reply and this is one.

Joe

[Please, no flames about avoiding ice, etc. I accept all such wisdom as fact!]

SO, will the SR20 haul 0-1/8", 1/2-3/4", of ice – or what? ;>>>

Hello Rick,

I will let you read your first paragraph yourself.

Take the flame and melt the ice, and please get a different kind of airplane, I sure don’t want anyone taking a Cirrus for any test flight or not be safe enough to know that single engine airplanes don’t do well in clouds when temps are below 5C. It can be a pain to play it safe, but it is ok, we get to come home everynight. The older we get the more we enjoy life, and we also remember the crazy stuff we did when we did not have enough brain cells working. Take care, please don’t take this the wrong way, I would just rather someone use the chute because the spar cracked and the wing left the airplane then someone did something that deep down they knew better but just thought they were God and nothing could take them down. We need to achieve a great record with our airplane, we all have waited long enough. Have a great day and move south please.

Woor

OK, so you think I’m stupid enough to go out and look for ice or not get out of it, huh? Jeees. Or, maybe you think WX forcasting is perfect??

Back to my question (for others, I guess) … how much penalty does this super-duper high-performance wing yield in nasty conditions? If RAIN causes problems …!?

If you’re asking about how much ice you can haul, you clearly DO NOT “accept … as fact” the wisdom of avoiding icing.

This is very dangerous thinking. You could probably haul 6" of ice, IF you got to choose to where put it and what shape it took. Unfortunately, that’s up to Mother Nature, who is not known for her kindness to the unprepared.

You want to reliably fly IFR in the winter? Get a plane with “known icing” capability. I’m no prude about testing the waters when it comes to winter flying – but if I DO encounter icing, I get out of it. Right now. I don’t wait for “x” inches to form before I get serious.

I know you said no flames, but your post begs for an honest reply and this is one.

Joe

[Please, no flames about avoiding ice, etc. I accept all such wisdom as fact!]

SO, will the SR20 haul 0-1/8", 1/2-3/4", of ice – or what? ;>>>

I do not think that some people understand that when you live in a climate that has icing conditions for 5 months out of the year you better have a knowledge of how your plane will perform if (when) you are in icing conditions. Of course you are going to do yur best to keep out of the icing conditions. But! Knowing how your plane will perform with ice, is better than sticking your head in the sand, thinking that you will never be in ice.

You already know how your plane will perform in the ice: poorly. The question is how poorly. It is impossible, I say that again, impossible to know how your airplane will perform in ice because it’s a DIFFERENT airplane every time, custom-designed by Mother Nature just for you on that day, at that temperature, in that type of cloud, at that airspeed, with the ball that far out of the center, with that much weight on board, in that sized water droplets … (Get the picture?)

Look, there’s a chance I might get hit by a stray bullet someday too, but I’m not about to practice bleeding in the meantime.

Joe

I do not think that some people understand that when you live in a climate that has icing conditions for 5 months out of the year you better have a knowledge of how your plane will perform if (when) you are in icing conditions. Of course you are going to do yur best to keep out of the icing conditions. But! Knowing how your plane will perform with ice, is better than sticking your head in the sand, thinking that you will never be in ice.

I don’t think anyone is saying one shouldn’t know how an airplane’s performance will degrade. To the contrary, everyone MUST know. However, and it may simply be that we are typing rather than talking, there seems to be some suggestion of treating ice rather casually simply because the conditions for it happen often, and I think that is what some pilots are rightfully objecting too. At least that is what it sounds like when people say things to the effect of: “so how much ice before it gets bad…?” There is a very good reason why every single aviation book on weather says any ice is dangerous – and just because one has flown with 1/4" rime ten times and been fine doesn’t mean 1/8" wont do them in next time, right?

Thanks a lot. That’s the sort of useful, anecdotal, info I had hoped for.

When you start getting into high-loading, laminar flow wings, it takes very little disturbance to greatly impact the performance (and I’d guess that it’s also a lot less predictable.)

One of the Wings Aloft instructors told me that they picked up a load of ice ferrying an aircraft to the south, and that the performance deteriorated more quickly than they had expected. Furthermore, once they got into clear air, the ice was in no hurry to depart the airplane. I’d expect that this was due to the white color, and also due to the insulating nature of the composite construction. When they finally landed (far from any clouds) the folks on the ground couldn’t figure out where the ice came from.

Due to the color of the wing, the ice is also fairly difficult to see, though the stall strip helps some.

You really really don’t want to mess around with a plane like this in ice…

Thanks a lot. That’s the sort of useful, anecdotal, info I had hoped for.

When you start getting into high-loading, laminar flow wings, it takes very little disturbance to greatly impact the performance (and I’d guess that it’s also a lot less predictable.)

One of the Wings Aloft instructors told me that they picked up a load of ice ferrying an aircraft to the south, and that the performance deteriorated more quickly than they had expected. Furthermore, once they got into clear air, the ice was in no hurry to depart the airplane. I’d expect that this was due to the white color, and also due to the insulating nature of the composite construction. When they finally landed (far from any clouds) the folks on the ground couldn’t figure out where the ice came from.

Due to the color of the wing, the ice is also fairly difficult to see, though the stall strip helps some.

You really really don’t want to mess around with a plane like this in ice…

Rick…

Also, know that ice can bridge the gap between the elevator balance panel and the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer and cause a jammed elevator control.

BK

[speechless]

Joe

One of the things that we did was to fly in icing conditions in his T182RG with a hot prop and nothing else in the way of de-ice (of course it has a heated pitot). As the ice built, Field had the other student (I was in back - rats) stall the plane. We noted the increase in stall speed and he made the point that most pilots know that one must carry a higher approach speed when carrying ice. We then descended into warmer air and landed.

Did he tell you what to do when the tail stalls?

Your question is an excellent one. And I appreciate the answers you got from current Cirrus owners with data.

I’d like to respectfully disagree with the other posters, some of whom I’m sure have many times my experience, who say “never fly in icing conditions”.

I finished my instrument rating with Field Morey (www.ifrwest.com). I highly recommend taking instrument flying lessons from Field.

One of the things that we did was to fly in icing conditions in his T182RG with a hot prop and nothing else in the way of de-ice (of course it has a heated pitot). As the ice built, Field had the other student (I was in back - rats) stall the plane. We noted the increase in stall speed and he made the point that most pilots know that one must carry a higher approach speed when carrying ice. We then descended into warmer air and landed.

Was this a useful learning experience? Yes. I’ll certainly remember the lesson. Was it scary? No. Was it unsafe? I believe that it was not. Field would never do this unless he had a huge amount of warm air below him to melt the ice. Would I do this on my own? No.

I believe that under some conditions, with some pilots, it is not an emergency to accumulate some ice. I would not fly into known icing. If I got into those conditions by accident, I’d treat it as an emergency. But what is not OK for me is not necessarily not OK for all pilots.

Also, Rick asked for information on the characteristics of the aircraft with ice. That would be useful information to have even if you, like me, wouldn’t fly into it on purpose. I.e., even if is an emergency to you – especially if it is an emergency – it is good to know what to expect in the way of changed flight characteristics.

So, does anyone else have some experience with ice on SR20’s?

Rob, waiting for SR22 #38

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!

If you want to know how planes per form to ice go to this site: http://www.ntsb.gov/Aviation/Accident.htm

It has all the NTSB accident reports. If you review them you can find all the accidents where people flew into known icing. By the way - only look at the fatal accidents. Almost all icing accidents are fatal. Around here in Chicago every once in a while we have someone that diasapears from radar. The ice is usually on the plane when they find it…

Your question is an excellent one. And I appreciate the answers you got from current Cirrus owners with data.

I’d like to respectfully disagree with the other posters, some of whom I’m sure have many times my experience, who say “never fly in icing conditions”.

I finished my instrument rating with Field Morey (www.ifrwest.com). I highly recommend taking instrument flying lessons from Field.

One of the things that we did was to fly in icing conditions in his T182RG with a hot prop and nothing else in the way of de-ice (of course it has a heated pitot). As the ice built, Field had the other student (I was in back - rats) stall the plane. We noted the increase in stall speed and he made the point that most pilots know that one must carry a higher approach speed when carrying ice. We then descended into warmer air and landed.

Was this a useful learning experience? Yes. I’ll certainly remember the lesson. Was it scary? No. Was it unsafe? I believe that it was not. Field would never do this unless he had a huge amount of warm air below him to melt the ice. Would I do this on my own? No.

I believe that under some conditions, with some pilots, it is not an emergency to accumulate some ice. I would not fly into known icing. If I got into those conditions by accident, I’d treat it as an emergency. But what is not OK for me is not necessarily not OK for all pilots.

Also, Rick asked for information on the characteristics of the aircraft with ice. That would be useful information to have even if you, like me, wouldn’t fly into it on purpose. I.e., even if is an emergency to you – especially if it is an emergency – it is good to know what to expect in the way of changed flight characteristics.

So, does anyone else have some experience with ice on SR20’s?

Rob, waiting for SR22 #38

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!

For the benefit of Field Moey I hope the FAA doesn’t monitor this site.

Your question is an excellent one. And I appreciate the answers you got from current Cirrus owners with data.

I’d like to respectfully disagree with the other posters, some of whom I’m sure have many times my experience, who say “never fly in icing conditions”.

I finished my instrument rating with Field Morey (www.ifrwest.com). I highly recommend taking instrument flying lessons from Field.

One of the things that we did was to fly in icing conditions in his T182RG with a hot prop and nothing else in the way of de-ice (of course it has a heated pitot). As the ice built, Field had the other student (I was in back - rats) stall the plane. We noted the increase in stall speed and he made the point that most pilots know that one must carry a higher approach speed when carrying ice. We then descended into warmer air and landed.

Was this a useful learning experience? Yes. I’ll certainly remember the lesson. Was it scary? No. Was it unsafe? I believe that it was not. Field would never do this unless he had a huge amount of warm air below him to melt the ice. Would I do this on my own? No.

I believe that under some conditions, with some pilots, it is not an emergency to accumulate some ice. I would not fly into known icing. If I got into those conditions by accident, I’d treat it as an emergency. But what is not OK for me is not necessarily not OK for all pilots.

Also, Rick asked for information on the characteristics of the aircraft with ice. That would be useful information to have even if you, like me, wouldn’t fly into it on purpose. I.e., even if is an emergency to you – especially if it is an emergency – it is good to know what to expect in the way of changed flight characteristics.

So, does anyone else have some experience with ice on SR20’s?

Rob, waiting for SR22 #38

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!

It has been fascinating to read the accounts on Morey’s IFRWEST site, and I think they bring up a larger point which hasn’t been represented here.

On the one hand, the trip-reports on that site are full of events and decisions that I would NEVER DREAM of undertaking myself. Deliberately flying into lenticular clouds. Laughing off “Scaremets” and warnings from the “Fright Service System.” Deliberately stalling the plane (a) in IMC (b) with ice. Read these things-- you’ll be amazed.

I’d never do this because-- I am a 400 hour pilot with 40 hours of “actual” IMC and I think that erring on the side of safety is the way I’ll get to be a 1000 hour pilot, and then more. When I got my IFR rating two years ago, I told a friend who is a former F-15 pilot that I was America’s newest instrument pilot. “Great,” he said. “Now your goal is to become America’s oldest instrument pilot” – ie, to survive the years.

On the other hand, the instructor who is deliberately encountering these hazards has flown 29,000 hours, and has taught for 15,000 hours, and presumably there is something he knows about perils in the air. My friend (and fellow Atlantic Monthly author) William Langeweische - the best current writer about flying, although he mainly writes about other things – has a chapter in his book ‘Inside the Sky’ about flying deliberately into huge, giant, plane-busting storms, or deliberately flying at extremely low altitude. Again, he presumably knows what he is doing. His father was, of couse, Wolfgang L, and William has been in planes since before he could talk. I have never flown on this kind of mission with William – but I would like to, and I now have become more interested in Field Morey’s adventures. There are circumstances in which you learn more about limits and risk-management by going with people who have been beyond the normal envelope – as long as you have reason to trust their judgment about what is actually dangerous. It seems to me that people like F. Morey and W. Lang. have earned trust of their judgment.

My proposal: that we retain contradictory-sounding principles in mind at the same time. People like me should NEVER stay around when the icing starts, or fly near a lenticular cloud, or take other such risks, if we are operating the plane ourselves. But at the same time, it’s not necessarily wrong for people with many decades’ more experience to expose students to calculated risk for instructional purpose, based on their judgment of when exactly the risk becomes unacceptable. That is, I would never fly like Field Morey on my own, but I can see the value of learning from someone like him.

Rob,

the 182 is a combination of high power (235 hp) and an old fashioned wing design. She sure can fly with up to 1/2 inch of ice. I WOULD NOT recommend this in any plane with a laminar wing design. Such planes, like the SR20, need to maintain a long flow of laminar air to ensure for lift, and will rapidly slow down with any additional drag. When I picked up mine in Duluth, they told that they had an icing encounter in some SR20 which reduced the max speed to 100 or so - and then the icy tail stalled first. Don’t do it!

Timm Preusser

Your question is an excellent one. And I appreciate the answers you got from current Cirrus owners with data.

I’d like to respectfully disagree with the other posters, some of whom I’m sure have many times my experience, who say “never fly in icing conditions”.

I finished my instrument rating with Field Morey (www.ifrwest.com). I highly recommend taking instrument flying lessons from Field.

One of the things that we did was to fly in icing conditions in his T182RG with a hot prop and nothing else in the way of de-ice (of course it has a heated pitot). As the ice built, Field had the other student (I was in back - rats) stall the plane. We noted the increase in stall speed and he made the point that most pilots know that one must carry a higher approach speed when carrying ice. We then descended into warmer air and landed.

Was this a useful learning experience? Yes. I’ll certainly remember the lesson. Was it scary? No. Was it unsafe? I believe that it was not. Field would never do this unless he had a huge amount of warm air below him to melt the ice. Would I do this on my own? No.

I believe that under some conditions, with some pilots, it is not an emergency to accumulate some ice. I would not fly into known icing. If I got into those conditions by accident, I’d treat it as an emergency. But what is not OK for me is not necessarily not OK for all pilots.

Also, Rick asked for information on the characteristics of the aircraft with ice. That would be useful information to have even if you, like me, wouldn’t fly into it on purpose. I.e., even if is an emergency to you – especially if it is an emergency – it is good to know what to expect in the way of changed flight characteristics.

So, does anyone else have some experience with ice on SR20’s?

Rob, waiting for SR22 #38

I recall a post some time ago wherein the owner said he lost about 5 knots [did I get that right?] in rain. Wow!