Tuesday, January 30, 2007

At home, our planes are stored in heated hangars when we aren't flying them. We pay a fairly hefty amount of rent for the privilege, but it's better than keeping the planes outside in the cold and in the snow. When we are on the road, a typical charge for putting our planes in a heated hangar is around $200 - the majority of the cost goes to reheating the hangar air after having to pull the doors open 50 feet wide to let the plane in. Sometimes if we purchase fuel the nice people at the FBO will hangar our plane for free, like on this trip. Today our airplane is warm and snug in a heated hangar, waiting until we return home. That way I don't have to worry about cranky batteries, frozen radios, stuck pressurization valves or exploded pop cans in the commissary bins.

I found this on AvCanada. This looks like the central deice facility at Toronto Pearson. If you need deicing, you pay $450 for the privilege of going onto the deice ramp and sitting there while 2 types of fluid are sprayed on your airplane - the first one melts any ice that's on your wings / tail, and the second type prevents ice from reforming.

The spray that drips on the ground is caught in a series of drains and sent into large holding tanks where it's cleaned and recycled into car windshield antifreeze, among other things.

The spray that sticks on the airplane is good for a few minutes, depending on the type of precipitation that's falling - if it's freezing rain outside, then the spray holdover time might only be a few minutes, and if the plane isn't airborne when the time is up, you have to go back to the de-ice facility and restart the process all over again.

Deicing is incredibly expensive - last year we had to get deiced and it cost us $2,400 for a 5-minute spray of their fine goo. It's cheaper than trying to take off with ice on the wings and crashing though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

3 minutes of my life I will never get back.