Winter Flying Safety

Cargo plane being sprayed with deicing agent

During the winter, extra efforts are made to secure our vehicles so they are safe for driving. We spend extra time warming them up and removing snow or ice from the windshield.  We even check the weather forecast prior to driving anywhere to ensure a safe trip.  For airplanes, there are many similar factors that the pilot and crew need to consider.  These range from aircraft preparation to the forecasted weather of the flight path.

Deicing Aircraft

Understandably, ice cannot be removed from an aircraft as easily as it can be from a car.  Instead, a Type I Deicing Fluid and Type IV Anti-Icing Fluid must be used to properly prepare an airplane for flight.  These two fluids are applied by certified professionals who are trained to know when to use each fluid and are directed by the flight crew for specific instructions. 

Types of Deicing Fluid

In general, deicing is the removal of snow, ice or frost from the surface of an aircraft.  Deicing fluid consists of a mixture of heated glycol and water and is orange in color.  If there is accumulation of snow on the surface of the aircraft, Type I deicing fluid is used to melt and “sweep” the snow off of the surface.  This will prepare the aircraft for a safe take off and flight.

Plane being sprayed with deicing fluid

Type IV Anti-Ice fluid is used to prevent the build-up and accumulation of ice or snow as the aircraft takes off and continues to fly.  This more concentrated fluid is a thicker substance because of the higher concentration of glycol, and will remain on the wings during takeoff and flight.  Type IV is green in color and applied right before takeoff.

Often times, aircraft are scheduled with back-to-back flights, limiting their time on the ground. This is known as a “quick turn”.  In this case, both Type I and Type IV fluids would be applied as necessary.  With the design of an aircraft in mind, it is crucial to ensure there is no additional weight from ice or snow that would affect the way it flies.

Winter Flying Through KTOL

Located at the Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport, Grand Aire is proud to operate the only 24/7/365 full-service FBO on the field.  We are equipped with both Type I Deicing Fluid and Type IV Anti-Icing Fluid, and our deicing trucks are capable of reaching heights up to 50 feet.   

If your winter travels bring you to KTOL, let us put our 35+ years of experience to work for you!  Give us a call at 1-800-70-GRAND or email our team directly at