Investigation launched into Aurigny ATR’s icing incident

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after an Aurigny flight to Manchester was forced to turn back to Guernsey when ice formed on the wings.

Picture By Mike Steadman. 23-11-15 Aurigny ATR G-COBO has been repainted.
Picture by Mike Stedman

The incident happened on the evening of Wednesday 21 December, shortly after G-COBO had left Guernsey.

An Aurigny spokesman said the ATR 72-500 aircraft had an ‘aerodynamic upset’ caused by an encounter with severe icing conditions from a frontal weather system lying across the English Channel.

That meant the ice caused a similar effect to turbulence and the aircraft had to turn back.

An Air Accident Investigation Branch spokesman said the matter had been reported to them and investigation had begun. However, it is likely to be months before the findings are published.

The investigation will be conducted by inspectors contacting Aurigny by email and phone to collect information, rather than travelling to the island.

Comments for: "Investigation launched into Aurigny ATR’s icing incident"


Loss of 900 feet, steep gain of over a 1,000 feet and loss of nearly a hundred knots (FR24) would make it a scary ride. There is an account from one of the pax on Pprune.

If the GP reports it correctly as 'severe' icing, that is not a zone the ATR is certificated to operate in.

Need to exit severe icing immediately.

Thankfully the crew recovered the upset but how did they get into such a situation?

The AAIB report will make interesting reading. The holes in the Swiss cheese nearly all lined up .

Google "American Eagle ATR crash"


Can you post a link to pprune please?


Like taking your car out in the winter without anti-freeze!


Nothing like it at all. A car won't lose control and go crashing down to earth, killing it's crew and passengers and anyone on the ground it hits.


Five and Dry

Loss of control in severe icing with the ATR is a very serious incident, several times in the past the result has been catastrophic with loss of life.

For this to happen in Europe with supposedly well trained and disciplined pilots is unthinkable. The ATR manufacturer publishes to all pilots training on the type, full and comprehensive instructions to stop this occurring, pilots must without exception follow these instructions. These are; first the ATR is not approved by the certification authorities to fly in Severe Icing conditions, if they are forecast for your route, pilots must avoid the area. If encountered on route, and clear guidance is given by ATR on how to ascertain this, then the pilots must disconnect the autopilot, advise ATC ,increase speed and immediately leave the severe icing conditions. If during this the unthinkable happens, and loss of control occurs, then stall recovery action must be taken.

What is clear following this incident is that the UK AAIB, the accident inspection group, will thoroughly investigate the incident, and not wishing to pre judge the outcome, will most likely give the UK CAA the regulating authority, advise on what action they consider appropriate.

It is noteworthy that Aurigny currently have another icing incident from March this year being investigated by the AAIB, also involving G-COBO, there summary is:

An Aurigny Air Services Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A, registration G-COBO performing flight GR-671 from Manchester,EN to Guernsey,CI (UK), was climbing out of Manchester when the crew stopped the climb at FL170 reporting pitch trim problems and decided to divert to East Midlands,EN (UK) for a safe landing about 20 minutes later.

The French BEA reported based on information from Britain's AAIB, that the occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the AAIB.

On Mar 17th 2016 The Aviation Herald received information that company dispatch queried the crew on their previous leg inbound to Manchester whether they wanted to de-ice the aircraft while on the ground, the crew advised they would consider this while on the ground. On the ground the crew advised de-icing was not needed on two occasions although there was heavy snow fall. Soon after takeoff the crew notified company dispatch that they were diverting due to ice buildup on wings and stabilizer.

However, providing the aircraft is flown as per the manufacturers instructions, the ATR is a very safe aircraft, with over 900 built and flying with airlines all over the world.


ATR's have a history of deicing issues. Its caused most of this aircraft types fatal accidents.....needs to be sorted fast

Captain Oveur

"That meant the ice caused a similar effect to turbulence and the aircraft had to turn back"

Icing is nothing like turbulence. Rather concerning that they are running an airline and think icing and turbulence are similar.


I don't think you can criticize Aurigny too much here. They are speaking to the general public and trying to relate what happened to what the public know all about, turbulence.

Try explaining a lost of control to the general public using the correct technical terms. Only pilots would understand.

Captain Oveur

The problem with this approach though is that some passengers may expect the aircraft to divert and an investigation to be carried out for a turbulence event. I.e. You're now confusing passengers.

Passengers aren't all experts I agree, but I've learnt to not try and spin them a fib either.


Since the American Eagle crash the ATR has been improved both by better guidance from ATR to the crew but also a modest increase in wing de-icing boot coverage from 5% to 12.5% of chord.

It's also worth pointing out jets don't suffer as badly as props. They have an excess of power available so that hot bleed air can be tapped off the engines and fed to the wing surfaces. Jets don't use de-icing boots (although someone will no doubt prove me wrong). They also have different wing designs.

Five and Dry

Incident Aurigny G-COBO. GR 678

By --------- on Friday, Dec 30th 2016 13:27Z

I was a passenger on this plane , it was a horrible experience !