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I am aware that flight into known icing is prohibited if your aircraft is not suitable to fly in icing conditions (unless e.g.: FIKI,...). Given the following example I am wondering if it would be legal to takeoff in Luxembourg in these conditions if your cruising level is well above the cloud tops: Cloud Layer with Cloud tops +/- FL050 and w/ Freezing Level FL040+ and light icing to be shown on a icing forecast / report. What indications are best to use to predict icing? Would this report indicate flight into known icing (I guess Yes, but I am not sure) thus making a takeoff "illegal"?, although you would only briefly pass the narrow layer of icing? The safest answer is obviously to not takeoff(although I do believe it would present no hazard in this situation), but I am simply questioning this from a legal point of view? Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ I see this is tagged easa-regulations, @tTed are you also interested in FAA based answers (thats what mins article covers)? $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Nov 22 '21 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ For FAA regulations, see this question. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Dec 6 '21 at 3:16
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This is a wonderful question! The regulations are vague around it. According to your situation presented above, it is certainly illegal. AIM 7-1-22 defines Known Icing Conditions as "Atmospheric conditions in which the formation of ice is observed or detected in flight."

I urge you to check out this letter which is a response to AOPA from the FAA regarding known icing conditions: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2007-04-03/pdf/07-1620.pdf

Here is a quote from that letter: "The NTSB has held that known icing conditions exist when a pilot knows or reasonably should know of weather reports in which icing conditions are reported or forecast."

The FAA argues that if a pilot willingly flies into known icing conditions, they could take legal action as per 14 CFR §91.13 (no reckless or careless behavior).

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! We already have a question that covers this from the FAA point of view. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Dec 6 '21 at 3:21
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Just talked with some experienced pilots and they all concluded that this is a case into know icing as you expect icing to occur at temperatures below 0 degrees celsius thus climbing through a layer (visible moisture) known to be above freezing level is definitely "flight into known icing", especially from a legal point of view, no matter if you only pass it during a few seconds.

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    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that passing through that 1000ft layer of icing conditions takes waaaay longer than just a few seconds, unless you are flying a fighter jet. For a general aviation acft a cruise climb would be something in the 500 to 1000 ft/minute range, so should the conditions really be bad, you'd have plenty of time to accumulate a nice crust on your wings... Temperature below 0 degrees celsius does not necessarily mean conditions are icing. You need sufficient humidity for that too. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Nov 26 '21 at 12:17

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