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AGLyme

Ice is nice...

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The famous Alton Bay (on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH) B18, is open for flights this week.  B18 is the only ice airport in the lower 48 recognized by the FAA.  The State owns it, the FAA approves it and the fabulous volunteers plow and manage it.  Kent W and his Husky posse flew up later and I filmed them all landing.  I left my very cold (12 degs) airport and arrived at a colder B18 at 9am.  There were 5 of us in the pattern and by my count another 7 planes within 10 miles on their way in.  I was behind my friend in a c170 who was approaching the base turn, and a 180 cut right in front of me... a first.  Whatever, I elongated my downwind but the Cirrus behind me was pissed at the 180.  Cirrus ultimately had to go around.  Part of the adventure.  Everyone there was in a great mood, a combo of the very cool airport, the helpful volunteers watching out for newbies like me skidding into other planes, people, dogs, snowmobiles, ice fishermen and a lot of pent up demand to mingle (with masks on mostly).  A winter carnival atmosphere. 

My photos are terrible and there are first rate videos on the net if you are interested.  I only post for proof ; ).  Go if you can, for obvious reasons the ice conditions have to be perfect and it doesn’t last long.

 

B48FF34A-3EF9-4FAF-BF94-A0831A291B6F.jpeg

C5F5C281-1834-4C14-A452-95BB8F8F68CD.jpeg

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Runway length depends on ice thickness.  Today we had 2,400’ x 100’... no taxiway, so after landing we had to duck in to niches on the side until the planes on final landed, then we back taxied (went as fast as we could on ice) to the parking area.  I learned they closed the airport for 2hours due to parking capacity soon after we landed.  This was a very busy weekend day.  They could not open last year because the ice wasn’t thick enough.

braking is a tap and hope program.  They try to leave a snowy crust on the surface, but there is a lot of shear ice as well.  It all worked.  

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5 minutes ago, AGLyme said:

Runway length depends on ice thickness.  Today we had 2,400’ x 100’... no taxiway, so after landing we had to duck in to niches on the side until the planes on final landed, then we back taxied (went as fast as we could on ice) to the parking area.  I learned they closed the airport for 2hours due to parking capacity soon after we landed.  This was a very busy weekend day.  They could not open last year because the ice wasn’t thick enough.

braking is a tap and hope program.  They try to leave a snowy crust on the surface, but there is a lot of shear ice as well.  It all worked.  

You mentioned outside temperature being 12 F and less - Is there a limit in terms of outside temperature you would not consider flying in due to potential issues with the plane ( either related to composites or the engine ) and if so what is it ?

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Great post!  A question on your heater, how well did it work?

I had a 2008 that was marginal and my new to me 2013 is much better. 

It's in the teens in Tulsa this week but I'm on call till Monday morning and thought about going up then.

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7 hours ago, AGLyme said:

The famous Alton Bay (on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH) B18, is open for flights this week.  B18 is the only ice airport in the lower 48 recognized by the FAA.  The State owns it, the FAA approves it and the fabulous volunteers plow and manage it.  Kent W and his Husky posse flew up later and I filmed them all landing.  I left my very cold (12 degs) airport and arrived at a colder B18 at 9am.  There were 5 of us in the pattern and by my count another 7 planes within 10 miles on their way in.  I was behind my friend in a c170 who was approaching the base turn, and a 180 cut right in front of me... a first.  Whatever, I elongated my downwind but the Cirrus behind me was pissed at the 180.  Cirrus ultimately had to go around.  Part of the adventure.  Everyone there was in a great mood, a combo of the very cool airport, the helpful volunteers watching out for newbies like me skidding into other planes, people, dogs, snowmobiles, ice fishermen and a lot of pent up demand to mingle (with masks on mostly).  A winter carnival atmosphere. 

My photos are terrible and there are first rate videos on the net if you are interested.  I only post for proof ; ).  Go if you can, for obvious reasons the ice conditions have to be perfect and it doesn’t last long.

 

B48FF34A-3EF9-4FAF-BF94-A0831A291B6F.jpeg

C5F5C281-1834-4C14-A452-95BB8F8F68CD.jpeg


What are you using to preheat?   That’s really cold ( to me).   

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I bought a huge cup of coffee at Dunkin (note it is illegal to start the day here in New England without one).  I put a blanket around the cowling with help from bungies.  Put my wife’s old hair dryer up through the steering block area..  When the coffee was done the plane was pushed out.  Started right up which is normal for this plane.  In 200 hours of operation  it always has started up right away.  The operating temp was about 186 degs throughout the flight.  At the lowest end of the green range.  The Rotax heritage is a snowmobile one.  The sun was bright all day.  Warmed up to 18 degs for ride home and was warmer still when I landed back in CT.  When I jumped in to go home the cabin was warm and the engine started up on the first turn as always.  My warmup time was longer than the other planes however.

I am more concerned about hot days than cold.  Years ago I built a duck boat out of epoxy and would go duck hunting in the ocean off of the Rhode Island coast.  Colder the better.  Epoxy held well.  
 

ps: the Al Downs hole plugs worked well.  It was cold but not freezing.  Zero draft.
  I flew in sneakers and a sweater.

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10 minutes ago, AGLyme said:

My warmup time was longer than the other planes however.

A suggestion is toss in a large beach towel, and then when you shut down drape it across the cowl, pull the front edge down through the gap behind the spinner, and wrap this gap closed, and then take the corner of towel and tuck in the cylinder cooling opening front of cowl.  I also carry a thin bit of home insulation product, it's like a stiff bubble wrap about 3/8" thick, silver reflective coating on it, cut a bit wider than the radiator cowl opening.  That slips down front between the cowl and radiator.  

I've gone as long as a couple hours in cold weather, and upon return engine is still toasty.

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Figured you had a bunch of ice opportunities up there D.

The big ice skill isn’t landing per se... it’s a short field one.  I made the first cutoff (a niche in the snow) to my amazement.  The takeoff is harder re P factor.  The key is to move the throttle up slowly and take off in ground effect and then the rest of the short field routine.  I used 15 degs of flaps I prob should have used 30.  
Most pilots fly low over the lake after takeoff and fly to Laconia airport the whole way at 10 feet above the ice.  I did it but much higher.

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This plane is powered by 912is so I presume it does not need to be baby-sitted in a cold weather  the way carbureted engine need to be.

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6 minutes ago, Warmi said:

This plane is powered by 912is

It's not the fuel system / starting that's the concern - it's the waiting 8-10 minutes for oil temp to raise to minimum, which I hear is also the worse condition for the gearbox / slipper clutch, those are aspects we all have to manage.  

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17 minutes ago, Warmi said:

presume it does not need to be baby-sitted in a cold weather  the way carbureted engine need to be.

The injected does warm up faster that is true.  However, yesterday's warmup took a long time (about 10 minutes at home base, and 5 minutes at the seaplane base).  The poor Marshaler was running out of patience with me as I was sitting there running up, so I just angled aside and told him I wasn't ready to go quite yet with sign language.

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Carbon Fiber is a beautiful thing Tip.  Every jet liner produced today has a huge amount of it exposed to the elements.  I think the 787 is nearly 50% carbon fiber, so our planes can take it.

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18 hours ago, AGLyme said:

The famous Alton Bay (on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH) B18, is open for flights this week.  B18 is the only ice airport in the lower 48 recognized by the FAA.  The State owns it, the FAA approves it and the fabulous volunteers plow and manage it.  Kent W and his Husky posse flew up later and I filmed them all landing.  I left my very cold (12 degs) airport and arrived at a colder B18 at 9am.  There were 5 of us in the pattern and by my count another 7 planes within 10 miles on their way in.  I was behind my friend in a c170 who was approaching the base turn, and a 180 cut right in front of me... a first.  Whatever, I elongated my downwind but the Cirrus behind me was pissed at the 180.  Cirrus ultimately had to go around.  Part of the adventure.  Everyone there was in a great mood, a combo of the very cool airport, the helpful volunteers watching out for newbies like me skidding into other planes, people, dogs, snowmobiles, ice fishermen and a lot of pent up demand to mingle (with masks on mostly).  A winter carnival atmosphere. 

My photos are terrible and there are first rate videos on the net if you are interested.  I only post for proof ; ).  Go if you can, for obvious reasons the ice conditions have to be perfect and it doesn’t last long.

 

This is awesome! on my Bucket list for Sure! 

Is there a video of your CT on the ice? If so where can it be found?

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4 hours ago, GrassStripFlyBoy said:

And that trip looks like a nice adventure, thanks for sharing.  I'm still awaiting for a good enough bit of ice / minimal snow on Saginaw bay to go jigging for Walleye. 

Are you planning on landing there? I would like to make the trip if yo go first.. :) 

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11 minutes ago, Skunkworks85 said:

Are you planning on landing there? I would like to make the trip if yo go first.. :) 

Absolutely.  Very dependent on snow level, and thickness of ice.  Will holler when conditions are possible.

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It was mostly spectators. It’s a big fun event for the locals who ride in on snow mobiles and drive. Two restaurants right there. Hopefully it’ll be open for 6 weeks! It feels like going into Oshkosh though. Wicked busy!

 

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