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Is TKS useful for European flying?

I‘m flying all year round. compared to the times without TKS I can confirm, that it is absolutely useful in Europe. Less stress while planing flights, less aborted trips.

EDDS , Germany

arj1 wrote:

You mean only when it’s worm?
It’s just in the winter if it is +4-+5C outside, at 2000ft you will be in the freezing levels…

Aside from Mt Snowdon & Mt Nevis where MSA goes to 5000ft-6000ft, the rest of UK is on 2000ft-3000ft MSA, I think that still give plenty of options for NA aircraft but does not “2000ft freezing scenario” you refer to

Again, if one need lot of those flights then Turbo+TKS on prop/wing or even Turbo+FIKI is better peace of mind but hard to answer that question without defining the mission first

At least in UK, I do see lot of Mooneys are flying in winter without TKS, one of them is at Elstree, and the owner flies regularly in winter, probably twice than I do (maybe 40h in winter?)

Last Edited by Ibra at 15 Sep 21:14
ESSEX, United Kingdom

From my experience with our 252 (also only hot prop), there is not that much difference between Europe and the US with regards to icing and I have quite some time on it here and there. Of course, your despatch rate will be much better with de-icing but UL suffers and it isn’t great in the first place. So as always, it depends on your mission.

EDFM (Mannheim), Germany

airways wrote:

Just like you I only have prop deice. My strategy is to push through ‘till on top of weather.

Doesn’t help for most parts of fall where icing is in the forecast and you therefore must not fly w/o TKS.

Prop-Deice doesn’t improve dispatch rate at all and there are only very rare cases where one hits icing completely unforeseen and therefore prop deice is “better than nothing in an emergency”.
And yes: Encountering unforeseen icing is an emergency in a non TKS SEP.

Germany

xavierde wrote:

It doesn’t have TKS (only de-iced prop) and I wonder if I should bring it back to with us as is or upgrade to a FIKI bird while still in the US and bring that one back. The question is how necessary/useful would a FIKI plane be for European planning vs. my current non-deiced one.

If you have the possibility to upgrade it, then it will be a valuable addition for European flying. Clearly it depends where you want to fly, but in the central European region icing is omnipresent in most areas for most of the year safe high summer. During those times, freezing level can be quite low down, which means the most problems won’t be in climb out where the 252 can push through layers fast, but during descent and approach, where you will be flying in the icing zones for some time while intercepting or on STARs.

If you do want to upgrade, by all means do it before you get back here. What I understand is that prices in the US are quite a bit less than in Europe and also shops who are capable of doing the upgrade are sparse here.

LSZH, Switzerland

TKS is immensely useful for European flying. That’s why I installed the full system.

It is somewhat hard to install it in Europe – just one installer I believe.

CAV USA, who sell the parts (made in the UK), have just one “agent”, Airplus at EDNY, and there are two problems there: (a) very expensive and (b) not interested in doing the work. I managed to convince CAV to sell me the parts directly but I have since got the impression they no longer do that.

They do installs in the US though – plenty of videos on youtube from them.

I don’t think TKS make lot of sense in the UK as one can just fly low on flat land or southern of Spain where it is hot all time, but I would guess it’s a must in few places with higher terrain and cold season

Not at all the case, unless you fly only in the summer.

In the UK you can be at 2000ft (below 2500ft CAS base, on a “VFR” flight) and be in solid IMC at -3C and collecting lots of ice. This is a popular mode of flying for 2000kg+ twins which would otherwise pay route charges, but it works best with an Aztec which can carry the ice One famous Aztec owner posted lots about that mode of flying.

And any longer trips are much easier IFR, and in general you cannot get into the Eurocontrol IFR system below FL090 or so. This is a fairly typical example. If there is IMC, there will likely be ice, even in the summer.

I was referring to the possibility to fly IFR bellow airways in UK, you usually don’t need TKS for that kind of flying

That’s fine if you don’t mind getting busted by the guy in the CAA who enforces the MORs. There is no way to do that regularly without nipping some corner of the airspace. However the OP is in France where they don’t have such a crazy policy and have a properly joined-up ATC system.

how can you fly airways here on in France at low level?

The French “airways” is really Class E airspace, generally FL055/065 to FL120, and Class D FL120 to FL200. It is the best way to fly distances in France, due to extensive military etc and other prohibited airspace below and outside that airspace. Same icing issues as the UK, more or less.

Just like you I only have prop deice. My strategy is to push through ‘till on top of weather. That’s why I have the turbo. If this seems impossible (forecasts) I don’t depart.

I used to have prop only de-ice and it was excellent, but it doesn’t do much if there is a lot of ice accreting fast. It does keep the front window clear though. Is TKS worthwhile in a non turbo aircraft? thread below

Doesn’t help for most parts of fall where icing is in the forecast and you therefore must not fly w/o TKS.

There is no such restriction/regulation in Europe. The US “FIKI” certification maps onto US weather services (well, it did during the era when forecast icing stopped legal non FIKI flight, but that was many years ago) so even if you are an N-reg in Europe this doesn’t apply. Also the regs have varied – see many previous threads on what “known icing” means. It certainly does not relate to the DWD icing forecast. And icing forecasts are pretty random… I reckon they are basically useless.

Without FIKI, my dispatch rate would go from 99% down to 75%, I reckon; the plane would be unsuitable for business trips or planned holidays from November till March.

Without full TKS, or equivalent, indeed. But I still don’t get 99% – for that one needs a FL250+ ceiling and that needs a turbo or a TP plane. It just greatly enhances the options for getting up and down through IMC. No good for enroute, due to the fluid lasting only an hour or so.

Based on people I have known, to get a real 99% “random date” despatch rate needs a heavy twin or a TP with rubber boot de-ice and radar. One guy achieved 98% with a 421C, over 1 year, 50 flights. And he was doing it between ILS airports, only.

I would recommend doing the install in the US before the ferry flight, and obviously would say the same for anything else e.g. avionics for which the European expertise ranges from appalling to just about ok if you are lucky. It is also a lot cheaper, not just because you aren’t paying the VAT.

Below this thread you see “Threads possibly related to this one” and they are well worth reading.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

TKS is immensely useful for European flying.

Peter wrote:

I would recommend doing the install in the US before the ferry flight, and obviously would say the same for anything else e.g. avionics

I echo Peter 100%. Do it!

Last Edited by AndersB at 16 Sep 14:52
ESOW, Sweden

I had TKS installed on my Turbo C206 (T206H), by Airplus in EDNY (in 2019). My installation isn’t FIKI though.
This did not come cheap … but the service at Airplus was great, and the work they did extremely professional so I would eagerly recommend them.
This year will be my first winter season so I still have to test the system further.

Cessna T206H owner / pilot
LFPN, France

Peter wrote:

I would recommend doing the install in the US before the ferry flight, and obviously would say the same for anything else e.g. avionics for which the European expertise ranges from appalling to just about ok if you are lucky. It is also a lot cheaper, not just because you aren’t paying the VAT.

I think it will be easier and a lot cheaper to upgrade to another aircraft already fitted with the system (CAV quoted me $50k for the kit).
We still have some time to figure things out but all your replies are very helpful as I’ve only flown VMC in Europe and I’m not sure what to expect under IMC.

KHPN, LFBE, EGKB, United States

Despite all the talk over here of Europe having some sort of different weather to the US… it doesn’t

We just get the US east coast wx a day or two later.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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