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January 2024 EZNews

Updated: Jan 4

Hello and thanks for reading the 33rd edition of EZNews!

Happy New Year! We really appreciate those that have recently joined, renewed their annual membership or signed up for auto-renewal. A special shout out goes out to Butch M. who renewed his membership for $75 this past month. We truly appreciate your generosity which helps support our continued innovation and growth moving forward.

For members new to EZWxBrief, you won't find EZWxBrief in the App Store or Google Play Store. For the best user experience, EZWxBrief is optimized to run as a progressive web app (PWA) and must be installed on your device which takes less than 10 seconds per device. Follow the link to the blog post above or see the 140+ page Pilots Guide for more information on how to install EZWxBrief as a PWA on all of your devices. Also check out our playlist on YouTube for some helpful videos on how to use the various features found in EZWxBrief.

Weather Essentials for Pilots class now full!

Thanks to those who registered for this unique aviation weather class. The class is now full and we are looking forward to getting this class started. We are looking to add a more advanced aviation weather class in the fall. If you are interested in taking this class, send us an email and we'll remind you when that class is open for registration in the fall.

For those that have registered for the class that starts on January 8th, you should have received an email with a link to the Google Meet session. If not, please contact us so we can get you that link.

"Who's who in Aviation & Weather" YouTube series continues...

We had a great time chatting with John Zimmerman of Sporty's in our latest "Who's Who in Aviation & Weather" series. You can view this 30 minute video with John. John is perhaps one of most knowledgeable pilots when it comes to weather planning and flies both fixed wing and helicopters including a glider and sea plane rating. He is also the editor-in-chief for the Air Facts Journal and he has his own podcast called Pilot's Discretion.

This new YouTube program will bring you the latest news and insights from the top minds in the aviation and weather industries. With a focus on weather, each month we'll feature interviews with leading experts on topics such as air traffic control, flight safety, forecasting, flight instruction and more. We'll also explore the latest trends and developments in these fields, and provide you with the information you need to stay ahead of the learning curve. So join us every four to six weeks as we explore the latest news and trends in these two fascinating industries.

Stay tuned for our next live program on Friday, January 5th at 12:30 pm EST. We are very excited to be talking with Max Trescott of Aviation News Talk to chat with him about training in glass cockpits. Max has been a flight instructor for over two decades and was the 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year. He has written two books and uses a narrative approach to explaining the G3000 and G5000 from a pilot's perspective in ways that both beginners and experts can understand. He's a wealth of knowledge and has a humble attitude about flying in weather.

On the schedule for this year, we'll be talking with Julie Boatman editor-in-chief of FLYING magazine on Thursday, February 8th at 2 pm EST to get her perspective on how the media plays a roll in the aviation industry. We'll also be talking with other industry experts this year to include Rod Machado and Mark Robidoux of

> How to watch <

The program will be hosted live on EZWxBrief's YouTube channel. If you cannot attend live, the episodes are recorded and will become available on the same channel shortly after the live broadcast ends. You can also find them in the Who's Who in Aviation & Weather playlist. The exact date and time for future episodes will be announced through this blog and will appear on the EZWxBrief YouTube community page.

EZWxBrief was selected for the SUN 'n FUN Innovation Showcase

Are you going to SUN 'n FUN this year in Lakeland, Florida? If so, then drop by and say hello. We are excited to tell you that EZWxBrief has been selected to be one of the elite exhibitors of the Innovation Showcase for 2024. This means that EZWxBrief will be highlighted as a product that has contributed to safety within the aviation community for its unique and innovative approach to preflight planning. We will also be holding multiple presentations at the Future ‘n Flight Forums tent that is reserved exclusively for Innovation Showcase exhibitors. We will also be participating in the Innovation Preview Program on Tuesday, April 9th.

New TAF service for KRGA - Central Kentucky Regional Airport

Effective Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at 1800Z, the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Louisville, KY will begin TAF service for KRGA - Central Kentucky Regional Airport, in Richmond, Kentucky. After that date, routine and updated TAFs will be issued for this airport between the hours of 1200Z and 0000Z daily.

What is mixed icing?

There are three icing types that pilots are asked to report. These include rime, clear and mixed. What icing type accretes on your airframe depends on many environmental factors. Let’s briefly discuss each of these factors as it relates to the type of icing. 

Rime icing is that rough, milky or opaque ice that is typically formed by the rapid freezing of supercooled liquid water drops. The rapid freezing helps to allow air to be trapped inside the ice, making it appear whiter. If you grew up with an old freezer that required regular defrosting, that ice buildup in the freezer is similar to the appearance of rime ice.

First and foremost, rime icing is most common when temperatures are relatively cold, allowing the freezing process to occur rapidly. Small drop environments also tend to help with rapid freezing as do low liquid water contents. One place that this tends to occur is in stratiform clouds because the drops tend to be small and the water content tends to be low. But even in these clouds, if the temperatures are close enough to freezing, or the water content or drop size increases a bit, the icing could become more mixed or even clear.

Keep in mind that the colder it gets, the more and more likely it is that any ice you’d accrete would be rime. Remember, these are just tendencies; there’s no guarantee of what kind of ice you’ll get based solely on temperature or the type of cloud. There are many factors come into play.

Clear icing is a glossy, clear or translucent ice formed by the relatively slow freezing of supercooled liquid water drops. This tends to occur in clouds with a high liquid water content and larger drops with rapid accretion like you might find in a cumulus cloud.  Clear ice also tends to occur at temperatures a few degrees below freezing and occurs with freezing precipitation such as freezing rain and freezing drizzle. 

Moreover, larger drops such as found in freezing rain and freezing drizzle tend to exist at warmer subfreezing temperatures. Studies have shown that freezing rain only exists down to about -12 degrees Celsius, while freezing drizzle can exist at much colder temperatures, sometimes as cold as -23 degrees Celsius. However, the frequency of freezing rain and freezing drizzle drops off sharply with decreasing temperature. In flight programs suggest that the colder the situation, the smaller the drops tend to be.

Mixed icing can be thought of as a transition between clear and rime icing. Another way to get mixed icing is to fly through multiple icing situations, some that produce ice that’s more on the rime end of the spectrum and others that produce ice that’s more on the clear end of the spectrum. The overlap of these types of ice can give it a mixed look. For mixed icing to build on its own, it comes down to that energy balance. If you’re somewhere between the energy balances that form rime ice and clear ice, then the resulting icing can have characteristics of both types.

Perhaps the most common occurrence of accreting mixed icing is during a climb or descent. For example, as the aircraft climbs, it may initially be accreting clear ice due to warmer a warmer temperature, but as the temperatures get colder in the climb, rime ice begins to accrete over the clear ice creating that mixed look. Essentially the altitude change takes the aircraft through multiple icing environments over a given set of time.

As shown in the pie chart above, rime is definitely the most common type that is reported by pilots. The reason rime ice is so common is because it occurs over a broad range of environmental conditions. Clear ice, on the other hand, occurs over a much narrower range of conditions, so it is observed less frequently. Mixed ice can be thought of as a transition from rime ice to clear ice, also occurring over a narrow range of conditions, so it is also relatively uncommon. 

Pilots are encouraged to report the type of icing they encounter. So, understanding where these types accumulate on the airframe can help you provide the best report. Rime icing tends to be closer to the leading edges, thanks to the rapid freezing process. It’s the reason most ice protection systems are located on the leading edges of the airframe where rime ice generally accumulates. Clear ice tends to extend farther back on the wing’s surface and sometimes well beyond the leading edge. These are generalities that hold true a lot of the time, but there are exceptions especially as the complexity of the icing environment increases.

Making a good pilot weather report (PIREP) as it relates to airframe ice is critical. Reporting ice during a climb or descent without reporting the altitudes that you witnessed ice accretion is not helpful. Instead, provide the icing type along with the altitude range where icing was experienced. And, if you make an icing report be prepared to also provide the outside air temperature…since it’s a required anytime you report ice.

The PIREP shown above from the EZWxBrief progressive web app is an example of a good icing report. The pilot of a Cessna 208 reported light, clear rime ice with a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. But the remark in the report is the key. The remark (RMK) of LGT CLEAR ICING 051-031 suggests that ice accretion was witnessed between 5,100 and 3,100 feet MSL. About the only improvement I could suggest is to mention whether the icing was in a cloud or in precipitation.

EZWxBrief version two update

We hoped to have EZWxBrief v2.0 completed by the end of fall 2023. But it appears that the release won't likely happen until the middle or end of February at the earliest. We are testing some major upgrades that that the NWS made to a few of their products that are used by the EZWxBrief route-based algorithms in v2.0. These changes require additional modifications to the new app (they should not affect the current version). Once we've thoroughly tested the app with these changes, we will release v2.0 at that time. We appreciate your patience and look forward to showing the world EZWxBrief v2.0.

Most pilots are weatherwise, but some are otherwise™

Dr. Scott Dennstaedt

Weather Systems Engineer

Founder, EZWxBrief™

CFI & former NWS meteorologist

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