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Ice Crystal Icing

Bill McKenzie, 757/767 Technical Pilot


Boeing Training & Flight Services
Jeanne Mason, Senior Specialist Engineer
Boeing Propulsion Systems Division

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Ice Crystal Icing – View From the Flight Deck

Weather radar “I did not fly through a Mesoscale


Convective System”
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Agenda

• What is Ice Crystal Icing


– Engine effects
– Weather
– Reports from the Flight Deck
• Statistics and Example Event
• Industry Activity
• Boeing Activity
• Flight Crew Inputs

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What Is Ice Crystal Icing?
The physics:
• Crystals can form ice on engine surfaces warmer than freezing
• These warm engine surfaces are in the compressor aft of the fan

Fan

Core air travels


downstream to
the combustor

Potential ice crystal


accretion areas

Ice shed from compressor surfaces can cause engine


instability such as surge, flameout, or engine damage
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What is Ice Crystal Icing? (continued)

• Frozen ice crystals impinging on a warm surface in the engine


• Some crystals melt, wetting the surface
• Crystals impinging on wetted surface stick, cool the surface to 0°C
• Ice begins to form
• At high altitude, ice can form deep in the engine core

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What is Ice Crystal Icing?

It can also clog probes like the Total Aircraft Temperature


(TAT) probe, (some airplanes) and the engine inlet
temperature probe (some engines)

TAT probe

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Weather

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What’s New – Ice Crystals!

• Convective clouds which cause


>50K ft
engine power loss range from
isolated CBs to tropical storms High concentrations of ice crystals
and hurricanes
• Common factors – water lifted
to very high altitude
Mixed-phase
• Ice crystals form just above the icing
freezing level to cloud top Freezing level
• Ice crystal mass can be 4x the
Supercooled
certification standard for
supercooled drops for engines water
Upwind side:
(airframe icing)
supercooled
• Away from the core of the storm,
liquid sometimes
in the anvil, ice crystals have Heavy Rain
been measured to be very tiny – goes higher
size of baking flour
Convective / Cumulonimbus cloud
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Ice Crystals are Hard to Recognize and Avoid
• 80% of all events - little or no returns at flight level
• Amber and red returns below the aircraft
• Low updraft velocity, light to moderate turbulence
• Aircraft in deepest (tallest) part of the cloud
• Clouds can spread out hundreds of miles

Many engine
Tropopause events occur
without
flight-level
weather
radar returns
Freezing level

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Hurricane Michael,
K-band Radar on Instrumented Aircraft
Tallest cloud region – clouds above the tropopause

GREEN
– directly below = amber & red on normal radar

AMBER

RED
Not Visible on Pilot’s Radar

23,000 ft.
19,250 ft

11,800 ft.

Freezing Level

Test aircraft flight path – image from upward and downward looking K-band radar
Image courtesy of Walter Strapp, Environment Canada.
Reference: Abraham, J., J. W. Strapp, C. Fogarty, and M. Wolde, 2004:
Canada Extratropical transition of hurricane Michael. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 85, 1323-1339.
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Hurricane Michael,
K-band Radar on Instrumented Aircraft
On board weather radar would only see green ahead.
At freezing level it would also see amber and red

GREEN

AMBER

RED
Not Visible on Pilot’s Radar

23,000 ft.
19,250 ft

11,800 ft.

Freezing Level

Canada Image courtesy of Walter Strapp, Environment Canada

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Aggressive Down Tilt Needed to See Amber
at Freezing Level
At Cruise on a tropical ISA+15 Day, 6 degrees down-tilt
needed at 40 nm

36000 ft

6 degrees
15000 ft
Freezing level

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“Satellite” Weather Analysis: A Recent Event
1.5 30

1.4 25

Moderate Turbulence 20
1.3
15
1.2
Tu

Temperature (Celsius)
Potential damage

Vertical Accel (g's)


Light Turbulence 10
rb 1.1
ul 5
en 1.0
c e
0
0.9
-5
0.8
Ta -10

re lles
0.7 -15
gi t c
on lo 0.6 -20
ud 0.5 -25
15000 16000 17000 18000 19000 20000
Time (seconds) End
Start TAT Anomaly

• Traversed 195 km/ 105 mi through tallest cloud region


• Pilots reported no radar returns at flight level
• Moderate turbulence at onset of TAT anomaly
• Engine performance shift: potential damage location
Typically, clouds which cause events are about 100 nmi/185km in diameter
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Ice Crystal Icing Reports from the Flight Deck
Conditions “Sometimes” Reported
• Speckled green on
weather radar
• Rain on the windscreen
• Small collection of ice IMC (always) Rain effect
particles on wiper post
• “Shhh” sound
• TAT near zero
• Humid cockpit
• Ozone smell
• No engine changes

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Statistics and
Example Event

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Industry Awareness is Increasing
Engine Events Per Year

(5 engine types)
• Since 2003, increased:
– Identification of events
– Awareness and reporting
• Since 2008:
– 2 new engines affected
– Vibration symptom added

• GE90-94B
• CF6-80C2
• RB211-535E4
• PW2000
• JT8D/MD-80
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7 Engine Flameouts on a Single Descent
Three events involving multiple engine flameouts (7 flameouts total)

• Convective storm near Manila


• Aircraft was descending
through turbulent weather
• Avoiding strong radar returns
• 26000 ft: engines 3 and 4
flamed out and recover
• 24000 ft: engines 1 and 2
flameout and recover
High-altitude ice crystals indicated as • 18000 ft: engines 1, 2 and 4
the cause of engine power loss flameout and recover

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Flight Data Review
Recorder Data for Event 1

Flameout

Aural Bank Warning


Max A/P Wheel

~18 seconds Rudder Input

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Event Analysis

• To date, all large transport


engines have recovered and
operated at commanded thrust for
remainder of the flight
• In this event, thrust asymmetry
exceeded autopilot authority,
requiring flight crew input, even
though engines recovered
• Confusion factors included
– Weather
– Turbulence
– Re-route / diversion
– Thrust changes
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Industry Activity

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New Regulations Coming
Research Projects are Underway

• New regulation for ice crystals will be published in 2012


• Four areas of research underway:
– Instruments for measuring ice crystal icing in the
atmosphere
– Experimental data characterizing the ice crystal
environment
– Research on engine ice crystal accretion and shedding
– Engine test facilities representative of flight environment

This work will take time to complete before practical problem


solving can begin

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Atmospheric Research Is Still Planned
NASA/FAA/Boeing/Environment Canada/Airbus

• Flight program for High Ice Water Content (HIWC) Atmospheric


Characterization goal: definition of convective atmosphere containing
ice crystals to use as engineering standard
• Flight Program planned for 2012, 2013 – focused on the weather that
produces engine events

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Boeing Activity

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Boeing Publication Activity

• Technical Bulletin
Pilot • Symposiums
Reports • Aero magazine articles

and • MyBoeingFleet (web site)


• Flight Crew Training Manual
Event • Supplementary Procedure
Analysis • QRH Checklists

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Key Message In All Publications: Avoid

Avoid ice crystal icing weather


• During flight in IMC, avoid flying
directly over significant amber or
red radar returns, even if there
are no returns at airplane altitude
• Use the weather radar controls to
assess weather radar reflectivity below the airplane flight path.
Refer to weather radar operating instructions for additional
information
• Deviations of up to 50 nm may be needed to follow the
guidance
• We know this is not always practical
Specific model/engine checklist steps will be covered in the breakout
sessions
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Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents
1. A New Threat
2. Pilot Reports
3. Indications of Ice Crystal Icing
4. Industry Efforts
5. Research
6. Key Points for Flight Crews
7. More Information
8. Frequently Asked Questions
9. Pilot Questionnaire
10. Information for Dispatchers

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Background
Published Aero Magazine Articles

4th quarter 2007 1st quarter 2010

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Background Information on ‘MyBoeingFleet’
Events, Training and Resources\Safety Tools and Training Aids\Ice Crystals at High Altitude

Also available on CD-ROM

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Flight Crew Training Manual

Released July 2011


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Supplementary Procedure (SP.16)

FCOM Volume 1
1. General description and
avoidance
recommendation
2. Refers to the new QRH
non-normal checklist
3. Will be published at the
same time as the QRH
non-normal checklist
(Available at the breakouts)

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New Ice Crystal Icing Checklist
767 Example
Condition
statements
are airplane
dependent

First Actions:
Set thrust
manually,
exit weather

4. Engine related steps added as needed


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Boeing Publications

All Model Tech Flt Ops Conf. Non-normal

 Bulletin

April 2011 
Sept 2011
Presentation
Checklists
(not 737)
2011/2012

MyBoeingFleet
MyBoeingFleet Flight Crew Training 4th qtr 2011 Supplementary

 Jan 2011
Training Video &
Articles
 Manual

July 2011
Additional
presentations &
Articles
Procedures

2011/2012

Published
at the
same time

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Project End Vision

Airline line pilots are:


• Familiar with ICI phenomenon
• Aware there is a non-normal checklist
• Aware of the need for more event data

Airline management pilots:


• Have materials available to help them
educate their line pilots

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Summary

• Ice Crystal Icing Events are occurring on many engines


• Industry is working to better understand the meteorology and the
engine icing phenomenon
• Boeing is focused on providing the best information to crews
• New material is being published by Boeing
(Bulletins, Training, Supplementary Procedure, Checklists)

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Flight Crew Input Is Needed!

• Most of what we understand is based on pilot reports and


flight recorder data

• More flight crew reports of ice crystal encounters


(with or without engine power loss) would be valuable to:
– Develop flight crew cues
– Validate current Boeing and industry understanding
– Better understand the process of ice crystal accretion
inside engines

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Flight Crew Input Is Needed!

Please use the


questionnaire
1. Fill out now
or
2. Put in flight bag
or
3. Fill out the form on
‘MyBoeingFleet’

Your pilot report will help


Jeanne Mason
PO Box 3707 MC 9U-UU
Seattle, WA 98124-2207
jeanne.g.mason@boeing.com
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Questions?

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