|Taking a look at the "love tap."|
Icing at plus 16 C?
This morning saw me back in the saddle after two weeks. It was a "little thing" day. Starting by spilling my treasured coffee on my freshly laundered uniform. Of course there were no napkins in the car.
The first two legs were warm up "Rapidairs" to Montreal and back launching a four day mission.
Nothing out of the usual...until we receive a call from the "back end" stating some pilot near the wing claims there is ice on the wings while passing through 16,000 feet. WTF? The TAT (Total Air Temperature) displayed +16 C and the ambient temperature confirmed plus 4 C. I crisply retorted, "is this guy an A.C pilot?" Not that it matters who reports the ice, but heck it was Monday morning.
But it got my meteorological side of the brain grinding its gears. There are about 30 parameters which may cause airframe icing. One of them...skin temperature must be zero Celsius or less. With a TAT (skin temperature) of plus 16 then this wasn't the case.
When I checked the log book (captain's duty for every aircraft) I assumed it had not flown that day. However, when I checked the brake temperatures they told me someone heated the brakes. Hmmm?
I rechecked the log book. It indeed flew a "red eye" from Vancouver meaning the fuel sat in temperatures at -57 C for at least four hours. Plus it arrived with lots of fuel so the fueler did not add warm fuel for the short trip to Montreal.
Do you see where I'm going? Then Captain "D" checks the fuel temperatures. Minus 5 !!!!
Bingo! With us flying in moist conditions, the cold soaked wing created it's own ice and the low pressure over the wing (think additional cooling) exemplified things.
I radioed to the "de-ice co-ordinator" to give him a heads up. But all the aircraft were checked.
The pilot from "another airline" met with me after the flight and he sent me some pics later on in the day.
This ice formed well aft of the leading edge and posed little threat because of the area involved and it's location. The ice melted nicely in Montreal. :)
We had the same airplane all day (it is rare) and on the walk around the F/O noticed a small bump on the tail. Maintenance sprung into action. We took a 30 minute delay while paper work was filed and a "bingo" (bump inspected and now a go) sticker applied. With possibly ten vehicles approaching an aircraft during ground stops it's inevitable for some to get a little too close.
One of the duties a captain has is making an announcement to explain things...and people want to hear the truth...sort of. You know the P.A..."Ladies and Gentleman this is your captain speaking......." (With a deep voice and a pause.... ) I downplayed the bump by calling it a "love tap." :)
Because of the delay, the "push back" crew hightailed it to another airplane. We waited ten minutes with me doing the "beverage math" for our layover in St. John's Newfoundland. Noticed I didn't say beer?
Light snow, -3 C with winds of 20 knots greeted us in Newfoundland. I want my Mexico back. :(
Update on Diesel daughter's cell phone.
Apparently it was stolen the first night we arrived. I had all our valuables in the safety deposit except her phone. Apparently they racked up over $1000 on the phone but we will be charged $150 for roaming charges. Diesel daughter is hard on the bank of Dad. :)
The life of an airline pilot....