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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

Snow And Aircraft

Sun Dec 03, 2000 9:54 pm


Would anyone have some information about the maximum snow aircraft may support please?

Did any aircraft make tests with snow, like the tests performed on wet runways?

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Thank you,

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

Posts: 250
Joined: Wed May 10, 2000 5:22 am

RE: Snow And Aircraft

Mon Dec 04, 2000 3:02 am

Tests for braking action are made, in february 2000 an A319 of Swissair was doing a snow runway test at Munich and left the runway at high speed and hit a hangar before ending up in a field. The Airbus was substantially damaged.
An Augsburg Airways Dash 8 was also damaged as it was in the hangar during the accident.
Also a Deutsche BA 737 couldn't stop at time but nothing happened.

These tests were unnecessary...  
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Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:44 pm

RE: Snow And Aircraft

Tue Dec 05, 2000 1:47 am

Hi Alain, Buzz here. I recall seeing a short clip on testing the 777, and they did some cold soak tests in Fairbanks (Alaska) and deicing tests.
Are you thinking how much snow the engines can eat before flame-out?
I wonder how much snow they suck off the ramp when at idle? 777's don't come to PDX. And just plain snow isn't bad. When the snow packs into ice in tire tracks then it causes damage when inhaled. 4 or 5 winters ago we had 5 or 6 airplanes that had left DEN on a snowy night, heading for west coast cities. These airplanes had "eaten" snowballs of hard packed ice and had damaged some fan blades. It was found by mechanics when the airplanes were shut down for the night. I had it easy, was flown to BOI to grind some fan blades. The guys who were sent to GEG had a 737 engine change to deal with.
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 10:34 am

RE: Snow And Aircraft

Tue Dec 05, 2000 4:22 am

Don't know about snow.

Ice runways are often cofronted way north and south. Bush pilots land on them often. Convair's 990 was the first commercial aircraft to come standard with anti-skid braking for slippery runways.

But snow slows at t.o.. This is dangerous.



RE: Snow And Aircraft

Tue Dec 05, 2000 7:59 am

I can't speak for other operators, but I believe the following are fairly standard and are in use by Continental Airlines. We have different perfomance penalties based on whether the runway is wet or contaminated. Wet runways are only applicable if the water is standing, as in a torrential downpour. Since most commercial aviation runways are crowned and grrooved, the only way snow becomes a factor is when it accumulates. When it does accumulate the runway is called contaminated. The maximum allowable depth of snow on a runway for operations is six inches dry and one-half inches wet. Above those amounts operations are suspended until the plows can clear them, or they are salted/sanded, whatever. For obvious reasons, the more clutter (snow) on a runway, the harder it is to stop in case of an RTO, and the more severe the penalty. These penalties assure the airplane's weights are adjusted lower as to allow suffient stopping distances before V1. Hope that helps,


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