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Aircraft & Ice Don’t Mix: Why Aircraft Deicing Is so Important

The ability to fly safely in the air during cold winter months is heavily reliant on deicing planes. Unfortunately, the wintery weather will soon be upon us, which means you will soon be faced with deicing situations. If you plan to travel this winter, it is important to educate yourself on the deicing process. Now, when your private jet consultant advises you on a deicing situation you will be prepared and understand why it is such an important feature.

Why is removing the ice and snow build up so important? A plane’s wings and rear tail are engineered with a very specific shape in order to provide proper lift for flight. Any change in their shape can cause crucial issues during take-off. If the snow or ice disrupts the flow of airflow, it could hinder the ability to lift the aircraft. Deicing isn’t just about the wings and tail either. The spray is also focused on the nose, where radar equipment sits.
What is the pricing to deice your private aircraft?
The cost can vary wildly based on many factors. First, it would depend on the type of fluid used, how much is needed based on conditions and aircraft size, and also delays can cause necessary re-deicing since it is only good for a certain amount of time.
What is used to deice the plane?
Deicing fluid is a mixture of heated chemical called propylene glycol and water. It is sprayed on hot (150 to 180 degree) at high pressure to melt or remove ice and snow. There are a few types of fluids used, but most common is Type I and Type IV. Type I fluid is applied to the aircraft to remove the snow and ice. Type IV is fluid is then applied to anti-ice the plane.
Do anti-icing fluids lose effectiveness in flight?
On most jet aircraft, hot air from the engines is routed through piping in the wings, tail and engine openings to heat their surfaces and prevent icing. Pilots have to be extremely cautious at high altitudes to not run into “icy clouds” or climates. Even airliners can occasionally encounter conditions that call for a speedy decent to warmer air.

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