Here in the Northern Hemisphere airlines will just be preparing for winter operations. Pilots, engineers and ground handling staff will start to undergo their annual refresher training on winter operations.

Before taking off an aircraft will be cleared of all snow and ice on the important parts of its exterior. Very detailed procedures have to be complied with to ensure aircraft are free of contamination. Sometimes de-icing is done by a crew using a spray gun on a hydraulic lift while at other airports aircraft have to taxi through a giant archway which sprays it with de-icing fluid. Each type of fluid, according to the weather at the time has a period while it is effective…if a plane doesn’t tale off within this time it has to be de-iced again. Safety is the only consideration.

Keith and the team.

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