Commentary

February 2009 Issue

Letters: 02/09

I would like to provide some corrections and clarification to the "Deicing Dissent" letter in the January 2009 issue of the The Aviation Consumer. It is true that the TKS system is not intended to be used as a deice system. However, the correct classification is anti-ice, not ice prevention. The correct usage of any anti-ice system is to activate the protection in anticipation of icing conditions. Surface anti-icing keeps the airframe clear of ice accretion, eliminating the performance loss from pre-activation and inter-cycle ice accretion associated with deice protection systems. This is not to say a TKS system cannot deice the airframe. FAA regulations for known-icing-certificated anti-ice components state that "tests should be conducted that simulate inadvertent icing encounters in which the pilot may not recognize that the airplane is about to enter an icing condition and the anti-ice component may not be activated until actual ice build-up is noticed". TKS leading-edge panels are required to demonstrate the ability to deice after a two-minute delayed ice accumulation resulting from the most severe icing conditions found in the FAA certification envelope. The modern known-ice certificated TKS ice protection systems now have three fluid flow settings: normal, high and maximum. The maximum setting provides the best deice performance and has a pre-selected two-minute activation mode to eliminate forgetting to turn it off.

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