CESSNA 303, BINGHAMTON, N.Y., NOV. 1, 1999–The NTSB issued a final report on the Cessna twin that landed short after executing a single-engine missed approach (Accident Recaps, January 2000). Safety Board investigators determined probable cause as “the pilot’s improper in-flight decision to descend below the decision height without the runway environment in sight, and his failure to execute a missed approach.
Ballistic Recovery Systems
The Cirrus SR22 has been the world’s best selling single-engine aircraft for five years, with more than 3,000 sold to date. But the thought of using the SR22 for charter services is still relatively new.
Gary Robb, an attorney with Robb & Robb of Kansas City, Mo., filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the families of the deceased. It names Cessna Aircraft; Textron, Cessna’s parent company; Parker Hannifin; Sigma Tek; and Aeroflite, the maintenance provider. The defendants maintain that Randy Carnahan’s negligence led to the crash.
Whether or not Cirrus Design of Duluth, Minn., ever decides to build a single-engine personal jet depends heavily on what emerges on the small-turbofan development front. Cirrus director of marketing Ian Bentley told AIN, “Throughout aviation history, starting with the Wright brothers, airframe development has relied on the emergence of new engines.”
Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) of St. Paul, Minn., has received a $600,000 grant from NASA to develop a whole-airplane parachute system for very light jets. The company has identified eight aircraft in various stages of development that could become a market for the product and has agreements to work with three possible manufacturers of jets in the 5,000- to 8,000-lb-mtow, 350-kt-cruise-speed category.
Cirrus Design, the Duluth, Minn. manufacturer of SR20 and SR22 piston singles, does have a jet in its future plans, but don’t expect to hear much about it before the end of this year. When (and if) you do, it may well be that the design will wind up with a single engine.
King Air 200, Strasburg, Colo., Jan. 27, 2001–At about 5:37 p.m. MST, King Air N81PF–owned by North Bay Charter and operated by Jet Express Services–crashed into rolling terrain near Strasburg. The twin turboprop departed from Jefferson County Airport (BJC) in Broomfield, Colo. at approximately 5:18 p.m. with two pilots and eight members and associated personnel of the Oklahoma State University basketball team.
RAYTHEON KING AIR E90, RENO, NEV., MARCH 13, 2002–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s inadequate approach airspeed for the existing adverse meteorological conditions, followed by his delayed action to avert stalling and subsequent loss of control of the airplane. Contributing factors were reduced visibility due to the inclement weather and icing conditions.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Spanish Fort, Ala., Oct. 23, 2002–Despite speculation that a Mid-Atlantic Freight Caravan collided with another object (possibly a UAV), the NTSB determined that the cause of the crash was the 4,000-hour pilot’s spatial disorientation, which resulted in loss of control. Night IMC with variable cloud layers was a contributing factor.
On Thursday the NTSB updated its “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements, and half of the 44 “critical” safety recommendations were issued to the FAA. The Safety Board identified runway safety as one of the most important issues for the agency to address.