Here's How Southwest Keeps Its Planes Running Safely In Frigid Weather

An usually cold winter led to the cancellation of nearly 50,000 U.S. flights in January, and airlines have been scrambling to keep that number from rising further.

That means de-icing planes — usually by spraying them down with a mix of warm water and glycol alcohol — because ice on a wing disrupts air flow and can destroy lift, airline pilot Patrick Smith writes in his book “Cockpit Confidential.”

To show off how it keeps its aircraft safe in the winter months, Southwest Airlines produced this video in which two employees, one working in the bucket of the de-icing truck, the other driving, explain how they go about their work.

It’s a neat look into a process most people know little about:

JetBlue also took the chance to showcase its de-icing operations, posting this Vine that was shot in Boston:

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