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Left Coast Pilot

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January 2005


“What’s that on the windshield?” asked Kate, my copilot and wife. I looked up from the instruments I had been concentrating on—trying to understand why the engine sounds had suddenly changed—and at first couldn’t understand her question. There didn’t seem to be anything on the windshield.

Then I realized I couldn’t see anything through it—not even the cowling. A quick glance out my side window confirmed my suspicion: ice.  

Now the big decision: Try to climb, or turn around (descending on our route was not an option, the MEAs were too high). I called ATC, reported light icing and asked for higher. I got that immediately, set climb power and trimmed back to best rate of climb speed.

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