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Evaluation of NCAR Icing/SLD Forecasts, Tools and Techniques Used During The 1998 NASA SLD Flight SeasonSupercooled Large Droplet (SLD) icing conditions were implicated in at least one recent aircraft crash, and have been associated with other aircraft incidents. Inflight encounters with SLD can result in ice accreting on unprotected areas of the wing where it can not be removed. Because this ice can adversely affect flight characteristics of some aircraft, there has been concern about flight safety in these conditions. The FAA held a conference on in-flight icing in 1996 where the state of knowledge concerning SLD was explored. One outcome of these meetings was an identified need to acquire SLD flight research data, particularly in the Great Lakes Region. The flight research data was needed by the FAA to develop a better understanding of the meteorological characteristics associated with SLD and facilitate an assessment of existing aircraft icing certification regulations with respect to SLD. In response to this need, NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) conducted a cooperative icing flight research program to acquire SLD flight research data. The NASA Glenn Research Center's Twin Otter icing research aircraft was flown throughout the Great Lakes region during the winters of 1996-97 and 1997-98 to acquire SLD icing and meteorological data. The NASA Twin Otter was instrumented to measure cloud microphysical properties (particle size, LWC (Liquid Water Content), temperature, etc.), capture images of wing and tail ice accretion, and then record the resultant effect on aircraft performance due to the ice accretion. A satellite telephone link enabled the researchers onboard the Twin Otter to communicate with NCAR meteorologists. who provided real-time guidance into SLD icing conditions. NCAR meteorologists also provided preflight SLD weather forecasts that were used to plan the research flights, and served as on-board researchers. This document contains an evaluation of the tools and techniques NCAR forecasters used to predict the location of SLD icing conditions during the winter of 1997-1998. The objectives of this report are to: (1) assess the tools used to forecast in-flight icing. (2) assess the success/failure rate of the forecasts, and (3) discuss suggested changes to forecast techniques.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Bernstein, Ben C. (National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2001
Subject Category
Air Transportation and Safety
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:210954
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 711-21-23
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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