Ice on the Runway (and everything after)

Chances are, if you’re a private pilot, you’re going to be flying into and out of some pretty remote airports- ones that might not always include their own staff during the harsh winter months. So when it comes down to it and you need to get a runway ice-free on your own, what are your options?

  • Urea
  • Ethylene/Propylene Glycol-based fluids
  • Sodium Acetate
  • Potassium Acetate (KAc)
  • Sodium Formate
  • Potassium Formate (KF)

“Because the chemicals used to de-ice runways can pose an environmental hazard, there has been a move from urea and glycol-based de-icing products to alkali-metal-salt-based products such as Potassium Acetate and Potassium Formate. However, these alkali metal products have been associated with damage to carbon brakes through catalytic oxidation of the carbon which can lead to brake failure and corrosion of Cadmium plated airframe components. Impingement of frozen or semi-frozen deposits on carbon brake assemblies is more likely to lead to frozen brake units and progressively affect their function over time due to their greater porosity compared to the older steel brakes. In 2013, EASA issued a second revised version of a Safety Information Bulletin originally issued in 2008 Safety Information Bulletin No: 2008-19R2 and discussing these safety concerns. Another Safety Information Bulletin No: 2018-01 recommends operators of aerodromes, that regularly conduct de/anti-icing operations of the aircraft movement area(s), to publish information on the generic fluids and/or solid materials they are using, in a SNOWTAM, when it is issued, or to insert such information in the remarks column of part AD 2.7 of the AIP.” (via Skybrary)

It’s also possible to wait it out until the next storm rolls through (if you’ve got time). A bit of light snowfall will actually give the runway more traction once it melts into the ice. (via Wired).

That’s all fine and good- but what about take-off and landing?

I Fly America has a great post with details from the service bulletins regarding braking advisories and slipping.

Shopping Cart