Icing conditions - How do I manage it?



  • I realize the plane isn't supposed to be flown in known icing conditions, but as I'm flying in England right now, I literally cannot fly at night, or above the altitude that ATC gives me in IFR as stuff just freezes instantly, either because I'm too high or I'm flying through the tiniest, most diffuse cloud that is impossible to see during the night. As soon as the icing happens, I drop like a damn rock. I cannot gain altitude, at ALL, and the flight is effectively over.

    Is this plane just not flown during the night, ever? I feel so helpless, and It feels like this plane can only be used during the day, in hot weather, and VFR conditions. IFR seems impossible unless it's unreasonably hot and you aren't flying at high altitude.

    I'm a complete noob when it comes to flight simming, so feel free to put me in my place and tell me what I'm doing wrong, and how I can fix it.



  • Unfortunately, icing is a very dangerous real world condition that affects all aircraft and has been the cause of many fatal crashes of aircraft of all sizes over the years. No aircraft can fly when the wings and control surfaces become coated with even a small amount of ice! Icing can occur anytime there is sufficient moisture in the air, and the OAT is between +2C and -10C.

    Managing icing is an important part of learning to fly, but it can be much more challenging in a small plane like this one that isn't equipped with the de-icing systems found on larger aircraft. Your first and best defense is to avoid it altogether by carefully observing the forecast weather conditions at the altitudes along the route you plan to fly. Fly at altitudes where the OAT is not within the icing range (above +2C or below -10C is usually fine), or alter your planned route and altitude to avoid the forecast icing conditions. Remember that you can either fly above the icing temperature zone or below it. The OAT will drop by about -2C for each 1,000 ft. of altitude, so watch your OAT gauge and either climb or descend as needed to fly in the right temperature zone. If your route includes crossing a mountain ridge, climb to at least 1,000 to 2,000 ft. above the ridge height well before reaching it, to avoid flying in possible updrafts that can quickly create icing conditions.

    If you do encounter icing, your options are very limited in a small aircraft and you must take corrective action quickly, when the ice first starts to form. Basically, you have to quickly fly out of the icing conditions by either turning around or losing altitude, or both!



  • @pdd Also worth noting is that the icing simulation in MSFS is pretty broken right now, and it deposits waaaay more ice than it should. Also, it can't be turned off.



  • In the MSFS Assistance menu you can select Visual Only for Icing Effects. I haven't seen that before so I'm assuming that was added in the latest update.



  • I think the icing feature of MSFS is great for training you to be a much better and safer pilot...



  • @Sender46 I don't think that actually works. I haven't tried it myself, but it is on the development bug list as not working.



  • @Sender46 said in Icing conditions - How do I manage it?:

    In the MSFS Assistance menu you can select Visual Only for Icing Effects. I haven't seen that before so I'm assuming that was added in the latest update.

    Don't bother with that... as for the current moment, it is broken (icing will continue to affect aircraft performance regardless of that option being activated or not).

    I agree that icing in the sim is pretty broken, and I honestly don't see how the current icing behaviour could be of any help for training purposes...

    First, the conditions for icing to start building up are completely broken and unrealistic... one thing is to prepare and avoid icing forecasted zones, and another thing is to have insta-freezing just when you cross a thin cloud with OAT under zero degress...

    Another thing that is highly unrealistic about icing in the sim is the ridiculus speed at which ice builds up... in literaly no time (a minute or so) you can go from a non icing condition to literaly be stalling with all the windshield covered in ice and unable to fly... Can this happen in real life that fast? Probably, but you would need much tougher meteorological conditions and very intense icing for that to happen that fast... however, at the sim, virtually every time you encounter ice you end up like this in a matter of one or two minutes...

    Asobo is already aware of this problem and I sincerely hope it is on the upcoming fixes list, since I too find it very anoying and unrealistic...



  • Thanks for the replies, I guess I just need to be proactive about it, instead of banging my head against the wall trying to solve a problem that shouldn't happen in the first place.



  • @RaulKO Went through such a thin cloud with the DA62 (which is certified for FIKI, actually). Lost quite a lot of speed due to the ice buildup, windscreen was half frozen over, and even with deice on it took 15 minutes for that ice to go away, which is ridiculous considering i spent way less than a minute in that cloud.

    @RaulKO said in Icing conditions - How do I manage it?:

    Asobo is already aware of this problem and I sincerely hope it is on the upcoming fixes list

    I think that what's on the fix list is the ability to turn it off. I think we have a long wait ahead of us until we get an icing system even remotely resembling reality.



  • Yep...welcome to trying to fly in winter season in colder climates in small GA aircraft, this is a real life problem too and nothing wrong with the Arrow.

    Can't tell you how many flight schedules we scrubbed back in college because of icing being a risk. Unless you fly a plane with FIKI system, you just don't fly if there's any chance at all of ice.



  • @sluflyer06 The icing simulation in MSFS is just bad and that is a fact.



  • @Cristi-Neagu said in Icing conditions - How do I manage it?:

    @Sender46 I don't think that actually works. I haven't tried it myself, but it is on the development bug list as not working.

    If you haven't tried it yourself what basis do you have for saying that you don't think it works? I flew with Visual Only selected last night and with a lot of icing for about 15 minutes or more it didn't have any apparent effect on the aircraft. For comparison, when I've had icing previously (without the Visual Only option) it has affected the aircraft performance very quickly. I'm not sure when that option was added, possibly as part of the last update a couple of days ago(?), but it does appear to work now for me.



  • @Sender46 said in Icing conditions - How do I manage it?:

    If you haven't tried it yourself what basis do you have for saying that you don't think it works?

    The vast number of community reports that setting it to visual only doesn't work as well as Asobo's feedback snapshot which has the off option for icing timed for sim update 4.
    https://www.flightsimulator.com/feedback-snapshot



  • @Cristi-Neagu Noted and thanks for the link. I see now that the Visual Only option has been there for a while. Seems to be a bit vague about what Asobo will actually do with icing and when.



  • @set3times said in Icing conditions - How do I manage it?:

    @sluflyer06 The icing simulation in MSFS is just bad and that is a fact.

    It is, but I'm still telling you, unless your aircraft is certified for known ice, if there is even the most remote chance of icing in the area, you just don't fly, it can be challenging to find days to fly GA planes in areas that get cold in winter, as it's frequently a problem.