If you own a small plane that you enjoy flying even during the winter months, you may be looking for deicing methods. Deicing helps to remove ice and frost from all parts of the plane, ensuring the plane can take off and operate properly. There are two primary ways that planes are deiced. The first is with chemicals. Chemicals are sprayed on the plane that help break up the ice and frost, much like the chemical deicers you can spray on a frozen car windshield. The other option is infrared heat deicing. The plane is taken into a large hangar with an infrared heater that quickly melts the ice. Learning the pros and cons of each method will help you determine which is better for your small plane. Here are a couple of the pros and cons of chemical plane deicing.
Cons of Chemical Plane Deicing
- The Chemicals Are Not Great for the Environment
One of the biggest disadvantages to chemical plane deicing is that the chemicals used in the deicer can be bad for the environment. The chemicals can be harmful to wildlife and can leech into drinking water. If the airport you are flying into or out of is near a lake or river, they may prohibit the use of chemical deicers for this reason.
- Chemicals Take Longer to Melt Ice
The other downside to chemical deicers is that they take longer to melt ice than infrared heaters do. If you are scheduled to fly out at a certain time, you may want to use an infrared heater so you can get your plane ready to go faster.
Pros of Chemical Plane Deicing
- Infrared Heaters Are Expensive
One of the biggest advantages that chemical plane deicing has is the cost. Infrared heaters are expensive. While chemicals to deice a plane are not cheap, they are much more affordable than a huge infrared heater.
- There Has to Be a Dedicated Space for the Heater
The other benefit to chemical plane deicing is it can be done outside of the plane hangars, in the same areas you would wash or prep your plane. If you were to use a infrared heater, you need a dedicated hangar to hang the heater in and to pull planes into. Hangars are not cheap to rent per month, so this only increases the costs associated with these heaters. If budget is a factor, chemical plane deicing may be the better choice for you.
If you are looking into deicing your small plane this winter, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of both deicing methods. They will help you determine which is the better option for you.