A Pilot's Guide to Inflight Icing

Module I - Before You Fly

Know the Situation

Section: Know the Situation - Overview

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You cannot make wise operational decisions unless you know the situation. To fly safely in icing conditions, you must understand the environment through which you are flying.

In this section, we discuss how ice forms and how differences in atmospheric conditions affect the intensity of icing encounters. Throughout this section we make direct recommendations for how you can apply this knowledge on the ground and in the air.

This section focuses on the following subjects:

How Ice Forms

  • Basic Icing Physics
  • Supercooled Large Droplets


  • Cloud Formations
  • Geographic Effects
  • Seasons
  • Frontal Effects
Rime ice on Twin Otter wing leading edge Mixed to severe ice on Twin Otter wing leading edge Clear ice on Twin Otter wing leading edge

Various ice accretions on wing leading edges