Why Aircraft Deicing Makes Winter Flying Safer

By Jesse Sokolow on 13 December 2017
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Those who travel by air during the winter have undoubtedly seen this unusual dance before: trucks circling the aircraft spraying a strange orange-colored fluid, while passengers peer through the plane’s windows.

As your aircraft pushes back from the gate, you probably hear the captain announce, “Well folks, we’re just making a quick stop for deicing, and then we’ll be off.”

Deicing prevents a build-up of snow and ice on the plane’s wings and tail that is essential for a safe takeoff. Because the aircraft’s wings and tail are designed to provide proper lift, any snow or nice in these areas changes their shape and disrupts airflow, thereby hindering the aircraft’s performance during the crucial takeoff run.

Deicing is an essential safety procedure that allows planes to fly in cold weather. When witnessed from afar, it looks like washing a car on a much larger scale. High-pressure hoses apply aircraft deicing fluid, or ADF, to most flight surfaces, with a focus on the plane’s wings, engines, and tail.

Sometimes, however, deicing isn’t enough if precipitation is continuing to fall so the application of an anti-icing agent follows the deicing process. Anti-icing fluid prevents additional buildup of snow and ice.

While deicing may delay departure, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacle as it’s truly a necessary part of safe winter flying.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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