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For Release: February 6, 2002

Pamelia Caswell
Media Relations Office

Ratvasky Honored for Aircraft Icing Research and Education

Thomas P. Ratvasky of the NASA Glenn Research Center has won the 2002 Losey Atmospheric Science Award for his "outstanding contributions to the understanding of iced airplane aerodynamics and the communication of this knowledge to the pilot community through educational materials." The award was presented Wednesday in Reno Nev. by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at its 40th Aerospace Sciences Meeting.

Ratvasky, a lead flight research engineer, conceived and lead Glenn's Tailplane Icing Program. His work developed a detailed, scientific understanding of the aerodynamic phenomena of ice-contaminated tailplane stall (when a lifting surface fails to lift) and how pilots can recognize and recover from it. Ratvasky, and his team, developed training aids and information for pilots such as the video program "Tailplane Icing" and the FAA Advisory Circular "Ice Contaminated Tail Stall." They are also using the iced aerodynamics information they obtained to develop simulations of commuter aircraft behavior during tailplane stall so pilots can practice the recovery techniques.

"The results Tom and his team produced have been distributed world-wide to help increase aviation safety in icing conditions. NASA has received numerous comments from the commuter pilot community, and we understand that "Tailplane Icing" is being used in many pilot training sessions today," said Dr. Lawrence Bober, Glenn's deputy director of research and technology.

Ratvasky is a native of North Olmsted, Ohio, and currently lives in Fairview Park. He holds a bachelor's degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master's degree from George Washington University. Before joining Glenn 11 years ago, he was with the George Washington University Joint Institute for the Advancement of Flight Sciences as a research assistant.

The AIAA is the world's largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space and defense. Its Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award honors the memory of Captain Robert M. Losey, a meteorological officer who was killed while serving as an observer for the U.S. Army in World War II. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the atmospheric sciences as applied to the advancement of aeronautics and astronautics.

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A print quality image of Mr. Ratvasky is available at


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