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On thin ice: A little frost won't hurt ... or will it?

from FAA Aviation News Magazine via IFA

It's a cold and clear winter weekend morning. Your airplane needs exercise. You don't have a lot of time; plenty of chores to do back home, but you are eager to oblige before the next round of winter storms keeps you both bound to the ground. You eagerly walk across the ramp, anticipating the freedom of the sky and the higher performance you expect in the colder and "thicker" winter air.

Uh-oh. Your eye catches the glimmer of sunlight reflecting off your faithful flying machine, but you know that glint isn't coming from a clean or freshly waxed airplane. Rather, it is coming from sunlight shining on the layer of frost covering nearly every exposed surface of the airplane. As you draw closer, though, you see that the layer of "frosting" isn't terribly thick; in fact, the sun is already beginning to melt it away. The ice may be thin, but the questions come thick and fast. Learn more. more

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