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Topic: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Mortyman
Posted 2012-11-18 08:20:55 and read 3809 times.

With all the disturbing news about SAS future this weekend, it is nice to read that pilots and cabincrew are in good spirit and hands on:


As the SAS flight from Alicante to Stavanger prepared for it's take off from the Spanish resort town, there appeared a problem that is usually unknown at those latitudes.

The plane had - due to uncertainty about the SAS's future - full wing tanks with fuel when it landed in Alicante. The low temperature in altitude meant that the fuel was very cold, so that ice had formed on the wings.

The captain requisitioned car with ladder. Since there is no de-icing equipment at the airport in Alicante, The necessary alcohol was removed from the aircraft's own holdings. After the captain had personally de-iced wings by spraying three bottles of whiskey on each wing, the ice finally dissapeared. The plane could take off, 1 hour and 20 minutes late with a nice smell of Whiskey in the cabin ...

According to a passenger on the flight:

- There was a good atmosphere in the plane. We were informed that the whiskey was consumed. So if someone wanted a drink on the trip, they had to make do with gin ...

SAS pilots has now received a clear message by the managment to refuel planes completely. This is to ensure that the aircraft must have enough fuel even for the trip back from the destination, or the subsequent connection in case an emergency situation arises.

Chock-full fuel tanks was by all accounts a contributing factor to the frozen wings at the airport in Alicante.

Translated excerpts from Norwegian ( See article for picture of the captain de icing the wing ) : http://www.aftenbladet.no/nyheter/ok...fjerne-is-fra-vingene-3071550.html



http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/11/18/n...enriks/fly/sas/stavanger/24432161/

The flight was from Alicante to Stavanger

[Edited 2012-11-18 08:23:46]

[Edited 2012-11-18 08:37:45]

[Edited 2012-11-18 08:38:55]

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2012-11-18 08:47:56 and read 3820 times.

I don't know how comfortable I'd be if my plane was de-iced by whiskey, no offense to the pilots. Turned out well I guess...

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Acey559
Posted 2012-11-18 08:52:48 and read 3822 times.

I'm assuming it wasn't below freezing or precipitating on the ground? Very unorthodox yes, but if it was just frost due to cold fuel and not due to icing conditions on the ground or in flight, then I guess whatever works. I personally wouldn't have done it, but I don't think it posed much of a safety risk.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: trex8
Posted 2012-11-18 09:07:41 and read 3829 times.

couldn't have been that much ice if only 3 bottles were necessary!

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: YXD172
Posted 2012-11-18 09:44:00 and read 3828 times.

Haha, this just made my morning, thanks for posting!

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1):
I don't know how comfortable I'd be if my plane was de-iced by whiskey, no offense to the pilots. Turned out well I guess...

Ya, my gut isn't completely comfortable with it... but I really can't come up with any reason that it would be unsafe given the circumstances, so kudos to the pilot!

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: flyorski
Posted 2012-11-18 10:05:50 and read 3828 times.

For a cold soaked wing it might not suffice..

However for this simple cold fuel it sounds like just about any liquid with a lower freezing point would work.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: FI642
Posted 2012-11-18 13:59:17 and read 3828 times.

Some cities approved de-icing procedures are " turn the aircraft so the sun hits the wings and menus the ice." I didn't believe it until I saw it!

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: HOMsAR
Posted 2012-11-18 14:12:40 and read 3831 times.

Were these full bottles, or the single-serve minis that usually show up on airline serving carts?

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Mortyman
Posted 2012-11-18 14:41:45 and read 3831 times.

Quoting HOMsAR (Reply 7):
Were these full bottles, or the single-serve minis that usually show up on airline serving carts?


The wings are large, so naturally it was not minis ...

If you look at the picture you can see that it was large bottles

[Edited 2012-11-18 14:46:14]

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: clydenairways
Posted 2012-11-18 15:23:01 and read 3826 times.

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
Since there is no de-icing equipment at the airport in Alicante,

I highly doubt that this is true. It's more likely that none of the rigs were ready, which is quite a common occurence even at northern European airports when de-icing is not anticipated.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-18 15:24:52 and read 3830 times.

Quoting Acey559 (Reply 2):
I'm assuming it wasn't below freezing or precipitating on the ground? Very unorthodox yes, but if it was just frost due to cold fuel and not due to icing conditions on the ground or in flight, then I guess whatever works. I personally wouldn't have done it, but I don't think it posed much of a safety risk.
Quoting YXD172 (Reply 4):
Ya, my gut isn't completely comfortable with it... but I really can't come up with any reason that it would be unsafe given the circumstances, so kudos to the pilot!

You guys need to look at the weather forecast for Alicante. This time of the year, it's usually about 20°C/70°F during the day and 10°C/50°F at night. There's a good reason why the airport doesn't have de-icing equipment - they don't need it.

The sort of ice that forms as a result of condensation freezing to the wing is very thin, and that whiskey would have been more than enough to melt it. Deicing fluid is nothing but alcohol anyway, so this was a creative approach to solving the problem.

Personally, the only thing I'm disappointed about is that they poured whiskey over the wings rather than the gin alluded to in the article. I can't stand gin, so I would have poured that out first!  

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Mortyman
Posted 2012-11-18 15:51:42 and read 3826 times.

Quoting clydenairways (Reply 9):
I highly doubt that this is true.

?

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 10):
There's a good reason why the airport doesn't have de-icing equipment - they don't need it.

Indeed

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: jayeshrulz
Posted 2012-11-18 22:09:14 and read 3828 times.

So when the pilot puts alcohol on the wings, and suppose there is a spark during the engine start, wont the wing too catch fire?

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: amccann
Posted 2012-11-18 22:21:33 and read 3826 times.

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 10):
The sort of ice that forms as a result of condensation freezing to the wing is very thin, and that whiskey would have been more than enough to melt it. Deicing fluid is nothing but alcohol anyway, so this was a creative approach to solving the problem.


I am no chemist but can any Airliners.net member explain the differences in the chemical composition of airplane de-ice fluid and ethyl alcohol? I am a little curious if ethyl alcohol has any corrosive properties.

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 10):
Personally, the only thing I'm disappointed about is that they poured whiskey over the wings rather than the gin alluded to in the article. I can't stand gin, so I would have poured that out first!


   Why waste good vodka when you can pour out the gin instead?

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: NWADTWE16
Posted 2012-11-18 22:32:41 and read 3825 times.

Quoting amccann (Reply 13):
airplane de-ice fluid

tastes like sugar!

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Scooter01
Posted 2012-11-18 22:52:39 and read 3828 times.

Quoting NWADTWE16 (Reply 14):
tastes like sugar!

Off topic, -but does anyone remember the scandal in the mid 80' when some Austrian winemakers mixed in some diethylene clycol to sweeten up some dessert wine?

Scooter01  

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2012-11-18 23:51:50 and read 3827 times.

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 15):
Off topic, -but does anyone remember the scandal in the mid 80' when some Austrian winemakers mixed in some diethylene clycol to sweeten up some dessert wine?

I'm a bit young to remember that... but if you check the label on some pastries, forms of glycol are put in them (specifically I've seen it in store brand turnovers) as a sweet preservative.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: garpd
Posted 2012-11-18 23:52:05 and read 3827 times.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 12):
So when the pilot puts alcohol on the wings, and suppose there is a spark during the engine start, wont the wing too catch fire?

Um, no.

Just no.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: jayeshrulz
Posted 2012-11-19 00:35:44 and read 3825 times.

Quoting garpd (Reply 17):
Um, no.

Just no.

Hmm.. Why?

Simply why not? :P

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-19 01:12:30 and read 3824 times.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 12):
So when the pilot puts alcohol on the wings, and suppose there is a spark during the engine start, wont the wing too catch fire?
Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 18):
Hmm.. Why?

Simply why not? :P

For one thing, because the concentration of alcohol is too low for whiskey to be flammable at that temperature.

Whiskey is usually around 45% alcohol by volume, which means the ethanol in it has a flashpoint of about 25°C (a substance's flashpoint is the minimum temperature at which it will ignite if exposed to fire, so the above means that you can get whiskey to burn if you have warmed it to at least 25°C and then put a flame to it).

For a stronger alcohol mixture, the flashpoint decreases, for a weaker alcohol mixture the flashpoint increases.

Sticking with our example of whiskey on a wing, we need to remember what the situation was. The pictures in the article were taken in the dark, so the ambient temperature was probably something like 5°C-10°C. Furthermore, the alcohol was being poured onto ice, reducing its temperature. In addition, as the whiskey melts the ice into water, the concentration of alcohol in the resulting mixture goes down, which also raises the flashpoint. I can't think of any way the alcohol could get warm enough to ignite in a situation where there is ice on the wings in the first place.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: saleya22r
Posted 2012-11-19 02:18:05 and read 3826 times.

It was a 737-700 right? It's a 3+ hour flight, can the wing tanks be full after that? On the other hand, taking the range of the -700 into account it's possible.
One might expect this to happen more often to aircraft making shorter flights with a lot of cold fuel in the wings to airports where de-icing is not normally available.
Saleya 22R

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: francoflier
Posted 2012-11-19 02:57:05 and read 3824 times.

Can someone run by me again why management wants R/T fuel on departure from the homebase?

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
This is to ensure that the aircraft must have enough fuel even for the trip back from the destination, or the subsequent connection in case an emergency situation arises.

What would 'emergency situation' mean in this context? Unpaid fuel bills? Are they in such a bad way?

[Edited 2012-11-19 03:49:52]

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: dergay
Posted 2012-11-19 03:13:41 and read 3826 times.

Terrible waste of Whiskey - did they not have any Scotch on board?

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: AA94
Posted 2012-11-19 03:25:43 and read 3826 times.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Can someone run by me again why management wants R/T fuel on departure from the homebase?

My guess is that if, suddenly, SAS goes into liquidation / business shutdown and is unable to further pay to have aircraft fueled, that way the aircraft will be able to return to base.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-19 04:01:07 and read 3826 times.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Can someone run by me again why management wants R/T fuel on departure from the homebase?

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
This is to ensure that the aircraft must have enough fuel even for the trip back from the destination, or the subsequent connection in case an emergency situation arises.

What would 'emergency situation' mean in this context? Unpaid fuel bills? Are they in such a bad way?

In a word, yes.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 23):
My guess is that if, suddenly, SAS goes into liquidation / business shutdown and is unable to further pay to have aircraft fueled, that way the aircraft will be able to return to base.

Yes, that is the reasoning behind it. If you look at the demise of Swissair, you can see what happens when suppliers no longer trust the airline to pay its bills. In the days leading up to Swissair's grounding, pilots were issued piles of cash before each flight to pay for fuel at the destination because no one would let SR buy fuel on credit anymore. By filling up at home base, you can be sure that you have enough fuel to bring the aircraft home if the airline folds.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: DALCE
Posted 2012-11-19 05:40:30 and read 4119 times.

Well this is about the only function where Jack D.'s is good for.....Hope it was not a good Single Malt Whisky 

Kudo's for the crew to be so inventive! Vodka might have been a cheaper option though!

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: drr49
Posted 2012-11-19 06:17:37 and read 4182 times.

Alaska Airlines pilots used vodka to deice their MD-80 that had an upper wing ice problem; but they were in Russia, where vodka is easily available in big quantities. This was back in the mid-90's.

See the second post in this thread:

Alaska Airlines new aircraft (by United777 Mar 5 1999 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: B777LRF
Posted 2012-11-19 06:36:36 and read 4145 times.

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 19):
Whiskey is usually around 45% alcohol by volume, which means the ethanol in it has a flashpoint of about 25°C (a substance's flashpoint is the minimum temperature at which it will ignite if exposed to fire, so the above means that you can get whiskey to burn if you have warmed it to at least 25°C and then put a flame to it).

Actually it's the point where the liquid will exhaust fumes that can be ignited. Liquid alcohol won't burn; just as with petrol it's the fumes what catches fire.

Thus, in this particular situation, the chances of the liquid reaching a temperature where fumes starts forming are not even remote. They're somewhere beyond Alpha Centauri, give or take a light year.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-11-19 08:12:26 and read 4053 times.

Quoting amccann (Reply 13):
I am no chemist but can any Airliners.net member explain the differences in the chemical composition of airplane de-ice fluid and ethyl alcohol? I am a little curious if ethyl alcohol has any corrosive properties.

De-ice fluid is usually made from glycol, not ethanol. I don't think ethanol is corrosive but it's highly toxic.

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 16):
I'm a bit young to remember that... but if you check the label on some pastries, forms of glycol are put in them (specifically I've seen it in store brand turnovers) as a sweet preservative.

There are edible and non-edible glycols. I think the guys that got in trouble with the wine were using ethylene glycol (what's in your car), which is highly toxic. Polypropylene glycol is a typical additive in lots of edible things.

Quoting saleya22r (Reply 20):
It was a 737-700 right? It's a 3+ hour flight, can the wing tanks be full after that?

Yes, you can go 3 hours just on center tank fuel.

Tom

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-11-19 08:31:03 and read 4036 times.

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
it is nice to read that pilots and cabincrew are in good spirit and hands on:

Good one,
   Spirits.

Seriously, why waste good whiskey or not so good whiskey on deicing when you have such spirits as vodka or rum to pour on the wings of the aircraft?

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 8):
Quoting HOMsAR (Reply 7):
Were these full bottles, or the single-serve minis that usually show up on airline serving carts?


The wings are large, so naturally it was not minis ...

If you look at the picture you can see that it was large bottles

Yeah, I think that was a joke...

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 12):
So when the pilot puts alcohol on the wings, and suppose there is a spark during the engine start, wont the wing too catch fire?

The alcohol you are using is not flammable at that temperature, besides they use another form of alcohol to deice the aircraft normally.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 23):
Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Can someone run by me again why management wants R/T fuel on departure from the homebase?

My guess is that if, suddenly, SAS goes into liquidation / business shutdown and is unable to further pay to have aircraft fueled, that way the aircraft will be able to return to base.

They may find that they have a cost advantage if they buy the fuel at one airport over the cost of fuel at another airport. AA use to fly from New York to Chicago with a stop in YYZ to fuel up when the cost was lower at YYZ. Another way to save money. It is like going to a lower cost filling station to fuel up your car and passing by the more expensive stations along the way.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: Mortyman
Posted 2012-11-19 08:55:47 and read 4022 times.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Can someone run by me again why management wants R/T fuel on departure from the homebase?
Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
What would 'emergency situation' mean in this context? Unpaid fuel bills? Are they in such a bad way?

Se :

Quoting AA94 (Reply 23):

My guess is that if, suddenly, SAS goes into liquidation / business shutdown and is unable to further pay to have aircraft fueled, that way the aircraft will be able to return to base.

In this case it was incase of a stop in fuel supply. The aircraft could return to base both for the sake of aircraft and company but also for the crew and passengers. The crew was also told to bring their own money supply, incase they would have to pay for hotel etc. So good and responsible management ( atleast in this case )

[Edited 2012-11-19 09:27:19]

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: HPRamper
Posted 2012-11-19 12:14:38 and read 3977 times.

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 10):
Deicing fluid is nothing but alcohol anyway, so this was a creative approach to solving the problem.

Deicing fluid is primarily propylene glycol these days. It used to be ethylene glycol, still is in some locations, but by and large that is in the past.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 29):
Seriously, why waste good whiskey or not so good whiskey on deicing when you have such spirits as vodka or rum to pour on the wings of the aircraft?

If we are talking about Evan Williams or Old Crow, please, give me the cheap vodka.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-11-19 13:04:59 and read 3963 times.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 31):
If we are talking about Evan Williams or Old Crow, please, give me the cheap vodka.

No, I was thinking of the Johnny Walker special reserve or the MacCallan single malt...

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-19 13:08:43 and read 3960 times.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 31):

Deicing fluid is primarily propylene glycol these days. It used to be ethylene glycol, still is in some locations, but by and large that is in the past.

It's been a while since I took organic chem, but as I recall, all glycols are alcohols.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: as739x
Posted 2012-11-19 13:09:51 and read 3985 times.

Quoting drr49 (Reply 26):
Alaska Airlines pilots used vodka to deice their MD-80 that had an upper wing ice problem; but they were in Russia, where vodka is easily available in big quantities.

You beat me to it!!

Working at AS, I got some great story's from the senior guys about their adventures into Russia. And that was one of them.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: amccann
Posted 2012-11-19 17:57:10 and read 3934 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 28):
De-ice fluid is usually made from glycol, not ethanol. I don't think ethanol is corrosive but it's highly toxic.

I see, thank you. Yes but the alcohol in vodka (and all other alcoholic beverage) is ethyl alcohol (or ethanol). Wouldn't want to confuse ethanol the alcohol with ethanol the fuel as ethanol the fuel is definitely toxic.

[Edited 2012-11-19 18:49:26]

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: warden145
Posted 2012-11-19 18:11:10 and read 3932 times.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 25):
Vodka might have been a cheaper option though!

They're saving the vodka...in an emergency, they can pour that into the fuel tanks 

(because of the strong alcohol smell in vodka, I've always called it "rocket fuel"    )

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-11-19 18:59:43 and read 3928 times.

Quoting amccann (Reply 35):
Yes but the alcohol in vodka (and all other alcoholic beverage) is ethyl alcohol (or ethanol). Wouldn't want to confuse ethanol the alcohol with ethanol the fuel as ethanol the fuel is definitely toxic.

Ethanol the fuel and ethanol the alcohol are, chemically, the same thing. Ethanol the fuel will kill you several ways...the fuel isn't refined nearly enough to get rid of other stuff that's bad for you, it's often mixed with other fuels that are bad for you, and it's near 100% alcohol so you die of alcohol poisoning even if it's really pure. It's basically Everclear.

Tom.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: amccann
Posted 2012-11-19 19:33:06 and read 3914 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 37):
Ethanol the fuel and ethanol the alcohol are, chemically, the same thing. Ethanol the fuel will kill you several ways...the fuel isn't refined nearly enough to get rid of other stuff that's bad for you, it's often mixed with other fuels that are bad for you, and it's near 100% alcohol so you die of alcohol poisoning even if it's really pure. It's basically Everclear.

Correct, the alcohol in both ethanol the fuel and ethanol the alcohol are chemically the same. I guess should have been more clear as ethanol (the fuel) I was referencing is the marketing name "ethanol." For example, octane 89 fuel in Iowa is 15% ethanol, many Iowans refer to octane 89 simply as "ethanol." Or even E85 which is 85% ethanol. The toxicity I was referring to was the effects of the additive and/or other fuels as it is common knowledge that pure alcohol (ethyl alcohol) is toxic.

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: columba
Posted 2012-11-19 19:47:56 and read 3908 times.

What was the name of the Captain ? McGyver ?

Topic: RE: SK Pilot Use Whiskey To De-ice Wings
Username: HAWK21M
Posted 2012-11-20 03:28:53 and read 3876 times.

Seems to be another story......if alcohol of such small quantity was used,dont think the icing was as severe.Also incomplete Deicing would have complicated issues if not carried out properly.


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