Flying is very common, but most people donâ??t think about how much effort is put into preparing your flight. Everybody involved in flight preparation, from the flight crew down to the baggage handlers, needs to be very precise and thorough to make sure that every plane has a safe trip. In the winter, this means deicing is a big deal.
â??Icing on an airplane does nothing good. It adds weight to the airplane, which, if an airplane gets to a certain weight, itâ??s not going to fly. It also reduces the lift of the wings. So youâ??ve got two things going against you there,â?? said Dave Petrovich of the National Weather Service in Marquette.
Deicing fluid is a mixture of chemicals that is sprayed onto the plane just before takeoff. If a plane sits too long after the fluid has been sprayed, the plane may need to deice again because the fluid becomes less effective.
This was a problem in the Air Florida Flight 90 crash in 1982, although other factors, such as slush on the runway, played a role in the accident as well.
At bigger airports, such as Detroit Metro or Chicago Oâ??Hare, workers take care of one job for the entire day. However at Sawyer, the same person that checks you in, helps load baggage onto the plane and even helps deice.
â??Marquette County residents are very fortunate to have such a dedicated staff at their airport that are willing to go the extra mile,â?? said Duane Duray, Manager of Sawyer International Airport.
Having a dedicated staff is only half of the battle if the staff can only work as fast as the equipment allows.
â??The equipment is equally affected by the cold weather. It takes a little longer to do things; the metal is a little more brittle, youâ??re more likely to damage or break the equipment if you push it too hard in this weather,â?? Duray said.
So the next time you fly, make sure you bring a little patience with you in the cold weather.