Saab 340 Icing Incidents Prompt NTSB Action

 - November 16, 2006, 5:54 AM

The NTSB yesterday asked the FAA to attend immediately to what it deemed deficiencies in the cold-weather procedures of Saab 340 pilots and the airplanes’ performance in icing conditions. The recommendations came after a review of several icing episodes in Australia and the January 2 incident in which icing forced an American Eagle Saab 340BPlus into an uncontrolled descent for 5,000 feet over Southern California. Specifically, the board recommended that Saab 340 pilots maintain a minimum operating airspeed of 1.45 Vs before known or forecast icing conditions and during icing encounters. It also recommended that operators install ice-detection systems and modified stall protection logic in all Saab 340s certified for flight into known icing conditions. Finally, it asked the FAA to require all turboprop pilots to disengage the autopilot during icing conditions except during intermittent periods of high workload.