Looking at this video on Youtube, I'm wondering if it is actually legal to take off with a windscreen iced like that?

For VFR this is a no go, but what about IFR and under what conditions?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related, although this question is more specific $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like the YouTube user removed his video. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @abelenky Now I feel guilty. But I was just curious :-( $\endgroup$
    – Krumelur
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 16:21
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    $\begingroup$ @krumelur: Not at all. The pilot did something stupid, dangerous and likely illegal, then posted video of himself doing! He never should've done that to begin with, and you properly called him out on it. Hopefully he'll learn, and be safer next time. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 16:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related meta-question; this question (unfortunately) reinforces my answer $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


When operating under Part 91, taking off with an iced windshield is not permitted. It does not differentiate between IFR and VFR operations.

§ 91.527 Operating in icing conditions.

(a) No pilot may take off an airplane that has frost, ice, or snow adhering to any propeller, windshield, stabilizing or control surface; to a powerplant installation; or to an airspeed, altimeter, rate of climb, or flight attitude instrument system or wing, except that takeoffs may be made with frost under the wing in the area of the fuel tanks if authorized by the FAA.

Now in the case that the winshield is simply covered in condensation (not ice), I'm not so sure about that, though it'd be pretty stupid to takeoff without heating the windshield and pretty much zero visibility for no particular reason. In that particular video though, that's definitely ice.

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    $\begingroup$ agreed. Taxiing was stupid. Taking off was even more so. Posting it to YouTube was unbelievably stupid. Leaving your tail-number placard visible in the video is the icing on the cake. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 14:35
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, but it's got G1000! It must be safe. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ As far as taxiing in that condition, Ahh, FAR 91.13, my old friend - we meet again! -- You'll never convince me that taxiing around when you can barely see isn't likely to endanger persons or property on the ground. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 19:05

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