On my flight back from the Channel Islands this week I noticed that some ice was forming on the front of the wings. As a pilot I know that this is perfectly safe but I wondered how differently this would be seen by someone with a fear of flying. Even though the clouds are made of water vapour as soon as they contact the wing it turns into ice which sticks to the wing and spoils its shape and efficiency. In the cockpit there is an ice detector that warns of the presence of ice, which prompts the pilots to switching on the anti icing devices.

Depending upon aircraft type this can be electrically heated wing edges or hot air directed along the front of the wing or inflatable rubber tubes along the wing that break off the ice mechanically.

So if your fear of flying involves worrying about ice on the wings I hope that from now on you’ll relax and be confident that it poses no problems for the aircraft.

Keith and the team.


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