A Killer

just read “Look and Touch: NTSB alerts pilots to hazards of wing icing, noting that you may have to touch the wing to detect ice,” in the Jan. 28 issue. I don’t know if attempting to take off with an iced-up airplane is coming back into vogue or what.

To try and impress upon pilots the seriousness of this activity, I will pass on my observations from the 1940s: At Weeks Field in Fairbanks, Alaska, I have, on several occasions, observed Noel Wien put a rag on a push broom and personally wipe the DUST off his plane prior to departure in the summer time.

For those who don’t know, Noel was one of the first pilots in Alaska and successfully pioneered Arctic aviation due to his attention to detail, and writing the “How To” book as he went along.

A contaminated airframe is a known killer. I don’t know why so many keep killing themselves trying to prove otherwise.

Doug Millard
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