Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Airlines Get New Tools To Avoid In-Flight Icing

Date:
March 28, 2002
Source:
National Center For Atmospheric Research
Summary:
Starting March 27, airlines will have a new tool for avoiding in-flight icing, which can threaten smaller commuter planes and delay larger commercial aircraft as they land or take off. Called CIP, for the Current Icing Potential, the online display offers high- precision maps and plots, updated hourly, to identify areas of potential aircraft icing produced by cloud droplets, freezing rain, and drizzle.

BOULDER -- Starting March 27, airlines will have a new tool for avoiding in-flight icing, which can threaten smaller commuter planes and delay larger commercial aircraft as they land or take off. Called CIP, for the Current Icing Potential, the online display offers high- precision maps and plots, updated hourly, to identify areas of potential aircraft icing produced by cloud droplets, freezing rain, and drizzle.

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), with funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), developed new methods and software for detecting and forecasting icing potential in the atmosphere. They then applied these methods to produce CIP, a Web-based display describing current icing conditions.

CIP goes into service this week for use by meteorologists and airline dispatchers. Its use by pilots and air traffic controllers is pending FAA approval. A companion tool, called FIP (Forecast Icing Potential), which forecasts potential icing up to 12 hours ahead, is still in development at NCAR and classified as experimental by the FAA.

Pilots can encounter winter icing anywhere in the country, at altitudes up to 18,000 feet, and sometimes higher, according to NCAR's Marcia Politovich, head of the FAA's In-Flight Icing Product Development Team. Most vulnerable are Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes, the Northeast, the Appalachians, and the Rocky Mountains.

"CIP helps dispatchers identify areas of potential icing so pilots can feel more confident about choosing a flight path," says Politovich.

The FAA approved CIP as a tool for dispatchers to make fly/no-fly decisions and for flight planning, route changes, and altitude selection. The on-line display is derived from surface observations, numerical models, satellite and radar data, and pilot reports.

The National Weather Service operates the new system from the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, Missouri. CIP will supplement but not replace the forecast or intensity information in the NWS AIRMET, the traditional weather alert issued at six-hour intervals.

CIP will most benefit commuter planes and other propeller-driven aircraft, says Politovich. Smaller aircraft are more vulnerable to icing hazards because they cruise at lower, ice-prone altitudes. They also lack mechanisms common on jets that prevent ice buildup by heating the front edges of wings. Once approved for use by air traffic controllers, CIP will also benefit jet aircraft by enabling controllers to guide incoming flights so they avoid circling at altitudes where ice could accumulate.

Cancellations and delays due to icy weather can cost airlines millions of dollars in a single day. On March 20, 2000, icing conditions at Denver International Airport forced Air Wisconsin to cancel 152 flights. United cancelled 159 outbound and 140 inbound flights the same day, most because of weather.

"New technology is allowing better detection," says NCAR's Benjamin Bernstein, who developed FIP. "Combined with new forecasting methods and the timeliness and accessibility of the Web, these breakthroughs could significantly reduce icing tragedies and losses."

Commuter pilots at Air Wisconsin, Atlantic Coast, ComAir, and SkyWest tested the technology and gave researchers feedback throughout the development process. NCAR's primary sponsor is the National Science Foundation.

Notable Icing Crashes

-- In-flight icing downed the small plane carrying 1950s rock 'n' roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson). All three musicians and the pilot died when their plane crashed soon after take-off from Mason City Iowa, on February 3, 1959.

-- An American Eagle ATR-72 went into a high-speed dive and crashed near Roselawn, Indiana, on October 31,1994. As the plane circled for a half hour waiting to land in Chicago, ice forming on the wings caused the crew to lose control. None of the 68 people aboard survived.

-- An Embraer 120RT en route from Cincinnati crashed on approach to the Detroit airport on January 9, 1997, killing all 29 people on board. At the time, other aircraft in the area were reporting various amounts of icing, from minor to very heavy.

On the Web: Users can access CIP information on the Internet via the Aviation Weather Center Web site at http://cdm.aviationweather.noaa.gov/cip.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Center For Atmospheric Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Center For Atmospheric Research. "Airlines Get New Tools To Avoid In-Flight Icing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020328073407.htm>.
National Center For Atmospheric Research. (2002, March 28). Airlines Get New Tools To Avoid In-Flight Icing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020328073407.htm
National Center For Atmospheric Research. "Airlines Get New Tools To Avoid In-Flight Icing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020328073407.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins