Ask Captain Dan: Planes Flying In Winter – Our Resident Pilot Answers Flight Questions.

CFN – Pilot Dan Baz is answering your flying questions here on the Cornwall Free News.

If you have a question about flying you can email Captain Dan or post below.


During the winter season airplanes fly in all kinds of nasty weather conditions.  How are airplanes protected from snow and ice ?Question asked by Clive.



When airplanes are on the ground, frost ice and snow can accumulate on the wings, stabilizers and control surfaces.  All frost, ice and snow must be removed before an airplane takes off, because they greatly reduce capability of the wings and stabilizers to generate lift.  
In these weather conditions airplanes must be sprayed with deciding fluid before takeoff.  There are several types of deciding fluids.  Generally, Type 1 deicing fluid is used to remove frost, ice and snow from airplanes.  This fluid is red in color.  If there is no precipitation occurring after an airplane has been sprayed with this fluid and all contaminants have been removed, the airplane is ready for takeoff.
If there is precipitation, the wings and stabilizers of airplanes must be sprayed with Type 4 fluid.  This fluid is green in colour, for easy identification and can be seen on the wings after application by deicing spray equipment.  This fluid is thicker in viscosity, almost like syrup.  It provides protection from ice and snow accumulation on wings and stabilizer surfaces, for a calculated period of time.  
If an airplane has to wait for takeoff and this time period expires, one of the pilots has to visually check the wings to ensure the wings are clean for takeoff. If the pilot finds any contamination on the wings, the airplane has to be re-sprayed with deicing fluid again, before takeoff.

A bit more about Captain Dan:

Captain Dan Baz enrolled in Flight School at the age of 16.

He has completed studies in Aircraft Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He has been at the controls of many different types of aircraft, from single engine Cessnas to large intercontinental jets on global routes.

Over the last four decades he has flown thousands of hours up in the blue sky.

Have a question for the Captain ?  Send it to Captain Dan Baz Every week a question from the readers will be selected and answer posted in this column.

Best Western Cornwall

1 Comment

  1. Hello
    I have flown a few times but really hate it and I get very paranoid. Would you say it is just as safe flying in the winter as in the summer? Also do you experience more turbulence in the winter?

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