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International Winter Operations Conference – Montreal – 5/6 October 2011

CE Summary

INTRODUCTION – Air Canada Airline Pilots Association

  • Air Canada Airline Pilots Association organised this Winter Ops Conference
  • ACPA aims is to lobby US and Canadian Authorities on safety issues such as:
    • Misuse of high power lasers
    • Ottawa overruns – non-compliant runways are a key issues
    • Litigation against those making mistakes impacting on reporting and creating the need for reporter protection
  • This is the second such conferences ACPA has held on Winter Operations

KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Allan Macdonald On Challenger and Columbia – Two Lost Shuttles   – A Launch That Should Not Have Happened

Shuttle Facts

  • The Shuttle fuel pump can empty a swimming pool in 25 secs
  • The 3 engines generate the equivalent of 13 Hoover dams worth of power
  • Each rocket booster has over 1 million pounds of explosive and generates over 40,000 horsepower
    • Enough power generated to power 87000 homes for a day

Challenger Incident

  • On the Challenger launch morning, freezing water and icicles covered the pad and the vehicle – these were not planned for and had to be chipped off prior to launch
  • At lift off, the seals on the boosters were already leaking but sealed quickly initially, but re-opened at main engine boost since the vehicle flexs when the director nozzles moved the frame due to hitting a windshear region.
    • The leak re-occurred and directed the fire plume to the main tank which exploded
  • Crew died on impact with the ocean at 300 mph- the cockpit tape exists indicating that the cabin was intact until this point
  • Commercial, economic and military pressures to launch.
    • Plus the composition of that crew was of great public interest (a teacher)
  • At the last meeting before the original launch date, the weather brief predicted rain showers in the region and that launch day was cancelled.
    • In fact that day was fine and the showers came much later
  • On the next launch opp, the door handle could not be removed so it was hacked off the door by hacksaw causing another delay
  • Next launch day, met man had said the temp would go down to 18F which was well below limits for the booster seals
  • Based on an engineering assessment, the speaker recommended not to launch below 53F!
    • This was due to recovery of a past launch booster which had witness marks of seal leaks – when it had been 53F on that launch
  • NASA challenged the assessment and wanted to re-assess the data
  • Later that day, NASA said they would go ahead, because the engineers could not prove it would fail.
  • NASA wanted a signature from the booster engineers was required
    • The speaker refused to sign – so his Boss did!

Accident Inquiry

  • At the Presidential Commission, NASA tried to cover up the advice not to launch but speaker stood up and re-stated his advice to the Commission
  • The boost company sacked the speaker from the shuttle programme until the Head of the Pres Commission intervened and he was re-instated as Head of the Task Force to fix the Shuttle seal problem – which he did.
  • Columbia break-up problem caused by a single critical tile loss from 30,000 tiles. The critical tile had an aerial and mount beneath it
  • Silence is the biggest threat to safety


  • Wide variety of weather encountered across Canada.
  • Ground icing contamination on aircraft surfaces is caused by frost, freezing rain, ice, snow-wet and powder, slush
  • Canadian regs require all contam to be removed before flt is attempted
  • Accidents due to icing:
    • From 1969 to 2005 – 500 deaths caused
    • Washington – 1982. Failed to use ac anti-icing and surface de-icing
    • Denver -1987. DC9 crash
    • Dryden – 1989. Failure to de-ice
    • Stockholm – 1991. Incomplete de-icing
    • New York – 1992. Contaminated wings
    • Challengers – 2002, 2004 etc
  • Employee accidents have also occurred:
    • 3 man de-icing team killed when a B747 moved forward with 2 de-icer vehicles in front of the ac wing
    • 2009, de-icer fell out of the bucket in Calgary and died
    • 2010, de-icer killed when B747horizontal stab turned over his vehicle
  • New Canadian Icing Regulations have been introduced to improve safety
    • Pilots, cabin crews, flt dispatchers, de-icing operators, maintenance  crew all must be trained
    • Ac Contam inspectors must be trained and qualified
    • De-icing programmes must conform to prescribed standards and the responsibility is the airline, not the provider.
    • Air ops de-icing procedures must be described in the manuals with a responsible personnel nominated for the procedures
    • Crew members observing frost or ice on wings must report to the pilot who must act by getting a re-inspection
  • Safety means standards, training and audits
  • Training depends on the employers requirements – extensive formal and informal = initial, recurrent, both theory and practice
  • On time performance- it is important, but icing conditions require care



  • All de-icing and ant icing fluids can be tested only at LIMA/AMIL at University of Chicoutimi in Canada
    • Only lab in the world to meet SAE specs
  • Four types of de/anti-icing fluids available
  • Fluid qualifications and specs are checked or certified using a large array of test equipments and labs and wind tunnels
    • Anti-ice endurance and aerodynamic tests are carried including acceleration testing
  • Viscosity and ph is measured along with stability over time
  • New tests:
    • Catalytic oxidation of carbon brakes
    • Runway de-icer performance tests
    • Icephobic coating evaluation underway
      • Reducing of ice adhesion on wings by coating
      • Reduce ice accumulation and mass by coating
      • Coating to ease removal of ice from surfaces
    • However, does this coating increase drag in normal conditions?
    • Test derived to test the coating performance and its positive and negative impact and sustainability


  • SAE has Committees to study anti-icing and de-icing processes, procedures and establish standards for aircraft and runway de-icing
  • The Regulators then take the data and guidance derived from the relevant SAE committee output and publish it out to the community
  • SAE Meeting in Prague in May 2012 to generate the next generation of de-icing procedures
  • SAE does not have any airport inputs to this work and is keen to get engaged
    • Corrosion tests of the fluids used on aircraft need to be formulated which will need the help of the airports who buy these fluids
    • Hold over times are also being examined – an airport input would be welcome at SAE
  • Other SAE Committees are looking into best practice on numerous processes and equipments being used at airports
  • In Canada, most airports are transiting to single de-icing provider for efficiency and safety
  • IATA and SAE are looking to work closer together to harmonise de-icing procedures and methods


  • 1989 crash at Dryden caused de-icing to be taken seriously through TranCan
  • The report created a major R and D programme to address the de-icing and ant-icing issues
  • In 1989, only 2 types with HOT tables available
  • In 2011, we now have 15 different tables for Type fluid alone
  • Visibility tables produced for different snow types
  • Lower on-wing viscosity values for on-wing fluids
  • In 1989, no de-icing standards or best practice, now all available
  • 60 qualified fluids in 2011and these are being refined all the time
  • Fluids are now much more environmentally friendly
  • Major equipment improvements on de-icing
  • Dedicated de-icing facilities are now the norm
  • Specialist de-icing companies are the norm, not self de-icing anymore
  • After 20 years of focus, de-icing of ac is very mature in Canada
  • Corporate knowledge is much stronger


  • Recent Specific Canadian De-icing developments
  • Chinook ac de-icing system
    • Tempered steam technology – steam laden air strictly controlled with glycol addition
    • Can undertake engine and fan blade de-icing in 2 mins
    • Can be used at the gate due to it being environmental friendly
    • Glycol use is much lower (61% less) and de-icing time is less
    • Underwing and undercarriage attachment being developed


  • Dan Ice Hold Over Equipment
    • Automated hold over time determination tool positioned on the airport
    • Dan Ice Info fed to the flt deck directly using ACARS etc
    • Much more detailed charts and tables can be used to provide a much more accurate and flexible holdover time
    • Regulatory Approval Process being developed by TC and the FAA


  • Electronic Message Board
    • Use of information message boards around the airport taxi area to provide increased info to crews on positive hold procedures and remote de-icing operations
    • More info on website



  • What is the shelf life of fluids?
    • If stored properly Type 1 lasts 3 years
    • Types 2 to 4 degrade more quickly and need checking
  • Re-cycling of fluid to be used again?
    • Already happening in Toronto- about 50% mix of old and new for some de-icing, but not allowed on the wing so far.
  • Are De-icing costs are regulated?
    • Fluid is sold at cost and then a pro-rata application charge made to each airline company based on numbers of ac de-iced over the season
  • Is having a variation of type fluid HOTs sensible?
    • Considered to be good news but it is up to airlines to have a system to address the variations – generic tables for example!!
  • Will electronic message boards add further confusion to the runway incursion problem?
    • Standards for message content and format are being built currently.
  • Is de-icing product quality checked?
    • Checked regularly during provider audits and by the airline
  • Has the performance of de-icing fluids on new aircraft coatings been measured?
    • Some testing has been done on polymer surface coating on ac surfaces to reduce friction for fuel reductions, but it is the ac manufacturers who need to be aware of the potential impact of fluids
    • Some work over the past 18 months being done on ice detection sensors to indicate that de-icing is becoming ineffective, but no definitive result so far



The Concern with Active Frost

  • Complacency with what appears to be a benign level of contamination
  • Insufficient knowledge of the issue
  • Insipient contamination which is easily removed – so may be being ignored


Active Frost

  • Frost actively forms when the temp of the skin is below the frost point ambient air
  • Moisture from the air is deposited on a surface
  • Frost point is different to dew point and can be spilt by 4-5 degrees
  • Need to bring a wing skin temp to frost point to address the problem


Other Types of Frost

  • Cold soak frost – fuel load dependent
  • Radiation supercooling rapid frost which lodges behind de-icing boots on the wing


  • Type 1 fluid is most common
  • Unless the minimum fluid thickness is applied frost can re-occur quickly

Conditions for frost to occur

  • Clear sky, or sct cloud
  • Nil to light winds
  • Surface in shade at night or in low angle sun
  • OAT – frost point is less than5C(metal)
  • In such conditions, it is important to assess the wing closely before taxi

BRAKE AVAILABILITY TESTER (BAT)  – Uni of Waterloo – Dr Susan Tighe


  • How to provide an accurate measure to calculate braking distances involving contaminated runways
  • Is it possible to test braking rather than surface friction?
  • At Denver crash, brake effectiveness was just 20% of friction reading
  • Braking vs friction – this unique approach simulates more closely what is happening to ac tyres under braking and measures the braking force
  • Provides a more meaningful maximum braking likely to be available to the pilot
  • Proof of prototype at this stage but under test at the Uni of Waterloo this year
  • Several changes required due to the power of the braking system which was initially blowing tyres
  • Testing will cover different snow and wet conditions and will run in parallel with the current standard friction measurer
    • FDM data will also be downloaded in parallel
  • Output will be Winter Ops software compatible so that airlines gain access to the data
  • Plan to include surface friction for dry runways in due course
  • Challenge is that 1/8th inch of snow provides friction measures between .2 to .7
  • Can this new system report as good as a PIREP?


  • European airports suffered chaos in 2010
  • Montreal airport has never closed because of snow
    • 11000 ‘ runway can be cleared in 10 minutes
  • ICAO Annex 15 defines SNOWTAMs and the SNOWTAM format
    • More changes are being considered due to the latest European problems
    • Guidance material is in the Annex
  • A SNOWTAM is a NOTAM – same requirement as a NOTAM and the provider decides whether its a SNOWTAM or NOTAM
  • An AIP Part 3 should include a Snow Plan detailing what an operator should expect when snow clearing is in operations
  • A snow plan is supplemented by a seasonal information in the AIC prior to the winter
    • List of aerodromes or heliports when clearance is expected
  • Slush versus snow – definitions are provided in the Annex 15
  • Airports with more than 1 runway are posted under a single SNOWTAM
  • Always issued when sig changes are made – these are defined
  • Future Developments
    • Aerodrome Panel developing a proposal for SNOWTAM amendment
    • Friction task force is studying runway friction measurement and reporting
    • Airbus data from an ac which can be used for distribution on the SESAR and NextGen for other ac to use – along with SNOWTAM

FAA TALPA ARC GRP  – Lars Kornsteadt

  • FAA called this gp together after the NW Chicago accident during a snow storm
  • Gp formed in 2008 and worked for 18 months and handed its proposal to the FAA in 2009, and the gp then disbanded
  • A Winter trial took place in the US last winter to test the matrix formulated by the TALPA ARC Gp.
    • This was successful in testing
  • The Trial Concept was a shared op landing performance computation
    • Realistic landing distance
    • Representative friction
    • All physical affects considered
  • Rules for Airports
    • Keep runway bare and dry
    • Observe frequently and accurately
    • Runway coded assessments by thirds of runway length
    • Contam from 10% then in 25% steps
    • PiREPS taken
    • No measured friction values
  • The TALPA ARC Matrix is now available
  • Rules for manufacturers
    • Covers each of the 6 increments in the Matrix
    • Publish landing distances for old and new ac
  • Airbus terminology for landing distances defined by the gp for the rules
  • Rules for operators
    • Systematic landing performance computation in approach
    • 15% safety margin to be added except in emergency
  • Purpose of the Runway Condition Reporting
    • Friction capability of the RW
    • Realistic performance assessment
    • Contaminant type and depth
      • Simple measurement
      • Current Friction measurements are complex and inaccurate and unrelated to ac performance
      • PREPS are limited by the consistency and experience of the pilots’ reporting
  • The Matrix has 6 codes – each with a defined contaminant depth, measured friction, deceleration and directional control assigned to it
    • Enter table with contaminant type and depth
    • Possible to use additional info to modify and downgrade the Matrix value
    • Add the mu factor
  • Performance – 6 braking levels labled by the RBA
  • Rule-making process from the FAA on TALPA ARC
    • SAFO in Q3 2011
    • AC for airports 2012/13 voluntary Ops
    • NPRM 2015
  • EASA and ICAO Friction TF outputs
  • Airbus has QRH documentation available by end of 2011
  • Conclusion
    • Airbus has accepted TALPA AC standard
    • Realistic computation basis for winter ops
    • Mu readings will have to be fed into Matrix manually for the time being

TALPA ARC MATRIX VALIDATION – Chet Collett – Alaskan Airlines

  • Voluntary usage of TALPA ARC including 15% additional margin at Alaskan over last 2 years
  • Airports, airlines, manufacturers and regulators involved in TALPA ARC
  • Need for a common language including data passed which pilots could use practically
  • Friction Measures are either are mu, PIREPS and runway contamination type/depth
  • Problems with PIREPs meant that training pilots required to undertake good valid braking action reports
  • Problems with runway contam surface was meaningless descriptors of depth and contaminant type
  • TALPA sought a common language for the Matrix for all to understand
  • Problems with mu is lack of flexibility for certain ice conditions which had high friction capability but could not be used to upgrade the condition report
  • Contaminant descriptors have been identified and improved
  • Testing the Matrix last winter showed sound data produced by airport and pilots
  • Alaskan trained pilots to do the in-flight analysis
  • To land faithfully with the in-flight analysis
  • 20000 PIREPs taken over the season
  • Strong Correlation between airports and airlines reporting
  • ACARS format programme was produced for ease of use by the pilot
    • It could also allow the pilots to judge runway distances and fuel wt for the runway conditions in force


  • Cross wind limits? – were included in the TALPA ARC matrix used by Alaskan pilots using the Boeing AFN data



  • Between 1968 – 2004 there have been 22 Icing accidents 750 fatalities
  • Dryden happened in 1989 – key lessons learnt from this accident
  • F28 Air Ontario ac involved. Both pilots had less than 100 hrs on the ac
  • Ac attempted to get airborne but crashed 1000 m beyond the runway
  • 21 killed
  • Ac despatched without an APU on a three sector day
  • At Dryden – no air start so engine left running to deplane and board pax
  • Refuel at Dryden – with engine running with pax on board
  • De-icing was not used and no walk round undertaken as snow was falling
  • Taxi out in snow and held for 5 mins – ¼ of snow and ice on the wing
  • Ac rolled, got airborne to 15 feet and hit the trees
  • In 1985, Air Arrow US flight crashed at Gander killing 256 people.
    • Investigated by a commission who condemned Canadian aviation safety
  • FDM/FOQA intent was introduced as a result of these accidents in 1995 with Air Canada – it brought economic as well as safety benefits
  • But still no formal spec regulation for FDM program mandated in Canada
    • Major airlines have their own FDM program
    • No formal means of sharing data
    • No standard event comparators
    • QAR data cannot be used – limited to DFDR data
    • No central contact with TC for FDM
  • Excellent economic value on maintenance from FDM
  • Protection of the data is fundamental
  • Events can be designed to capture endless data inc weather which is important for winter ops
  • Plea for a Canadian consolidated plan for FDM usage


  • Ac needs to fly safely in icing conditions – simple rule but complex to deliver
  • Icing capability is built in from the start of the design
  • Icing cert has changed significantly over the past 20 years
  • Flt test is part of the certification – finding the edge of envelope conditions can be difficult and safety is a key concern in this testing- control is required
  • Goal of testing is check the ice detection and protection systems work
  • Predicting the shape of the ice formed is an important outcome to allow artificial shapes to be attached to an ac and flown in a clear air test area
  • Three forms of ice – holding ice, failure ice, delayed turn-on ice
  • Allow the anti ice to be turned off until ice is detected and the anti-ice is activated and is effective
  • Failure ice is where the anti ice fails – what is the impact?
  • Delayed turn-on ice is where the anti icing is left off for some time
  • Tailplane stall is another key area investigated in testing
  • Ops in ground icing conditions requires the use of de-icing and anti-icing fluid
    • Flow off of fluid needs to work well at take-off and landing
    • Fluid residues are also a concern and this needs to be identified and cleaning instructions need also be identified by the manufacturer
  • Knowledge and awareness materials are available freely on the Bombardier website





  • ATR has a strong presence in emerging markets
  • High turnover and pilot shortage with many small operators under financial pressure and competition
  • Pilots moving to larger airlines leaving low experience pilots to fly ATR types
  • 4, 5 and 6 weeks courses available upto type rating and MCC
  • Course includes flights in icing conditions
  • Grd school instructors need no quals but ATR insist on a CPL and type rating
  • A complete suite of training tools are available for each trg phase
  • A new concept for Flt Synthetic Training Device – cheaper than the full flight sim but provides increased sim training
  • ATR Documentation available:
    • The systems information for the aircraft including the winter ops equipment
    • Emergency and non-standard flying
    • Simulator session guide for instructors
    • Cold weather ops manual updated every 2 years
  • APM – Ac Performance Monitoring
    • Real time acquisition of weight, speed and performance
    • Alerts the crew to abnormal conditions such as drag analysis when the ac enters icing conditions
    • Cruise speed low indication if drag speed reduces by 10%
    • Degraded performance indication when drag goes up by 30%
    • Increase speed indicator if speed nears the min speed in icing conditions


  •  Already briefed and reported on UKFSC website


  • Gnd ops in icing conditions is challenging in Winter ops
  • Eng ops from the flt crew perspective is the aim of this brief

Pre-Flight Checks

  • Engine ice accumulation is both easily seen and invisible
  • Gnd crew undertake engine de-icing according to the SOP
  • If possible during the turnround, Flt Crew should also ensure Eng cowl and inlet are ice free and the engine rotates
  • Failure to identify engine icing will end in economic damage
  • No one-size inspection regime fits all and depending on
    • Environmental variations
    • Airport ops
    • Schedule concerns
  • General guidelines
    • Spinner ice/snow with no or thin layer of ice/snow visible on blades and booster area then undertake ground ice shedding using SOP/FCOM
    • If heavy accumulation on spinner or blades – check with maintenance
  • The Ice Shed Procedure has 2 elements:
    • Acceleration to a minimum thrust setting – blade flex to shed ice
    • Dwell time at the thrust setting- heats the ice to shed it easier
  • Asymmetric fan ice shed may cause momentary vibration
  • A repeat of ice shedding procedure may be required
  • Avoid ice shedding in areas of loose ice and snow on the ground
  • Do ice shed procedure on taxi-in and brief next crew on conditions
  • Ice shed is only effective if thrust level and dwell time is honoured


  • Icing requirements for engines are laid down in the TC Regs


  • Growing ops over the polar US to Far East, shorter and less turbulent
  • Challenges are
    • AC performance and range limits
    • Cold temp fuel issues
    • Solar radiation
    • Comms lims en route
    • ETOPS – 2 engined fleets are growing and planning is critical
    • Availability of airports
  • FAA requires specific approval for polar flights
  • Airport alternate requirements are important
    • Air Canada ac diverted into a Russian alternate last year
  • Global Aviation Consulting LLC has a 3 pronged approach by providing
    • Information
    • Preparation
    • On the ground support
  • Company tailors the routes and services for each airlines
  • Airport assessment with continued airport field reports are provided
  • Maintains and updates airport info data base
  • NOTAMs closure, other airport assistance
  • Diversion co-ordinates available 24/7
  • Annual and table top diversion exercises can be conducted
  • On the ground support:
    • Credit for services including fuel
    • Co-ord with CAA and local authorities
    • Co-ord with OCC of the airline
    • Hotel and transport assistance
    • Passenger service co-ord
    • Flt and landing planning permits assistance
    • English speaking co-ord at each supported airport
  • Air Canada B767 force landing at Kamchatka in Russia
  • Russian engineers checked it out – electric fault in toilet area
  • EVA Air diversion into Ukraine – night stop and ac fixed – depressurisation
  • Company provides value added flt planning and dispatch services
    • Fast resolution of critical and urgent operational and dispatch problems


  • Vancouver wx – 4/6 times a year snow hits between Dec- Feb
  • Annual planning cycle for snow management – Summer planning, autumn testing, Dec – Feb acting, Spring resting!
  • Two Sets of parallel runways – switched every 20 mins for each RW closure
  • Event co-ordinated by the ops in the airport
  • Use the Canadian runway and taxiway reporting process
  • Around 18 minutes for a clearance and then ant-icing laid immediately after a friction run
  • Glideslope aerial needs to be cleared or snow flat without waves to a max depth of 40 cms of snow, otherwise the glideslope has to be switched off! No solution to this so far
  • Single de-icing team is now being introduced since present de-icer companies have 444 different permutations
  • CDF Best Practice
  • Work on common lang, signage and R/T underway with many Canadian Airports to address snow clearance SOPs


  • NTSB view of airframe icing
    • Majority of icing conditions encountered are not a problem for certified aircraft – NTSB normally deal with uncommon occurrences
  • Accidents
    • Roselawn – American Eagle ATR – super cooled droplets (SLD) formed ridge behind the leading edge boots as ac went in and out of cloud causing disturbance of ice behind the boots
      • SLD on ice accretion was outside the certification
      • Iced wings with SLD can stall before shaker and pusher
      • Certification is being redrawn to account for SLD
    • Monroe accident
      • Thin and imperceptible as well as rough ice on wing forced LOC
      • Boots need to be activated before entering ice conditions
      • Cockpit warnings on ice and stall approach needed
    • West Palm Beach- Commair Flt
    • Cessna in Puablo
      • Ice – boots were operated and increased speed but not activated immediately on entering icing conditions
      • Auto boot activation now fitted
    • FEDEX ATR 42 – Lubbock, Texas
      • Fresh crew
      • Unstable approach but failed to go round
      • Low airspeed and stall after asymmetric flap occurred
      • Recommended sim fidelity improvement to be consistent with icing impact
    • Summary of Recommendations
      • SLD is not certified
      • Better sims for training
      • Boots activated as soon as entering icing conditions
      • Performance monitoring fit where possible

Rich Jones
Chief Exec
UK Flight Safety Committee
17 October 2011