Flight-testing of the Boeing 787 electro-thermal wing ice-protection system, jointly devised by Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Ultra Electronics, is to begin following completion of ground trials in the Boeing research aircraft-icing tunnel. Used for the first time in a U.S.
Summer is almost upon us in the northern hemisphere, but the FAA is embroiled in two significant icing-related issues: a proposed new rule for when de-ice systems are activated and a new interpretation of the term “known icing.”
The FAA last month released Airworthiness Directive 2007-10-15, which requires that operators of all 765 U.S.-registered Cessna Caravans install low-airspeed awareness systems at a cost of about $8,200 per airplane. The AD also requires that Cessna-issued AFM Supplement S1–which addresses operations in icing conditions–be incorporated into the Caravan AFM.
FAA Airworthiness Directive 2007-10-15, effective June 21, requires that operators of all 765 U.S.-registered Cessna Caravans install low-airspeed awareness systems at a cost of about $8,200 per airplane.
Comments are due today on an FAA draft letter of interpretation released April 3 on the meaning of the term “known icing conditions.” At press time, 82 comments had been filed, mainly by individuals.
The FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) last week that, if enacted, would require manufacturers of newly certified transport-category aircraft (Part 25) to incorporate an ice-detection system. The proposal is part of an ongoing effort by the FAA and NTSB to reduce accidents as a result of icing, and it comes on the heels of an NTSB recommendation that aircraft boots be activated immediately upon the first sign of airframe icing.
In an unusual policy step, the FAA sought comments last month on a draft letter of interpretation regarding the meaning of the term “known icing conditions,” used–but undefined–in the FARs.
A proposed AD would require the installation of deicing boots on the landing-gear struts of nearly 750 U.S.-registered Cessna 208 Caravans, as well as other changes to deicing equipment and procedures contained in a 1991 Cessna accessory kit. The directive stems from the FAA’s investigation into nine incidents within the past few months and six accidents in the previous two icing seasons.
An FAA draft letter of interpretation seeks public comment by May 3 on the meaning of the term “known icing conditions,” used–but undefined–in the FARs.
Ibis Aerospace flew its second production Ae270 Propjet fitted with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66A in late February from Aero Vodochody’s flight-test facilities near Prague, Czech Republic.