Matthew Law wrote:

I agree totally. Does FG define humidity at all?

Yes -- we report it, and I'm pretty sure that we use it in density altitude calculations (so that it affects both true airspeed and engine performance).

We're drilled to use carb heat before making any major reduction in power (below the green arc) on the C152 and C150 and in/near precipitation if icing is suspected. I've never read the POH for these, I just do what my instructor tells me.

The Continental engine on the C150 (and presumably 152) and the older 172s and 182s is often referred to by pilots as an ice maker: it has about the worst possible design for carb ice, so you absolutely should be using the carb heat for any power reduction, even if the OAT is 25-30 degC. As I mentioned, 172s built after 1967, and Cherokees, do not have the same kind of problem.

We lost a C150 last week to suspected carb ice. The engine stopped dead on base leg when the pilot (a recent PPL graduate) throttled down to descend for landing. The 'landing' appears to have been rather hard as the 'plane is a write-off. Thankfully he's OK... I think my Vans RV-9 will have a diesel engine :-)

Sure, or a fuel-injected engine, or (as I mentioned) a Lycoming O-320, which has a great record. Of course, we're all waiting for the big hydrogen engines ("I'll take 25 liters of water, please"). If I were building my own plane right now, I'd probably go for a fuel-injected engine like the IO-360, so that I could add Gamijectors and even out the fuel/air distribution for a nice smooth, quiet engine. Of course, hot starts in a fuel-injected engine are quite a challenge ...

Avoid Rotax engines -- they're so advanced that they do not even need carb ice to stop running (the flight school next to our flying club has three Katanas: they've already had two forced landings bad enough to result in TSB reports, and who knows how many uneventful ones on runways; no serious injuries, though).

All the best,


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