FAA: Smooth Frost May Not Be OK

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The FAA has proposed to change its regulations regarding operations with "polished frost" on an aircraft's flying surfaces ... just in time for summer. Frost polished to make it smooth would no longer be permitted as the FAA has determined it poses a threat to safe flight. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) officially applies to parts 125, 135, and certain part 91 operations. Though the FAA previously recommended that aircraft manufacturers could offer recommended procedures for polishing frost, no current manufacturer has issued any recommendations for polishing or operating with polished frost, and the FAA stipulates that "polished frost" is an "ambiguous" term. Plus, the FAA has correlated at least 11 accidents with circumstances involving individuals who crashed shortly after takeoff after attempting to smooth frost on the aircraft's flying surfaces. According to the FAA, nine of the 11 accidents would not have been prevented by the newly proposed rule because those accident aircraft were not operating under regulations that would be affected by the proposed rule.

The FAA is seeking comments and welcomes them prior to August 7, 2008. You may send comments identified by docket number FAA-2007-29281 at www.Regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.