Wayne Hilterbrand lives in Utah, commutes to Salem, Oregon and occasionally makes trips to California and Nevada. He owns a 1982 Mooney M20K that is equipped with No-Hazard TKS Ice Protection, which he has been flying for over 5 years.
How did you get started in aviation?
I always wanted to learn how to fly. While working in Upstate New York, every day when driving home I would pass by the airport and think, “I should learn how to fly.” One day I stopped by the airport, and the next day I was learning how to fly. A lot of it though had to do with my father. He was a pilot who instilled that interest in me.
Why did you choose TKS?
Honestly, it came with the plane when I bought it. I do have to say that choosing to purchase this airplane was a big driving force for me because it had TKS. Even though it’s a non-FIKI system, I have that margin of safety in inadvertent encounters with ice. To me that’s something invaluable.
What does TKS do for your mission?
I commute back and forth from Salt Lake City to my business in Salem, Oregon quite frequently. Using my airplane as a commuter, TKS is extremely valuable. It gives me a whole lot more confidence. You never know when you’re going to hit inadvertent ice. It’s happened to me between 8-12 times. Even though there was minimal or no forecast ice, and no pilot reports of ice, I started picking up ice. I flipped the on switch and five minutes later the ice was all gone. TKS gives me the peace of mind knowing that if I do run into inadvertent ice, I’m a whole lot safer than if I didn’t have the system.
If I know that I’m going to be flying in visible moisture and subfreezing conditions, I will get the system rolling before takeoff. If I know I’m hitting that kind of weather later in the flight, I’ll prime the system in the air to make sure everything is working and functional. That was one of the things my instructor taught me. You want to be proactive.