This morning I filed an IFR flight plan EVB to PIE. Surface temp. was +6C. Wind 20G32. Overcast at about 1000' tops about 5000'. I asked the briefer about freezing level and he had no information or cautions, etc. As I suspected, I started picking up rime ice at about 3000' where OAT showed -4C. I had filed for 4000' and soon as I realized I was picking up ice I requested 6000' to get above the visible moisture (clouds). That, of course, stopped the accumulation. As I approached the Tampa Bay area I began my decent and again began picking up ice as I entered the clouds. Fortunately as I approached Tampa the bases increased to about 3500' leaving me clear of clouds. The ice began breaking up at about 3000' where OAT showed 0C.

I guess my point is, it was obvious that icing would be a definite possibility and yet FSS had no comment on that possibility. I even specifically asked for the freezing level and the briefer had no information. Point is, be aware and determine for yourself what the obvious situation is and don't depend on FSS for critical information.


  • I get briefings and file through DTC DUATS. You can get freezing levels there as well as simple icing cautions on the overlays. The service is free. Enroute I use the XM on the 496.

  • Thanks. I was just surprised FSS didn't issue any warnings, etc.
  • It seems that briefer was not familiar with Airmet Zulu. That gives both icing potential and freezing levels for the area. You should file a complaint with Lockheed Martin: https://www.afss.com/ (Use the pilot feedback form.)
  • Joe, thank you. Will do.
  • I did file complaint with FSS. Rep. has already called me and was very apologetic and does not understand why there was no airmet. She said she is sending the info "up the line" including to NWS who are responsible for providing info to FSS, etc.
  • Jim,

    Regardless of any warnings from a briefer, with a surface temp of +6C and visible moisture (ie. cloud), I would have anticipated the possibility of encountering icing in cloud at 3k' or higher.

    The only time I would NOT suspect airframe icing during winter with a 3k' ceiling is when the surface temp is below
    -10C since the moisture should all be ice at those temps (-16C). Or, of course, if the surf temp is above +15C if you're so lucky as to live in such places. Here is Canada, that's a bit of a pipe dream, although it was +6C and raining in Ottawa yesterday!! Back into the negatives today. :^{
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