The European Aviation Safety Agency in late August certified the Eurocopter EC 225 twin-turbine helicopter for unrestricted operations in icing conditions. To be able to fly in such conditions, the 11-ton, $17 million helicopter is fitted with an optional duplex-architecture protection system. The five main rotor blades are deiced cyclically by mats heated by metal resistors.
Cessna 550 Citation II, Ft. Yukon, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2005–The captain, copilot and two research scientists were not seriously injured when Citation N77ND made an off-airport, gear-up emergency landing after both engines quit simultaneously. The University of North Dakota flight was doing icing research in IFR conditions when the accident occurred.
The NTSB concluded that the forced landing of a University of North Dakota Citation 550 research jet on Sept. 30, 2005, in Fort Yukon, Alaska, was caused by the pilot’s “improper use of anti-icing,” which resulted in ice ingestion into both engines and the complete loss of power. No one was seriously injured.
Manufacturers of very light jets (VLJs) will be affected by new Advisory Circular 23.1419-2D, which provides guidance in meeting Part 23 requirements for obtaining approval to fly into icing conditions. Comments on a draft of the circular are due by March 6. The advisory will supersede all previous policies related to ice-protection systems on Part 23 airplanes, as well as an advisory circular on contaminated-tailplane stalls.
Comments are due March 5 on an FAA proposal to require a low-airspeed awareness system on Cessna 208 and 208B Caravans. The installation will cancel the prohibition against operating the turboprop single in moderate or worse icing conditions.
During the January 23 public meeting on the icing-related crash of a Cessna Citation 560 near Pueblo, Colo., NTSB members criticized the FAA and Cessna for not updating critical icing information used by pilots and certification engineers.
In the spirit of the season, the NATA Safety First program has made available its aircraft de/anti-icing training module, designed specifically for line techs, ground handlers, flight crews and dispatch personnel. The interactive, online training provides the latest and safest de/anti-icing procedures available. NATA urges personnel to review critical issues such as training, procedures and responsibilities annually.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) listed it as merely a serious incident but considered it significant enough to issue a full report. The incident involved the loss of control a Saab 340 experienced when it encountered icing. There were no injuries and no damage to the aircraft, but the pilots did not recover from the loss of control until the aircraft was only 112 feet above the ground.
The NTSB’s debunking of the ice-bridging hypothesis in the conclusions of its investigation of the Feb. 16, 2005, fatal crash of a Circuit City Citation 560 and determining that the pilots did not activate the de-icing boots on the approach will take some pilots back seven years. In February 2000 the long-time policy of waiting for ice to build before activating boots got the boot.
Operators of all U.S.-registered Challenger 600s, 601s and 604s and Canadair Regional Jets, which are derived from the business jet, must incorporate flight manual revisions to ensure that before takeoff the “wing leading edge and upper wing surface are completely free of ice, frost, snow or slush,” under a new AD. The FAA directive (AD 2005-04-07) followed an identical AD from Transport Canada.