The families of victims of the October 1994 crash of an American Eagle ATR 72 into a field in Roselawn, Ind., met October 31 to remember their loved ones and discuss fundraising efforts to build a permanent memorial. All 68 people aboard American Eagle Flight 4184 died in the accident. The pilots lost control of the aircraft after it accumulated a significant amount of ice while flying at low speed in freezing rain in the holding pattern, a problem that triggered an autopilot disconnection while the aircraft was severely out of trim.
As airports across the U.S. wage their annual struggle against winter weather, business aviation operators may soon find themselves familiar with a new de-icing method. Forced-air de-icers, which use high-volume, low-pressure air to help strip contamination from flying surfaces, have been used to augment the effect of glycol on airliners at major airports for years, but the business aircraft community has been slow to embrace them.
The NTSB has confirmed talk that the Board is “about to release” a report modifying some of its findings in the October 1994 crash of an American Eagle ATR 72 near Roselawn, Ind.
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.
Researchers from the U.S., Canada, Britain and France are participating in a major aircraft icing study taking place this winter primarily in the Montreal area. Canada’s National Research Council is leading the Alliance Icing Research Study with its Convair CV-580 in partnership with NASA’s DHC-6 Twin Otter.
Part 25 aircraft likely to get more stringent icing rules
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.
Eleven years after the October 1994 crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 in Roselawn, Ind., the FAA proposed a revision to Part 25 certification regulations that aims to prevent such icing accidents. The comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) closed on February 2. Now the new rules will begin to wend their way through the FAA rulemaking process.