NTSB Wants Action To Ensure Air Restarts

 - November 22, 2006, 4:24 AM

Manufacturers should be required to determine if engine restart capability exists when core rotation speed drops to zero after high-power, high-altitude flameouts, according to the NTSB. For airplanes susceptible to engine core lock, manufacturers should be required to provide design or operational means to ensure restart capability. The Safety Board also wants the FAA to establish certification requirements that would place upper limits on the value of the minimum airspeed required and the amount of altitude loss permitted for windmill restarts. These recommendations and similar ones directed specifically at the Bombardier CRJ series and other aircraft powered by the GE CF34 result from the Board’s ongoing investigation into the Oct. 14, 2004 fatal crash of a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200. The pilots took the airplane to its maximum operating altitude of 41,000 feet. When they arrived at 41,000 feet, an aerodynamic stall and engine failure followed, with a subsequent loss of control of the airplane, the NTSB said. The pilots eventually recovered the aircraft from the upset but they crashed while attempting an off airport power-off landing. Several attempts to restart the engines were unsuccessful.