Safety always comes first in air traffic. This is one reason why airplanes have to be freed of ice and snow (de-iced) in winter before take-off.
The de-icing of a private aircraft is similar to the de-icing of a car windscreen and is necessary for safety reasons, because ice and snow increase the weight of the aircraft and have a negative effect on aerodynamics. In addition, the control elements of one jet (aileron, elevator and rudder) can be blocked by ice and restricted in their mobility.
The de-icing fluid is sprayed onto the aircraft and the ice thaws. In addition, a protective layer can be applied (anti-icing), which prevents the formation of new ice even during precipitation.
The de-icing agent used is a mixture of water, alcohol (glycol) and additives (which vary from airport to airport). The mixing ratio depends on the outside temperature, the type of precipitation and the time required for the protective effect to work. It is usually ensured that the liquid is biodegradable and collected. Therefore, de-icing usually takes place at special positions (de-icing pads/de-icing areas) of the airport, using special equipment with a large jib. A coloured liquid is then sprayed onto the aircraft using remote-controlled nozzles. The reason it is coloured is in order to be able to see which parts have already been sprayed and which still need to be sprayed.
The de-icing must be carried out directly before the aircraft takes off to ensure that the protective effect time of the liquid is not exceeded. In winter, therefore, there are frequent delays due to the need to de-ice aircraft, even at the most organised of airports. Safety first!
Many airlines now offer de-icing insurance, which covers you against the high costs of de-icing. Ask us about it the next time you make a booking.
If you need any Informations about Height radiation, pleas do not hesitate to contact us. Unfortunately we only have the german version online.
Of course you also can contact the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz.