Pilots should “activate boots as soon as the airplane enters icing conditions,” according to a safety alert released in December by the NTSB. The alert (SA-014) is yet another attempt by the Board to persuade pilots that there is no such thing as ice bridging and that pilots should not wait for ice to build to one-quarter to one-half-inch thickness before inflating boots in icing conditions.
Cessna Citation 500, Beverly, Mass., March 17, 2007–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the Air Trek Citation icing accident was the inadequate guidance
The FAA, in collaboration with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, recently updated and reprinted its popular guidelines on icing.
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.
The FAA today released a new fact sheet, “Safer Flying in Icing Conditions,” to remind operators that aircraft icing is a “continuing concern in all parts of aviation, from small planes to jumbo jets.” To combat icing-related accidents, the FAA is employing a multi-pronged approach to icing issues, using immediate safety actions and longer-term rule changes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.