12th Apr 2012, 09:44
Quick question about de-icing, raised from reading the FD thread on the same topic and this youtube video.
In an aircraft where you cannot see the wings from the flight deck (B737, A320 for example), how do the flight crew know that the de-icers have done their job properly? Assuming that the de-icing is done with all the aircraft doors closed, does one of the pilots go back into the cabin to check by looking out through the window? Get the cabin crew to check? Or do you put your faith in them to do a proper job (i.e. would a Commander be comfortable not to see the de-iced wings himself before take-off)?
(The one in the video looks like a pretty thorough job!)
12th Apr 2012, 10:21
The de icing procedure is overseen by ' a suitably approved and trained individual'. Either the deicing crew or engineer/tech will inspect the aircraft after deicing is complete and will speak to the flight crew prior to push back. They will confirm the wings etc are free from snow/Ice and inform the crew of the start/finish times, type of fluid used, solution ratio & temp of the fluid and if necessary the holdover time. It's not a question of trust it is supposed to be a professional operation from top to bottom.
12th Apr 2012, 10:55
The vast majority of operators and airfields have sound procedures in place with respect to de-icing/anti-icing, and it is standard practice for a check to take place after the procedure is complete to ensure that the relevant surfaces are indeed clear of contamination.
At the operator I work for, this check (referred to as a tactile check, as the surface of the wings for example, are physically checked with a bare hand to make sure ice has been removed) is carried out by a 3rd party not directly involved in the actual de-icing of the aircraft.
Everything about aviation is a question of trust, from the training of crew, to security and engineering. De-icing ops are no different and once you consider all of the elements involved in getting a commercial passenger aircraft ready for flight, you can see that it would be impossible for the Captain to conduct all of the necessary checks himself. Trust is a pre-requisite, but their are plenty of procedures to ensure that each stage is correctly monitored and checked to ensure that good practice and compliance are maintained.
12th Apr 2012, 11:18
Or do you put your faith in them to do a proper job (i.e. would a Commander be comfortable not to see the de-iced wings himself before take-off)?
I have faith in those chaps,if some happens they will also be invited at the court hearing.
When the hold over time is over(time at which the deicing fluid is theoratically ineffective),the pilot must ensure by visual means if his wings are clear of contaminants.If not possible,return to the deicing bay.
At our outfit, after de-icing we have a final look over by a line pilot close to the end of the runway to check the aircraft externally.
We are also given the option of sending the F/O back to take a look also.
Any doubts on either end, we go to secondary de-ice to get squirted again.