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Engine Icing Mid Flight (Atlantic)  
User currently offlineeugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 96 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4413 times:

Hi All,

I was flying Virgin Atlantic G-VTOP (unfortunately) from Las Vegas to Gatwick on November 3rd.

I've flown lots of times but have never noticed a build up of ice on the engine before. I guess this is quite common and probably down to the time of year and atmospheric conditions.

Is it common?

Happy new year!!

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b315/eugeclio172/IMG_2062_zpsce19959d.jpg

[Edited 2012-12-31 12:43:21]

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9180 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4400 times:

I cannot see any in that photo, are you able to zoom into the areas you think have ice and repost them ?


We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineeugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4357 times:

Its on the closest engine right at the front/bottom. I know it was ice as I watched it progressively melt as we descended.

User currently offlinemesaflyguy From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 3206 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4298 times:
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I see the ice (I think I do) on the close engine. It can reach upwards of -60 degrees farenheit at that altitude, so it is likely that any condensation would instantly melt. As the aircraft started to descend, the temperature would rise, causing the ice to melt,cwhich is what you observed.


\________(---)________/ :) World's most beautiful aircraft: 757-200, MD-88/90, E-190, A321
User currently offlineN243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1638 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4298 times:

It looks to me that it may have just been the absence of a shadow on that part of the engine that makes it look like icing. Perhaps as you descended the angle of the sun gradually changed and that was what caused the apparent ice to disappear...?

Unless you were cruising inside clouds (with visible moisture around the aircraft), it seems somewhat unlikely that ice would build up in this fashion. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, though.



B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9180 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4290 times:

The lighter area is just sunlight, the fuselage is blocking the sun, the round shadow is on the wing.


We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineeugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4280 times:

Here is another image. Circled in Red.

I'm 99% sure its ice and not shadow or condensation.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b315/eugeclio172/IMG_2063_zps2900a933.png


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4250 times:

I think it's sunlight and not ice at all. doesn't look like the way ice would form anyway. naw.

User currently offlineeugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4245 times:

All due respect you can see from the last picture that the engine in question is in shadow meaning it cant be sunlight.

User currently offlineGatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 874 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4216 times:

Quoting eugegall (Reply 8):

All due respect you can see from the last picture that the engine in question is in shadow meaning it cant be sunlight.

Fair enough, but you have multiple respected members in this thread (pilots I might add), all in agreement that this is not ice.

I have flown thousands of hours as a passenger myself and have never noticed ice buildup on the nacelle like this either.



Cha brro
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4201 times:

It appears that though most of the engine is in shadow there is still a little light hitting that lower nacelle.

User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4218 posts, RR: 37
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Looks like a glint of light to me. Doesn't look like ice...


Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2605 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

That looks a lot more like sunlight coming under the fuselage than ice to me. It would be very odd to have only a small strip of ice like that form in one particular spot at altitude in clear air.


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21730 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4107 times:

Quoting eugegall (Reply 2):
I know it was ice as I watched it progressively melt as we descended.

Which was almost definitely the shadow moving as a result of the change in position of the sun relative to the aircraft.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3116 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4105 times:

Looks like reflected light from the clouds from my observation, possibly reflected from the fuselage but the angle does not look correct for that.

It is just too dry and too cold for ice to form on the nacelle at that altitude as previously indicated.

Okie


User currently offlineeugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4103 times:

That is exactly my point for posting this. I thought it was very, very odd to see.

Guys of course I could be wrong and obviously I am in the minority in thinking its ice or frozen condensation but I too have a pilots licence. Yes its only a PPL but I do have a very good basic knowledge of the main principles of flight.

I watched it form and I watched it dissolve. It did not change shape through aircraft turns which is why I am sticking to my guns and stating its not light. Even the pictures back my story up. The light glare/shade/shadow on the outside engine is completely difference place to the inside engine. IF it was light the shapes on both engines would be in the same place, or at least very close. On the images the light on the outside engine is on the far right hand side. On the inside engine the light is on the very bottom. Unless there is a second sun that I am unaware of I guess its not light causing that.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4038 times:

man if you saw all the weird shadows and light combos that can happen you would be surprised. light can be in all sorts of weird places and that can create some awesome sights but ice no. Ice forming that much should be around the whole inlet and as someone said it's probably too cold anyway.

User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9180 posts, RR: 76
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3887 times:

Quoting eugegall (Reply 15):

What you are seeing is the shadow of the front of the fuselage with the sun relatively low and to the right of the aircraft. The give away is how well the light reaches the fan and under side of the pylon of #1. If the sun was higher, the rear of teh inlet and the pylon of #1 would have a shadow.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 840 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3826 times:

Yes. Clearly flying toward the sunrise. Shadow on the wing looks like the front of the plane/hump and with a bit of shadow on engine 1 one can imagine the shape of the rest of the nose within the shadow.

Any inflight structural ice would accumulate evenly on the entire engine inlet...all the inlets as amateur of fact.

Structural ice can form at these altitudes under unusual conditions but is rare. The GLEX has reports of inflight engine TAT probe icing causing engine rollback. Didn't the AF crash over the Pacific encounter probe ice before they lost control?


User currently offlineCaptCufflinks From UK - England, joined Dec 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

It's got to be an optical illusion, rather than ice - in fact, if you take a look at this picture (same aircraft) you'll notice that the outboard engine has an identical look to it. It's a tiny bit brighter in this image, so you can see the same "shiny" effect on other parts of the engine.

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Virgi...d=43386e71abcd2b7ccdde9575c95ea559

[Edited 2013-01-01 14:27:16]

User currently offlineakiss20 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 633 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3550 times:

Engine's are required to go through very stringent icing tests to pass certification. Icing tests are one of the most difficult tests they must pass as they represent icing conditions almost NEVER seen (engine manufacturers are always arguing with the FAA as to whether the tests should be as stringent as they are).

This past summer I worked with GE on some ice accretion modelling as well as reviewing videos of icing tests to better ice shedding models. I can't show any of the images as it is all highly proprietary, but there were some tests where I was damn amazed that the engine could keep going. Thing looked practically like a block of ice.



Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are
User currently offlineymincrement From Turkey, joined Jul 2012, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3334 times:

Are these new engines safe in bad weather conditions? Heavy rain or snow could affect them?

User currently offlineBreninTW From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Quoting ymincrement (Reply 21):
Are these new engines safe in bad weather conditions? Heavy rain or snow could affect them?

They are very thoroughly tested for water and ice ingestion, as can be seen in the following two videos:

1) Hail ingestion test (750 kg of ice in 30 seconds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RafoUW3XfSk

2) All the tests (Hail as above, water 4,500 kg per minute)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlObdXF8VE



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

Quoting ymincrement (Reply 21):
Are these new engines safe in bad weather conditions?

Yes.

Quoting ymincrement (Reply 21):
Heavy rain or snow could affect them?

If it's sufficiently high, yes. However, weather conditions necessary to generate enough rain/snow are so severe that you should never be operating an airplane in them in the first place. Taca Flight 110 is the cannonical case for preciptation leading to an engine shutdown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TACA_Flight_110

Both the engine OEM and the airframer test for water and icing ingestion and those tests are *far* more severe than anything observed in what's supposed to be normal operation.

Tom.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8188 posts, RR: 26
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 6 hours ago) and read 2864 times:

I would respectfully second the others' comments that this is indeed an optical illusion. It is simply inconceivable that ice would accumulate in that particular location only.

Quoting ymincrement (Reply 21):
Are these new engines safe in bad weather conditions?

You bet they are. If I can be picky though, the GE CF6s pictured above have been mounted to various wings since the late 1980s  



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
25 tdscanuck : Although I agree it's most likely a lighting effect in this particular case, it's not inconceivable to have ice only in that particular location...fo
26 Post contains images CALTECH : Not ice, just some sunshine. Pretty clear air there at cruise altitude, typical for the mid-Atlantic. Not a lot of moisture there. Not on any of our
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