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Aircraft Professionals Tackle Icing Problems During Week-Long Training at UT Space Institute

Fourteen professionals ranging from test pilots to systems engineers grappled with life or death aircraft icing conditions during a week-long course at The University of Tennessee Space Institute in mid-October.

“All attendees felt that coupling practical exercises in the ground and in-flight simulations with the lecture material greatly reinforced the learning experience,” said Richard Ranaudo, who first introduced this course at UTSI in 2004.

Individuals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Army, Raytheon Aircraft and Transport Canada participated. Following two days of formal lectures, each student received an hour training session in NASA’s Ice Contamination Effects Flight Training Device. This provided a “highly realistic simulation of aircraft handling anomalies and upset conditions,” Ranaudo, UTSI assistant research professor, said.

Twelve of the participants also received a one-hour training flight in UTSI’s variable stability aircraft, which was programmed with characteristics of NASA’s icing research aircraft when flown in actual icing conditions.

“All who attended were highly complimentary of the course and felt that it was highly beneficial to their occupations, which require an understanding of aircraft icing related problems,” added Ranaudo.

Becky Stines, director of Continuing Education at UTSI, identified those attending the course as Jason Nickel and Mark Graveson, Raytheon; Doug Ingold, Transport Canada; Marty Anderson, Jim Correia, Bill McCandless, Rick McMann, and Kim Hanks, U.S. Army; Steve Barbini, Robert Joslin, Eric Haight, John Hagan, Grant Eaton, and Andy Shaw, FAA.

Operational pilots and flight test engineers as well as test pilots and systems engineers attending are all actively involved in various aspects of aircraft testing, evaluation and certification programs, Ranaudo said.

Guest instructors from NASA Glenn Research Center, National Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Illinois, Arnold Engineering and Development Center (AEDC), U.S. Army, FAA, and UTSI provided comprehensive lectures on a wide variety of icing related topics. Their subjects included meteorology, aerodynamics, ice accretion characteristics, in-flight icing simulation, rotorcraft icing, aircraft stability and control, icing effects on aircraft handling problems, and aircraft certification requirements for icing conditions.

UTSI faculty assisting Ranaudo with the training were Stephen Corda, head of the Institute’s Aviation Systems program, and Peter Solies, associate professor.