9th Dec 2010, 06:56
A point of curiosity on my part- but how do float airplane operators manage de-icing of their airplanes on the water with de-icing fluids and environmental issues etc. Also, I did wonder if an airplanes floating on the relatively warm water prevents frost/ice forming on the surfaces in the first place.
9th Dec 2010, 07:59
I flew floatplanes off salt water in the late 70s and 80 in SE Alaska. We deiced with hot water poured over the wings. Worst case scenario was rain and then dropping temps below freezing over night. We kept planes on ramps then and sometimes had to chip ice off the floats and struts with hammers. Later we got wing and engine covers to put on at night which elimated much of the deicing. These days decreased winter time ops are done with amphibs which are generally hangered over night.
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10th Dec 2010, 05:43
Though it is done, and I have done it, float flying in air temperatures lower than freezing is not a great idea. A splash of water during takeoff or landing will quickly freeze in undesired places. And, if you end up in the water, a life jacket will only do you good for minutes. An immersion suit is appropriate in such conditions. If your float plane is floating at the time of a big snowfall, the weight of the snow can sink it, another good reason to have it out by then. Most float operators I know try to have their float flying done and planes out by freeze up.
29th Dec 2010, 02:56
I've done it many times, but it's not fun.
As was said, you have to have something with you to bang off the ice before departing (I have a small wooden "club") as all the water splashed onto the float during landing will have frozen. Watch out for a slippery float and be careful in your movements getting in/out.
As I fly an amphib, I have to make sure the nose wheel is free of ice as well and hope that it doesn't gather too much on the takeoff. I do a quick cycle of the gear after coming airborne to make sure that no ice forms where it shouldn't and that the nose wheel will travel.
As for de-icing the wings, using lake water usually works. Attach a rope to a 5-gallon bucket, climb up on the wings, lower the bucket into the water, pull up the water-laden bucket, pour onto wings, repeat. You have to make sure that it's not so cold that the water will refreeze (you could test this on the tail, for example). After getting the plane de-iced, be sure to check that all controls are free.
Also, check your water rudders. You might have a problem with them freezing in the up position after takeoff.
One other important thing, GREASE YOUR FLOATS. Get some grease (axel grease could work) and grease up your control cables that run to your water rudders at any place they go through a pulley. Slap it on thick and it should keep the ice off of those moving parts so your rudders won't freeze.
29th Dec 2010, 17:12
thanks lucky37, that's all interesting