Cessna 425 Conquest I, Belgrade, Mont., Nov. 29, 2005–The NTSB blamed the accident on the pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall. Factors were dark night conditions, clouds, icing conditions, low visibility and snow. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed when it crashed 2.8 nm northeast of Gallatin Field Airport (BZN).
Would-be supersonic business jet (SSBJ) maker Aerion (Booth No.
The FAA issued a new Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 06014) that seeks to clarify the conditions under which pilots can take off with frost adhering to airframes. At the same time, the SAFO might complicate the pre-takeoff decision-making process because it reminds pilots that takeoff with frost adhering to lifting surfaces and flight controls is legal.
The NTSB is recommending that pilots of Cessna 208 Caravans approved for flight into known icing conditions be required to undergo annual training for ground de-icing and flight in icing conditions. The Safety Board also wants Cessna to develop appropriate guidance materials to minimize the chance of Caravan icing accidents. The recommendations stem from the NTSB’s study of 26 icing-related Cessna 208 accidents in the U.S.
Revised Flight Standards Information Bulletin for Air Transportation (FSAT) 04-05 updates de-icing holdover times for this winter’s flying season. The tables correlate the holdover times based on temperature, type of fluid used and type of precipitation. Download the complete bulletin in Word format at www.faa.gov/avr/fsat/fsat0405.doc.
All U.S.-registered Cessna 208 Caravans are covered by a new AD, the result of several accidents during operations in icing conditions, including six accidents in the previous two icing seasons and nine events in the past few months.
Cessna Caravan 208B, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Oct. 6, 2005–Icing conditions were present when the Caravan, operated by Morning Star Air Express under contract to FedEx, crashed after takeoff from Winnipeg International Airport at 5:40 a.m. en route to Thunder Bay, Ontario. The ATP-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was killed. She was instructed to turn right on course after departing Runway 36.
As I prepared to pen yet another article dealing with winter operations, the realization hit me that we will likely have ice-related accidents. It seems that every winter we are peppered with articles dealing with many of the issues that need to be addressed to maintain safe flight under some challenging conditions.
Just as the cold weather starts to take hold in the higher reaches of North America, Sikorsky’s S-92 has passed one of its critical remaining airworthiness tests: crews with Cougar Helicopters in Canada are now cleared to fly their aircraft into known-icing conditions.
Business aircraft pilots taxiing into Toronto Pearson’s de-icing area this winter will see–since they’re hard to miss–two large truck-mounted de-icing units cleaning down 747s, A340s and other big iron. They’re Danish built Elephant Beta-15 rigs, with telescopic booms that can reach 75 feet, high enough to spray the top of the fin of an A380.