Caravan Ice?

Grumman guy

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I know there are alot of Van drivers on this board so I thought I would ask some advice on what to do/avoid/look for in regards to icing in the van.

Winter will be here soon and it will be my first in the Van so I would really appreciate some "Real World" advice.

Thanks in advance
 

Flying Illini

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I'm sure there are plenty of folks who browse this section with experience in the van, but I know you will get some great info from the guys in the cargo section.
have fun and be safe this winter.
 

CaravanMan

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The vans I flew were freight planes and looked every bit of it. Their boots were not kept in great shape so they didn't shed ice too well. I usually ended up blowing the boots in the descent to shed any residual ice. One time that really stuck in my mind was getting into some light freezing drizzle/rain...and then having the prop anti-ice fail. Trying to get out of that was fun.

Check out www.caravanpilots.com - it's a great site and there're some smart people on there.

Have fun in the Caravan! It's an awesome plane; I miss it! It does fine in ice as long as your brain isn't INOP. :)
 

GravityHater

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Didn't the FAA in concert with Cessna come up with (new, special) icing encounter recommendations for Caravans recently?
 

FN FAL

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I spent about 35 minutes in icing on Wed just to get current again. 6,000 feet was IMC and -2C. 4000 would have put me under it at plus freezing temps, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to turn on the igniters and pull out the inertial separator for a while.

I got down to 135 indicated with some mixed/clear icing and used the opportunity to remind myself to not get too comfortable with being in it.

If think of anything between now and tomorrow, I'll post it...don't have time right now.
 

mar

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My advice: Avoid it like the plague

Here's my experience.

I flew C207s around VFR in icing conditions. Basically my plan was to either climb up through it or descend down through it but there was no way in hell I would loiter in icing conditions in a C207.

Then I got checked out in a C208. Same plan. I don't care if it had boots, a hot prop/windscreen.

It's only good enough to climb through or descend through. You cannot loiter in icing conditions in the Caravan.

If you find yourself stuck in icing conditions be especially aware for ice forming aft of the boot. This is an emergency. You need to get out of that crap right now.

War story: One day I pushed it too far. I stalled in the flare. I count myself as one of the lucky ones.

Fly smart.
 

CaravanMan

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I'll add a bit to what Mar posted... I agree with ice forming aft of the boot; that requires immediate attention. What you also want to keep in mind is that the wing is a very fat airfoil and won't accumulate ice as quickly as the thinner horizontal stab.; it can be deceiving. Keep an eye on the wing strut and OAT probe for accumulation. I think the strut is pretty close in width to the horizontal stab, so that should give you an idea of what's forming behind you; ice on the back end can be really dangerous (tail stall). If you haven't seen NASA's icing video you ought to hunt down a copy because it's a great video and covers a lot on tail stalls and recovery. I had enough ice on the plane once while I was landing that it was incredibly mushy, but thankfully never stalled it. I flew the ILS with no flaps and a lot of airspeed, but in the flare it felt like there was nothing there. The normally very responsive controls felt like mush. And, like Mar also said, get out of ice as soon as you can. That is your best protection.
 
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mar

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Excellent point

CaravanMan said:
What you also want to keep in mind is that the wing is a very fat airfoil and won't accumulate ice as quickly as the thinner horizontal stab.; it can be deceiving.
I should've mentioned this. It's a very important point.
 

FN FAL

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CaravanMan said:
I had enough ice on the plane once while I was landing that it was incredibly mushy, but thankfully never stalled it. I flew the ILS with no flaps and a lot of airspeed, but in the flare it felt like there was nothing there. The normally very responsive controls felt like mush. And, like Mar also said, get out of ice as soon as you can. That is your best protection.
Yea, the no flaps in icing is good policy...in addition, you might want to consider not making abrupt power changes until you got your wheels on the ground. When I have significant ice on the airframe, I usually fly it on, no flare. The stall will come on way before the bottom of the green arc, so if you are 10 feet up when you attempt a flare, you might be surprised.

Here's a test question: What's the speed limit on Caravan tires?

Also, when you're planning your approach, you might want to consider whether or not you'll have to do a circling approach. Our company prohibits circling approaches if you have airframe icing, but I would imagine a trace is not going to be a limiting factor if vis is up and the ceiling alows for a wider circling manuver.
 
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minitour

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FN FAL said:
Here's a test question: What's the speed limit on Caravan tires?
ooh ooh...I read this once...it's in the high 160s isn't it? 168?

Am I even close?

-mini
 

FN FAL

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minitour said:
ooh ooh...I read this once...it's in the high 160s isn't it? 168?

Am I even close?

-mini
I bet avbug knows :pimp:

One thing is for sure, you won't exceed that tire speed with any significant airframe icing, even with power on in the downhill slide of an approach, unless you've stalled.
 
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T-REX

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Ditto what was said above. Avoid icing at all costs, but if that is not possible set your limits and stick to them. I used to use "if i lose 10 kts of airspeed I would start selecting airports I could land at; if i lose 20 kts I'm going there."

Be sure to check PIREPs for tops/icing and familiarize yourself with SKEW-T charts. It graphs temp. and dew point with altitude and will give you a good idea of where the tops will be.

Have fun!! Caravans are a blast to fly.
 

Hand Commander

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If you're new to the van, I'd recommend attending a caravan safety seminar. Cessna puts them on for free every year around the country. You can find info at www.caravanpilots.com. Steve McNew is the guy who puts them on and does a good job of explaining icing scenarios in the van. I think he was involved in all the initial flight testing in icing conditions up in Alaska. Anyway its a lot of good information, some of which you've heard before, but never hurts to hear again. They also give out caravan cd's and the NASA tail stall DVD. They provide free food and drinks as well. Really no excuse not to go if there is one near you.
 

minitour

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FN FAL said:
I bet avbug knows :pimp:

One thing is for sure, you won't exceed that tire speed with any significant airframe icing, even with power on in the downhill slide of an approach, unless you've stalled.
hmm...I think I'm high by 20 kts...I'll go with 148...final ansa!

-mini
 

EatSleepFly

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Hand Commander said:
If you're new to the van, I'd recommend attending a caravan safety seminar. Cessna puts them on for free every year around the country. You can find info at www.caravanpilots.com. Steve McNew is the guy who puts them on and does a good job of explaining icing scenarios in the van. I think he was involved in all the initial flight testing in icing conditions up in Alaska. Anyway its a lot of good information, some of which you've heard before, but never hurts to hear again. They also give out caravan cd's and the NASA tail stall DVD. They provide free food and drinks as well. Really no excuse not to go if there is one near you.
I hear they are good. I'm going to one Monday night. Free food! :nuts:

Didn't really want to since I've only got a few more weeks left in the 'Van, but I didn't really want to give my notice yet either, so I'm going anyways.
 

flyboyzii

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I've been flying the van for 5 long years now and will tell you what I do. Climb at 115 knots. What you get for climb rate is what you get. Don't mingle around in the ice and on the approach it is a no flap landing. I have never had much problem with it. As far as the FAA and Cessna getting together for "mods". They just cut the icing weight back to 8000 lbs on the "b" model and 7600 lbs gross on the "a" model. Good luck and that vibration you feel is just the prop NOT shedding anything!!!!
 

GravityHater

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T-REX said:
familiarize yourself with SKEW-T charts. It graphs temp. and dew point with altitude and will give you a good idea of where the tops will be.
EXAMPLE!! please.
 

cforst513

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i have never flown in icing conditions, so i have a question: how quickly does the ice melt/fall off after you leave the visible moisture you're in by either climbing or descending? if you descend into warmer air, does it take a while or does it really just depend on the thickness and type of ice?
 

Dickensheets

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I used to wax the boots during winter to make them real slippery. I forget the name of the stuff but I think it's in Sporty's catalog. I recall that it helped quite a bit.

Ryan
 

flyboyzii

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As far as how long it takes to melt??? It depends on how much you have on and the outside ambient temperature.

My company is gracious enough to put 1 can of "ice X" in each of our aircraft just in case we feel the need to appy for extra protection. The mechanics apply this stuff once a month anyway but it seems to lose it's effectiveness after about two or three de-icings. The onlt thing with "ice X" is that it needs 24 hours to cure on the boots. But it IS expensive (about $180) last time I bought a can. It is the best stuff around though. Think of it as life insurance. We fly in the ice every day for about 4 months at a time. Just my .02
 
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