In my opinion, the Sierra does not have the excess power to handle much
icing, though I have heard from owners who say that they picked up ďa lotĒ
and survived it. I have been in icing temporarily (and inadvertently)
during flights in both the USA and Canada (in my C24R). I think that the
longest episode was maybe 20 minutes in light rime, which seemed like an
eternity. My first indication was always a need to add 100 RPM to maintain
altitude. Then another 100 RPM within five minutes or less. And only then,
after that initial warning, could you actually see rime forming on the wing
leading edges, and at the base of the windshield, creeping upwards. In a
couple of cases it got up to maybe ľ inch of rime on the wing, maybe a bit
more, before I could get out of it. I had to go to 2700 and 125 rich of
peak to prevent an uncommanded descent, while maintaining maybe only 110
knots indicated. Also note that probably half of my airframe icing has come
at indicated OATs between 32 and 35 degrees, not just when at or below 32.
The thermometer checks out while on the ground, so I think it is reading

My impression is that the Sierra does as well as anything else with the same
pounds-per-horsepower and wing loading, and perhaps slightly better than an
equivalent strut-braced high wingÖ which is to say that none of the planes
in this class will safely carry any measurable ice. Performance
characteristics become too unpredictable, among all the other pitfalls
related to icing. While you can literally keep the plane in the air with
more ice on it, by running full power and a lower IAS, you donít know what
the magic IAS will be, where it drops out from under you. On top of that,
you had better be prepared to land it at whatever IAS is keeping it
airborne. I wonít get into all the details about tailplane icing, flap use
with icing, tailplane stalls, etc. I am outlining the ice load versus
IAS/power relationship only because it helps explain why someone can say
that they landed with more airframe ice than someone else had reported as
affecting performance.

I canít resist saying that, when evaluating whether to buy a Sierra, how it
handles icing would be near the bottom of my list. Any plane in this class
should keep you alive long enough to get out of it, assuming you are doing
so with bold intent. And if you are using that bold intent to ride it out
instead, you will get killed doing it in something. Even the light planes
that are certified for known icing, have decidedly low limits of tolerance
for significant icing conditions.


From: []
On Behalf Of Martin Vanover
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 7:16 PM
To: Musketeer Group
Subject: [musketeermail] Sierra's performance in light icing conditions

A potential airplane buyer who lives in the Northwest asked me if I knew how
the Sierra handles light icing. He mentioned his Mooney was pretty bad even
with very light icing. I believe he said HOPELESS. He also mentioned that
the Arrow did pretty good. I haven't any Sierra or Musketteer experience
and I NEVER fly in icing conditions, so I can't comment. Has anyone
encountered light ice in and Mouse and how does the Sierras, Sundowners,
Musketeers handle it?

Marty Vanover
Phoenix, Az.


BAC-Mail mailing list