Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>de-icing</span>

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Lufthansa Flight Diverts to Milan–Malpensa Airport

Lufthansa flight LH-511D had to divert for an unscheduled landing at Milan–Malpensa Airport, Italy, on March 18th.

The Boeing 747-400 plane en-route from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Frankfurt, Germany, was diverted due to an issue with the de-icing systems.

The plane landed safely. Everyone aboard remained unharmed.

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British Airway Flight Makes Emergency Landing in France

British Airways flight BA-461 had to divert for an emergency landing in Bordeaux, France, on January 27th.

The Boeing 767-300 plane heading from Madrid, Spain, to Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom, was diverted after an engine de-icing system overheated.

The plane landed safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

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Croatia Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Croatia

Croatia AirlinesCroatia Airlines flight OU-460 had to return and make an emergency landing in Zagreb, Croatia, on November 21st.

The plane took off for Zurich, Switzerland, but had to return shortly afterwards due to an issue with the de-icing systems.

The plane landed uneventfully. There were 66 people aboard at the time; all of them remained safe.

Airbus Struck by Truck

What: British Airways Airbus A320-200
Where: Stockholm Arlanda Sweden
When: Dec 5, 2012
Who: 0 fatalities
Why: The British Airways Airbus A320 by an icing truck. Fortunately the Airbus was on the ground at the time.

Tweets say that heavy snowfall at the Arlanda Airport has passengers waiting for flights for hours

There was apparently no visual damage to the plane, but as it must be inspected prior to flying, the flight was cancelled.

Snow Clearing at Arlanda Airport, Sweden

ATR De-Icing

Ice is the friend of no plane.

But there was no excuse for the icing problem on the UTAir flight that we are calling the Tyumen crash.

On that flight, both Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124 engines were operating till impact. The plane reached 690 feet and banked 35 degrees to the right, then rolled left banking at 50 degrees, demonstrating instability in the roll axis. Why? Ice.

The ATR 72 had a decent safety record until the 1993 icing incident that caused a fatal crash. This problem was handled by Avions de Transport Regional, the planes designers, by adapting the icing characteristics of the aircraft. They added icing boot extensions to the wing leading edges. (A deicing boot is a ice protection system installed on aircraft surfaces to permit a mechanical deicing in flight.)

The UTAIr 72 was not de-iced at Tyumen before the fatal flight. There’s not much benefit to adding a safety feature if it is ignored.

The ATR 72-210 is equipped with PW 127 engines with a maximum certified takeoff rating of 2750 SHP, and a normal power rating of 2475 SHP. The ATR 72 employs a four bladed propeller. The engine has a reduction gearbox assembly . Because the ATR 72-210 is “stretched” ( much longer than the 42s) ATR 42 pilots are warned about taking off an ATR 72 with too excessive a takeoff pitch angle, which would cause the tail would strike the runway. The ATR 72 has a maximum takeoff weight of 47,465 lbs., and carries 11,020 lbs. of fuel. The engine noise and vibration from the props can get uncomfortable.

Most pilots would not need to be reminded that de-icing is essential when the conditions for ice are likely.

The NTSB has investigated fifty icing accidents and 202 fatalities from 1998 to 2007. We might be able to conjecture that at least some of these incidents would not have happened if the planes had been properly de-iced to begin with, though for some this is too simplistic an assumption.

There were fatal consequences to ATRs which ignored de-icing as demonstrated by the UTair ATR 72 that crashed after taking off from Tyumen in Siberia, killing 31 and mangling 12.

After the disaster, UTAir said that all UTAir planes would henceforth have mandatory de-icing, a change from allowing the pilot to decide whether or not to deice.

Icing has also been determined as the as cause of two earlier fatal ATR 72 crashes:

  • -Aerocaribbean Flight 883 crashed near Sancti Spiritus November 2010 killing 68 when the plane encountered extreme meteorological conditions that caused it to ice up at 6,100 meters.
  • -American Eagle Flight 4184 crashed killing 68 when in a holding pattern over Chicago encountering a supercooled cloud and rain causing ice which had built up on the wings.

Icing can take place in a temperature band from minus 12 to plus 4 Celsius.

We have seen a dozen ATR 72 accidents caused by other events:

  • July 2011-The Eurolot ATR 72 collided with a baggage truck in Warszawa-Frédéric Chopin Airport in Poland.
  • Nov 2009-The Kingfisher ATR 72 skidded off the runway on landing at Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in India.
  • August 2009-The Bangkok Airways ATR 72 that skidded off the runway and struck the Koh Samui Airport ATC tower in Thailand.
  • Feb 2008-The Air Bagan ATR 72 that skidded off the runway on takeoff from Putao Airport in Myanmar.
  • July 2007-The Jet Airways ATR 72 made a heavy landing before the mid-point of the runway and bounced a couple of times before going off the runway at Indore Airport, India.
  • March 2006-The Air Deccan ATR 72 that made a landing at Bangalore Airport that was so hard, the new plane had to be sold as spare parts.
  • Aug 2005-The Tuninter ATR 72 ran out of fuel, both engines quit and the plane ditched in the sea killing 16.
  • March 2004-The American Eagle ATR 72 that made a bounced landing before skidded off the runway injuring 13 while landing at Luis Munoz International Airport, Puerto Rico.
  • Dec 2002-The Transasia Airways cargo flight that crashed into the ocean killing 2 crew.
  • Jan 1995-The cargo ATR 72 that crashed in Taiwan killing 4 crew.
  • Dec 1994-The Air Gabon ATR 72 skidded off the runway and struck trees while landing at Oyem Airport.

Connecticut Travel Nightmare

Six Jet Blue flights (and seventeen other flights) diverted to Bradley International Airport. Three of Jet Blue’s flights got stuck there for hours but at least some of them managed to wait IN the airport. To top off the handicap of area power outages, Jet Blue ran out of bottled water and snacks. The power outages stranded some passengers who were unable to book rooms; they were sleeping everywhere, on cots in the terminal, and the toilets backed up. Some of the luggage that should have gone to Bradley ended up at JFK. Flights were backed up as they were waiting to refuel, de-ice, etc.

Jet Blue flight 504 landed at 1:30 pm with 123 passengers–Passengers sat on the Tarmac for over seven hours. The planes doors were not opened until 9:00 pm. Three hours is the max allowable; the FAA may fine Jetblue $27500 per passenger as a violation of the Airline passengers bill of rights.

Captain Thompson praised Air Traffic Control and expressed disappointment in Jet Blue.

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May 2011 Saab Crash in Argentina

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Alberto U.

What: Sol Linaeas Aereas Saab 340A
Where: 20 km (12.5 mls) N of Prahuaniyeu, RN Argentina
When: May 18, 2011
Who: 3 crew, 19 passengers
Why: After the last radio contact at 20:50, the aircraft crashed near Los Menucos en-route Neuquen to Comodoro after declaring an emergency and requesting descent out of icing conditions. There were no survivors of the 19 passengers and 3 crew.

There were newspaper reports of the flight coming down as a fireball, but that has been interpreted as journalistic license. We apologize if our translations reported this incident as a falling fireball when the fire apparently began after ground impact.

The pilot asked to descend from 5.800 meters to 4.300 due to ice. In the last communication ATC was informed that “the flight was was at 1.000 metres and going back to NQN.”

Wing Icing and a failure of the inlet deicing system is being considered as responsible. The black boxes were recovered.

The investigation is ongoing.


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Smokey Continental Airlines Flight Lands at Newark

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Heber Alejandro Doblado Perez

What: Continental Airlines Boeing 737-700 en route from Newark to Boston
Where: Newark Liberty Airport
When: Jan 26, 2011
Why: On take-off, the plane filled with smoke. The pilot announced that the smoke was due to de-icing procedures, and made an emergency landing in Newark. Weather conditions at the time included snow, and freezing temperatures.

The plane made a safe landing with emergency services on standby.

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Logan Emergency Landing

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Michael Carter

What: Continental/ ExpressJet Embraer ERJ-145 en route from Manchester NH to Newark NJ
Where: Logan
When: Jan 18, 2010
Who: 44 passengers and 3 crew
Why: After taking off 6 hours late after ground stops due to the weather, after five minutes in flight, smoke in the cabin forced the pilots to divert to Logan Airport. Emergency was declared due to “smoke in the lavatory.” In the meantime, passengers were covering their faces because of the smoke. A leak, mechanical problem and possible fire was reported on the Continental flight and speculation is that de-icing fluid had infiltrated the engine, causing burn-off.

The plane landed safely at Logan, with emergency crews on standby.

37 passengers boarded another plane around 3 pm to continue to their destination.

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Skyquest Diverts to Regina

What: Skywest/United Airlines Bombardier Regional Jet en route from Saskatoon to Denver
Where: Regina International Airport
When: DECEMBER 22, 2010
Why: While en route over Saskatchewan, the crew noticed fumes in the cockpit.

The crew deployed oxygen masks, and then made a safe landing after diverting to Regina where passengers disembarked.

The plane was aired out; and it appears that the problem originated from deicing fluid which had been ingested into the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit.

Passengers reboarded and the flight continued on to Denver.

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De-Icing Delays

What: US Airways/Air Wisconsin Canadair CRJ-200 en route from Philadelphia,PA (USA) to Ottawa,ON
Where: Philadelphia
When: Dec 11th 2010
Why: After takeoff, the flight developed a de-icing problem (or would this be an icing problem?)

The flight landed safely back in Philadelphia; and then went on to arrive in Ottawa about an hour and a half late.

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