Ice Week

As if Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and the Air Safety Institute’s Storm Week weren’t exciting enough...Ice Week is rapidly approaching! Brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services and VOYA, the Air Safety Institute’s Ice Week is October 26 – November 1. 

As the name implies, it’s all about sharing information to help pilots avoid dangerous icing encounters. Here in the mid-Atlantic, it’s already beginning to get chilly, but even if you live in a more balmy part of the country, it’s a good idea to learn about weather phenomena that you may encounter at some point while flying in other regions.

On May 18, 2011, a non-instrument rated private pilot took off for a VFR flight in a Bellanca 17-30A Viking from Pinedale, Wyoming, to Fort Collins, Colorado. The pilot requested an abbreviated weather briefing the day before the flight, and on the day of the flight he flew through multiple layered overcast and broken cloud formations and light rain.  But there is much more to this story.

Are you wondering what the weather report was, what altitude the freezing level was, or whether the pilot got another briefing on the day of the flight?  To find out all that and much more, tune in to the Ice Week webinar on October 30 at 7pm ET, which will be hosted by ASI Senior Vice President George Perry and Pat Murphy, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Center’s Aviation Weather Center. 

Encourage your flying club members to participate in the many cold weather-related programs during Ice Week, and discuss them together to learn from each other. Here are some additional programs available on ASI’s website:

  • Real Pilot Story: Icing Encounter. A brand-new instrument rating, an airplane full of family and an icy winter storm over the mountains combined to teach pilot Heath Wells some valuable – and nearly fatal – lessons about instrument flying.
  • Accident Case Study: Airframe Icing. Structural ice can form rapidly on light GA aircraft. In a matter of minutes, continued flight can become impossible – and tragedy unavoidable. Examine the chain of events that led to this actual aircraft icing accident and see the lessons we can learn from it.
  • Safety Quiz: Cold Weather Ops. From stubborn engines to slick runways and icy clouds, the coming of winter brings plenty of ways to get in trouble (or cost yourself some serious cash). Are you prepared? Take this quiz and find out!

It’s likely that your members have experiences flying in many diverse environments, and would be happy to share their experience and helpful hints and tips with each other. Why not have an Ice Week safety meeting? It’s a great way to prepare together for flying safely in the coming winter season.

Safe pilots are always learning, and the Air Safety Institute’s goal is to ensure pilots have a wealth of information to keep flying safely. Our educational programs are funded through donations from pilots dedicated to forwarding that mission. Show your support by donating to the AOPA Foundation today (

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