Experts agree, then, that the best strategy for surviving an encounter with icing conditions is to exit them.
A lateral deviation to visual meteorological conditions is always a good bet if the icing is localized.
If that’s not possible, climbing or descending just a few thousand feet may solve the problem. Many icing layers are shallow. CFI Miller says he advises students to think about climbing first and descending later. “If I descend and icing gets worse, I know I have made a wrong decision, so I need to climb back up. However, by that time, I may have enough ice that I am not able to do that,” he says. “On the other hand, if my first choice is to climb and that turns out to be a wrong decision, will I have any difficulty getting the airplane lower? No. Gravity is on my side at that point.”