boot maintenance

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  • #84635

    Guys,

    I am new to operating with boots (my last plane had TKS) and curious what most folks use for treating their boots. I’ve heard icex II works great from guys at MMOPA (I was looking at Meridians prior to purchasing my 414A) and still have an active membership). My boots look to be in good shape and shiny however I would like to coat them with something like the icex product if that’s what most owners do. If so can I just apply over whatever product is currently in place? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

    #101891

    Hi Jeff,

    Welcome! I previously had a SR22 with TKS. This is what I do.

    Ideally you will have:
    1) Boot stripper and boot coat like the stuff twin cessna flyer sells
    2) BF goodrich agemaster
    3) Conductive boot cement (will need to get you the part number for this)

    1) Clean with soap and water, dry completely

    2) Use the boot stripper and then clean, dry completely again

    3) Mask the painted areas including the conductive cement area (at the edge of the boot)

    4) Apply the crazy expensive age master of which you will need very little to the boot per instructions. Best if you do not fly for days after as it can run back a bit.

    5) Removing masking and remask paint along conductive cement line. Apply conductive cement per instructions. This helps to prevent pin holes in the boots (static charge issues)

    6) I would wait a day or to for this to dry, then apply the boot coat in one or two light steps.

    7) I have not used Ice-X, but I understand this would go on top of the boat coat

    Seems like trouble but the agemaster will really help extend the life of the boots and the top coats offer UV protection, better ice shedding, etc.

    If agemaster has been done in the logs within the last year or so I would not worry. Stripping and recoating the top coat is a good idea at least yearly – more frequently if you are in rain, ice, etc. You will need a tall ladder for the tail.

    I would suggest finding some pro icing conditions and flying with an instructor to check out how the systems work. Request a block altitude and let them know what you are doing. Check the PIREPS for reports of light rime from fellow piston planes. Now that you are FIKI it can be hard to find… (Although not this week!).

    I flew back from Santa Rosa this Monday and I told my passenger to keep an eye out for icing on the wings. We were up at FL220 and caught only a trace amount at -20 C. He saw it and was worried, so I popped the boots and it was almost paper thin but still came off. On the ground I showed him pictures of what icing really is and he was shocked how thick the layers could be. In retrospect I should have showed him that first….

    Make sure you get Pitot heat on prior to takeoff, and prop heat on early as shedding ice after the props have built up some is hard on the fuselage (and vibration on the engine)

    Usually you will see ice first on the tip of the nose cones.

    Eric

    #101895

    Jeff,
    Eric’s instructions are right on. As for ICEX, it is designed to keep ice from “sticking” to the boots when they inflate. It does not do anything for boot longevity. The stuff is very expensive but it goes a long way and it really works great. I still have the first can I have ever bought and that was nearly six years ago. Use a hand foam applicator with a handle (available from any auto parts store) and apply it as thin as you possibly can. If you put it on thick, it will just run back. They say an application will last 50 hours but I put it on much more often than that. It only takes about 10 minutes to apply if your boots are clean.

    Pete

    #101897

    Eric/Pete,

    Your information is much appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Jeff

    #101898

    I’ve used PBS boot prep/sealant for the past 5 years and had good results with it. However I can’t get the ice off quite as easily as Eric describes – I need to get 1/4″ or so before it’ll start doing anything.

    #101900

    I haven’t had the 340 in ice yet, it’s boots were done with PBS and look great. However, my IA has already told me that the ice won’t shed as nice as it did on the Aztec’s boots when I used IceX. I’ll probably throw a coat of IceX on the 340 before heading into possible icing conditions, I’ve been happy with how it works.

    #101902
    quote JBurnsIII1:

    I haven’t had the 340 in ice yet, it’s boots were done with PBS and look great. However, my IA has already told me that the ice won’t shed as nice as it did on the Aztec’s boots when I used IceX. I’ll probably throw a coat of IceX on the 340 before heading into possible icing conditions, I’ve been happy with how it works.

    I used PBS on the Aztec and then on the 310. The 310 just doesn’t shed ice as well as the Aztec, and it doesn’t handle it as well, either. I’ve had really nasty SLD ice on the Aztec and only lost 10 MPH indicated. Went from LOP to ROP and got my 10 MPH back. In the 310, the standard light rime that conforms to the shape of the wing doesn’t make a significant impact, but light mixed makes it degrade very quickly.

    My theory is that the Aztec was such a brick that it was hard to make it less aerodynamic. :mrgreen:

    #101907

    One tip is to tape masking paper along the bottom boot while stripping it keeps it from flowing backwards down the wing

    #101911
    quote DMOORE1:

    One tip is to tape masking paper along the bottom boot while stripping it keeps it from flowing backwards down the wing

    Good tip! Putting old newspaper, etc on the hanger floor also helps to keep the mess down. Ideally this is all done in a warm or heated hanger as you can shorten the time between steps.

    You can also prep the prop heat boots the same way. Use the conductive cement to seal the edges of the heated boot at the prop roots.

    Many of the 400 series planes have ice protection plates on the fuselage in line with the prop arc. I have seen some when I was looking at 400 series planes that were seriously dented up. My own view is if you have this much ice hitting your plane from the props alone it is time to fly your plan B, land, and put some ice in a stiff drink vs on your airframe! 🙂

    #101931
    quote :

    Many of the 400 series planes have ice protection plates on the fuselage in line with the prop arc. I have seen some when I was looking at 400 series planes that were seriously dented up. My own view is if you have this much ice hitting your plane from the props alone it is time to fly your plan B, land, and put some ice in a stiff drink vs on your airframe! 🙂

    The reason the dents happen is usually because the pilot waits too long to turn on the prop heat and/or the timing switches are not functioning properly. When this happens, the ice builds up and then is flung off in chunks. I turn on prop heat and pitot heat at the same time…even before ice is encountered in order to avoid this situation. I had it happen once in a Dutchess (bad timers) and when the ice hits the nose, it’ll scare the hell out of you.
    Pete

    #101934

    I’d agree with Pete’s assessment. A standard timer should have ice shedding off the props every 2 minutes.

    I treat prop heat, pitot heat, and windshield heat as one switch. Turn one on, turn them all on. Of course in our 310 there’s no windshield heat.

    #101940

    I ordered Icex II today and plan to apply this week since my boots seem to be in great shape, then in Spring I’ll do the strip, and seal process. I assume if the boots were conditioned with something other than a bf Goodrich product that it shouldn’t be an issue to applying Icex II?

    #101946

    Jeff,

    I don’t think there is any issue, I have a non BF product on my boots.

    What I have found works for me is to run a “bead” of the ICEX along the boot, about 1/4 way from the leading edge on the top of the boot. That way it does not dribble off. I follow behind with a micro fiber terry type cloth (I suppose a cotton rag would be as good) back and forth over the boot surface. After a few minutes, it will be dry and you will feel the difference; the treated surface will feel slippery.

    I use it on the prop anti-ice pads too, you will see the difference, the ice that tends to hang on adjacent to the spinner will be gone.

    I put it on in the warm hanger, I don’t know how easy it would be to do if it is freezing out.

    I still avoid flying in icing conditions, but living in ND it is hard to avoid. So for climbing/descending through icing, the boots will shed the ice much better treated. I re-apply more often than recommended, when the slippery feel is gone, I re-apply. I only use it all winter when I know that the freezing level is on the ground or when I am flying in the mountains anytime.

    Jim

    #101947

    Having never used Icex II is it important to not get on painted surfaces?

    #101948
    quote jrecker:

    Having never used Icex II is it important to not get on painted surfaces?

    I doubt it will harm paint. It feels like “liquid silicone” and is clear, never have thought about what it would do to paint. I suspect I did read the instructions and would be aware of paint precautions as my paint was fresh when I started using it. There is not any vapor smell and I have not used gloves when applying the product.

    I suspect if Goodrich made this for your car tires it would be $4.99 a bottle, but since it is for “de-ice boots” it gets the aviation price enhancement.

    Jim

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