BREECH
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Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:50 pm

Some long time ago I watched an Air Crash Investigation about the crash of ATR72 (or maybe 42) somewhere in the US which was caused by icing and ineffective de-icing. Then there was a similar crash in Russian Far North because pilots didn't de-ice. Then somewhere here on the forum someone said that (I quote) "Embraers are hangar birds". So that got me thinking.

Are Bombardier planes better equipped for extreme cold conditions, especially parked on the apron, than airplanes made in warmer countries like France or Brazil? And I'm not talking about "extreme snow two inches deep" for a couple of weeks, like, say, Vancouver or Boston. I mean REALLY cold conditions, like Lapland, Siberia, -50C, etc. There are hundreds of aircraft mechanics people here from all corners of the world. If anyone wants to share their experience/opinions about that, I'd be very happy to read it. Maybe someone from Alaska Airlines, THAT would be awesome to know how they cope.

As a side question, what temperatures are modern aircraft designed for? I know they are certified for cold start at -31C, but that's FAR from the coldest they can experience. Is there a minimal temperature at which they are guaranteed to start?
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EMB170
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:06 pm

Hard to say. Some people thought in the wake of the crash of AA4184 that the ATR 42/72 just really weren't suited for colder climates...and the fact that ASA operated ATR72s for DL at the time, but only out of ATL and DFW was a further indictment of the plane's incapability in cold conditions. (Never mind that CO Express operated said aircraft out of EWR and CLE at the time, as well.)

That being said, NTSB *did* find fault with the ATR72's de-icing boots in that crash as being not big enough to fully get rid of the amount of ice that could accumulate on the plane's wings, and ATR did wind up re-fitting said aircraft with larger/wider boots as a result.

I know that AY has used ATR 72 aircraft in northern Finland for years and (to my knowledge) has not had issues with them due to climate. AS, AC, and SK, as you may know, use DASH aircraft up in the snow instead, but I couldn't say how much that has to do with any increased confidence on the part of the airlines that the DH8 holds up better in cold weather than the AT7.

You might think that the Canadians would have an edge over the French or Brazilians in terms of designing aircraft that can stand up to the cold, but at the end of the day, Bombardier, ATR, and Embraer are all in the business of selling as many airplanes as possible. For ATR or Embraer to focus on airlines in warmer climates (just as for BBD to focus on airlines in colder ones) would be bad business practice as they'd just be closing themselves off to potential sales.
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heathrow
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:49 pm

7F has a large fleet of ATR's operating in the arctic without fault. It would seem any issues have been corrected.
 
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:51 pm

Well, First Air flies 13 ATR 42's in Canadian arctic areas and I don't recall any news of these aircraft falling out of the skies due to icing*. OTOH I remember some AC flight cancellations on YYC - YZF route because of temperatures at YZF being lower than the minimum ground temperature allowed for the CRJ 705.
So no, the fact that the aircraft was built in Canada doesn't mean that it is better suited for cold climates than an aircraft built elsewhere.

* There was a West Wind Aviation ATR 42 crash at CZFD recently, however it seems that they attempted a take off with contaminated aircraft. The investigation is not finished yet.
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senatorflyer
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:51 pm

One thing I’ve noticed a few times is that during freezing temperature some of the ATR’s don’t have running water (taps) in the toilets. According to FA it freezes. Only a minor thing but still thought it was weird.
 
ELBOB
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:43 pm

BREECH wrote:
Some long time ago I watched an Air Crash Investigation about the crash of ATR72 (or maybe 42) somewhere in the US which was caused by icing and ineffective de-icing.


This again?

That ATR72 operated in heavy icing well beyond its certification limits. The exact wording from NTSB:

"while the airplane was in a holding pattern during which it intermittently encountered supercooled cloud and drizzle/rain drops, the size and water content of which exceeded those described in the icing certification envelope"

ATR were criticised for not informing operators of control problems in such extreme conditions. But the NTSB report also lambasted the FAA for inadeqeuate icing requirements particularly in freezing rain. Basically any FAA-certificated aircraft of that category would have been unlikely to survive.
 
BREECH
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:50 pm

ELBOB wrote:
BREECH wrote:
Some long time ago I watched an Air Crash Investigation about the crash of ATR72 (or maybe 42) somewhere in the US which was caused by icing and ineffective de-icing.


This again?

Selective reading? :-) The (main) question is which aircraft is best suited for cold climates.
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highflier92660
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:24 pm

The crash of American Eagle 4184 became political with the French manufacturer placing blame on the crew. The U.S. placed blame on Aerospatiale for certifying the ATR-72 with deicer boots covering too small a percentage of the mean aerodynamic chord. In the end ATRs continued to fly unmodified overseas and American sent theirs down to a regional affiliate's base in San Juan Puerto Rico. The Roselawn crash along with ValuJet 592 also made Greg Feith something of a celebrity air crash investigator.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Eagle_Flight_4184
 
B777LRF
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:30 am

The best aircraft in adverse weather will be relatively slow, have thick wings and a sturdy construction. Look towards Russia for your answer, it will probably say 'An-26'. As for the worst, that's a more difficult question to answer, but the CL200 could be an answer. Note that 'worst' does not equal 'dangerous', just that it's less forgiving than e.g. the aforementioned Antonov.
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Max Q
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:40 am

Holding with flaps extended is a dubious practice, especially in icing conditions and inexplicable in the AA Atr crash


The last thing you want to do in icing conditions is add any drag, especially after starting to accumulate ice on the wings


And completely unnecessary to do so, no holding pattern is that tight it can’t be flown clean in a straight wing turboprop
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Max Q
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:48 am

B777LRF wrote:
The best aircraft in adverse weather will be relatively slow, have thick wings and a sturdy construction. Look towards Russia for your answer, it will probably say 'An-26'. As for the worst, that's a more difficult question to answer, but the CL200 could be an answer. Note that 'worst' does not equal 'dangerous', just that it's less forgiving than e.g. the aforementioned Antonov.



Not really



A thick wing will be more prone to Ice accumulation, especially at the slower speeds associated with such an aircraft


A swept, thin wing attached to a jet
aircraft is least vulnerable to icing



In fact it’s rare you have to use the leading edge deice, although you will sometimes use engine heat


Icing has a much harder time sticking to such an aero foil, it’s never been a concern on any jet transports ive flown
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
highflier92660
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:04 pm

Max Q wrote:
Holding with flaps extended is a dubious practice, especially in icing conditions and inexplicable in the AA Atr crash


The last thing you want to do in icing conditions is add any drag, especially after starting to accumulate ice on the wings


And completely unnecessary to do so, no holding pattern is that tight it can’t be flown clean in a straight wing turboprop



Max Q has brought-up a very good point regarding deployment of flaps in a holding pattern. Whether it's a left or right turn holding pattern, direct, parallel or teardrop entry, you don't need flaps. Fly the pattern clean at a high enough air speed.

To further illustrate the dangers of ice accumulation on an aircraft recall Colgan flight 3407. On a snowy evening in 2009, a regional Bombardier Q400 flight from Newark was just outside Klump outer marker on approach to runway 23 in Buffalo, New York. With 45-passengers and a crew of 4 aboard, the large turboprop was under the command of Marvin Renslow and assisted by first officer Rebecca Shaw who had never experienced winter flying conditions. The aircraft stalled and rolled after the Lindbergh of Lutz slowed to an indicated airspeed of 135 knots and discovered the effects of rime ice upon an airfoil. Note: Some suggested he made have read an article on tail-plane icing in Flying or Mechanics Illustrated and counter-intuitively acted against reducing the wing's angle-of-attack. Whatever the case, as the aircraft entered in to a death spiral the first officer inhibited any possible recovery by also retracting the flaps and raising the gear. With friends like that one doesn't need enemies.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgan_Flight_3407
 
Flighty
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:53 pm

One time I did notice that an EMB-170 could not start up in -10F until they piped in heat to the cockpit/avionics for about 30 minutes. Is Bombardier better in that respect?
 
Woodreau
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:43 pm

[photoid][/photoid]Every Airbus Bombardier Embraer Beechcraft aircraft I’ve ever flown in airline service all have the same limitation -40c/-40F for engine start.

There’s a few additional things to check in the cold weather operations section of the FOM

But just because it’s made in Canada or Brazil doesn’t mean it’s better in warmer or extremely cold weather.
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bhill
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:03 pm

the C-130 does ok...to Antarctica and some of the hurricane flights...come to think of it, NOAA has a pretty robust fleet for what their missions are...
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Alias1024
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:25 am

Flighty wrote:
One time I did notice that an EMB-170 could not start up in -10F until they piped in heat to the cockpit/avionics for about 30 minutes. Is Bombardier better in that respect?


Not really. On the CRJ in temperature below about 0F we would usually have one or more screens that would not work until they’d had 5-10 minutes to warm up. Also, hot starts for the APU and maybe auto shutdowns weren’t unusual at that temperature or below.
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Max Q
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:45 am

bhill wrote:
the C-130 does ok...to Antarctica and some of the hurricane flights...come to think of it, NOAA has a pretty robust fleet for what their missions are...



Correct,


The C130 has a hot bleed air from four
turboprops that heat a nice hot wing and horizontal stabilizer leading edge in addition to engine anti ice


It has a very robust icing protection system
but a jet with a swept wing is unbeatable in that respect
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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SAAFNAV
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:05 am

Max Q wrote:
bhill wrote:
the C-130 does ok...to Antarctica and some of the hurricane flights...come to think of it, NOAA has a pretty robust fleet for what their missions are...



Correct,


The C130 has a hot bleed air from four
turboprops that heat a nice hot wing and horizontal stabilizer leading edge in addition to engine anti ice


It has a very robust icing protection system
but a jet with a swept wing is unbeatable in that respect


Yes, and also engine nacelle pre-heating to start the engines. Whilst the Herc is certified to -40C (F), the engine oil temp is limiting with startup.
I guess the Antarctic birds still have the bleed-air radome anti-icing installed. Our company has got that deleted, but then they only go to the South Pole in the 'summer'.
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Redbellyguppy
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:20 am

You guys realize that jet aircraft see -40C substantially every time they are flown, right?
 
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:42 am

Redbellyguppy wrote:
You guys realize that jet aircraft see -40C substantially every time they are flown, right?


That's different. By the time we've climbed to those temperatures, the engines have been nice and warm for quite a while, as well as the windshield and the probes.

Startup is the issue, not continued operation.
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fr8mech
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:38 am

Redbellyguppy wrote:
You guys realize that jet aircraft see -40C substantially every time they are flown, right?


Not a pilot here, but I suspect there really isn't a whole lot of icing at cruising altitudes. But, getting to those altitudes, the aircraft will move through icing. In fact, there are icing conditions above SDF right now, even though it's 75F outside.
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KCharlie
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:34 pm

Max Q wrote:

A thick wing will be more prone to Ice accumulation, especially at the slower speeds associated with such an aircraft

A swept, thin wing attached to a jet
aircraft is least vulnerable to icing

In fact it’s rare you have to use the leading edge deice, although you will sometimes use engine heat

Icing has a much harder time sticking to such an aero foil, it’s never been a concern on any jet transports ive flown


You are wrong - thinner wings collect more ice.
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Icing_-_Collection_Efficiency
https://aircrafticing.grc.nasa.gov/1_1_3_4.html

Also, on modern airliners, the automatic anti-icing system can engage on a surprisingly high percentage of flights through colder regions.
 
KCharlie
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:42 pm

Also, on larger airliners, holding at Flaps 1 (leading edge deployed) is usually allowed. I'm fact, the flaps-up ice accumulation can sometimes be worse than that with the leading edge deployed. If an airplane cannot safely handle ice accumulation at a given flap detent, the manufacturer could prohibit holding at that configuration.
 
BREECH
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:23 pm

B777LRF wrote:
The best aircraft in adverse weather will be relatively slow, have thick wings and a sturdy construction. Look towards Russia for your answer, it will probably say 'An-26'. As for the worst, that's a more difficult question to answer, but the CL200 could be an answer. Note that 'worst' does not equal 'dangerous', just that it's less forgiving than e.g. the aforementioned Antonov.

Less forgiving how? On the ground, as in starting, warmup, etc, or in the air, as in icing?
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BREECH
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:29 pm

Woodreau wrote:
But just because it’s made in Canada or Brazil doesn’t mean it’s better in warmer or extremely cold weather.

It may actually be the opposite where it concerns the actual flight, since Brazil is located right in the supercool (?) water area that brought down AF447.
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Max Q
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:23 pm

KCharlie wrote:
Max Q wrote:

A thick wing will be more prone to Ice accumulation, especially at the slower speeds associated with such an aircraft

A swept, thin wing attached to a jet
aircraft is least vulnerable to icing

In fact it’s rare you have to use the leading edge deice, although you will sometimes use engine heat

Icing has a much harder time sticking to such an aero foil, it’s never been a concern on any jet transports ive flown


You are wrong - thinner wings collect more ice.
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Icing_-_Collection_Efficiency
https://aircrafticing.grc.nasa.gov/1_1_3_4.html

Also, on modern airliners, the automatic anti-icing system can engage on a surprisingly high percentage of flights through colder regions.



I suppose you can find statistics or studies to support any theory


In practice, over decades of operating swept wing jet transports in all kinds of conditions I can tell you that wing icing
has never been an issue, or indeed icing of any kind


In another life, operating turboprop and piston aircraft ‘thick wings’ wing ice accumulation happened all the time and was a major concern, sometimes a hazard
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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KCharlie
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:48 am

I don't care what airplanes you've flown, I care about physics and facts.
Thicker wings accumulate less ice than thinner wings.
 
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747classic
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:38 pm

KCharlie wrote:
I don't care what airplanes you've flown, I care about physics and facts.
Thicker wings accumulate less ice than thinner wings.


I noticed this is your 3 reply on this forum.
Pls. moderate your tone, this is not the way to discuss a subject

After operated jets for over 30 years I have the same non experience with ice on the wings. On the 747 we never used the wing anti ice system, except for checking this system on test flights..
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
26point2
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:43 pm

KCharlie wrote:
Also, on larger airliners, holding at Flaps 1 (leading edge deployed) is usually allowed. I'm fact, the flaps-up ice accumulation can sometimes be worse than that with the leading edge deployed.


Not the swept wing jet I fly. BD700 actually PROHIBITS holding with slats/flaps in icing conditions.
 
diverted
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Re: Best/worst aircraft for extreme weather conditions

Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:09 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
Well, First Air flies 13 ATR 42's in Canadian arctic areas and I don't recall any news of these aircraft falling out of the skies due to icing*. OTOH I remember some AC flight cancellations on YYC - YZF route because of temperatures at YZF being lower than the minimum ground temperature allowed for the CRJ 705.
So no, the fact that the aircraft was built in Canada doesn't mean that it is better suited for cold climates than an aircraft built elsewhere.

* There was a West Wind Aviation ATR 42 crash at CZFD recently, however it seems that they attempted a take off with contaminated aircraft. The investigation is not finished yet.

Woodreau wrote:
[photoid][/photoid]Every Airbus Bombardier Embraer Beechcraft aircraft I’ve ever flown in airline service all have the same limitation -40c/-40F for engine start.

There’s a few additional things to check in the cold weather operations section of the FOM

But just because it’s made in Canada or Brazil doesn’t mean it’s better in warmer or extremely cold weather.



I know of at least 15 ATR's certified down to -54C. Of course there was some additional testing required etc. but they do exist

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