The annual panic in the UK begins, as a little bit of cold weather approaches. Are your clients educated in the whys and wherefores of aircraft de-icing and anti-icing when it comes to private jet charter?
Here are 10 points for clients to consider (less Point 10) when it comes to cold weather operations:
1. All aircrew undergo annual cold weather operations training both online and practically in the simulator. If clients are concerned about ice/snow on the aircraft, we urge them always to speak to the aircrew. There’s no silly questions when it comes to cold weather operations in aviation.
2. De-icing/Anti-icing is never normally included in a charter quote, it’s an extra and charged after the event. Depending upon weather conditions, aircraft might only require de-icing.
3. De-icing is the removal of any frozen or semi frozen moisture from critical external surfaces of an aircraft on the ground prior to flight.
4. Anti-icing is the protection of those surfaces from any frozen or semi frozen moisture for the period between treatment and becoming airborne. The fluid is anyone of 4 types applied depending upon weather conditions.
5. Larger aircraft operators offer “de-icing” insurance in some shape or form. A good Charter Broker will look at the weather forecast ahead to assist you with your decision making.
6. De-icing and Anti-Icing are invoiced according to amount of fluid and type of fluid used in litres. The bigger the aircraft the bigger the bill and it can run into thousands of Euros.
7. Airport operations slow up during cold weather operations. De-icing and Anti-icing have a “hold-over” time – ie; the time between completion of de-icing and anti-icing, and the time by which the aircraft must be airborne.
8. If an aircraft is not airborne by the end of the “hold-over” time, the aircraft must return to the de-icing apron to be completely de-iced and anti-iced again – an additional expense for charter clients. Now let’s talk about that de-icing insurance again….
9. Aircraft generally cannot use their in-built anti-icing systems to de-ice themselves on the ground, it can only be used for airborne pro-active anti-icing operations, and can only normally be turned on just prior to thrust increase for take off.
10. The callsign of the de-icing team at Vienna’s Schwechat airport is “Iceman” – True.