Upgrading the TKS to 4 hours

I just picked up my new SR22 with the weeping wing TKS ice protection… it’s great! Flew around yesterday in the clouds over Lak Erie for about 1/2 an hour at -5 celsius and not a speck of ice ANYWHERE! No reports of known ice, but based on the conditions, without TKS there should have been a lot of it.

Here’s my question: the tank on the TKS only lasts for an hour. Cirrus warns about not running it dry - and there’s no gauge on it!

Has anyone thought about ways to (1) increase the time on the TKS and/or ways to add a gauge? I’m thinking about mouting a flameproof/electrical-shock proof can in the baggage area (with an outside vent) that could hold an extra 5 gallons of TKS fluid. A gravity feed into the factory reservoir through a hold in the interior sidewall would seem to do the trick…

Any thoughts on this?


Your post is FILLED with good questions that would certainly benefit from the combined (and considerable) wisdom and experience of the many members of COPA. My best suggestion is… JOIN COPA! That’s the most sock for any buck you spend on flying your SR22.

Good luck with your airplane, stay out of the ice, and don’t make any mods until/unless you’re sure they’re legal AND safe.


It is for escape ice! Escape means turn around, go higher or go lower. From your post I am assuming 1. you are looking for ice. 2. you want to fly in it for long periods of time. If I am wrong about your intentions please forgive me, but do not be a idiot! What you are doing by playing test pilot in the clouds effects me and the other owners of this plane. I.E. insurance. This is not why Cirrus installed this equipment! What you are doing is telling the maker of the plane that they should not install something unless it is stc or certified. Alan K has given us “escape icing” a life saving option at a dirt cheap price. When you die with ice on your wings and your wifes attorney get a large judgement, he will as a company think twice about improving the plane. Sorry for rambling and if I pushed your nose out of shape at least I can tell your wife “I told him”…Ed

P.S. Lets wake up out there people!!!

Sir, take a course on weather. The best would be at a CPPP. Learn the difference between anti-icing and de-icing. Learn the difference between clear, rime, and mixed icing. Learn the spot on your airplane where ice first appears that is visible from the cabin. I fear the capabilities of your aircraft have clouded your basic airmanship.

In reply to:

I just picked up my new SR22 with the weeping wing TKS ice protection… it’s great! Flew around yesterday in the clouds over Lak Erie for about 1/2 an hour at -5 celsius . . .

Is this evidence of the dark side of the “future of general aviation”? Perhaps similar thoughts and actions may have contributed to previous fatal accidents by low-time-in-type pilots with new Cirrus SR2X planes. “Make it safer” leads to “Press the envelope harder” and some folks cross a judgement boundary that most of us would never think of crossing. Dunno how to ensure that good judgement goes along with each new plane. Except for the negative impact on our community, I really like the Darwin Awards that “commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.”


Dear Sir:

I can visualize the news copy…“GA pilot deliberately flys new airplane into icing conditions over Lake Erie to test uncertified icing system. Picks up a load of ice and falls out of the sky, killing the pilot.” The story expresses the tragedy of the accident and the sadness of the family and friends, etc.
Then, there is the quote about the victim being such a good pilot.

I am appalled at your admission of deliberately flying into icing conditions looking for ice to test your TKS system.

Are you crazy or just plain stupid?

Certainly, you must be a young bold pilot because history proves there are no old bold pilots.

Are you in that group of pilots who have no fear, no quams and no experience; and, therefore have not yet been scared?

Have you thought about the effects of ice, then crashing and burning?

Do you believe that you will always have a viable escape plan from an ice encounter?

Are you aware of how quickly and severely ice can change the stall speed and flight characteristics of your airplane?

What “outs” are there over mountainous terrain if altitude and airspeed can’t be maintained?

Where do you go, and how do you get to your “out” when the airspace is below minimums or woxof?

Why would a pilot accept the risk of take off in freezing temperatures, a 200 foot overcast ceiling and climb through a 8000 foot layer to on top conditions in a Cirrus airplane uncertified for flight into known icing conditions?

Why are you willing to put yourself into these icing conditions?

Whose insurance policy pays death benefits or aircraft repairs if an FAR is intentionally violated?

Are you willing to endanger the lives and well being of your family and friends?

Are you willing to make your spouse a widow or widower?

Are you willing to take one or both parents away from their children?

I am an “old” pilot happily flying my SR20, but I have a “few” hours of experience after flying 33 years for a major airline in the DC-6, Caravelle, B-727, DC-8, DC-10 and the B-747-400.
I am also a current CFI, I & ME.

I have experience in all kinds of ice. Know that ice is BAD!!
It can kill you, and it will if you continue your disrespect for icing conditions.

Remember, that the best kind of ice is cube size in a cocktail.

Next time you consider flight into icing conditions, be prepared to answer the following questions:

*Am I willing to accept an enforcement action for violation of the POH prohibition of flight into known icing conditions?

*What will I say at the NTSB hearing?

*What will I say to the FAA investigator?

Would I flly this flight with an FAA inspector on board?


Ed, you got it right. TKS is to allow you some extra time to escape from an inadvertent icing encounter. It is not a license to fly in ice. Anyone who thinks it is will eventually find out it is not, and, unfortunately, it may be the last thing he/she ever finds out on this earth.
Your post is right on the money. Thanks for saying it so well.

You, Ed and Bob said it very eloquently.
To be honest, I had drafted something much less charitable, and decided not to post it, because I didn’t want to be offensive in a public forum like this. So I wimped out, and posted something completely benign. But I have no other way of contacting Myellen, and you guys have reminded me that being PC is not as important as being safe, so just in case there’s a chance that Myellen reads this and understands that he/she is playing with his/her life, and that this is NOT a game… here goes.
Myellen… I’m sorry if this offends you, but you have to be alive to be offended. If you die in a G.A. airplane, you will have hurt not only your immediate family, but also a much larger one…
OK, here goes with my ORIGINAL post.
Are you @@@@@ crazy? You wrote, “Flew around yesterday in the clouds over Lak Erie for about 1/2 an hour at -5 celsius and not a speck of ice ANYWHERE! No reports of known ice, but based on the conditions, without TKS there should have been a lot of it.”
LISTEN TO YOURSELF!!! “based on the conditions, without TKS there should have been a lot of it” So… you EXPECTED ice! By the way, I’d bet dollars to donuts that the various aviation forecasts were FILLED with warnings about “ice in clouds”. If you’d like to take me up on that bet, tell me how much you’d like to wager; I know where I can get the info.
So… do you take your seat-belt, Antilock-braking system, Airbag-Equipped car, and go driving the wrong way down a freeway, and then write in the local paper that “Gee, you guys, this car is fantastic! I crashed, and even though there were no warnings of death-by-head-on-collision, it seemed that there should have been a lot of such danger, and I survived anyway”? OK, that’s extreme, but SO IS DELIBERATELY FLYING WHERE YOU EVEN SUSPECT YOU MIGHT GET ICING, let alone seeking it out.

Yeah, accidents happen. I’ve gotten into ice before, but never on purpose. Anyone would have to be stupid or ignorant (as in… how the hell did they ever get their license?) to DELIBERATELY seek ice.

Now… you posted on a public forum, so I don’t know who you are. Don’t particularly want to, but I just hope I never fly with you.

You did raise some good questions - like how we know how much fluid we have left. And some interesting speculation about how to extend the endurance of the fluid we do have. Some of your suggestions would not be legal, but that doesn’t worry me as much as not being safe.

For serious answers to stuff like that, the best place for you to be is on the COPA members forum, where safety-conscious pilots of all types are welcomed.

Geesh, I sure hope you were just kidding, and I misunderstood you. If you were, and I did, I sincerely apologize for my rant. Don’t mean to be self-righteous either… I just hope that if I start to go seriously off the safety-rails, someone else will catch it early enough to post a nastygram to me on the forum. As careful as I try to be, I may yet die because of some bonehead thing I do in an airplane… so I try to avoid the obvious mistakes… which is exactly why your post upset me so much.

  • Mike Radomsky
    SR20 N84MR, no TKS, has CAPS which I hope I never use.
    Next airplane will have TKS. Hope I never use that, either, except in a prophylactic way.

Way to go Mike, let it out! These things are going un said and it is time to say it!!! Hey Bill K help us out here!!!Ed


Thanks for telling it like it is. Well done!


Thanks, Bill, Ed, Mike, Jerry & Bob for your words of wisdom. Whether the post in question was real or a farce, your points are all very well taken and probably grossly understated.

When pilots with the combined experience and training of pilots like Bill, Bob, and the others who have flown commercially or in the military for years and have repeatedly completed training in some of the most rigorous and exhaustive programs available speak out like this, the message really deserves to be considered very seriously.

The Cirrus aircraft are wonderfully, highly capable aircraft, more so, in fact, than most of their pilots. (I know this to be true in my case. I only use about 10% of the Garmins’ capabilities and probably less of the Sandel’s.) We should all be especially careful not to allow the capabilities of the plane lead us to overconfidence in our own abilities.

If the original post was a joke, and I really hope it was, thanks for prompting these guys to post the benefits of their experience. If it wasn’t, there is certainly nothing I can say or add that will make any difference.

Marty Kent

In reply to:

Except for the negative impact on our community…

Totally agree. But that negative impact is significant indeed. Every time someone perpetrates Irresponsible Flying Resulting In Death And Destruction, I can almost feel the effects. My friends and neighbors are sure to point out the latest newspaper article, some with a wistful expression on their faces that seems to say, “Mike, are you SURE you don’t want to reconsider this craziness?”.
It has a real impact, too, at meetings like one I recently attended to try to save a local airport from permanent closure; IFRIDAD is what makes people think that airplanes are inherently dangerous. (They’re not, although flying is not inherently safe.) Many of our non-aviation-enthusiast neighbors are convinced that we’re either mostly irresponsible or mostly stupid. I can hardly blame them for making the short leap to the belief that we are probably a security risk. I’ve viewed bikers the same way, as a group, for similar reasons… yet I have some friends who bike who are highly responsible professionals… family men and women. (See? Now I’m doing it – probably someone, somewhere, right now, is saying, “Yeah, these li’l plane pilots are a menace… not ALL of them, mind you… Young Fred is a pilot, but he’s a normal guy with a good head on his shoulders, not like mos’ of those other lunatic pilots”). Anyway, IFRIDAD is contributing to the erosion of G.A. airports in a real way.
IFRIDAD hurts us by causing our airplanes to cost more (more regulation, more litigation, etc. etc), and slowing aviation innovation.
IFRIDAD hurts us perhaps most immediately in our wallets, as viewed by the insurance underwriters… I’m sure they’re on our side, but they have a business to run, too. Each IFRIDAD incident hurts every one of us pretty dramatically and faster than I think we realize.

If it were in my power to somehow prevent any more pilots from earning Darwin Awards, I’d do it. Failing that, I’d try to get Darwin Rewards (!) right away for all who deserve them, but without the deleterious effects on the rest of the Aviation community. But unfortunately, these things always go together, and anyway I have no such power.

Sorry to rant again… don’t know what wound my spring tonight. Well, yes, I do.


Why stop with a spare TKS tank? Why not in-flight TKS-filling?



Your post makes a great addition to the list of questions we all ask ourselves when we make our Fly/No Fly decision. There’s a couple of them that I hadn’t thought about.

I think [http://www.concentric.net/~Kreal/stooges/sounds/3s-imbec.wav>Moe has a very straightforward response!