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OLV Air Asia - Kuala Lumpur

20 - 24 September 2010

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight


Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat
Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 2


Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 3


Icing conditions: Definition

As per the FCOM 3.04.30 definition, in flight, icing conditions


may be expected when:
The TAT is 10C or below,
AND
There is visible moisture in the air (such as clouds, fog with
low visibility of one mile or less, rain, snow, sleet, ice crystals)

Except in climb and cruise if SAT is If indication that the airframe is icing up
below 40C: (ice detector or ice on wipers):
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ENGINE ANTI ICE ON WING ANTI ICE ON

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 4


Icing conditions: Recent in-flight events

Airbus fly-by-wire fleet experienced new type of engine


events linked to specific icing conditions:

Engine flameout affecting GE CF6-80E1

Engine damage affecting RR T500

Number of events have drastically increased the last few


months

Almost all events have been associated to the presence of


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ICE CRYSTALS

Such phenomenon affects all aircraft manufacturers

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 5


Icing conditions: Recent in-flight events

Engine events location on GE CF6-80C engines











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GE CF6-80C Events

Black: Single engine flameout


Red : Dual engine flameout
: Airbus A300-600 engine flameout
Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 6
Icing conditions: Recent in-flight events

Engine events location on GE CF6-80E and RRT500 engines


A ~60% of
F 1 C events
3 D

E




Airbus A330 CF6-80E Airbus A340-500/600
2
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Engine(s) Flameout
RR T500 B

# Date Alt Engine(s) Damage

A Nov-04 18,000 # Date
B Oct-05 16,000 1 Mar-06
C Jun-06 20,000
D Jun-06 19,000 2 Nov-06
E Jun-06 19,000 3 Jan-07
F Aug-06 33,000
Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 7
Icing conditions: Recent in-flight events

Events usually in the vicinity of convective activity


Examples
Event A: Event E:
Tokyo - Nov 2004 - 18 000 feet Miami June 2006 19 000 feet
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Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 8


Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 9


Ice crystals: Weather description

The convection is a strong circulation between ascending


warm air and descending cold air, in an unstable atmosphere.

The main characteristics of a deep convective weather are


therefore:

Deep convective clouds


Cumulonimbus
Mesoscale Convective Complexes
Storms

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Wind, windshear, turbulences,


microburst

Heavy rain, hail, icing

Lightning

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 10


Ice crystals: Weather description

Classical icing conditions are encountered in such


convective weather:
Super-cooled liquid droplet freezes when in contact with cold
aircraft surface
Typically, when temperature is between 0 and 15C, and,
in deep convective conditions, down to 40C.
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Ice is building-up on aircraft airframe

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 11


Ice crystals: Weather description

Ice crystals differ from classical icing conditions:


Very small crystals of frozen water, from millimeter to some
microns
Produced when humidity is lifted up very rapidly to high
altitude, where it freezes immediately.
In very active convective weather:
High humidity concentration Important air circulation
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

High ice crystals concentration Ice crystals blown up and down

- Ice crystals may be encountered at temperature far below 40C


- High concentration at the top of the convective cloud
- Near freezing level, mix of super-cooled liquid droplets and ice crystals
may be encountered
Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 12
Ice crystals: Weather description
Convective cloud diagram

High concentration of Ice Crystals


FL 350 -40C

23 000 ft -15C

16 000 ft Freezing Level


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Super-cooled
Liquid droplet

Ice crystals

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 13


Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 14


Ice crystals: Detection

Aircraft Weather Radar Detection

Only detects precipitation

Detection depends on droplets:

Size: very small droplets cannot


be detected
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Number: Higher concentration has a better reflectivity

Composition: Wet droplets have better reflectivity than dry droplets

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 15


Ice crystal: Detection

Aircraft Weather Radar Detection


Reflectivity

Super-cooled
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Liquid droplet

Ice crystal

Ice crystals may not be detected by the weather radar

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 16


Ice crystal: Detection

Other possible detection means


Ice crystals bounce against very cold surface:
No ice accretion on aircraft airframe

Not detected by aircraft ice detector

Sometimes, flight crew reports visual phenomenon


Precipitation on the windshield, similar to rain
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Often associated to light turbulences

Saint Elm fire rarely reported

Ice crystal not easily detectable in flight


Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 17
Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 18


Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

General ice crystals accretion process theory


Local Air Temperature
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

0C 30C
Metal temperature

Ice crystals only accrete on warm metal surface

Ice crystals may be threat to engines


Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 19
Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

On Airbus Fly-by-Wire aircrafts, ice crystals led to:


Engine flameout on GE CF6-80E1 engines

Engine blade damage on RR T500 engines

All events have roughly the same characteristics:


Flight near convective weather

In almost all cases, low engine thrust (during descent)


AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

TAT sometimes erroneously indicated 0C just before the


events, since ice crystals accumulate on warm de-iced area
of the TAT probe

Most of the time, flight crew did not detect ice building-up on
airframe
Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 20
Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

Ice crystals accretion within engines

GE engines theory
1 Ice crystals accretion

2 Ice shed during power increase for example

3 Ice travels into core as VBV doors are closing

VBV door
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2
3

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 21


Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

Ice crystals accretion within engines

GE engines theory Contd


4 Ice changes state thru HPC, melting, evaporation

5 Combustor inlet air temperature depressed, combustor efficiency drops

6 Flameout occurs followed by automatic engine relight


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5
6
4

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 22


Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

Ice crystals accretion within engines

RR engines theory

1 Ice crystals accrete from VSV1 to Stator 3


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1
R1 R2 R3 R4

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 23


Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

Ice crystals accretion within engines

RR engines theory Contd


2 Ice sheds and impacts IPC2 causing tip damage
3 Ice shed impacts IPC4 blade

4 IPC4 blade vibrates from ice impact and leading edge strikes
Stage 3 stator, causing immediate blade release or damage
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2 3 4
R1 R2 R3 R4

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 24


Ice Crystals: Operational Consequences

Ice crystals accretion within engines


For both cases, OEBs have been published to mitigate the
consequences of ice crystals accretion

First recommendation is to avoid flying near convective weather.


Then, if icing conditions are expected during the descent
(including ice crystals), at top of descent:

R1 R2 R3 R4
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GE ENGINES RR ENGINES
Select the Select the ENG ANTI ICE
- ENG ANTI ICE ON and ON, to increase the engine
- WING ANTI ICE ON core temperature which
to increase the fuel/air ratio may prevent ice accretion
which may prevent flameout
Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 25
Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 26


Increase in number of events: Hypothesis

Several hypothesis are contemplated with regards to:


Air traffic increase
More prone to occur in Asia Pacific region in which traffic
increases a lot

Example for the


A330 GE CF6-80E1
IST

CTS
PEK SDJ
ICN KIX ICN
FUK PUS NRT
NRT RUH DEL
PVG NGO
FUK KIX HNL
DOH
TPE XMN OKA
HKG AUH BOM MFMCAN
HKG
TPE
BKK KHH
BKK MNL
MNL SGN
CEB PPSCEB
SGN
PPS DVO DVO
KUL
SIN SIN
GES GES

CGK CGK
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PPT
SUB DPS DRW
CNS
NOU
BNE
PER
SYD AKL
ADL SYD
MEL MEL

2002 2006
17 airports served 49 airports served
230 weekly freqs Weekly frequencies are those of July, 1039 weekly freqs
except for 2006 (May)

Traffic in Asia Pacific have multiplied almost by 5 the last 5 years


Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 27
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis

Several hypothesis are contemplated with regards to:


Air traffic increase Contd

Number of aircraft increases a lot also

More severe ATC constraints leading flight crew to have less


flexibility to avoid flying near convective weather.

Longer approach flight duration, leading to longer flight through


possible icing conditions.
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Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 28


Increase in number of events: Hypothesis

Several hypothesis are contemplated with regards to:


Meteorological changes:

Global earth warming leads to more water lift up at high altitude

For route with heavy traffic,


ice crystal produced by aircraft
accumulates at high altitude
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Still speculation but could aggravate the situation in the future


Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 29
Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 30


Way forward: Short term improvements

For GE engines:
FADEC software (E1O STD) modifies the VBV logics

VBV is more open at low engine thrust:


Better ice extraction from the engine core
Increase in flameout margin

Service Bulletin availability: June 2007

For RR engines:
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New blade design, more robust to ice shed impact

Service Bulletin availability: End 2007

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 31


Content

Icing conditions
Definition
Recent in-flight events review

Ice crystals
Weather description
Detection
Operational consequences
Increase in number of events: Hypothesis
AIRBUS S.A.S. All rights reserved. Confidential and proprietary document.

Way forward
Short term improvements

International Industry Working Group

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 32


Way forward : International Industry Working Group

An Industrial Working group has been created with:

Aircraft Manufacturers Engine Manufacturers


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National Agencies Probes Manufacturers

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 33


Way forward : International Industry Working Group

4 different working tasks have been defined:

Task 1: Improved instrumentation to measure atmosphere

Task 2: Flight trials to characterize atmosphere (understand


particle size, concentration and extent)

Task 3: Fundamental physics of ice accretion and shedding


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Task 4: Test methods and facilities

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 34


Way forward : International Industry Working Group

The aim of this working group is to develop means to:


ANTICIPATE
By a better understanding of the meteorological phenomenon to
better anticipate it at flight dispatch

DETECT
By developing probes to allow in-flight detection of crystals

DESIGN more robust engines


By a better understanding of the ice accretion/shedding process
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By developing experimental processes and accurate simulations


By developing facilities to test the engines (ice crystals wind
tunnel)

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 35


Conclusion

Ice crystals may be a threat to the engines and cannot be


detected by conventional aircraft on-board instruments.

Specific operational procedures have been designed to


cover the RR T500 and GE CF6-80E1 events.

Short term fix should be available within the end of the


year

For long term, studies are on-going to better characterize


this icing phenomenon and enhance:
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Prevention

Engine design
Detection

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 36


Conclusion

Meanwhile, basic airmanship may help avoiding flying


through ice crystals:

As far as possible:

A cumulonimbus should be cleared by 20NM upwind at least.

Avoid flying over convective weather

Use radar tilt to detect possible convective weather below


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the aircraft position.

Effective Flight Crew awareness is necessary

Operation in Icing Conditions in Flight - Ice Crystals: An Environmental Threat Page 37