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Winter Hard IFR

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Could you offer a lowest temperature best practice for hard IFR flight during the winter for an airplane (e.g. C172) without deicing equipment?

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1 Answers

  1. Canuck on Nov 02, 2017

    Think about a highest temperature, too. You\’ll see most of your ice between +1°c and -10°c. It\’s extremely rare at -20c or below—cloud is usually ice crystals, but strong convection could still bring up supercooled large droplets (SLD, which gives clear or mixed icing) from below.

    Note that these are temperatures at altitude—it can be a warm 15°c on the ground and you\’ll still get ice below 10,000 ft.

    My own rule is never to fly my Cherokee within 2,000 ft of forecast SLD, ever, period—that applies year round. Like a lot of other Canadian and northern US pilots, I\’ll accept a trace of light time climbing through a couple of thousand feet of harmless stratocumulus to get to clear air above, as long as there\’s lots of escape room below, but don\’t be overeager and rush in—it takes a long time to understand ice.

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