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.
Every few years, a debate erupts about whether the phenomenon of ice bridging is real or something questionable that pilots discuss while hangar flying or warning of the dangers of flying in icing conditions. The issue recently resurfaced at an NTSB public meeting about the icing-related crash of a Cessna Citation 560 in Pueblo, Colo., on Feb. 16, 2005.
Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 17, 2004–The NTSB determined that the left wingtip of the Skywest CRJ hit the runway because of the copilot’s failure to maintain control and the captain’s delay in initiating remedial action. Factors contributing to the accident were the low ceiling and low visibility due to fog, and the aircraft’s deviation from expected performance because of airframe icing.
Cessna Citation 550, Fort Yukon, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2005–The NTSB has concluded that the University of North Dakota icing research jet accident was caused by the pilot’s improper use of anti-icing equipment during cruise, which resulted in ice ingestion into both engines and the complete loss of power. Factors were the icing conditions, inadequate crew resource management and failure to use a checklist.
Mitsubishi garnered top bragging rights in the most recent AIN product-support survey, and the biennial pilots’ review of proficiency (PROP) seminar series is one good reason why. How many manufacturers sponsor regular owner/operator safety seminars–let alone doing so for aircraft that went out of production almost two decades ago?
Using a new Web-based tool, operators who typically fly below Class A airspace can now obtain icing forecasts up to 12 hours in advance of their flight. The FAA tool provides a color weather map and a flight route display of icing potential from 3,000 to 18,000 feet. The user can select forecast times from three-, six-, nine-, and 12-hour intervals to help plan their routes.
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.