FAA Says Fuel System De-Icing Additives are Required

 - April 22, 2013, 2:45 PM

Concerned that some pilots of turbine-powered aircraft may not be paying enough attention to their aircraft’s need for fuel-system ice inhibitors as outlined in the aircraft flight manual (AFM), the FAA has issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE 13-29 to remind crews that these inhibitors must be added to ensure safe aircraft operations.

The agency cited the 2009 crash of a Pilatus PC-12 on approach to Butte, Montana as an example. The NTSB determined that the pilot failed to add the icing additive before the aircraft’s first flight of the day. He also did not take appropriate emergency action when a low fuel pressure warning light illuminated during the approach that eventually escalated into a severe fuel imbalance, which caused him to lose control of the aircraft.

The pilot and 13 passengers died in the accident.

The FAA is urging aircraft manufacturers to re-emphasize the need for fuel additives by installing a placard near the fuel filler openings as a reminder to both flight crew and ground fueling personnel.