Chris B. – Beechcraft V35B Bonanza TKS Testimonial

Chris B. lives in Toronto, Canada and flies throughout the Great Lakes, Upper Midwest and East Coast. He owns a turbo-normalized 1974 Beechcraft V35B Bonanza and recently had the inadvertent TKS Ice Protection System installed. Chris has also owned a 2005 Cessna T182T equipped with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection, which he flew for 3 years, and a 2006 Mooney M20 Bravo with FIKI certified TKS Ice Protection, which he flew for 6 years.

Chris B - Beechcraft V35B Bonanza - Lincoln Park Aviation

How did you get started in aviation?

My father was a senior engineer at De Havilland Aircraft. I grew up immersed in airplane talk, hanging around and flying in Beavers, Otters, and Twin Otters, and the like. Dad’s influence made aviation a big part of my life and that of my family. In fact my nephew—his grandson—recently graduated from captain on De Havilland Dash-8’s and Q400’s to right seat on a 767 for Air Canada. He and I fly together whenever we can. He always has something to teach his uncle!

What was the TKS installation process like?

I have nothing but good things to say about the entire experience at Lincoln Park Aviation. Frank Galella and his team were straightforward and transparent at every step, on time, accommodating of my schedule, and simply a pleasure to deal with.

The New Jersey location is a little closer to me and easier to get back and forth. Frank was very flexible on the dates and made it work for me. He predicted a finish time that was correct within about 48 hours, which was amazing, considering it was a month-long project. He worked the annual and propeller overhaul into it as well, so there was quite a lot of work to be done.

The TKS system looks like it was integrated from the blueprints and has been on the aircraft forever. The fit and finish is wonderful. There are a couple of tricky spots on the Bonanza which were covered seamlessly. The attention to detail, the touch up paint around the windshield where the spray bar had to be fitted and refinished was beautifully done. The quality of the work done is beyond merely excellent, it is essentially perfect.

Why did you choose TKS?

It was the only ice protection system available for the Cessna 182 and Mooney that I owned. Having flown with the system, I have a lot of comfort in its ability to protect against ice accretion and a variety of different kinds of icing which includes large droplet and runback situations.

The main thing is that it protects the whole airfoil.  For me it’s very reassuring to see the fluid streaming back across the flying surface of the wing, knowing that not just the leading edge but the flying surface is also protected. With boots, you can see leading edge ice building and take steps to address that, but I think where people can get fooled is missing the development of runback icing, which can be just as critical as leading edge icing.  I also like the fact that the combination of the spray from the prop and the windshield spray bar tends to clear the entire windshield. On the 182, the windshield spray only came from the prop. But both the Mooney and Bonanza have dedicated windshield spray bars. Combined with the prop spray, you can clear most of windshield; you’re not looking through a small plate that may not be where you want to look. It changes the visual game a lot. You don’t lose your field of view.

What does TKS do for your mission?

The TKS system has made the mission predictable. Granted, in a single-engine piston aircraft I’m not going to depart into known icing regardless of whether a system is FIKI or not. But known icing is relatively infrequent; having TKS protection has made me comfortable flying in potential icing where, in combination with turbo-charging, I can pick my cruise altitude. With the very large fluid reservoirs in the Mooney and Bonanza, the airplane maintains normal aerodynamic wing and propeller performance to escape icing conditions by climbing or descending. Whereas in an unprotected or non-turbocharged aircraft, the last thing one should try is to out-climb ice. So turbocharging plus TKS makes for a very functional combination, and I don’t often have to cancel trips due to ice.

Have you had any memorable experiences in icing with TKS?

I’ve never been in ice that overwhelmed the system. In a retractable gear airplane, if the TKS system is working, the signs that you’re in icing conditions are more subtle than you might have flying an unprotected wing, a wing with boots where the ice builds between boot cycles, or even in a high wing fixed gear plane where ice visibly accumulates on the gear. The system is so good you just don’t see much; you do see some frosting or a thin layer of slush on the leading edge of the aircraft’s wing, but not much else. I’m also quite liberal with system use and haven’t been put in a position where I’ve had to use it to de-ice. If I’m flying into visible moisture and it is colder than 4 degrees C, I turn the system on. Essentially, I turn it on when I turn on the pitot heat.

Additional comments

My first airplane with the TKS system was a Cessna T182T. It was installed when your company was in Salina, Kansas. Great install. The system was more limited because of the smaller reservoir, the absence of a windshield spray bar, and the inherently lower performance of the 182. But it was an airplane that I didn’t try to use predictably in the winter.

I then got a Mooney Bravo that had FIKI certified TKS (Flight Into Known Icing) installed at delivery of the aircraft, and flew that until about three years ago. I got used to a different level of performance in the Mooney, and to a new level of predictability flying with the FIKI  system. I had many encounters with light ice, and a few with moderate ice over the years, all handled very nicely by the Mooney system.

With the Bonanza I realized that the TKS system wasn’t going to be FIKI but felt that I had enough flexibility with my travel dates and times that I could manage with a robust non-FIKI system. The Bonanza system is about as robust as you can get without being FIKI— a very big 7 gallon reservoir, a separate windshield pump, and in a retractable with an airframe, wing and useful load that’s inherently forgiving.

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George Yundt – TKS Testimonial

George Yundt lives outside of Chicago in the upper Midwest. He has owned two Cirrus SR22s and a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza with TKS Ice Protection. George has also flown in Beechcraft Barons equipped with FIKI certified TKS, and was a corporate pilot in the Hawker 125 during the 1970s.

How did you get started in aviation?

I was 12 years old in Atlanta, Georgia. A neighbor across the street bought a Piper Tri-Pacer known as the flying milk stool. He had a business trip and took me from Atlanta to Birmingham, Alabama to see my grandparents. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. I was the 14-year-old kid who hung on the airport fence and said, “Hey, mister! I’ll wash your airplane if you’ll give me a ride.” That’s how I got my early flying experience—washing and waxing airplanes. By the way, I soloed on my 16th birthday. Private on my 17th. Commercial on my 18th. My certified flight instructor one week later. And I got my airline transport pilot on my 23rd birthday. All of those were minimum age ratings. Next year I will have had a flight instructor’s rating for 50 years.

Why did you choose TKS?

Particularly on an airplane with a well-designed system, TKS works better than anything else, period. It really does a superior job of ice removal and ice formation prevention.

What does TKS do for your mission?

Other than SLD flying when the SIGMET for heavy icing is out, the TKS system has allowed me to operate single and twin engine aircraft and complete the trip confidently and safely.

Have you had any memorable experiences with TKS?

Flying from Chicago to St. Paul I encountered severe icing. Every time I changed frequency, an airline pilot would pipe up and say, “What’s that little guy doing on a day like today?” The fact of the matter is I was in a Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) airplane, and it did a wonderful job of keeping the plane ice-free. I landed and was really proud of the plane doing as well as it did. The wing and all of the protected surfaces remained completely ice-free. The wing tips had about five inches of ice. From the leading edge to the slinger ring on the prop, TKS kept nearly every square inch of the airplane ice-free. Absolutely amazing.

The icing that day was so much worse than what was forecast. It was a triple inversion. Before takeoff I primed the system and, sure enough, within a minute or two in the clouds the switch was back on. When I’m flying my airplane, or flying somebody else’s, I run the system for a while to make sure it’s primed for the whole length of the wing. I’ll see it oozing out and assume if it’s doing that then the tail surfaces are working good too. Of course you can see it on the windshield with the splatter from the propeller slinger ring. I took it all the way from the surface to 16,000 feet trying to find a place in-between where I could slow down the ice accretion. The TKS system handled everything that Mother Nature threw at it, beautifully and successfully.

How do other ice protection systems compare to TKS?

I can guarantee you that if there was such a thing as pneumatic boots for a Cirrus it wouldn’t have worked for that encounter. I’ve also flown in two Barons with TKS. If they had pneumatic boots that weren’t in good shape, I would question going. I’ve flown a number of airplanes with pneumatic boots where the ice was not fully shed. You had big sections of the wing where the ice was still adhering. Not only was it ugly, it caused a lot of concern.

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Carl Rossi – Columbia 400 + Socata Trinidad TKS Testimonial

Carl Rossi lives in San Diego, California. He primarily flies throughout the West, Pacific Northwest, Upper Midwest and Canada in his 2006 Columbia 400 with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection. Previously, Carl owned and flew a 1990 SOCATA TB-21 Trinidad with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection. He has flown TKS equipped aircraft for over 22 years.

Carl Rossi - Columbia 400

How did you get started in aviation?

When I was a little kid, I would watch airplanes takeoff and land at the airport. That’s the way most of us got started.

Why did you choose TKS?

For the TB-21, I was looking for some type of icing solution. The airplane actually came with a TKS prop. That’s how SOCATA shipped the aircraft. I read about the various icing solutions that were available and wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of putting boots on the plane. So I contacted AS&T [now CAV Ice Protection]. It was the first installation your company had done on a TB-21. Getting ahead of myself, I was very happy with the TKS system.

As far as the Columbia goes, that experience was a little bit different. The aircraft was ordered with EVADE, which was the trade name for the Kelly Aerospace electric system for knocking off the ice. That system had some issues with development to the point that when the aircraft was delivered in 2007, it did not have any anti-icing equipment on it at all. Columbia said they were going to hold off on installing the Kelly Aerospace system until some of the problems were worked out.

Over the next several months, the updates went from holding off on shipping the system until the bugs were worked out to giving a choice of either having the system when they got it working or have TKS installed. From hearing a lot about the electric system, it seemed like it was one problem after another. Since I was already familiar with TKS, I chose to have the TKS system installed. Unfortunately, the installation was delayed because that was right about the time when Columbia was going Chapter 11. Cessna installed the TKS kit on the airplane once that was resolved.

What does TKS do for your mission?

It gives me more peace of mind that if conditions aren’t as forecast, I have something I can do about it. It’s a very useful system. Does it increase the utility of the plane? Absolutely. The next step for me would be to go with a FIKI certified TKS system.

Any truly memorable experiences in icing?

I had one particular experience in the Trinidad. This was Labor Day weekend, September 1995. I was departing Bozeman and flying to California. It was a typical summer day in the northern Rockies. There was no forecast for icing, no AIRMETs or anything. I ended up getting into some orographically lifted clouds to the southwest of the airport. At 18,000 feet the plane started picking up ice, which in retrospect was probably SLD. I did two things; turned the system on and asked for a climb. It was extremely satisfying to see the ice build up—which in the span of a minute was ½ to ¾ of an inch—and slide off the wings as the fluid began to come out. It did what it needed to do. That was extremely gratifying.

There have been a number of occasions over the years where I would be on a route where the MEA was relatively high for a short time, and other aircraft that are operating in the same area, also IFR, complain about ice and want to go lower. They are then told they can’t because they’re at MEA, and that’s the best you’re going to get. You hear their stress level rise as they’re trying to get through it. I look out the window and think, big deal, right? The system is working just fine, and I’m a lot more comfortable, a lot more relaxed than I would be if I was stressing over not having any system on the plane at all.

How do other ice protection systems compare to TKS?

In-between the Trinidad and the Columbia, one of the planes I had was a Malibu Mirage, which is another fantastic airplane. But my subjective impression was that the boot system on that aircraft did not work as well keeping ice off the airframe as the TKS system did on the Trinidad.

Whenever I would fire the boots, it always sounded like an old-style player piano with the hissing and the noise. The vacuum pumps were relatively expensive items to replace when they rolled over and died, which wasn’t that unusual. There was an occasion when the boots on the horizontal stabilizer were not working. A pneumatic fitting failed, even though everything annunciated back in the cockpit. The problem wasn’t discovered for a few months.

I like the simplicity of TKS. That’s certainly a virtue in airplanes, to keep things simple. As I mentioned earlier, it seemed to do a better job in keeping the airframe clear than the boots. You don’t have concerns about runback ice like you do with boots. However, it is a consumable. You have to be aware of that, especially when you’re traveling.

Additional comments

Virtually every manufacturer in the GA market that has gone FIKI (Flight Into Known Icing) has used TKS Ice Protection. The SR22, TTx, DA42, DA62, Quest, the Caravans, etc. They haven’t used EVADE and they haven’t used boots. So what does that tell you? It’s a simple system that works. It doesn’t get much simpler than having a pump in the line and everything else being pretty passive. Certainly you can get leaks in the fittings and whatever, but the reality is that it’s a lot less complex than its competitors. The only part I have had to order in ten years is a replacement filter.

Having TKS doesn’t make you bulletproof by any stretch of the imagination, though it does certainly add utility, and it’s one less thing you have to be quite as concerned about.

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Paul Johnson – Beechcraft A36 Bonanza TKS Testimonial

Paul Johnson lives in Wisconsin and flies throughout the Upper Midwest, Northwest and Southeast regions. He owns a 1973 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza equipped with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection, which he has been flying for over 7 years.

Paul J Beechcraft Bonanza A36 NoN

How did you get started in aviation?

In 1978, I obtained my private license in Virginia. Currently I have commercial multi-instrument with seaplane and glider/motorglider ratings.

Why did you choose TKS?

Living in Wisconsin, icing is common at least six months a year. I have always tried to err on the side of safety to avoid getting into an inadvertent icing situation without a backup plan. TKS has provided that backup plan on several occasions, including one memorable flight to Milwaukee in February that resulted in preventing ice buildup on all treated surfaces, while more than a quarter-inch accumulated during the approach on untreated surfaces.

What does TKS do for your mission?

It only takes one experience to realize the potential lifesaving benefits of having TKS onboard at all times.

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Roger Florkiewicz – Cessna 206 TKS Testimonial

Roger Florkiewicz lives in the northwest Indiana and primarily flies throughout the Midwest, Upper Midwest and East Coast. He owns a 2011 Cessna T206H equipped with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection, which he has been flying for over 9 years.

Roger F Cessna 206 001 NoN

How did you get started in aviation?

I have been flying since 1992 and got my instrument rating in 1994. Flying for business is my primary use of the pilot certificate, other than flying to Oshkosh every year.

My first flight was at seven years old flying to Eagle River, Wisconsin for vacation. My dad got hurt at work and asked his friend Charles, who owned a Cessna 182, to take me and my older brother up to my uncle’s cabin so we wouldn’t miss our vacation. My mom, dad and younger brother ended up driving a couple of days later after they heard how excited we were to be there, and how amazing it was that our flight cut six hours off the normal eight hour-long drive. I was hooked ever since that flight. Once I built my house and saved some money, I got it done.

Why did you choose TKS?

My wife and I wanted to better take care of my daughter who receives outpatient treatment at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. We saw the TKS system at Oshkosh and thought, not only does it make sense that we can make more promises to customers and have specific dates, I would also have the ability to save the wear and tear of commercial flights on my wife and daughter from the personal side. We really had both aspects of it together.

What does TKS do for your mission?

We use it every time we fly in the winter, always on deice mode. Once I get into the clouds I would turn on the anti-ice, but I’ve seen ice build so quickly. With a 7.5 gallon tank, I know that I have a good hour-and-a-half of fluid. So if I’m building up any ice, I will turn my pitot heat on and turn on the deice mode. I don’t mind going through an extra 10 or 20 gallons per year if I need to. I want that belt and suspenders, the rubber safety mat and all the extra things I can get.

In deice mode, you can see the fluid flowing like a shower head and draining back on the wing panels. The prop slinger works great and covers most of the fuselage. Only on a few occasions have I ever used the windshield spray bar. That was generally to blow off a bit of the atomized spray the glycol seems to want to keep in perfectly small droplets. Sometimes I’ll turn the spray bar on to get the streaks again so I can see a little more clearly for landing.

We’ve come to the conclusion that there is no way we would ever buy another plane without deice capability. There’s no doubt in my mind that the planes I’ve flown with boots versus TKS, the TKS is far superior in every shape and form.

There are times that we’ve carried the trade for fuel and the trade for passengers. Now we also trade off passengers for the TKS. There’s times where I’ll tell people now, “Sorry, four people.” My colleagues will have two 30-pound laptop bags. We will fly with three people and the two laptop bags or four people and no laptops, because I’ve got the 120 or so pounds of safety in the back. With the nose heaviness of the 206, having that extra weight in the tail works out well. It makes a much better angle of approach for that greased in landing.

Having TKS gives me the feeling that inadvertent icing is not going to be an impossible thing to get through. There are days where I still say, “Nope. It’s not going to be any better.” But I knew what I could carry before from an ice standpoint. Having extra horsepower from the turbo in front of me with the 206 always gives a good feeling. I know I have an exit plan if I run into things, which is to get down, get between layers or get up above it.

Additional comments

In my head, I always thought that TKS would involve major surgery. You buy TKS with a new plane, you don’t add it later. The big realization was that when I came over and actually saw the construction of the panels, saw the cross-sections and how it was done, there wasn’t a cutaway of my entire leading edge. You find out that the panels are basically glued on with a PRC bead. Then we got more into the details, for example, how you adjust flow controls. With TKS it’s already done–balanced and set up, and you’re turning on a switch.

The simplicity of the system is what really struck me as one of the greatest things. You don’t have that fear of the ice. And you also don’t have that fear of “Am I doing something wrong? How complex can it be?” If I’m flying IFR and I’m in icing, trying to find the closest airport to get out of it, I don’t want a bunch of Wizard of Oz levers and knobs turning and flowing. It just needs to be there. Thankfully, it is that easy. It just works.

The cost of the system looks like a scary investment compared to the glitz and glamor of new flat panel displays, traffic monitoring, weather reporting or those type of things. But the utility that you get with TKS as far as an investment gives you such peace of mind.

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Ken L. – Beechcraft G36 Bonanza FIKI TKS Testimonial

Ken L. lived in Rochester, New York and now lives in Florida. Before moving in 2015, he primarily flew throughout the Great Lakes, Upper Midwest, East Coast and Canada. Ken owns a 2007 Beechcraft G36 Bonanza equipped with a Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) TKS Ice Protection System, which he operated in the northern United States for 4 years. The airplane is the first G36 that was FIKI certified.

Ken L Beechcraft G36 Bonanza FIKI NoN

How did you get started in aviation?

I started at an engineering college. They had an aviation ground school. That sounded like an interesting use of an elective that I had. In college I got my license and flew for a couple of years. There was a 20-year gap before I started flying again. In addition to personal trips, I use my airplane for business purposes.

Why did you choose TKS?

I wanted known ice certification. TKS was really the only readily available option for the Bonanza. The certification process was being talked about, so that was an easy path. Beyond it being the easy route, I was aware of some of the aspects of boots–the pros and cons associated with them. One of the things that always stuck with me was the TKS system. The spray off the propeller washes back over the windshield. It helps clean off the antennas as well. I don’t know about you, but if you’re flying along in IMC and you’ve got ice, now all of a sudden you’ve got something going on with your antennas, which affects your ability to communicate. That’s just making a bad situation even worse.

What does TKS do for your mission?

Expanded the portion of the year when I could use the aircraft. Around the same time, I also installed an engine block heater. Between the engine block heater and the TKS, it opened up the ability to plan and schedule flights for the winter, spring and fall in the northern United States. I don’t have exact numbers on utilization, but if you looked at some kind of time expansion of utilization, maybe 20-25%.

Any memorable experiences in icing with TKS? 

I do remember one flight where I had to choose between going higher or get out of the clouds but pick up tremendous headwinds, or stay in the clouds with some light icing. I didn’t think the icing condition was a danger. Of course you don’t want it to build up. So I ran the TKS system on low for an hour or so. In that case, in allowed me to stay at lower altitude where winds were more favorable.

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