Deicing in Dallas



The aircraft in the distance is being deiced at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport Thursday morning. You can see the part-glycol fluid somewhat pooled on the aircraft. I took this photo from inside the aircraft that was next in line to be deiced. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Yesterday I flew from Dallas to Minneapolis to Des Moines. After boarding Delta’s Embraer 175 (twin-jet) at DFW, passengers were told that our aircraft needed to be deiced. It had picked up ice en route from Detroit to Dallas earlier yesterday.

The following is a video* of one wing being deiced. I’m wondering how many gallons of deicing fluid were needed for just this one wing, and how much fluid in total for this aircraft.

A pilot friend told me tonight that in 2001 he had a Beach King Air deiced. The King Air was an approximately 10-seat plane with a wingspan of approximately 50 feet. It had severe icing about 1/2 inch thick. In 2001 the cost for deicing the thick ice on his small aircraft was $3,000…300 gallons of deicing fluid at $10/gallon. If there had been just frost on the wings, the deicing cost would have been much less.

So…that was $3,000 in 2001 to deice a small aircraft. With deicing fluid prices being higher** a decade later in 2011, just think how astounding the cost of deicing must be on aircraft with much larger surface areas (i.e., huge jets) than the Beach King Air.

I want to get this posted tonight, so am not taking the time to research about different types of deicing fluid. However, some basic information about different types of fluids is included in this 2001 article.

*I am wondering if the drain-looking circle in the concrete at the lower right of the video is part of some sort of deicing fluid recapture system. DFW has dedicated deicing pads. The aircraft I was in departed the terminal and was deiced at one of these pads before taking off.

**according to a few online forums

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


4 Responses to “Deicing in Dallas”

  1. Marti Gunderson Carlson Says:

    Very interesting. Glad I didn’t have to travel during this recent storm.

  2. Clara Hoover Says:

    Louise, I’m glad to know you’re home. Listening to the weather reports from Dallas had me wondering if you’d be able to leave. I doubted you’d be able to go home on the schedule you planned.

    When we flew to Tampa, we sat in our plane (in Omaha) while it was deiced. What I saw out the window is exactly what your video shows. Before the deicing started, the pilot told us this would occur. He also mentioned we might smell a “sweet” odor in the air system, but nothing was harmful. I don’t recall smelling anything.

    The cost is amazing–not the cost per gallon, but the overall cost for one large plane–and the nultiply that by the number of planes that needed to be deiced.

    And, finally, I needed some deicer Monday when my car windows were covered with ice.

  3. Says:

    Why didn’t you stay in Dallas for the Game? Glenn

  4. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Glenn: Well there’s that little thing I needed….called a ticket! It would have been pretty awesome to have been there, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: