Frost removal

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Angle228, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Angle228

    Angle228 Filing Flight Plan

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    So, I have a hanger but it is not heated. During the lateish fall/winter/early spring I always have to wait for the sun to come up before I can fly because if I dont frost starts to form on my wings before I even finish my run up.

    So here is the question. How can I keep the frost off the airplane long enough to get in the air. I have been thinking the best way is spraying the wings with glycol or isopropyl alcohol with a hand sprayer prior to pulling it out of the hanger?? Does this seem like it would work?

    Does anybody have a better/alternative solution?

    Thanks
     
  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Does it form everywhere, or just the area over the fuel tanks in the wing?
     
  3. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    There is a whole lot of discussion about separation speed or the lack there off, in glycol. Wipe it down with glycol and a microfiber towel and not leave residue. That’s what I do. The local flight school uses a hand sprayer and the proper anti-icing stuff, but they don’t have to pay for it and it’s super expensive
     
  4. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    Spray it, or get really fast at getting airborne, if the temp in the hangar is the same as outside I’m a little confused as to how you’re getting frost that quick, normally if everything is in equilibrium you won’t get it as fast as if you take a warm plane and toss it outside.

    A backpack bug spray thing works well, if you have dogs or kids around be careful spraying, it’s sweet tasting and not good for living things.

    google
    tp10643e
    It’s a transport Canada manual, good ice ops
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  5. Angle228

    Angle228 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes but it also forms further out on the wing.
     
  6. Angle228

    Angle228 Filing Flight Plan

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    What specific product would I want to look at to spray it with do you think?
     
  7. MacFly

    MacFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Can you use polypropylene glycol (RV antifreeze)?
     
  8. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    I would google and read up on that manual I mentioned, it’s got a table of contents that you can just click. Depends on the plane

    I know people who use type 1 orange and have thinned/heated it by adding a ratio of hot water, there are people who even spray automotive/RV antifreeze in a pinch, if it were me, I’d try just blankets on the see how It works, something as simple as some Salvation Army blankets on the wings while it sits in the hangar, pull them off right as you hop in, might work at keeping the frost off from your preflight to the hold short line, might be worth a cheap go before you start playing the spray game.
     
  9. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Why not just put a cheap blanket over the wings? Frost won't form and you won't have to worry about using glycol to remove it.
     
  10. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'm also confused about how frost is forming so quickly.
    Our plane is parked outside all through the Alaska winter. We have wing and tail covers (as do most planes here) and they work great. The frost forms on the covers over time; pull the covers off, and off ya go.
     
  11. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Take a picture for us this fall - try to gather some of it with your glove.
    I’m trying to get a feel for how much is forming.
    I have never read about, or witnessed this, and flew a few years in the GWN.
     
  12. Angle228

    Angle228 Filing Flight Plan

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    Will do.

    Its a weird thing. I park my car outside and will not have any frost on it at all so I will drive out to the airport to fly....but frost forms on the wings. It really sucks.

    Edit... it is really very little frost that forms but it is very noticeable.
     
  13. Angle228

    Angle228 Filing Flight Plan

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    It is after I pull it out of the hanger that it happens so a blanket wont really help.
     
  14. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    Pull it out with the covers on the wings, do your IFR filing or weather briefings, have a cup of mud, then remove the covers.
     
  15. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  16. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Line Up and Wait

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    Your hangar might be a hair cooler or warmer than the outside air. Can you try leaving the door open the night before flying?
     
  17. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I'd be curious to see a pic of how much frost actually forms. I'd never advocate flying an airplane with a contaminated wing, but if its just a few patches, you're probably safe to fly. The whole wing would be a different story.
     
  18. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    If wiping it down, probably, I won’t spray it on the wing and take off with contamination on the wing.
     
  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How do they get it for free?
     
  20. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Line Up and Wait

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    I have a weed sprayer with 50/50 Type 1 and water. Do not spray inside your hangar to avoid a mess. Somebody mentioned price, but with the amount you’d need , it’s negligible.
     
  21. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    This type of frost is caused by radiative cooling. A clear sky allows the latent heat in the metal to radiate off into space and the surface drops below the dewpoint and frost forms. The light metals used in airplanes contributes to it, and aluminum transmits the heat faster than steel, too. It doesn't happen in the hangar because the roof prevents the radiation off into space, relecting it back to the metal.

    We used to have it happen a lot when pulling the flight school airplanes out on a cool morning. The metal can actually fall below the ambient air temperature, forming the frost even though there's no fog. You would normally see fog if the air temp got below the dewpoint.

    Unless you buy 99% industrial isopropyl, you'll end up with a mix of water and IPA. The alcohol evaporates, cooling the wing even further, and the water left behind freezes. Use the right stuff.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/frost-result-radiational-cooling-arjen-piest
     
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  22. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Sublimation is my favorite frost remover.

    I have a steel garden sprayer with RV antifreeze in it. For stubborn ice or frost I heat the tank on the stove and spray warm fluid. Heat is the key. I've done it lots and it leaves no residue or dye. For the frost you're talking about? I fly it off.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  23. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Totally illegal to do that here in Canada, in any class of flying. In the US it's illegal under part 121 operations. For some airplanes with supercritical airfoils it would be suicidal.
     
  24. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    It is illegal to do under part 91 in the states as well.

    91.527 Operating in icing conditions.
    (a) No pilot may take off an airplane that has frost, ice, or snow adhering to any propeller, windshield, stabilizing or control surface; to a powerplant installation; or to an airspeed, altimeter, rate of climb, or flight attitude instrument system or wing, except that takeoffs may be made with frost under the wing in the area of the fuel tanks if authorized by the FAA.
     
  25. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    It’s illegal here too for Part 91.
     
  26. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Not that I’d advocate anything different in light planes, but the reg you quoted only applies to large and turbine powered multi engine airplanes.
     
  27. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    Clean wing FTW, only thing I’ll be OK with is snow that I can see is blowing off, or ice fluid on the right plane.

    With the reduction of lift and increase in drag, and most GA not having F-16 level power to weight ratios, I’d not play the dirty wing game.
     
  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    That can be a bad game, too...just because SOME of it’s blowing off doesn’t mean ALL (or even most) of it will.

    Don’t ask. ;)
     
  29. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    I can assure you that my 150 takes off faster with light frost brushed down with a glove (meaning 32 degree temps or less) than it does at 95 degrees. It is admittedly a dirty airfoil with all the exposed rivets, dents, and bugs, but winter performance is so much better than summer performance that anything short of crusty snow or large frost still makes it perform better in winter. I remember taking off at max gross in winter and climbing so fast I thought something was wrong. Any takeoff in summer at max gross and I have to hope and pray that the wheels will eventually come off the ground (kidding, but not much).

    But I do have a hand pump sprayer with RV antifreeze and I spray the wings and tail down before preflight and let the liquid drain off as I taxi and takeoff.
     
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  30. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    We'll get flamed for this, but that has been my experience as well. The cold air more than compensates for the thin layer of frost I've picked up at nightfall, and it sublimates quickly. I can't imagine enough being able to form between pulling a plane out of a hanger and taking off that it'd be worth worrying about.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a cfi, or an aerodynamacist (is that a thing?), just SGOTI. We've had this argument a couple times since I've been here if you want to search for it.
     
  31. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    The light frost that forms from pushing a plane out isn't a threat. Lots of time in winter I'll land and can watch frost form on the wings. Unload, take off, no big deal. It isn't the same as frost from parking outside overnight.
     
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  32. Todd82

    Todd82 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Cheap vodka. Also works if you actually overrun the runway because of lack of lift too.
     
  33. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Bonus: makes ramp checks more exciting
     
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  34. Kevin Eggert

    Kevin Eggert Pre-Flight

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    How is frost forming at all in a hangar? Is there something producing a lot of humidity inside the hangar? I have an unheated hangar here in WI and have never once had frost on my plane even on the coldest days. There is something else at play here.
     
  35. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    He is saying that his aircraft stays in the hangar overnight (no frost in hangar), but after pushing it out of the hangar and letting it sit for a short time prior to firing it up it quickly accumulates a layer of frost on it.
     
  36. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    If it's frosting up the sky is clear. Turn the airplane so the sun is on the wings and tail at the best possible angle, and it will burn the frost off.
     
  37. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I may be wrong, but I believe his initial complaint was that he was having to wait to fly until after the sun comes up. I'd think whatever frost is forming in the 15-30 minutes after pulling it out of the hangar is pretty superficial and not worth worrying about. Pics would probably help clarify what he's dealing with.
     
  38. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I am still trying to wrap my head around this. Living in Iowa, I am certainly used to cold winters, but I have never experienced frost forming on an airplane parked inside a hangar, heated or not. Curious what allows this to happen (or prevents it in my case).

    - Martin
     
  39. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    What about a common propane heater? Assume you have electrical power in your hanger.

    [​IMG]
     
  40. Angle228

    Angle228 Filing Flight Plan

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    It does not form in the hanger at all it forms outside of the hanger. It is a very light and the patches of frost only cover maybe 20-30% of the wing.... still I am of the no contamination means no contamination crew.

    Also this happens at night when it is dark so I would hate to think 'this frost is ok to take off' and then be wrong... because then I would not even be able to see what I am about to crash into!