CESSNA 208, DILLINGHAM, ALASKA, OCT. 10, 2001–At about 9:26 a.m. Alaska daylight time, Peninsula Airways (dba Pen- Air) Flight 350, Cessna Caravan N9530F, crashed shortly after takeoff from Dillingham Airport (DLG). The pilot and nine passengers were killed and the airplane was destroyed. One passenger was airlifted to a hospital in Anchorage but died the next day.
Helicopter mountain rescue operations are among the most demanding flying there is. Pilots are challenged by pushing the performance envelope of their machines in notoriously unpredictable weather, and when the mission is rescue, they face another layer of difficulty, driven by the desire not only to survive their mission, but to save lives too.
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.
As I prepared to write this column the television and radio news programs were reporting on the recent spate of business aviation accidents. One of the widely reported accidents that caused considerable concern at the NTSB was the November 28 crash of the Challenger 601 in Montrose, Colo. In this accident the NTSB is investigating airplane performance issues, including the possibility of upper-surface wing ice contamination.
In the northern hemisphere, it’s that time of year again, when clouds are full of ice and it’s time to dust off those icing training manuals and relearn the pertinent points about handling 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.
Raytheon Aircraft selected Cox & Company of Manhattan, N.Y., to supply its electromagnetic expulsion de-icing (EMED) system for the horizontal stabilizer of the Hawker Horizon, which is scheduled to receive certification before year-end.
Oxford Aviation of Oxford, Maine, introduced a three-in-one boot treatment called Tri-Guard. It is a silicone-free treatment that rejuvenates and conditions de-icing boots with a high gloss finish, offers protection from ozone degradation and UV rays, enhances the flexibility and durability of the boot and helps the actual ice-shedding process.
Sikorsky’s S-92 has successfully completed the artificial icing requirement of the FAA’s icing-certification program, thus preparing the aircraft for its final all-weather-operations certification phase. It has already completed more than 80 percent of the requirements for icing certification and begun natural icing trials, with several successful natural icing events flown to date.
Cessna said it will offer a TKS “weeping wing” anti-icing system for the Cessna Grand Caravan starting next March, using a system manufactured by Aerospace Systems & Technologies of Salina, Kan. The Cessna system will include laser-drilled titanium TKS panels installed on the leading edges of the wings, wing struts and horizontal and vertical stabilizers.