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Volume 3  GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 27  GROUND-DEICING/ANTI-ICING PROGRAMS

Section 1  General

3-2166  BACKGROUND. Section 1 of this chapter contains background information on ground-deicing/anti-icing of aircraft. Section 2 provides policy, direction, and guidance to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors for evaluation and approval of operator procedures. Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 15, of this handbook covers ground‑deicing/anti-icing surveillance procedures.

A.    Requirements. There are essential differences in the ground-deicing/anti-icing requirements of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121, 125, and 135. For example, part 121 requires a complete deicing/anti-icing program that includes the training and testing of all personnel involved in the ground-deicing/anti-icing process. On the other hand, part 135 requires training and testing for pilots only. Additionally, if a part 135 operator chooses to use personnel other than pilots to assist in the ground-deicing/anti-icing and verification process, then those individuals must receive adequate and appropriate training. Part 125 requires testing for pilots only; however, other personnel involved in the deicing/anti-icing process must receive adequate and appropriate training.

B.    Deicing/Anti-icing Program. Parts 125 and 135 operators have the option to elect to meet the deicing/anti-icing requirements of part 121, § 121.629(c) and institute a full deicing/anti-icing program. Recognizing that most inspectors will be required to inspect a variety of aircraft and operators, this chapter will attempt to present the differences in a meaningful manner. The inspector should become thoroughly familiar with the differences and requirements in 14 CFR covering operations in icing conditions.

3-2167    RULE. The current regulations in parts 121, 125, and 135 prohibit a takeoff when frost, ice, or snow (contamination) is adhering to the wings, control surfaces, or propellers of an airplane (see § 121.629(b), part 125, § 125.221(a), and part 135, § 135.227(a)). Traditionally, the pilot in command (PIC) has been held responsible for ensuring that critical surfaces of the aircraft are free of adhering frozen contaminants before takeoff. By the winter of 1991, an analysis of air carrier accidents led the FAA to conclude that many PICs had not been provided with sufficient information to ensure that the aircraft is free of frost, ice, and snow. Part 121 was amended in November 1992, and parts 125 and 135 were amended in January 1994 to provide specific rules for operating (that is, taking off) in weather conditions when frost, ice, or snow could reasonably be expected to adhere to the aircraft (ground-icing conditions).

3-2168    PART 121 GROUND-DEICING/ANTI-ICING.

A.    General. Section 121.629(b) prohibits takeoff when contamination is adhering to critical surfaces of an airplane or when takeoff would not be in compliance with § 121.629(c). The exception to that general rule is that the Administrator may approve takeoff with “frost under the wing in the area of the fuel tanks.” Section 121.629(c) requires a detailed, comprehensive, deicing/anti-icing program (part 121 ground-deicing program) if a certificate holder is going to operate “any time conditions are such that frost, ice, or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the aircraft” (ground-icing conditions). Section 121.629(d) provides a means for a certificate holder to operate without a program as required in § 121.629(c). If the operator does not have an FAA-approved deicing/anti-icing program, § 121.629(c) prohibits an air carrier from “dispatch, release, or takeoff” of an aircraft in ground-icing conditions.

NOTE:  Principal operations inspectors (POI) may refer to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-60, Ground Deicing and Anti-icing Program, for a detailed description of those elements that make up the program.

B.    Provisions and Exceptions. An exception to the requirements for a complete deicing/anti-icing program is contained in § 121.629(d), which provides that an air carrier is not required to have an approved deicing/anti-icing program if an Outside-the-Aircraft Check (OTAC) is completed within 5 minutes prior to beginning the takeoff. An OTAC must be performed from outside the aircraft to ensure that “wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces are free of frost, ice, and snow” when the certificate holder is operating in ground-icing conditions. If a certificate holder chooses to operate in accordance with § 121.629(d), the requirement for an OTAC must be documented in its operations specifications (OpSpecs).

3-2169    PART 121 DEFINITIONS.

A.    Pretakeoff Check. A pretakeoff check is a check of the aircraft’s wings or representative aircraft surfaces for frost, ice, or snow within the aircraft’s holdover time (HOT). This check is required when the certificate holder operates (that is, intends to takeoff) in ground-icing conditions, the aircraft has been deiced/anti-iced, and a HOT is established. This check is accomplished within the HOT range and is normally accomplished by the flightcrew from inside the cockpit. The pretakeoff check requires the flightcrew to check the aircraft’s wings or representative aircraft surfaces for contamination as well as to assess the current weather or other situational conditions. The pretakeoff check is integral to the use of HOTs. If HOTs are used, at least one pretakeoff check must be performed.

B.    Pretakeoff Contamination Check.

1)    A pretakeoff contamination check is a check that the flightcrew and ground personnel conduct after the HOT has been exceeded to make sure that the wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces, as defined in the operator’s program, are free of frost, ice, and snow. The pretakeoff contamination check must be completed within 5 minutes before beginning the takeoff. Operators must have aircraft-specific procedures for use by flightcrew members and qualified ground personnel while conducting the check to ensure that the aircraft’s wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces remain free of frost, ice, or snow when a HOT has been exceeded.
2)    The pretakeoff contamination check must be conducted from outside the aircraft for the following:

·    Hard-wing airplanes with aft, fuselage-mounted, turbine-powered engines.

NOTE:  The check for these airplanes must include a tactile check of selected portions of the wing-leading edges and the upper wing surfaces. Alternatives to a tactile check may be approved only with concurrence of the manager of the Air Transportation Division (AFS-200).

·    For all other airplanes, unless the operator shows that the check can be adequately accomplished from inside the airplane. POIs may refer to AC 120-60 for additional guidance.

C.    OTAC. An OTAC is a check that must be accomplished from outside the aircraft. Section 121.629(d) requires an OTAC of a certificate holder who operates in ground-icing conditions without an approved part 121 ground-deicing/anti-icing program. For those operators without an approved program, any time frost, ice, or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the aircraft, an OTAC must be performed to ensure that the wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces are free of contamination. An OTAC must occur within 5 minutes prior to beginning the takeoff.

D.    HOT. HOT is the estimated time deicing/anti-icing fluid will prevent the formation of frost or ice and the accumulation of snow on the treated surfaces of an aircraft. HOT begins when the final application of deicing/anti-icing fluid commences and expires when the deicing/anti-icing fluid applied to the aircraft loses its effectiveness.

3-2170    PART 121 GROUND-DEICING/ANTI-ICING PROGRAM. In order for the certificate holder to have an approved ground-deicing/anti-icing program that complies with § 121.629(c), each operator’s ground-deicing/anti-icing program must cover the following four areas as described in AC 120-60:

·    Management plan detailing operational responsibilities and procedures;

·    Holdover timetables and procedures for their use;

·    Procedures and responsibilities for aircraft ground-deicing/anti-icing, pretakeoff check, and pretakeoff contamination check procedures; and

·    Initial and recurrent ground training and/or testing for flightcrew members and qualification for all other affected personnel, as applicable.

3-2171    MANAGEMENT PLAN. The operator should develop, implement, and use a management plan to ensure proper execution of its approved deicing/anti-icing program. The management plan should include operations and maintenance responsibilities and identify the management positions that are responsible for ensuring that all necessary elements of the deicing/anti-icing program are properly executed.

3-2172    HOLDOVER TIMETABLES AND THE PROCEDURES FOR THEIR USE.

A.    Holdover Timetables. Each operator is required to develop, and have available, holdover timetables for use by its personnel. In addition, each operator must make its holdover timetables available for use in the cockpit. These timetables are required to be supported by data acceptable to the Administrator. Currently, the only acceptable data are those developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) 4737, Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Methods, and ISO 11076, Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Methods on the Ground, contain the tables that are currently considered acceptable for use by the operators to develop their timetables.

NOTE:  POIs may refer to AC 120-60 for additional guidance regarding the development of procedures for increasing or decreasing determined HOTs.

B.    Takeoff Within a HOT. If takeoff is conducted within the HOT, § 121.629(c)(4) requires at least one pretakeoff check of the wings or representative surfaces to be completed by the flightcrew within the HOT range prior to the takeoff. Operator’s manuals should contain detailed procedures regarding the use of the timetables in their operations. Section 121.629(c)(3) requires that the operator’s program contain procedures for the flightcrew members to increase or decrease the determined HOT in changing weather conditions.

C.    Takeoff After the HOT Is Exceeded. Under § 121.629(c), takeoff after the HOT is exceeded is permitted only if one or more of the following actions have been taken:

1)    A pretakeoff contamination check is made to ensure that wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces, as defined in the certificate holder’s program, are free of frost, ice, or snow.
2)    It is otherwise determined by an alternative procedure, which was developed by the operator and approved by the FAA (for example, wing-icing sensors) that the wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces as defined in the certificate holder’s program, are free of frost, ice, or snow.
3)    The wings, control surfaces, and other critical surfaces have been redeiced and a new HOT has been established.
Indicates new/changed information.

3-2173    PART 135 GROUND-DEICING/ANTI-ICING TRAINING AND CHECKING RULE.

A.    General. Section 135.227(a) prohibits a pilot from taking off in an aircraft that has “frost, ice, or snow adhering to any rotor blade, propeller, windshield, wing, stabilizing or control surface, to a powerplant installation, or to an airspeed, altimeter, rate of climb, or flight attitude instrument system...” As evident by the use of the term rotor blade, helicopters are subject to the regulation. There is one exception to the regulation: Section 135.227(a) allows that “takeoffs may be made with frost under the wing in the area of the fuel tanks if authorized by the Administrator.”

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Provisions in Part 135 Ground-Deicing/Anti-icing Rule. Section 135.227(b) requires pilot training in accordance with § 135.341 if a certificate holder is going to operate (that is, takeoff) “any time conditions are such that frost, ice, or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the airplane...” (ground-icing conditions). In addition to pilot training, § 135.227 requires a pretakeoff contamination check (see paragraph 3-2174). Therefore, if the certificate holder is operating in ground-icing conditions, it must have a pilot training program, which the pilot has completed, in accordance with § 135.341 and the pilot must conduct a pretakeoff contamination check. Exceptions to the regulation that requires a pretakeoff contamination check when operating in ground-icing conditions are as follows:

1)    Administrator may approve an alternative procedure developed by the operator to ensure the wings and control surfaces are free of contamination (for example, wing-icing sensors); or
2)    The operator may comply with the part 121 ground-deicing rule.

C.    Important Differences Between the Part 121 Ground-Deicing Rule and the Part 135 Ground‑Deicing Rule. When compared to the part 121 ground-deicing regulation, the part 135 ground-deicing rule differs in the following respects:

1)    Only pilot training and checking is required to be conducted in accordance with § 135.345(b)(6)(iv).
2)    The use of HOTs and holdover timetables when operators use deicing/anti-icing fluids is only advisory in the part 135 ground-deicing rule.
3)    A pretakeoff contamination check must be performed whenever a part 135 certificate holder is operating in ground-icing conditions.

3-2174    PRETAKEOFF CONTAMINATION CHECK. A pretakeoff contamination check is a check to make sure the wings and control surfaces are free of frost, ice, or snow. Section 135.227 requires that a pretakeoff contamination check be completed within 5 minutes prior to beginning the takeoff. It may be accomplished from inside or outside the aircraft and may be visual, tactile, or a combination, as long as the check is adequate to ensure the absence of contamination. The operator’s POI must approve the pretakeoff contamination check procedures for each specific type of aircraft operated by the certificate holder. Also, the operator’s OpSpec A023 or A041, as applicable, must reference or describe the pretakeoff contamination check.

3-2175  APPROVALS FOR PART 135 OPERATORS. If a part 135 operator chooses to use a ground-deicing/anti-icing program (§ 121.629(c)), the POI will issue OpSpec A023 to approve that program. If a part 135 operator chooses not to use a ground-deicing/anti-icing program, the POI will issue OpSpec A042. The POI will authorize a pretakeoff contamination check by issuing OpSpec A041, in accordance with § 135.227 (see Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3).

3-2176  APPLICABILITY OF THE PART 135 GROUND-DEICING RULE.

A.    Certificate Holder Who Does Not Operate in Ground-Icing Conditions. The part 135 ground‑deicing rule does not apply to a certificate holder who does not operate in ground-icing conditions. Under the regulation, ground-icing conditions exist any time weather conditions are such that frost, ice, or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the airplane. The certificate holder who does not operate in ground-icing conditions is not required to train its pilots or develop pretakeoff contamination procedures. Certificate holders who do not operate in ground-icing conditions must be issued OpSpec A042.

B.    Operators Who Use Only One Pilot in Their Operations. Operators who use only one pilot in their operations (single-pilot operator) are not required to comply with the manual and approved training requirements of § 135.21 or § 135.341. Therefore, single-pilot operators are not required to have an approved pilot training program nor the additional training required by the part 135 ground-deicing rule. However, single-pilot operators must comply with all the operational requirements of the part 135 ground-deicing rule. Those operational requirements include a pretakeoff contamination check or an approved alternative procedure to the pretakeoff contamination check described in its OpSpecs. The pilots of these types of operators will need to demonstrate knowledge to operate in ground-icing conditions during the initial and recurrent flight checks. A single-pilot operator will have an aircraft specific description of the pretakeoff contamination check in OpSpec A023 or A041, as applicable. If the operator does not operate in ground-icing conditions, OpSpec A042 must be so documented and issued.

C.    Helicopter Operations. Helicopter operations conducted under part 135 are excluded from the additional training and pretakeoff contamination check requirements of the part 135 ground-deicing rule. However, the regulation requires helicopter operations to be conducted in accordance with the operating limitations of § 135.227.

3-2177  TRAINING REQUIREMENTS OF THE PART 135 GROUND-DEICING RULE. If an operator is required to have an approved training program, that training program must include pilot ground training relating to deicing and anti-icing operations required by § 135.345 for initial, transition, and upgrade training and by § 135.351 for recurrent training and testing. These training requirements must include procedures for operating airplanes during ground-icing conditions. The operator must provide that training to its pilots and all other participating personnel. The training must include at least the following elements:

A.    Use of HOTs. In part 135 operations, HOTs are only advisory and serve as guidance to the pilot in making takeoff decisions. If the operator uses the deicing/anti-icing fluids, it must train its pilots in the use of HOTs.

B.    Airplane Deicing/Anti-icing Procedures. Airplane deicing/anti-icing procedures include responsibilities, requirements, and inspections and check procedures for the pretakeoff contamination check or alternative procedures, as applicable.

C.    Communications. The operator must provide training for all company personnel in communicating with all agencies involved in the deicing/anti-icing process and the decisionmaking process.

D.    Contamination. Aircraft surface contamination training includes how to identify frost, ice, or snow, and how to locate critical areas. Training should include an explanation of how small amounts of surface contamination adversely affect aircraft performance and flight characteristics.

E.    Deicing/Anti-icing Fluids. If the operator uses deicing/anti-icing fluids, it must train its pilots, as well as any other participating personnel, in the types and characteristics of deicing/anti-icing fluids.

NOTE:  It is important that flightcrews do not use deicing/anti-icing fluids unless they have been trained in the characteristics and effects of these fluids on their operation.

F.    Cold Weather Preflight Inspection Procedures. Training should include procedures for cold weather preflight inspections.

G.    Contamination Recognition. This aspect of training should cover techniques for recognizing contamination on the aircraft for use during both the preflight inspection and the pretakeoff contamination check.

NOTE:  All training should be aircraft specific. When an operator has different kinds of aircraft, any unique characteristics of these aircraft while operating in ground-icing conditions should be covered.

NOTE:  Other than part 135 single-pilot operators, who must have the pretakeoff contamination check procedures described in their OpSpecs, both parts 121 and 135 operators must have documentation in their general manuals (GM) or flight manuals (fm) for the procedures they intend to use to comply with their respective deicing/anti-icing rule. These procedures may include descriptions of how and by whom the pretakeoff contamination check will be accomplished, and how the operator will comply with its approved deicing/anti-icing procedures. If an operator elects to not fly when frost, ice, or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the surface of an aircraft, that operator’s manuals should contain specific guidance to that effect. This guidance should caution flightcrew members that this operator does not have deicing/anti-icing procedures in effect and does not authorize takeoff during ground-icing conditions.

NOTE:  Inspectors should use this handbook section for background material when reviewing those sections of operator’s manuals and procedures concerning ground-deicing/anti-icing.

3-2178  SOURCES OF INFORMATION. The following publications (current editions) may be useful to inspectors and operators for developing, reviewing, and approving a ground-deicing/anti-icing program.

A.    AC 20-117, Hazards Following Ground Deicing and Ground Operations in Conditions Conducive to Aircraft Icing. This AC contains useful background information and also contains an extensive bibliography of related FAA and private sector publications, training materials, and other deicing/anti-icing or related information.

B.    AC 120-60, Ground Deicing and Anti-icing Program. This AC contains information on how operators may develop acceptable ground-deicing/anti-icing programs to comply with § 121.629(c).

C.    AC 135-16, Ground Deicing & Anti-icing Training & Checking. This AC contains information on how operators may develop acceptable ground-deicing/anti-icing programs to comply with § 135.227.

D.    AC 120-58, Pilot Guide Large Aircraft Ground Deicing.

E.    SAE Publications.

·    Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 1424, Deicing/Anti-Icing Fluid, Aircraft, SAE Type I.

·    AMS 1428, Fluid, Aircraft Deicing/Anti-Icing, Non Newtonian (Pseudoplastic), SAE Types II, III, and IV.

F.    SAE ARP 4737. This publication of the SAE contains holdover tables and information on how they are developed as well as information on the inspection of aircraft.

G.    ISO Publications.

·    ISO 11075, Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Fluids ISO Type I.

·    ISO 11076, Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Methods on the Ground.

·    ISO 11077, Aerospace Self Propelled Deicing/Anti-icing Vehicles Functional Requirements.

·    ISO 11078, Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Fluids ISO Types II, III, and IV.

Indicates new/changed information.

H.    Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) Programs.

·    Course 27019–Ground-deicing/Anti-icing for Airworthiness Inspectors.

·    Course 27020–Ground-deicing/Anti-icing for Operations Inspectors.

Indicates new/changed information.

I.  Winter Operations Guidance for Air Carriers. This publication contains a number of ACs and articles relevant to the topic. Specific publications are listed here in case they need to be obtained and used separately:

·    AC 20-73, Aircraft Ice Protection.

·    AC 23.1419-2, Certification of Part 23 Airplanes for Flight in Icing Conditions.

·    AC 65-15, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics Airframe Handbook (see Chapter 7).

·    AC 91-6, Water, Slush, and Snow on the Runway.

·    AC 91-13, Cold Weather Operation of Aircraft.

·    AC 135-9, FAR Part 135 Icing Limitations.

·    “Winter Operations,” Douglas Aircraft Company.

·    Air Carrier Operations Bulletin (ACOB) 7-81-1, Aircraft Deicing and Anti-icing Procedures.

Indicates new/changed information.

·    ACOB 7-82-2, Cold Weather Procedures.

·    ACOB 8-83-1, Effects of Leading Edge Contamination on Aerodynamic Performance.

·    ACOB 8-83-1, Turbojet Aircraft Engine Icing During Prolonged Operations in Icing Conditions.

·    FAA P-8740-24, Winter Flying Tips.

·    “Deicing/Anti-icing Fluids Evaluation,” Boeing of Canada, De Havilland Division Dash 8, all operator message No. 48.

·    “Icing Precautions and Procedures,” Boeing of Canada, De Havilland Division Dash 8, all operator message No. 49.

·    “Wing Upper Surface Ice Detection MD 80,” Douglas Aircraft Company Douglas Service, First Quarter, 1990.

·    “Aerodynamic Effects of Deicing Fluids,” Boeing Airliner, Oct.-Dec. 1989.

·    “Airplane Ground-deicing/Anti Icing,” Boeing Airliner, Oct.-Dec. 1989.

·    “Deicing/Anti Icing,” Boeing Airliner, Oct.–Dec. 1989.

·    “Winter Operations—An Update,” Boeing Airliner, Oct.-Dec. 1989.

NOTE:  Numerous videotapes have been produced by manufacturers of deicing/anti-icing products and by aircraft operators. Access to these tapes may be available through the regional deicing/anti-icing coordinator or Flight Standards Training Division (AFS-500).

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-2179 through 3-2194.