cancidas
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Sanding The Ramp

Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:40 pm

this question is posed to those who work professionally in an ramp environment.

there is a new genious supervisor at my airline. lord knows why he's there but we won't start on that. we share certain gates with mainline aircraft and mainline deicing is conducted at the gates whereas at express we operate a deicing pad of our worn for deicing operations. yesterday, an aircraft (a A319) was deiced at the gate leaving glycol on the ramp. once that aircraft was pushed out the gate was returned to us for our use. the glycol remained. now on one of the parking spots there is a rutt right on the T where one would park an airplane. the problem occurred when an agent parked an airplane with it's nosegear in that rutt. our pushback tugs were unable to push the airplane out of the rutt, resulting in our needing to borrow a mainline pushback tug to do the job. all went well and the aircraft was pushed out.

now, this genious supervisor that we'll call "nightmare" made a big stink about the need to sand the ramp to clean up the glycol. firstly, when i was trained i was told to never sand the ramp down. secondly, it's just common sense not to do so since 737s and 319s use that gate. the sanding, at least in my mind, creates a very large FOD issue. yes, it's a safety issue as well. however, as nightmare pointed out, agents can possible damage aircraft if they can't stop the tugs in time. our agents are trained to stop the vehicle outside the "diamond of safety" so that they may test the brakes to ensure they would be able to stop.

my major argument is based on the fact that sand has no reason to be placed on the ramp. yes, passenger walkways may be sanded but that's all. has anyone here ever heard or seen parkign gates and ramps sanded? am i correct in arguing the FOD issue?
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SlamClick
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:49 pm

I know you asked rampers, but from a pilot's perspective - I agree with you.

Main difference between sand and wrenches is that sand makes smaller dings in the blades, and more of them. Sand can get deeper into the compressor and erode blades that you cannot see on a preflight.

That said, I don't know what the solution is. Tire chains on the tug? In my opinion deicing at the gate is the culprit and this is not the first time LGA (right?) has had a problem with the way they deice airplanes. (same airline, I"d guess. right?) Deicing at the gate is not the best plan for a number of reasons, one of them you are dealing with now.

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LMP737
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:54 pm

We use hot sand at the hanger to keep things from getting to slick after the snow has been plowed. Seems to do the job well enough. The only problem is when things dry up and then you have clouds of sand getting blown around when aircraft taxi out. With all the deicing that is done at the terminal it seems to me that all sanding would do would be to make a big mess.
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FrequentFlyKid
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:43 am

I grew up and live on the east side of Cleveland in the snowbelt. We see lake effect snowstorms that rival Buffalo, but I have NEVER seen the Ohio Department of Transportation or any local municipality using sand. I have always seen the liquid deicer or the standard road salt. Down here at school in the Norfolk area they use sand all the time. Doesn't ever seem to work.
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:38 am

They use sand on the roads here in Texas. It makes a mess until about September when they get it off the roads just in time for the one freeze of the year, where they dump a whole bunch of new sand.
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Contact_tower
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:33 am

The trick about sanding is how you use it. More recent gritters, like the one we use on all operational surfaces at the airport, use a mix of warm sand (stored in a above zero indoor silo) and steam (!). The trick is to get the sand to freeze to the surface instantly. The mix is 200ml water pr square meter of sanded area. (very little ice bulid-up)

De-ice at the gate sounds like really bad idea, and creates a lot of issues.
 
L-188
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:48 am

my major argument is based on the fact that sand has no reason to be placed on the ramp. yes, passenger walkways may be sanded but that's all. has anyone here ever heard or seen parkign gates and ramps sanded? am i correct in arguing the FOD issue?

In Alaska.....oh yeah. Can't get around it, especially in areas of the state where there is a very pronounced freeze-thaw cycle during the winter, such as the Aleutian Islands.

Usually you want a course sand, really rough. Usually we didn't put it on for snow, but when Ice was on the ramp, since our cheap managment didn't want to buy a proper tug to move aircraft. It cost them less to risk damaging airplanes.

As far as the fod issue. I don't think you have much of a claim. Most of the risk I saw from sand where to low hanging propellor blades, such as on an Metro, erroding. I suppose you could have some issues with that and turbing blades, but sand is so fine that there isn't much surface area for an engine to pick up and as long at is is not frozen in a clump I would suspect the big issue would erosion of low hanging engines. I would point out that snow is also abrasive too.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 08, 2005 3:48 pm

Out here since De-Icing is never an Issue,so there is no question of Sanding the ramp.
Although I agree on the FOD point of view.
I wonder how its in the Middle East when there is much more sand blowing around.
regds
MEL
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cancidas
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:32 pm

I know you asked rampers, but from a pilot's perspective - I agree with you.


slamclick, i'm not only looking for a ramper's input. thanks for providing a pilot's perspectives.


As far as the fod issue. I don't think you have much of a claim. Most of the risk I saw from sand where to low hanging propellor blades, such as on an Metro, erroding. I suppose you could have some issues with that and turbing blades, but sand is so fine that there isn't much surface area for an engine to pick up and as long at is is not frozen in a clump I would suspect the big issue would erosion of low hanging engines. I would point out that snow is also abrasive too.

l-118, we fly beachcraft 1900s, saab 340s and dash 8s. our jets are not as prone to FOD because the engines are mounted up on the tail. (we fly EMB-145s and CRJ-200s.) but the gateein question is used by 737s and 319s regularly.
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dl757md
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:39 am

Why not use an oil dry substance to clean it up? The oil dry soaks up the liquid and is then swept up and disposed of. That's how fuel spills are cleaned up. I realize we're talking about a large area but it wouldn't be that large of an expense in materials and labor. $20 worth of oil dry and a couple of man hours can clean up a hell of a lot of liquid.

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meister808
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:39 am

Sounds like chains or studded tires on the tug is the real way to go here if we want to eliminate FOD completely. Thats how MSP keeps going in snow and ice.

-Meister
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L-188
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:24 pm

Actually at Anchorage International they spread Urea rather then sand on the active runways as an ice melter.

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dl757md
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:01 pm

I don't think the problem that Cancidas is describing has to do with snow and ice. It has to do with glycol. Glycol on an otherwise clear ramp is extremely slippery. It acts like oil. In this case I think that oil dry or some type of absorbant would be the best solution. Unlike sand it is not left on the ground. It is collected and disposed of so there isn't any FOD issue. Now if the ramp was icy as well, chains would be the way to go. But after a good soaking in glycol the ramp probaly would be clear of ice and snow.

So Cancidas which was it glycol only or glycol and ice?

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L-188
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:20 pm

Glycol on an otherwise clear ramp is extremely slippery. It acts like oil

Been there done that.

Ended up on my ass trying to get up to get some tools to fix a leak we had a deicer unit once

Plane's crew is standing there looking at me thinking, "What and idiot!"
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:33 pm

Tell me more on this Urea use to melt Ice.
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cancidas
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:52 am

glycol only ...
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Contact_tower
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:42 am

Urea is a nitrogen bases chemical, allmost identical to fertelizer. Most airfields that use it, use a standard rotary gritter to spread the Urea pellets on the runway



Temprature range for the Urea we use is down to -6 C (practical range)
Other types of chemicals can allso be pellets (ex Aviform), but others are liquid, (Potassiumacetate-based runway de-icers) and applied with a special sprayer truck.

On problem with urea, is a that since it's basically a fertelizer, runoff from hard surfaces on the airport will pollute rivers and lakes via surface water and sipage. "Clearway" (liquid) and others do not have that problem, but they cost A LOT, and is only viable at the largest airports.



Urea, N (CO(NH2)2)

"Urea is produced through the reaction of ammonia (NH3)and carbon dioxide (CO2). The two are reacted together at high pressure at temperatures between 132° and 182° C (270° and 360° F)."
 
goboeing
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:55 am

There are some airports that do not use the sand due to environmental restrictions. JAC comes to mind. It is in Grand Teton National Park.

Nick
 
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:55 pm

We use urea and walnut shells, believe it or not, outside our hangar for traction when towing planes.
 
2H4
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:20 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (reply 7):
Although I agree on the FOD point of view.
I wonder how its in the Middle East when there is much more sand blowing around.



I was wondering the same thing, HAWK21M. The air itself is a FOD hazard in windy, sandy conditions.


2H4
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Contact_tower
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:49 pm

FOD after sadning is a issue, but on many airport the problem arrise only when the snow melts, and the surface dries up. The only aircraft that has FOS issues during winter here, is the Harrier. (They have to use a special FOD-taxi procedure, and use a special departure for formations called "Belize Pick-up")

Sand removal in the spring is a lot of work, and it usually takes weeks up here before all aprons and TWYs are clean. (The sand is removed form the surface used by aircraft a lot earlier, but they use a special collector to pick up the sand that collect outside the edge lights, that is slow work)

After all several hundred tons of sand is used during one winter.  Big thumbs up
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:04 pm

I've seen that Aircraft that arrive after being operated by a Middle East carrier have a different looking Wheel well surface,Very dry as if its been "Sand-blasted"  Smile
regds
MEL
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UAcsOKC
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:13 am

The only real way we have ever been able to clear glycol from a ramp is by flooding it with water. This of course has it's own hazards, but water doesn't stick to everything like glycol does. The best way is, of course, to not deice at the gate. The only time we deice at gates here is during ice storms, which can leave an inch of ice on the aircraft an cause long delays trying to remove it. But in this scenerio the glycol is welcome because it turns the ice to slush, allowing us to plow it away. The issue with vehicles, of course is to drive slow, and keep good tires on them, maybe run snow tires in winter. Sand or salt is a major no-no, as we get 737s and a320s. hope this helps.
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DTWOPS
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:37 pm

Urea is banned at Detroit for the polution reasons stated in previous posts. One thing DTW does have which seems to be fairly rare is a contract a company who recovers glycol on the pavement with a vac truck. This would help out at the gate areas. Sand can be applied at gate areas upon request but it is usually so the push tugs can get a little more traction. Post storm clean up includes sweeping for excess sand.
 
pogo
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:40 am

LHR(EGLL) has a drainage system, so I am told, I agree with FOD issue, on some stands at LHR there are still boxes of grit which we can throw down in case of severe ice, if the airport gritters have not done a good enough job, also there used to be bags of sawdust on most stands which we used for any hydraulic or fuel leaks from any vehicles. However we would inform BAA so they could clean the 'dust with the sweeper/hoover trucks immediately after the aircraft had departed. Now we are seeing more of these vehicles doing the rounds cleaning more regularly, almost daily.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:15 pm

Quoting Pogo (reply 24):
also there used to be bags of sawdust on most stands which we used for any hydraulic or fuel leaks from any vehicles. However we would inform BAA so they could clean the 'dust with the sweeper/hoover trucks immediately after the aircraft had departed


Thats how its done out here too.
regds
MEL
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airtran737
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:20 am

In MKE we have a 50 gallon barrel of sand at every gate. ASIG also operates a glycol recovery vehicle, which when it show up does a good job at cleaning up the ramp. Any who we use sand constantly, it helps a lot for traction in the snow and ice.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:44 pm

Had any Experience of the Tarmec sinking under the Landing gear tires.We had one yesterday & struggled to Pushback.Eventually We had to lighten the Aircraft [Offload Cargo][Freighter]to puush the Aircraft out of the Depression created.
It was a bay that was Asphalt surfaced unlike the normal Concrete ones.
The bay was resurfaced & a white powder to dry it was applied.
regds
MEL
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cancidas
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:34 am

need more info. can anyone etll me what FAR governs airline ramp operations, specifically how to deal with patches of ice on the ramp. my managers seem to think that it's enough to throw sand on it. they don't realize that during the day, the ice melts creating standing water which later mixes with the sand and freezes over at night once more. there has got to be somethign governing these actions....

if i'm wrong then i'm wrong but lately 've been proving them wrong about 50% of the time. the best part is, my boss has a sign in his office that states: "never, never outshine the big boss." he makes it too easy though!!!
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MissedApproach
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:52 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 11):
Urea rather then sand on the active runways as an ice melter.

That's all we use here, sand & salt are prohibited airside. Mainly they plow & use sweepers to remove snow & ice, & we usually use the urea near our hangar doors, which the plows don't get. They also have a truck that uses steam & a vacuum, kind of like a floor scrubber, to remove ice. I only ever see it clearing the East ramp. We only use deicing fluid in a specified area too. It allows us to recover some of the fluid & minimize environmental impact.
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Tristarsteve
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:17 am

Here at ARN most deicing is done on the gate. But as soon as the aircraft pushes back, a sweeper comes round and hoovers up all the glycol. This is for environmental reasons to stop glycol getting in the local water system. For the same reason, all the snow that is taken from the runways and taxiways is placed on a special site, where it melts in the spring and the melt is filtered to take out the deicing fluids. As far as I know this deicing fluid is not recycled, because it is not clean enough.
When we have ice on the apron, the airport spread sand. This only happens when the temp rises above zero daytime and then freezes again in the evening.
 
L-188
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:49 am

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 30):
a sweeper comes round and hoovers up all the glycol. This is for environmental reasons to stop glycol getting in the local water system. For the same reason, all the snow

Are you guys using Ethelene (spelling I know) Glycol or Polyproplene Glygol.

Pretty much everything over here was switched to the Poly since it is much less toxic. In fact is is used as a food preservative over here. I used to have a package of Strawberry Muffin mix that had it listed as an ingredent.
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pogo
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:05 am

Quoting Cancidas (Reply 28):
need more info. can anyone etll me what FAR governs airline ramp operations, specifically how to deal with patches of ice on the ramp.

At LHR BAA have gritting lorries which drive around placing 'grit' on the aprons and roadways, there used to be bins of grit on most stands which were very handy in the winter.
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OpsGuy
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:33 am

Cacidas, we use sodium formate on the runways and taxiways for deicing. It does the trick, but leaves the ground white. I can get you info on it if you like.

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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:09 pm

Quoting OpsGuy (Reply 33):

Any Pics.
regds
MEL
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DC8FriendShip
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:11 pm

Quoting Meister808 (Reply 10):
Sounds like chains or studded tires on the tug is the real way to go here if we want to eliminate FOD completely.

Stud tires have their own dangers as the studs can come out and produce fod. Same with chains- they come apart and don't really help except in the snow.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 31):
Polyproplene Glygol.

Propylene Glycol. Apparently it's safe to drink (I Wouldn't). Polypropylene is a Polymer plastic that is used in various ways, but not as De-Ice fluid.
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OpsGuy
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:54 am

HAWK21M, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner its been crazy this week at work. What would you like pictures of? The sodium formate comes in huge bags, I believe they are approximately 500-1000 pounds. I'm not sure if I have any airfield pictures that show the runways and taxiways white.

OpsGuy
Is this the Delta House?
 
cancidas
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:03 am

OpsGuy, please if you could send along some more info.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:49 pm

Quoting OpsGuy (Reply 36):
I'm not sure if I have any airfield pictures that show the runways and taxiways white.

No probs.I was keen on noticing how the Sodium Formate looked like after spraying.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:52 pm

Quoting DC8FriendShip (Reply 35):
Propylene Glycol. Apparently it's safe to drink (I Wouldn't).

You may have already. I don't have a bottle in front of me, but I believe it is in Mountain Dew.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:53 pm

Related icing question. I was on one of those dinky Beech 1900s yday. For deicing the engines were shut down. Is this some sort of turboprop thing or just for the Beech 1900?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
L-188
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:01 am

Quoting DC8FriendShip (Reply 35):
Propylene Glycol. Apparently it's safe to drink (I Wouldn't). Polypropylene is a Polymer plastic that is used in various ways, but not as De-Ice fluid.

My bad.

And if you haven't drunk it, you may have eaten it. I used to have a bag of strawberry muffin mix that used it as one of the ingredents.
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GQfluffy
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:02 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 40):
Related icing question. I was on one of those dinky Beech 1900s yday. For deicing the engines were shut down. Is this some sort of turboprop thing or just for the Beech 1900?

Turboprop. You just can't always see the edge of that dang thing. GQ deices both the Metro and the 1900D with engines off. I've seen Horizon deice their Dash 8's with the engines off.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Sun Dec 18, 2005 3:33 pm

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 39):
You may have already. I don't have a bottle in front of me, but I believe it is in Mountain Dew.

Are you serious.What Percentage.
regds
MEL
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Dash 80
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:26 am

In OMA we use sand as an absolute last ditch effort because of the abrasiveness mentioned earlier. The sand is not like most sand used by street crews, it is very fine with tiny granules.

Primary means of anti/deicing on the Runways, Taxiways, and Ramps is Potassium Acetate a liquid chemical. It works better if applied before it freezes because it actually lowers the freezing temperature of water. If used for deicing purposes, you generally have to apply a lot more to the pavement. Some of our vehicles are equipped to mix sand and Potassium Acetate in the swirler so the sand is more likely to stick to the ice/pavement and less likely to come off the ground. But, this again, is a last ditch effort to improve traction.

Another good deicer is NAAC, which is an anhydrous sodium-acetate based granule. It looks a lot like the Urea granules above, but is much more friendly to the environment. Of course salt is a big no-no. Corrosive to aircraft and damaging to concrete.

In OMA we have to keep track of airline glycol use as well because we operate with a permit from the EPA and local departments of environmental quality to pump storm run off into a local river. Propylene only though.

Cryotech is an American manufacturer of great airfield anti/deicing chemicals. Here is there website: http://www.cryotech.com/index.php
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cancidas
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RE: Sanding The Ramp

Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:10 am

every single turboprop that my company operated is deiced with the engines off and the apu running (if applicable.) that''s done that way simply because you can't see the prop when it's spinning.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."

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