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ICE ON WINGS

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ICE ON WINGS

Old 8th Dec 2019, 12:45
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ICE ON WINGS


Sorry its a bit blurred

I posted this here as I hope to get some sensible professional opinions.

It was well below freezing outside, and I assumed we would be deiced, but the doors closed and we started pushing back. I asked the cabin crew to advise the flight deck that they still had a fair bit of ice on the wings. They came back and advised me that the Captain has checked and the wings are clear and we are not being deiced. What should I have done?
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 12:56
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Two days ago our wings had way less ice than that yet we de-iced. That was on a 737-400. The NG wing is different and some CSFF icing may be allowed within a restricted area indicated by black lines on the upper surface of the wing and if approved to do so. That in the picture seems to be an Airbus so maybe there are some different guidances for it...
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 13:45
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Not Captain Santa was it ?
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 14:09
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It is difficult to tell if that is icing, but the general rule is that the wing upper surface should be clear of all contamination. When the wings were checked, perhaps they were clear, and maybe the ice formed later. However, the Captain is supposed to check before take-off that the aircraft is still clear of contamination. The engineers often check the wings in the first place and order de-icing if required, and/or an agency is employed to predict icing conditions. In theory, the cabin crew will tell the flight deck if there are any changes or concerns before take-off, and in the airlines I have flown for, this would be taken seriously by the flight deck.

The OP could have stood up and banged on the cockpit door and refused to sit down until the aircraft had been de-iced, but that would take big b*lls.

Can a passenger send an ASR to the company or CAA?
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 14:49
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Originally Posted by Checkmate View Post

Sorry its a bit blurred

I posted this here as I hope to get some sensible professional opinions.

It was well below freezing outside, and I assumed we would be deiced, but the doors closed and we started pushing back. I asked the cabin crew to advise the flight deck that they still had a fair bit of ice on the wings. They came back and advised me that the Captain has checked and the wings are clear and we are not being deiced. What should I have done?
It’s thin hoar frost and some cold soaked fuel frost. Definitely an upper wings one step de-icing which would have taken less than 10 minutes.
As a pax nothing else to do, You’ve done Your part. Had there been a few cm of snow over the wings You could have banged on the door.
Write an email to the customer relations with the picture and they’ll deal with it.
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 15:37
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It will fly.

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Old 8th Dec 2019, 16:46
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Basically its illegal.

In all of my outfits only a transparent layer of hoar frost on the underside of the wing caused by cold fuel tanks was allowed and nothing else.
I was sent up front by my captain as I was the only pilot dead heading in uniform with a North African carrier.
He had spotted clear ice which our company engineer had missed. The crew had through tankered, they returned to the ramp and deiced twice to clear the ice.
One of our colleagues climbed onto the wing of the aircraft he was dead heading on as there was more than an inch of snow and the crew told him to mind his own business. Aircraft returned to the ramp and he spent a couple of nights in jail. Its not just the Russians that play silly buggars.
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 22:01
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It's up to the pilot to decide if what a passenger sees is ice/snow accumulations on the wing upper surface. The passenger can report what they see but are not expected to be able to over-rule the crew. The photos above don't convince me one way or the other. Nor would I attempt to argue it further once reported to the crew.
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 22:33
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Interesting perspective

Passenger spots contamination on wing ..crew decides that its irrelevant despite it being illegal!
Back to the Munich disaster where it got three inquires to exonerate the crew. Yes I know it was slush but the similarity is that it is venturing into the unknown.
But once the doors are closed the captain's word is law which doesnt mean he can get away with it especially if it is reported.
If I had doubts whether lhs or rhs I would go back with a torch and check the wings regardless.
Wasnt there an aircraft that ended up in the Pontiac?
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 23:37
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Dunno what airline this was, but in mine that would have been a de-ice. Nothing on the upper surfaces for sure and only hoar frost under the wing around the tank area.
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 23:40
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The clean concept is internationally standardised throughout the industry now.
But the there are are still blockheads who disregard the rules because “..Hell yeah, it’ll fly; We took much worse back in the day when I flew in...”
As this crew are about to discover; passengers have these things called “mobile phones” with great cameras these days.

PS. Refuelling with warm fuel is only useful for melting frost that has formed above cold soaked fuel. It won’t clear frost or precipitate that has formed on the rest of the flying and control surfaces.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 00:56
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Ask the cabin crew to have a look.

mjb
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 01:07
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Flew with a Captain that swore if you turned on Wing Anti Ice at top of descent and kept it on until parked it would stop the formation of hoar frost on the wing due to cold soaked fuel and would save the next crew from deicing. We had to deice the next day and he went on about his method. Wonder if anyone has come across this theory, especially given that wing anti ice only heats up the leading edge.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 01:17
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Originally Posted by Checkmate View Post

Sorry its a bit blurred

I posted this here as I hope to get some sensible professional opinions.

It was well below freezing outside, and I assumed we would be deiced, but the doors closed and we started pushing back. I asked the cabin crew to advise the flight deck that they still had a fair bit of ice on the wings. They came back and advised me that the Captain has checked and the wings are clear and we are not being deiced. What should I have done?
As others have said, an email to the customer service department with the picture is appropriate. I’d like to know which airline it is, so I can avoid them, particularly in the winter.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 03:26
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Originally Posted by blind pew View Post
Passenger spots contamination on wing ..crew decides that its irrelevant despite it being illegal!
Back to the Munich disaster where it got three inquires to exonerate the crew. Yes I know it was slush but the similarity is that it is venturing into the unknown.
But once the doors are closed the captain's word is law which doesnt mean he can get away with it especially if it is reported.
If I had doubts whether lhs or rhs I would go back with a torch and check the wings regardless.
Wasnt there an aircraft that ended up in the Pontiac?

No,

there was an Air Florida 737 that ended up in the Potomac however
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 07:27
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Looks like a A320 wing. Extremely common for hoar frost to build on the spoilers and horizontal stabiliser. Something to do with the composites used.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 08:46
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post



No,

there was an Air Florida 737 that ended up in the Potomac however

The biggest error that day, amongst many, was failing to turn on the engine anti ice so the engine instruments suggested that they had the correct thrust set but the engine's were actually producing considerably less. However the wing had some snow and ice on, the de-icing truck had non approved replacement parts so it didn't spray the correct mix, the captain tried to use the exhaust from another aircraft to melt snow on his own aircraft making the situation worse as it quickly re froze, they sat for over 40 minutes in heavy snow waiting to depart and the FO expressed his concerns that the aircraft was not accelerating properly on the take off roll and that something was wrong but they still continued.

Last edited by Council Van; 9th Dec 2019 at 09:04.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 09:10
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
It's up to the pilot to decide if what a passenger sees is ice/snow accumulations on the wing upper surface. The passenger can report what they see but are not expected to be able to over-rule the crew. The photos above don't convince me one way or the other. Nor would I attempt to argue it further once reported to the crew.
No but they can ask to be offloaded if not convinced by the answer, That might pressure the crew enough to do the right thing...
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 11:45
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I know I am going to get a beating for saying this but here it goes anyway:

I wish I could see more respect for a decision that was made by a fellow professional pilot. This is a rumor network, granted, but the OP still knows the flight number and the airline and might try to get the crew flying that day into trouble, all because someone in the internet that is supposedly a pilot is saying - from the comfort of his/her home - that, based on a blurry picture, procedures were not followed, proper checks were not carried out, and safety was compromised.

If the passenger is truly concerned he/she should have contacted the relevant authorities upon arrival, not an internet forum.

If I had to take seriously all the comments and recommendations from passengers that I have received while operating as a pilot I would have landed in the middle of a typhoon, would have hold until below minimum fuel, would have given painkillers from the FAK to one of them without having the slightness clue of his health, and would have been doing long but soft landings regardless of the landing performance calculations.

As usual pilots are their own...
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 12:13
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From all the foregoing...all you can do on the day is report to crew or ask to get off. After the event anyone is free to report anything to their local authority, and that would be best channel anyways rather than an open internet forum.

Ttfn
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