Flying through the Snow

Winter and Icing Conditions

The Cirrus SR22 Turbo is FIKI (flight-into-known-icing) approved. That doesn’t mean that the aircraft can fly in all weather conditions, but it comes close. Of course, there are situations of severe icing, freezing rain or thunderstorm buildup areas that you will always want to stay clear of. But other than that, the Cirrus can fly when most other single engine aircraft have to stay in the hangar.


Snow on the runway of Calais.

I remember one instance last winter when the snow was blowing horizontally while looking out of the window from our home. On the street, there were snow buildup areas. My mother called to cancel her car trip to us as she thought that the motorways were not all free of snow and ice and this would be a risk she didn’t want to take.


If the runway is more or less free of snow, the taxiways or apron are not always clean!

About an hour later I departed for Rotterdam Airport for a short trip to Lille. We departed in the snow, but the runway was cleared from the snow. When returning later that evening, the ATIS of Rotterdam warned for poor braking action on the runway and snow on the taxiways. The landing went smooth and the whole trip I never encountered any icing conditions.


Cirrus on the Lima (L) apron at Rotterdam airport (EHRD).

TKS Anti-Ice fluid

In both wings, there is a special tank for the special anti-icing TKS fluid. The amount of fluid still available to you is shown on the Multi-Function Display (MFD) in the cockpit. Not only the wings are protected, but also the vertical tail surface area, propellors and special nozzle-sets are available to keep the front window clear as well. The stall warning is heated as well.

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TKS fluid in a normal spray container normally used in the garden to fight against weeds.

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The amount of TKS Anti-Ice fluid can be read off from the Multi-Function Display. The air outside is freezing cold with temperatures going to -40 degrees Celsius.


Windows will often be frosted over, but thanks to the instruments, we can still continue to fly.