Aaron Marshall – Beechcraft Bonanza TKS Testimonial

Aaron Marshall lives in Wisconsin and flies throughout the United States. He owns a 1990 Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection.

Aaron and his father have been flying TKS equipped Bonanzas for over 20 years. He previously owned a 2004 Beechcraft F33 Bonanza and a 1993 Beechcraft Bonanza. His father also owns and flies a Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection.

Aaron Marshall - Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza.jpg

How did you get started in aviation?

My dad is a pilot, and my parents both had a recreational pilot’s license. From the time I was little, I was always flying with them. I started taking lessons in high school. When I got out of college, instead of buying a car I got a 1948 Cessna 170. I bought a North American T-6 Texan and flew that for a while. Then I bought an Arrow and a Bonanza. Now we have two Bonanzas and a Stearman, and I have a T-6 with a friend of mine. I’ve always been into aviation for fun and use it some for business as well.

Why did you choose TKS?

Because of where I live, I wanted to be able to use the airplane year-round and not have to worry about not making a trip or canceling a trip because of inadvertent icing. You don’t want to get into icing if you don’t have any ice protection. If you don’t have ice protection, you end up not using the airplane half the year.

My dad had a 1993 Bonanza with the older TKS stainless steel mesh panels. I flew the plane for about 200 hours and really grew to not be able to live without the TKS. I had a T-6, sold that, bought a Bonanza and immediately had the TKS system installed. Then I sold that about 4 years ago and bought the Bonanza turboprop. Luckily it already had the TKS system, otherwise I would have put it on. I’ve had TKS since the late 90s.

What does TKS do for your mission?

In Wisconsin, I definitely want TKS from late October through early April. I’ve been going back and forth to California and have run into ice in May over the Rockies. Unless it’s June, July or August, around the Sierra Nevada mountains I go around the south. Going through the Sierra Nevada is just not worth it. That area has some really nasty convection with the moisture. Going out West, ice protection is a year-round requirement. You always have the threat of ice. I wouldn’t bother owning a traveling airplane like the Bonanza without TKS.

Aaron Marshall - Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza - Propeller.jpg

Any truly memorable experiences in icing with TKS?

I’ve had enough ice to take antennas off a few times. Other than seeing some ice from the cones of the tip tanks, you don’t realize how much ice you have because the wings, tail and propeller are clean. The TKS works so good that the amount of ice you’re collecting on the unprotected areas can be deceiving. On a Bonanza, everything important is protected. Unless the conditions are really bad, ice doesn’t even accumulate. If ice does accumulate, it quickly turns to slush and flies off. TKS gives a peace of mind, particularly because when you do need to use the system, you can tell it’s working really well.

Additional comments

The STC for my airplane requires a heated propeller. I just got a five-bladed MT which is very nice, but it is not compatible with the slinger ring. I really liked having the slinger ring on the F33 Bonanza because you would hardly ever need to use the windshield spray bar. On the Bonanza I have now, I use it quite often.

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Scott Marshall - Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza.jpg

David H. – Mooney M20R FIKI TKS Testimonial

David H. lives in California and primarily flies within the West Coast. He owns a 2005 Mooney M20R with Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) certified TKS Ice Protection, which he has flown for 7 years.

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How did you get started in aviation?

When I was 16, one of my mom’s friends took me up in an airplane and gave me the controls. It was then that I said I’m definitely going to learn to fly. About 10 years later I did.

Why did you choose TKS?

Because I had flown many, many times in conditions where I was grounded for several days on a trip across the country. Other days when I really wanted to go somewhere I couldn’t go. So I decided that if I ever purchase an airplane I’m going to get one with FIKI. That was really the only option for the Mooney Ovation, which is the airplane I decided I wanted.

What does TKS do for your mission?

It enables me to fly on days where I otherwise would not fly. Southern California in particular does not have very extreme weather, but we do have a lot of overcast days in the winter where the freezing level is low. Without FIKI it would be illegal and unsafe to fly through an overcast layer to get up on top and to get to my destination. That’s primarily how I use it. I don’t usually choose to find and fly through the ice. I try to get through layers as quickly as I can and stay out of it. It has enabled me to take more missions than I would have been able to in the past.

Have you had any memorable experiences in icing with TKS?

Yes, I do. As I say, in southern California, because we don’t have a lot of days of ice, the ones that we do have do stand out. I was flying from northern California to southern California, coming back from a film shoot, and we were in and out of fairly moist clouds, ice forming clouds. You could see areas of ice around the landing lights. The wings were almost completely clear of ice with the TKS working. It was pretty impressive, and it’s a great feeling to know things were working well.

Another time, I was going up to northern California again. A lot of aircraft were diverting. People were reporting ice accumulation. I had the TKS on and could definitely see ice on the landing lights, but I was not accumulating any ice on the protected surfaces. I saw a tiny bit on the leading edges that the TKS was easily able to handle. Other people were reporting moderate ice. I would say there was a quarter-of-an-inch, maybe a half an inch of rime ice.

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Ed Haines – Beechcraft A36 Bonanza TKS Testimonial

Ed Haines lives in Michigan and is the previous owner of a 1986 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza equipped with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection, which he flew for over 10 years.

Ed Haines - Beechcraft A36 Bonanza Non

How did you get started in aviation?

I did drilling and oil consulting for a major oil and gas exploration company in Traverse City. They had a Beechcraft Baron, Cessna Conquest, a helicopter, and a 1979 Cessna 172. With one-and-a-half hours of training, they sold the 172 to me for about $16,000 and I started flying lessons.

Why did you choose TKS?

Although boots are an option, I didn’t really see any other option than TKS. I studied the system pretty good and saw the guys on Beechtalk really liked it. I had the TN system installed at Tornado Alley Turbo in Oklahoma and while there decided to have TKS installed right after. The turbo-normalizer and TKS are hand-in-hand systems. If you have a turbo-normalized system and don’t have TKS, you’re wasting your money somewhere.

What does TKS do for your mission?

Traverse City can be gloomy for about 4 months. A lot of the time that’s only in the first 2,000 feet and you’re up in blue sky. But if you don’t have an ice protection system, you’re grounded for a good portion of the year. The TKS system allowed me to take off at nearly any point.

A lot of times I went south where it would be warmer, so you’re not really concerned about ice at the destination. Your enroute time might be ice-free, but getting back in at your destination could mean flying through several thousand feet of potential ice. Many times that’s exactly what happened. But instead of being puckered up while exiting the ice, you’re stress free.

I flew with other pilots that were amazed at how good a job the system performed. We would see ice accumulate on the windscreen, and then it just rots away as the fluid streams across. The ice was trying to build, but the system wouldn’t allow it.

Any truly memorable experiences in icing with TKS?

I flew the Bonanza to Hilton Head, South Carolina one time. This was before I started going to Arizona. The pilot I flew with never had a deicing system but had flown in a couple of Cessna 182RGs. On the way home we had several thousand feet of light to moderate icing coming back into Traverse City. We turned the system on at 7,000 feet, started our descent shortly after, and entered the clouds at around 4,000 feet. Traverse City is around 600 feet sea level. The ceilings were pretty low. I just remember the smile on his face. We saw the ice trying to build on the airplane, and the system kept it clean.


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