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Thread: FIKI and Amateur Build Aircraft

  1. #1

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    FIKI and Amateur Build Aircraft

    How do people with amateur built aicraft deal with flying with potential icing conditions? Are there any AB aircraft that have de-icing equipment? What testing would the builder have to do to be able to sign off in the aircraft logbook? How does the FAA deal with AB aircraft that get in to icing?

  2. #2
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    I believe you would have to go through the full series of tests for certification if you wanted to be approved for FIKI. As with most things related to safety, this is not something that should have an "easier" option just because the aircraft is not commercially manufactured.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Ylinen View Post
    How do people with amateur built aicraft deal with flying with potential icing conditions? Are there any AB aircraft that have de-icing equipment? What testing would the builder have to do to be able to sign off in the aircraft logbook? How does the FAA deal with AB aircraft that get in to icing?
    The only applicable rules would be Part 91 operating rules and there are none for icing. Sooo, no testing required, no logbook sign off required. If you want to fly in icing, just equip your aircraft as see fit and go for it. Good luck, usually it's the little stuff that gets ya, fuel vents, flight controls jambing...etc.

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    Marty; That sounds good, but the question I have is has or would the FAA cite the pilot for "Careless or Reckless Operation" if an AB aircraft is flown in to a cloud and got icing and has to ask ATC for divations? Does the EAA have any information on FAA citations to pilots with AB aircraft and icing?

    Also does anyone know if any of the major kit builders have de-icing options?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ylinen View Post
    Marty; That sounds good, but the question I have is has or would the FAA cite the pilot for "Careless or Reckless Operation" if an AB aircraft is flown in to a cloud and got icing and has to ask ATC for divations? Does the EAA have any information on FAA citations to pilots with AB aircraft and icing?
    Not sure what you mean by "deviation." I have asked for an amended clearance 100's of times due to ice. Have never heard a word about it.

    If a pilot declares an emergency due to icing, he "may" have to later explain his actions. I don't think a one time occurrence will raise any flags unless your antics force AF-1 into a hold (or something similar). If you fly your E/AB airplane into icing once a week and declare an emergency every time, there's going to be problems for sure.

    Also does anyone know if any of the major kit builders have de-icing options?
    I would say that's an unequivocal no. The liability would be over the top.
    Last edited by martymayes; 01-23-2012 at 09:08 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ylinen View Post
    Also does anyone know if any of the major kit builders have de-icing options?
    There was a company making an anti/deice system for Lancairs based on heating strips on the leading edge. The company made it abundantly clear that this was for inadvertent encounters only; not FIKI. This company was bought by Kelly Aerospace a few years ago. Every time I asked about getting it on other aircraft (before and after the sale), I was pretty much stonewalled. The price, several years ago, was in the neighborhood of $20k. A bit too pricey for me.


    EDIT: Here's the Website: http://www.rddent.com/
    Last edited by Anymouse; 01-22-2012 at 05:35 PM.
    I'll come up with something profound

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anymouse View Post
    The price, several years ago, was in the neighborhood of $20k. A bit too pricey for me.
    Compared to other options, that's cheap!

  8. #8

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    Avoid Icing Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ylinen View Post
    How do people with amateur built aicraft deal with flying with potential icing conditions? Are there any AB aircraft that have de-icing equipment? What testing would the builder have to do to be able to sign off in the aircraft logbook? How does the FAA deal with AB aircraft that get in to icing?
    Ylinen: Avoid icing conditions at all costs. AB airplanes must adhere to the same operating rules as certified airplanes. For examples, if you don't fly IFR during your flight test phase, you can't fly your airplane in IFR conditions. If you don't fly aerobatics during your flight test phase, you can't fly aerobatics later. Icing is a very dangerous flight condition.

    All areas of the airplane that have a stagnation point will collect ice - all (wing, stabilizers, landing gear, etc) leading edges, air inlets, vents, plenum chambers, etc. Some airfoils will be destroyed with the lightest of frost on the leading edge (normally early laminar flow airfoils or those with lots of leading edge camber); while others will carry lots. Concerns start with airfoil (wing, propeller and tail) degradation, additional drag, windshield being covered (many windshield bases are stagnation points). In addition, asymmetrical collection/shedding makes for very bad stall/spin characteristics. Smaller leading edge radii collect ice faster.

    To put this in perspective, our certificated brethren must flight test the entire 14CFR23 subpart B with and without ice (all performance, handling and stability & control). That is how important this issue is. Freezing rain is even outside the capability of some FIKI certified airplanes.

    Sorry if this sounds like I'm on a soap box, but there are many fatal accidents due to icing each year ... and the evidence often goes away before the investigators get there.

    Enjoy flying (VFR or IFR), but avoid the ice.

  9. #9
    Anymouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Blum View Post
    For examples, if you don't fly IFR during your flight test phase, you can't fly your airplane in IFR conditions.
    You might want to re-think this one.
    I'll come up with something profound

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anymouse View Post
    You might want to re-think this one.
    Thank you for questioning this. Many, many people wonder how they could possibly fill all that required flight time without just flying around boring holes in the sky or purchasing a lot of $100 hamburgers. Please read " 91.319 Aircraft having experimental certificates: Operating limitations." Those are the regulations, not hearsay or what "Sam" did or what "Bill" got away with. Paragraph (b) in particular has been interpreted a million different ways.

    I would like to learn from what you know and your experiences (all reading this). Please email me outside this forum page at fly-in-home@att.net. Thanks, Ron

    Please read " 91.319 Aircraft having experimental certificates: Operating limitations."
    Last edited by Ron Blum; 01-27-2012 at 01:53 AM.

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