Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

PHOTOS: Ice-coated planes end up stranded at airports after winter storm

Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23, 2022.

Ingrid Barrentine/Alaska Airlines

  • Photos show Alaska Airlines aircraft covered in ice and snow after a strong winter storm.
  • Thick ice sheets littered the ramp and planes at the airline’s Seattle airport on Friday.
  • Alaska pilot Bret Peyton said de-icing works in light conditions, but not severe freezing rain. 
A powerful winter storm swept across the US this week, bringing gale force winds and leaving snow and ice in its wake.Alaska Airlines planes in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines planes in Seattle on December 23.

Alaska Airlines

The conditions got so bad at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport that the planes and ramp were covered in “thick sheets of ice,” according to Alaska Airlines.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

The freezing rain led to about 550 Alaska flight cancellations across the Pacific Northwest on Friday, with the airline posting pictures of icicles hanging from aircraft wings.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

“Freezing rain & icy conditions at Sea-Tac have forced us to pause flying before noon PST,” the airline tweeted. “It will take warmer weather and time to clear our ramp and aircraft of ice. We are working hard to resume safe operations. “Alaska Airlines planes in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines planes in Seattle on December 23.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

According to the airline, ice can be more harmful than snow because it is difficult to remove. But, if a jet isn’t properly cleared of either, then it could risk the plane’s “aerodynamic integrity” and pose a safety threat.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

Seattle-Tacoma International led US airports in cancellations on Friday, according data from flight tracker FlightAware.Alaska Airlines plane in heavy snow in Seattle on December 20, 2022.Alaska Airlines plane in heavy snow in Seattle on December 20, 2022.

Joe Nicholson/Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

“We’ve all seen those pictures of power lines with icicles on them,” Alaska Capt. Bret Peyton explained. “Can you imagine if that was an aircraft wing? Clearly, we cannot operate in those conditions.”Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23, 2022.Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on December 23.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

A common solution for ice or snow is to deice the aircraft, which involves typically spraying a hot glycol-based substance and anti-icing fluid across the plane.An Alaska Airlines plane being de-iced in 2016.An Alaska Airlines plane being de-iced in 2016.

Alaska Airlines

Source: National Aviation Academy

However, according to Peyton, this is only effective in “light conditions,” but moderate and freezing rain can make flying nearly impossible, forcing cancellations and delays this holiday weekend.Alaska Airlines deicing in snow at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on December 20, 2022.Alaska Airlines deicing in snow at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on December 20.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

“Our pilots at Alaska Airlines are very well-versed in operating in wintertime conditions, and we will not operate an aircraft unless it’s safe,” Peyton said, assuring passengers. “Suffice it to say if the aircraft is moving, it’s safe to do so.”Ice on an Alaska Airlines plane in 2016.Ice on an Alaska Airlines plane in 2016.

Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

Read the original article on Business Insider