Can you expand on “certain circumstances” please? Exceeding holdover time, heavy snow falling, any others? Can you show the part from your FOM/FCOM that would have had you leave the cockpit in this particular F9 deice incident? I’m sure every carrier is different, but I think most follow a standard FAA/IATA/IOSA deice program, where a pre-takeoff contamination check (ie going back to the cabin) is accomplished with pretty specific criteria. Going back to view the wings after a deice crew says “aircraft is free from all contamination and was sprayed with X/Y fluid at 100% final application began at HH:MM” isn’t one of them (that I’ve ever seen, anyway), unless you could still see contamination from the cockpit on any of what little of the wing you can see, or if you exceeded a holdover time, or if there was heavy snow falling. Also, per manuals at the airlines I’ve worked at, deice crews are “qualified ground agents” authorized to complete any required contamination check, which is why they say their spiel at the end...that satisfies any contamination check requirement at that time. If that wasn’t the case, it would be a requirement for flight crew to go check the wings after every single deice...which it isn’t.
Also, you deplaned from a CRJ to do a tactile feel AFTER deice/anti ice was done, just touching type I/IV fluid with your bare hand? Hmm. What airline was that? Tactile feel on preflight maybe? That was a thing when I flew CRJs. But not as a post deice verification procedure. At my current carrier a “tactile” feel on preflight is a “must” do item if there are conditions that could lead to clear ice formation...again as a preflight check item, not as a post deice item. I’d love to see any manual or written procedure that calls for a tactile feel AFTER deice is complete.
Yes, it involved holdover times when the pilots would be required to check. I don't have the specific language handy. But I've done this personally - walking back through the cabin to look at the wing.
The time I deplaned to personally do a tactile check was when a ground crew refused to do this. I was incredulous. The language was put in our manual that a post-deicing tactile check was required. I'm no longer certain but I think this became an FAA mandate because the CRJ was pretty critical WRT deicing and we had an incident at my airline that was similar to the F9 incident, though not nearly as egregious. My memory is vague but that's my recollection. The incident in question was in PHL about a decade ago. I won't reveal the airline I worked for at the time but I was there 12 years and captain almost 10.
As to the language about ground crews being qualified agents, etc., I've seen many whose 'qualifications' appear to be weak, at best. I operated on the east coast and I've seen all kinds of things that don't need to be detailed but were definitely not confidence inspiring. One involved a situation with some frost and I told the guy we would just need Type 1. He replied that yes, he'd get us sprayed off with "The Good Stuff". Again, I said I need Type 1. He again said he's got the "Good Stuff". I said that I don't have a holdover table for "The Good Stuff". It was obvious that it was Type 1 because of the color and the steam rising off it and we were definitely free of contaminants but I'm not sure the guy had any idea what the difference was between Types 1 and 4. This incident happened in PHF.
I don't know why you're questioning others on their experiences or their company's procedures. Every company is a bit different but all have to comply with FAA guidelines regarding deicing, meaning that they're not all that different.
Contract ground handling companies don't pay well and have immense staff turnover, so the agents need to be trained each winter and it usually was poor. The best places I've deiced have been in YYZ and YUL. Super efficient. And before anyone says anything about Canadians getting worse winters than the US, the worst deicing experience I ever had was in SYR, where it took so long to apply Type IV that the holdover time for the exposed Type 1 was exceeded, meaning that they had to start over. This was on a CRJ-200. They didn't understand on the radio why they had to start over. Meanwhile, next to us, large airplanes like Airbuses and 737s were getting in and out of their stalls in 10 minutes. It took over an hour to deice and anti-ice our aircraft. It was some contract outfit and their performance wasn't confidence inspiring at all. This was not uncommon.
So in summary: your current and past airlines wouldn't have called for you to go inspect the wings after this, or any other, normal deicing, unless you exceeded a holdover time or heavy snow was falling? You don't know why I'm going back and forth here? A respected member of this forum who is a pilot said it is normal to, or that pilots should, go check the wings AFTER being deiced, as if this F9 crew failed to do something that other pilots do. And then you, without real context, piled on with your anecdotes of also getting out of a jet and checking (that do not apply to this F9 incident). And since everyone's procedures are basically the same since they are cookie cutter from the FAA/IATA/IOSA, I am saying that, based on my years of experience flying and commuting in the northeast on many different airlines, with a decent bit of deicing experience, there are no airline pilots that I know or have seen who would have walked to the back to check the status of the wings after a deice crew says it is free from contamination in a normal deice situation (ie not exceeding a holdover time or with heavy snow falling or any other prescribed circumstance). That's just not a thing, despite what some are insinuating here as being a thing.
And furthermore, you confirmed your procedure to go check would be for an exceedance of a holdover time. This frontier incident has nothing to do with exceeding a holdover time or pilots failing to do something. So when you or galaxyflyer or whomever is talking about getting out of a jet getting cold wet shoes to inspect the work of a deice crew, or even going back to the cabin to check, but don't give the details/context about when that is actually done per SOP, readers of this forum who aren't pilots are going to be a bit misinformed about how airline deicing works. When they fly on a delta airbus, get de-iced, but the pilots don't come out, are they going to think their delta pilots are failing to perform a necessary step? Will a simpleflying article be written demonizing the F9 pilots based on these a.net pilots giving incomplete/misleading/wrong info? Because that's the feeling I get reading your and galaxy's posts. There's an insinuation here that the frontier crew was negligent/reckless for not going back and checking the status of their wings, when in reality, no other airline flight crew would have left the flight deck and caught that either.
So, if your manual has a prescribed step for going back there to verify the status of the wings right after a deice crew says you're free of contamination I'd be really interested to see it. Because I'm willing to bet every single "going back to the cabin to check" and tactile feel procedure, in every 121 de-ice program/manual, exist for either preflight to determine whether or not de-ice is needed, or post de-ice with falling precipitation, to check the wing's status after a holdover time exceedance, or in heavy snow type of situation...but NOT as a verification of a de-ice crew's work. That is my point. See where I'm going with this? I'd love to be proven wrong with an excerpt from your FOM/FCOM showing that it is normal to leave the flight deck to go check the de-ice crew's work and verify the free from contamination statement. But anecdotal "I have left the flight deck before, so the frontier crew should have too!" without the context of why you left he flight deck, or what your normal procedure is for the same situation as the F9 incident, or what standard 121 deice flight crew procedure is, does a disservice to the F9 crew as well as every other 121 pilot out there who follows their company de-ice policy, which normally doesn't involve leaving the flight deck.
The one caveat I'll add is, if any of that snow was visible from the flight deck, it should have been caught by the pilots. Hard to tell from the pics what they could have seen. My beef is with the notion that they should have gone back to the cabin to check de-ice crews' work as part of standard procedure.