Bob D. lives in Western Pennsylvania and primarily flies throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Mid-Central regions. He has also flown to Canada and the Bahamas. Bob owns a 1980 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza equipped with inadvertent TKS Ice Protection, which he has been flying for over 5 years.
How did you get started in aviation?
I started flying in my mid 20’s in Virginia. My first plane was a Cessna 150, which I bought to complete my PPL. I flew it for a couple of years, then bought a Mooney. Got my IFR rating and did a great deal of cross country with that airplane. Sold the Mooney and bought a Cessna Skylane to give the family a lot more room and continued to fly on cross countries and vacations. Sold the Skylane and took 10 years off while work my dominated my time. After I moved from Virginia to Pittsburgh, I re-entered aviation with a 1985 Beechcraft F33A Bonanza. The airplane was later “upgraded” to an A36, which has more space and easier entry for the medical patients I flew and family who like the extra room. I bought this aircraft as my last cross country IFR airplane and so built it out with a turbo-normalized new engine, avionics and TKS.
Why did you choose TKS?
I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For at least four months of the year we typically have the lake effect overcast, which nearly always has the potential for ice. I frequently fly IFR. The only way to deal with these conditions is to have some kind of ice protection, particularly for those IFR approaches. I chose TKS because I liked the fact that it coats the entire wing.
What does TKS do for your mission?
TKS makes flying possible during the winter months. While others are grounded, I can fly and, most importantly, get in while passing through the 3,000-5,000 foot layer of overcast. Having capabilities to exit inadvertent icing gives me peace of mind.
Any truly memorable experiences in icing with TKS?
I think the most memorable experience is not having a memorable experience. TKS has given me time to get out of the icing layer without measurable accumulation on the wings. I turn the system on before entering IFR conditions when the temps are low and exit clean. That for me is memorable. Let me put it another way; I once landed my Mooney with accumulated ice on the wings. I didn’t like that feeling and never wanted to have it again. That’s why I have TKS.