Training | Icing
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) SW-08-03R1 on Jan. 11. The alert describes practices intended to help reduce the chances of an in-flight engine shutdown related to a helicopter taking on ice and snow. Among the guidelines in the report are for operators to:
• Review aircraft flight manuals for guidelines on operational limits in snow, wind and ice conditions, as many aircraft are prohibited from operating in known icing conditions;
• Refrain from chipping or scraping ice or snow off the helicopter, and always use heated air or deicing fluid, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation;
• Install inlet and exhaust covers when on the ground with helicopter engines off;
• Before starting the engine, remove the inlet/exhaust covers and, using a flashlight, inspect the inside surfaces of the inlet, the cowl area around the inlet and the area behind the particle separator or screen, if applicable; and
• Keep an eye on weather briefings and conduct basic airmanship and preflight evaluations of the helicopter. Recommended websites for up-to-date conditions and helicopter EMS include weather.aero/icing and weather.aero/hems.