Ask Captain Dan: Flying in Winter ? – Our Resident Pilot Answers Flight Questions. January 17, 2012

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.


Last winter we flew from Toronto to Calgary. In Calgary we were landing in a snow storm. Do airplanes need any protection or special equipment to safely fly in those conditions ?Question asked by Kristen


Airplanes are designed to fly in most weather conditions with certain limitations.  When an airplane flies through snow, snow and ice tend to accumulate on wing leading edges, engine intakes, flight deck windows and external sensors (which provide aerodynamic information to pilots’ displays and flight control computers). All of these items can be heated to ensure that they stay free of snow and ice. The flight deck windows and aerodynamic probes are heated electrically.  
The wing leading edges and engine intakes have hot air flowing under the outer surface. The hot air keeps these surfaces hot, so any snow or ice will not stick to them and will melt immediately upon contact.
The flight deck windows and aerodynamic probes are heated at all times when an airplane is airborne. The wings and engine intakes are heated only when the anti-icing heat is selected “on” by the pilots.


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

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