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PILOTS TELL SENATE THAT ICING IS STILL A HAZARD

 PILOTS TELL SENATE THAT ICING IS STILL A HAZARD
 WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the fact that there


have been eight airline accidents and incidents in the past 15 years involving wing icing, pilots still are hampered by inadequate standards, procedures, and information to combat this deadly weather hazard, according to testimony to be presented today in New York by the Air Line Pilots Association.
 "Aircraft de-icing is a system concept. This system requires the participation of airport operators, aircraft operators, air traffic facilities and flight crews," said John O'Brien, director of engineering and air safety for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). O'Brien was testifying at hearings by the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Committee on Appropriations.
 In a separate statement from Washington, Captain Randolph Babbitt, president of ALPA, called on the FAA to develop new standards and conduct whatever research is necessary to develop those standards for de-icing and anti-icing.
 "Virtually every airport and every airline is different with respect to de-icing. It is inexcusable that 10 years after the Air Florida icing accident in Washington, from which the FAA developed an excellent set of criteria for safe operations in winter weather, pilots still do not have a unified set of standards, procedures and information to show us how best to implement those criteria," Babbitt said. This is partly because many air carrier flight crews have never been provided these criteria, according to Babbitt.
 Federal Aviation Administration rules say that an aircraft should not take off with ice adhering to the wings. (Loose snow blows off during takeoff and is not a hazard.) Pilots face two problems in meeting this requirement, according to ALPA.
 First, it can be very difficult to determine whether ice or snow is adhering to the wing surface, especially in poor lighting. This was a significant factor in at least two such accidents.
 The second problem is that there is no standardization of deicing fluids, mixtures and application procedures, and there is very little information on how long a de-icing treatment will protect the aircraft while waiting to take off. Some icing accidents occurred after de-icing because, unbeknownst to the pilots, the protection had dissipated by the time of the takeoff, allowing ice to form again on the wings.
 "Airport operators, in cooperation with aircraft operators, must provide adequate and properly located areas for aircraft de/anti- icing. Aircraft operators must provide proper training, equipment and fluids for personnel performing de/anti-icing for flight crews. Air traffic control facilities must configure systems procedures to minimize the time interval between completion of anti-icing and takeoff. Flight crews must have adequate decision-making tools and procedures," O'Brien said.
 -0- 4/16/92
 /NOTE: The hearings will be held today at 10:30 a.m., in the Main Courtroom, Court of International Trade, One Federal Plaza, in Manhattan./
 /CONTACT: John Mazor of the Air Line Pilots Association, 202-797-4060/ CO: Air Line Pilots Association ST: District of Columbia, New York IN: AIR SU:


TW -- DC003 -- 9038 04/16/92 07:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 16, 1992
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