travelavnut
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A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:00 am

In my all time favorite aviaton blog ( http://flightlevel390.blogspot.com/ ) I read the following;

"The beautiful orange and deep blue skies of dusk are replaced by darkness. I cannot see the little ice probe mounted on the forward wind screen support without a flashlight... Uh-oh! There is already one-half inch of mixed rime/clear ice on the probe. That is not good... Cloud tops typically have the worst icing. "

I have the following few questions;
- I looked at quite a few A320 cockpit pics but I haven't found this little probe yet, can somebody point it out to me?
- In todays digital world I didn't expect a low-tech analog solution like this, especially on the Airbus. Is this method used on other airliners?
- Is this the only ice indicator the pilots have or are there other instruments dedictated to ice detection?

Thanks in advance!
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Starlionblue
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:08 am

Quoting travelavnut (Thread starter):
- In todays digital world I didn't expect a low-tech analog solution like this, especially on the Airbus. Is this method used on other airliners?

Well, not exactly a new airliner, but I have seen this method used on the MD-8x.

Also, just because it is low tech doesn't mean it isn't effective. Why waste time on a fancy gizmo that needs to be designed, certified, built and maintained when you can do the same job just as well with a stick and flashlight?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
travelavnut
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:16 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
Also, just because it is low tech doesn't mean it isn't effective. Why waste time on a fancy gizmo that needs to be designed, certified, built and maintained when you can do the same job just as well with a stick and flashlight?

Ow absolutly and I do understand. I was just surprised the Captain had to use a blowtorch to see the instrument while almost everything else can be brought up through the different LCD screens  
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Starlionblue
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:35 am

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 2):
I was just surprised the Captain had to use a blowtorch to see the instrument while almost everything else can be brought up through the different LCD screens

He used a flashlight, not a blowtorch.  
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
borat
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:42 am

It is quite difficult to spot if your not sure what your looking for. It's the small(2-3in) dark probe located halfway up the pillar between the foward two windscreens. This probe also contains a switchable light to illuminate the tip.

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Alitalia/Airbus-A321-112/1838312/L/

http://www.airliners.net/photo/China...irlines/Airbus-A319-132/1836804/L/


Although this is the only probe that shows actual ice build up there are three TAT or 'Total Air Temperature' sensors mounted on the foward fuselage that monitor the outside air temperature.

[Edited 2010-12-28 03:04:29]
 
travelavnut
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:46 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
He used a flashlight, not a blowtorch.

LOL, I just Googled that, oh dear! I always thought they were the same, you learn every day 
Quoting borat (Reply 4):

Thanks!
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Aesma
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:13 pm

If you go there, Pitot probes and AoA probes are not the latest tech either. There just isn't anything better.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
travelavnut
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:20 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
Pitot probes and AoA probes are not the latest tech either. There just isn't anything better.

I understand, but at least they are connected to modern day equipment. I'm pretty sure you have never shined your flashlight on the AoA vane to check your angle  

Disclaimer: I am not in anyway saying old fashioned, analog, manual is bad. I was just very surprised the probe works in this way

[Edited 2010-12-28 07:21:33]
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mandala499
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:24 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Thread starter):
- In todays digital world I didn't expect a low-tech analog solution like this, especially on the Airbus. Is this method used on other airliners?
- Is this the only ice indicator the pilots have or are there other instruments dedictated to ice detection?

That's the one for the pilots to use...
There are also 2 probes on the lower forward fuselage.
They detect ice build-up and also indicate through the memo display that icing conditions have disappeared. The system generates ECAM messages according to the ice-detector signals and the crew selected anti icing modes.

If it detects ice When at >1500ft and TAT
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travelavnut
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:00 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 8):
That's the one for the pilots to use...
There are also 2 probes on the lower forward fuselage.
They detect ice build-up and also indicate through the memo display that icing conditions have disappeared. The system generates ECAM messages according to the ice-detector signals and the crew selected anti icing modes.

Mandala thanks for your detailed reply. So Captain Dave from the blog I linked could have looked at the ECAM screen instead of using his flashlight on the probe?
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mandala499
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:03 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 9):
Mandala thanks for your detailed reply. So Captain Dave from the blog I linked could have looked at the ECAM screen instead of using his flashlight on the probe?

COULD? Yes.
SHOULD? Dunno! Wasn't there!
  
Note that the ICE DETECTED ECAM would only come on if ice was detected and that NONE of the Anti Ice were selected.
If it is selected when ice was detected... no ECAM message.

Somehow that part was missing from my previous reply... *probably error on my end*

Mandala499
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KELPkid
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:15 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 2):
Ow absolutly and I do understand. I was just surprised the Captain had to use a blowtorch to see the instrument

Was the captain out to commit an act of airborne arson?    I don't think a blowtorch could be safely used anywhere within the confines of an airborne aircraft   Unless maintenance slipped it to him, methinks security would have confiscated it too...
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travelavnut
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:56 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 10):
If it is selected when ice was detected... no ECAM message.

Gotcha, thanks Mandala!

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 11):

Hehe, would have loved to see the look on the co-pilots face when the captain pulls out a blowtorch to check the ice probe  
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ba1978
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:03 am

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
LOL, I just Googled that, oh dear! I always thought they were the same, you learn every day 

You weren't entirely wrong in your thinking. In Britain and all English speaking countries outside North America, a "torch" usually means a flashlight, and a torch which uses fire as its light-source is often called a "burning torch" to distinguish. However, be you American or English he definitely wouldn't have want to use a blow torch!
There are other ways and there's British Airways
 
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longhauler
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RE: A320 Ice Probe?

Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:28 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 8):
They detect ice build-up and also indicate through the memo display that icing conditions have disappeared. The system generates ECAM messages according to the ice-detector signals and the crew selected anti icing modes


Only if the aircraft is equipped with an ice detector system. Our A320 series aircraft are not.

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 5):
LOL, I just Googled that, oh dear! I always thought they were the same, you learn every day


That is funny. Not surprising though, as this is a multi-national site, and we are always teaching each other not just about airlines/aircraft, but about language and country nuances as well.

As I was schooled in Switzerland, I speak French and German as well as English. But ... it is SWISS French and German. When I speak French in Canada, I often get funny stares ... and polite corrections. We all laugh, and I take it in a good-natured manner. I am sure that is how it was meant above.

But, more to the point, I am not even allowed to carry nail clippers, I can't imagine trying to pass a blow-torch through security  
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!

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