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Rotor Blade Icing

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Rotor Blade Icing

Old 28th Feb 2018, 07:07
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Rotor Blade Icing

For those who don't think icing in helicopters is a serious issue....

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Old 28th Feb 2018, 11:35
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By 'Freezing Fog' he means sub-zero cloud and is surprised at minus 8 that it produced ice on the blades.................
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 12:48
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Wow! Amazing! The scariest day of my life! Nearly crashed.....even though I was on the ground at FI! WoW! Fantastic! Wow!

How predictable was that sunshine?
What were you doing....fiddling around the edge of clouds @ -9 degrees?

Atleast he had the right gloves eh! Wow! Great! Goretex! Wow!
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 14:36
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The point I was trying to make was that even with just a bit of leading edge icing he couldn't hover properly. I've bumped into several people who dismiss icing on rotor blades very lightly.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 15:04
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Textbook rime.

Icing on blades is incredibly serious, and de-ice is a major challenge in design, particularly in composite laminates that utilize 250 degree cure resin systems.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 17:31
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Ah come on "old and wise" guys, take it easy. I'm pretty sure you were not born as the knowledgeable pilots you are these days, but that you as well got your knowledge from experience.

Maybe he should have been a little bit less "news media" orientated and skip those words "nearly crashed..." and "scariest day of my life" but then again, he received all the attention he was aiming for: 6300 viewers and counting.

The good thing is, that there will be plenty of pilots who can learn from this.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 17:36
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Paco is absolutely right to highlight the seriousness of rotor icing.

But the guy in the video must have done some met study to get his licence and really shouldn't be let loose in the mountains without a thorough grasp of the conditions for and dangers of rotor icing.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 18:00
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Good training video. Including the part about landing and shutting down on a mountain peak in the winter with clouds blowing your way and then the belt actuator on the Cabri misbehavin’. Blade icing in freezing fog type visible moisture is pretty well known with older guys, especially in arctic conditions close to the ground. Paco, there is icing and there is icing, some slow and insidious, some that comes on really quick. You teach the difference and have yourself probably experienced it here in Canadian winters. Modern times too, send a text out on InReach instead of that whatever ELT. Jealous of the warm girlfriend part of his survival gear.

And with this forum and YouTube he gets the message out to all helicopter pilots without spending the rest of his evenings having to swill beer with his buddies.

Last edited by malabo; 28th Feb 2018 at 19:09.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 22:56
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Blade icing in freezing fog type visible moisture is pretty well known with older guys, especially in arctic conditions close to the ground.
Being in possession of that particular piece of met and mountain flying knowledge is a function of professionalism, not age.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 09:22
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Maybe next time if you have to land to de ice in a piston ship, keep the engine running and de clutch, perhaps the heat from the engine would help keep things warm!
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 12:10
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And wear a hole in the stationary drive belts?
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 19:42
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r88
 
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Icing is some serious shit, but it does not occur in a few seconds of some light clouds blowing past you when otherwise flying in clear weather.
That guy did for sure fly in sub-zero clouds several minutes.
Source: I'm (also) stupid.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 20:09
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Hi R88, just because you were in icing conditions for some time before it appeared significant, doesn’t mean it can’t happen in something less than a minute. I had an engine stop on a 365C because I allowed myself to be descended into an icing layer (that took about a minute) and I’m aware of two EC135s and an S61 that ended up descending at Vy and MCP in ‘uncontrolled fashion’ after a very short time in sub-zero temperature cloud. It can happen quickly!
Cheers
TeeS
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 06:29
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R88 - for every degree below zero of a supercooled water droplet, 1/80th of it freezes on contact with the leading edge - that is instantaneous icing.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 14:51
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Icing is some serious shit, but it does not occur in a few seconds of some light clouds blowing past you when otherwise flying in clear weather.
Maybe not seconds but just a few short minutes!
Was shooting a approach, on top of cloud and began our descent, at 2500' we entered the weather the 332 icing system had to be placed on Force mode at 1000'. Took all the pitch to level off at 400' for the landing!
Airframe was completed engulfed in rime!
Yes, can occur very very fast!😎
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 15:00
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I worked in the past extensively in Canada's arctic with a 500.
The pilot I worked with had bags of 500 arctic time.
we encountered icing conditions quite often during our work.
because of his experience it was manageable for our operation moving drills or fuel drums.

Not withstanding his experience was only a factor in the big picture. The aircraft spoke to him in some unique way and he knew when it was time to shut down and take a break and clear the ice. Some magical torque number he used as a reference.
Either way, he was comfortable the way he operated and we never had any serious consequences. Not that he didn't have a few close calls as he built that experience, I'm sure his personal library had some stories to tell.

This guy however....he will be a statistic one day. mark my words. I've seen other videos of him and right from the get go I marked him as someone to watch because he's going to make it to the TSB file at some point if he continues.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 15:49
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r88
 
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His exact words were "for about 5 seconds, just the slightest bit of fog" I think we can agree that was not the case. Also if I was in a "super critical situation" my priorities would be to get myself and my passengers safely out of the situation, and not do any youtube-selfie thing. However, I'm glad he did so we got the opportunity to have this discussion.
I've had my fair share of poor weather flying, also in winter conditions, and to completely eliminate the possibility of icing conditions while doing aerial work would eliminate a big part of winter days. But your cloud descending experiences sounds really scary, and I think it is really important for any of us flying in possibly icing coditions to remember the real danger included.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 18:25
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But your cloud descending experiences sounds really scary, and I think it is really important for any of us flying in possibly icing coditions to remember the real danger included.
The company was approved to operate in icing (with limits) and we did so 7 months of the year. Picking up ice enroute or on approach was common.
But that experience (I was actually doing a upgrade on a new PIC and very talented) left both of us going WTF during the taxi in. He got his upgrade.
Before others say.,,, should not have been there, stupid, bad CRM, aircraft knowledge etc etc.
There is a lot more to the story why we were there!
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 21:41
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The company was approved to operate in icing (with limits) and we did so 7 months of the year. Picking up ice enroute or on approach was common.
you need to define the limits that you were 'approved' to operate in - airframe icing is generally defined as below zero degrees C in visibility less than 1000m - were you 'approved' to operate at or below those conditions without adequate airframe protection?

There are plenty of stories about surviving icing, often due to dumb luck and it can sometimes be difficult to find icing in the normally accepted conditions for it (again dumb luck) but to accept it as 'normal' is asking for trouble so I hope your 'more to the story' is based on more scientific evidence than just 'we went - we survived' and turning that into an SOP.
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 04:52
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And I would not slag the driver in this vid... I belive he posted this in the interest of flight safety... remember the old saying here in Canada, learn from the mistakes of others... you don't have enough time to make them all yourselves.... I believe he is a very competent trainer and driver.... quit trying to make yourself look better...
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