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AC864 - Pulled Over To Check For Ice!  
User currently offlinecrippit From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 19 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 10722 times:

Flying from YUL to LHR yesterday on an overbooked flight something odd occurred (AC were offering $500 in flight credit, hotel accommodation and food for anyone travelling without hold luggage).

Whilst taxiing at YUL we went all the way past the Bombardier hangers and then came to a stop. The captain then informed us that a passenger had reported seeing ice on the wing, that this had been checked at the gate and had been confirmed as water. We were then told that the flight crew were coming into the cabin to check this for themselves. The First Officer then proceeded to walk down the cabin escorted by a member of cabin crew, he looked out of the windows on both sides (in the dark) and then proceeded to return to the cockpit.

The flight then proceeded as normal (except for the IFE dying halfway through the flight and the whole system having to be reset).

I have a few questions....

1. How normal is it to taxi out to the runway, hold short and then go and check for ice? Would this not be done at the gate where de-icing is available?

2. What exactly could the FO have seen in the dark out of the cabin windows?

3. Do you think that this was done to appease the passenger who reported it?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRJLover From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 10641 times:

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
1. How normal is it to taxi out to the runway, hold short and then go and check for ice? Would this not be done at the gate where de-icing is available?

Deicing is not done on the gate in YUL (AFAIK). The aircraft are sprayed on a remote pad, away from the terminal building (but still quite a distance from the Bombardier hanger).

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
3. Do you think that this was done to appease the passenger who reported it?

No. Safety is taken very seriously by everyone at Air Canada. If there is any reason to suspect something might be amiss, the crew will check it out. Remember, the crew is on board that airplane too!



Last Flight(s): YHZ-YYZ-YVR // YVR-YYJ // YYJ-YYZ-YUL-YHZ.....Next Flight(s):
User currently offlinecrippit From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 10598 times:

I have to say that out of all the airlines that I have flown AC always seem to be the most safety conscious. I have no hesitation in getting on one of their aircraft.

My question was really what were they hoping to see? Is ice on the wing really that obvious in the dark? Would it not have been necessary to return to a well lit area.

Final questions - what temperature does ice start to form on a wing? Presumably the fuel in the wings can affect the freezing point of any moisture on the wings? Why does the moisture on the wings not freeze in the air and then become a problem when the air temperature drops low enough to freeze the water? Is it all blown off by the speed of the aircraft?

Sorry for all of the questions!


User currently onlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2847 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 19 hours ago) and read 10341 times:

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
2. What exactly could the FO have seen in the dark out of the cabin windows?

Ever wonder why there are those odd lights on the side of the plane towards the front which seem to point out and back? They are wing inspection lights which light up the leading edge of the wing and engine intakes. Makes it easy to see if there are issues. Not the best pic, but I don't have time to look for a better one:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carlos A. Morillo Doria




"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4756 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (2 years 12 months 12 hours ago) and read 9785 times:

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
1. How normal is it to taxi out to the runway, hold short and then go and check for ice? Would this not be done at the gate where de-icing is available?

It is not normal at all ... however ...

It is Air Canada policy, (and law in Canada), that if anyone, a passenger, a flight attendant or another aircraft thinks there is contamination on the wings then a pilot MUST physically check the wings. No room for negotiation.

In your occurrence, it makes sense. At the gate a passenger might assume you will de-ice and say nothing. Then when you pass the de-icing pads, that passenger would now see you are not de-icing, and he would call attention to a flight attendant, who would tell us. We would then look at the wings, and if we are not de-icing, it is AC policy that we explain to the actual passenger why it is not necessary. Calmly and politely.

In normal operation though, the wings are inspected three times before push-back. By the pilots, by the ramp crew and by a special ice co-ordination crew. If any one of the three thinks de-icing is necessary, then that is what we do.

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
2. What exactly could the FO have seen in the dark out of the cabin windows?

Basically he/she is looking to see if anything had changed since the last inspection, even if it were only minutes before.

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
3. Do you think that this was done to appease the passenger who reported it?

Yes, and hopefully it did.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinempsrent From Canada, joined Apr 2006, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 12 months 12 hours ago) and read 9717 times:

This is not unusual. I had the same experience on an Air Canada filght in Montreal and I was sitting beside a pilot hitching a ride back to Toronto. In the dark there was concern over what was on the wing so the FO came back to look out at both sides. The deicing is on a remote pad.

I've been through the deicing experience many times and Canadian airports tend to be very efficient at it.


User currently offlineAI121 From Canada, joined Jan 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 12 months 9 hours ago) and read 8977 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 3):
Ever wonder why there are those odd lights on the side of the plane towards the front which seem to point out and back? They are wing inspection lights which light up the leading edge of the wing and engine intakes.

Thanks for the info. Learn something new everyday on this site.   



dhRuv
User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 315 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (2 years 12 months 8 hours ago) and read 8605 times:

Another case of a passenger who thinks they know better than the crew.


My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlinehaggisman From Canada, joined Feb 2010, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 12 months 6 hours ago) and read 7836 times:

This incident a number of years ago illustrates the dangers of not checking for icing on the wings

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Ontario_Flight_1363

If I recall correctly, a passenger pointed out the icing on the wing to the cabin crew but the plane took off in any case.



e pluribus Scotsman
User currently offlineMauriceb From Netherlands, joined Aug 2004, 2487 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (2 years 12 months 4 hours ago) and read 7305 times:

Although the Pax might have over-reacted, i think its good that if there are clear signs of excessive snow, anyone may demand an inspection.

If there is ice on the first 35% of chord, on any control surface/wing, it can seriously higher your stall speed (up to 40%) and low your stall angel because the airflow is disturbed, besides, it may cause control problems.

Best way would be that, when a pax demands a check, the pilot will first explain if the ice accretion is seriously or not, and if the pax still feels unsafe, a check will follow.


User currently offlineYYZAME From Canada, joined Jan 2011, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 12 months 3 hours ago) and read 6834 times:

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):

You probably didn't notice it but a lot of aircraft have specific lights that illuminate the leading and trailing edges of the aircraft. He would be able to spot ice.


User currently offlinecrippit From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 12 months 3 hours ago) and read 6665 times:

Thank you to everyone who has replied I now know alot more than I did at the start of the thread (one of the things I love about a.net!)

So the ice is only an issue on the leading edge and not elsewhere on the wing?

I'm pleased to hear that AC take safety so so seriously, another reason to continue flying with them along with their excellent on board product and their hospitality!


User currently offlineLHRBlueskies From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5467 times:

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 9):
Another case of a passenger who thinks they know better than the crew.

I know many 'aviation professionals' who would do well to remember that their job is to fly passengers safely from A to B, and those same passengers are not simply an inconvenience. Seems you could join that group...


Still, good on the AC crew/policy for stopping and checking!

[Edited 2011-04-24 09:11:54 by srbmod]


flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
User currently offlineMauriceb From Netherlands, joined Aug 2004, 2487 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5291 times:

Quoting LHRBlueskies (Reply 17):
I know many 'aviation professionals' who would do well to remember that their job is to fly passengers safely from A to B, and those same passengers are not simply an inconvenience. Seems you could join that group...

In our course, one of the things we get deadbeated with, is the effects of ice/slush/any other contamination. We also learn when its not of a great hazard. The ''extra causion'' also has a negativ effect.. the plane has to be de-iced/anti-iced again, which is expensive, takes a lot of time, and when u don't, u really have a problem.

If on every flight, a pax is ''worried'' because of ice, which is highly likely, profitable civil aviation wouldn't be possible in country's with the snowy climat. Since a bunch of parts is still covered in ice, let the pro's decide if its a go or a no go.

In general, i think ur being very insulting towards professional pilots, and '''they should remember that theire job is to fly pax safely from A to B'' has nothing to do with the quote from seven3seven.

In general the US/EU trainings are better organized, certainly when safety is concerned, compared to 3th world country's, and so we KNOW when its oke or not.


User currently offlinelearjet1969 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5222 times:

If actually been that pax before, but as I pilot I consider myself a bit more in the know. I advised an F/A on an Air France flight out of DUS that I noticed ice on the wings as we were passing LH a/c being deiced. She came back and said, that it was merely "condensation", yes frozen "condensation." The net was we rotated well after Vr for a fully loaded 737-500, my guess was the pilot wanted extra speed incase the "condensation" was "contamination"l

User currently offlinewhiteguy From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 763 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4408 times:

Quoting learjet1969 (Reply 19):
If actually been that pax before, but as I pilot I consider myself a bit more in the know. I advised an F/A on an Air France flight out of DUS that I noticed ice on the wings as we were passing LH a/c being deiced. She came back and said, that it was merely "condensation", yes frozen "condensation." The net was we rotated well after Vr for a fully loaded 737-500, my guess was the pilot wanted extra speed incase the "condensation" was "contamination"l

I'm a pilot to but I wouldn't make comment like this!

How do you know what their Vr speed was? Do you have your airspeed indicator with you in your seat?

There are times when pilots are just as bad as pax because they think they know it all!


User currently offlinezbbylw From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1965 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4249 times:

Quoting learjet1969 (Reply 19):
If actually been that pax before, but as I pilot I consider myself a bit more in the know. I advised an F/A on an Air France flight out of DUS that I noticed ice on the wings as we were passing LH a/c being deiced. She came back and said, that it was merely "condensation", yes frozen "condensation." The net was we rotated well after Vr for a fully loaded 737-500, my guess was the pilot wanted extra speed incase the "condensation" was "contamination"l

Are you a private pilot perhaps? I am just guessing this by your reference to knowing what "VR" is. Your saying you were fully loaded, perhaps this time it seemed faster because the VR was higher. VR can fluctuate greatly on some aircraft.

I have had a few PPL's try and help out in the past. While I think it's a good thing for safety, I will admit that they unfortunately don't quite know what's going on. on more advanced aircraft. My favourite was a PPL guy who after landing told me something must be wrong as when reverse was applied there was snow flying around everywhere (including in front of the wing!).

Another aspect is some people thing the airplane needs to be de-iced from top to bottom. This is simply not the case, each aircraft has what is deemed a "critical area". In a 727 for instance this can include the top of the fuselage, due to the fact it has an engine up there and you down want to ingest a big chunk of ice/snow.

[Edited 2011-04-23 08:08:20]


Keep the shinny side up!
User currently offlineNKMCO From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2796 times:

Quoting crippit (Thread starter):
1. How normal is it to taxi out to the runway, hold short and then go and check for ice? Would this not be done at the gate where de-icing is available?

I had this happen on Southwest Airlines (WN) flight last winter. Seemed like a pretty normal procedure. The captain even made an announcement that the FO will come out and take a look at the wings. We were at PHL and we were in line for good 30 minutes after deicing.


User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

I have been on an AC flight during a snow storm, in line for the runway waiting for clearance from the arrival airport, and needed to return to the de-icing pad at YYZ. Just the wings were repeated. The pilot had explained it was for safety sake and wasn't a further delay as we were still waiting clearance from LGA.

User currently offlineLHRBlueskies From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2070 times:

Quoting Mauriceb (Reply 13):
In general, i think ur being very insulting towards professional pilots, and '''they should remember that theire job is to fly pax safely from A to B'' has nothing to do with the quote from seven3seven.

Really? I think the quote ...

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 7):
Another case of a passenger who thinks they know better than the crew.

... shows more contempt for the passenger.

In the end safety has to come first, and if that means delaying the flight by a few minutes while something is checked out, then so be it.

As I said, good on AC for having this policy in place! (Still preferred CP though, sorry guys!)



flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
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