I frequent some forums/mailing lists that specialise in canard-style aircraft, and recently was astounded by this post, assumedly from a US VFR pilot, probably in a Long-EZ. There was no comment on the particular forum regarding his methods, even from those who claim to always fly IFR.
"I fly "on top" a lot. As long as where I am is clear and my destination is clear. I climb up to 9.5 or 10.5, or all the way up to 16.5 or 17.5 if necessary (yes I have oxygen). I feel that this is safer than MVFR and I like to fly lean of peak with my balanced IO320. As you, I was always curious as to how the plane would handle with ice but did not want to know to the point of actually flying in icing conditions.
One late spring day on a flight where I had received a weather report that told me my destination AP was clear with just a few broken, but, I would be over a solid under cast all the way. I found that the under cast was getting higher the closer I got to my destination. This seemed to indicate that by the time I got to my destination I would be high with the solid under cast. As my destination AP was right in the middle of a commercial flyway into the DC area, I did not want to have to let down in an area of possible traffic.
I decided to let down through the clouds in a rural area, away from any flyways, major AP's etc. I got an AWOS from a small AP not too far away and heard that the bottom of the under cast was at 3000; this meant that I had to descend through about 5,000 to clear sky.
As I said it was spring and I was not expecting ice but it began to form first on the canard and then little balls of ice on the vortex generators. (Lift not rain VG's.) The front of the canopy was soon iced over. The canard was becoming heavy and I trimmed for full up, pulled the throttle back and flew it with the wing leveler. About half way down I decided to try small control inputs including a little climb. All was functioning very well with the exception of the heavy nose. The nose drop exceeded my trim but I could handle it somewhat easily including the climb. I had complete
control until I broke out at 3,000. Now if I had to descend through 10,000 feet instead of the 5,000 I have a feeling that I would have had trouble with the accumulating ice. Again as I said previously, as soon as I broke out the ice vanished (sublimated?). I was a little concerned about the Ice balls that had formed on the VG's's as they had grown to the size of golf balls and I wondered what would
happen when they came off. Nothing - nada! They never came off as chunks. Also as I said the nose remained heavy after all the visible ice was gone for at least 10 minutes. I never could figure why that was."
Something to think about when croozing through the clouds outside our minimal radar coverage...