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.
A jury decided in favor of Cessna in a lawsuit arising from the Oct. 10, 2001, crash of a PenAir Caravan near Dillingham, Alaska. The plaintiffs, survivors of the 10 people killed in the crash, claimed the Caravan has design defects that make it dangerous to fly in icing conditions, but the jury found “no defects” contributed to the accident.
Cessna Caravan 208B, Bellevue, Idaho, Dec. 6, 2004–The NTSB blamed the fatal accident of the Salmon Air Caravan on the pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control while on approach for landing in icing conditions. Inadequate airspeed was a factor.
Apparently, it’s just a time-honored myth that the Inuit language of native Alaskans has as many as 400 different words covering all forms of frozen precipitation. In fact, there are about a dozen, just like in English.
Sikorsky’s S-92 equipped with the OEM’s new rotor ice protection system (RIPS) has been FAA certified for flight in known icing conditions. Sikorsky is seeking S-92 RIPS certification from the EASA and Transport Canada. A Cessna Citation involved with the S-92 icing program in Alaska on September 30 flamed out in icing conditions and made a deadstick landing with no serious injuries to the four people on board.
A University of North Dakota (UND) Cessna Citation II icing research aircraft made a successful deadstick landing near Beaver, Alaska, about 70 miles north of Fairbanks, after both engines lost power on September 30. In IMC at 9,200 feet, the Citation accumulated about seven-eighths of an inch of ice on the wing’s leading edge.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-36, Pittsfield, Mass., March 25, 2004–The NTSB determined the cause of the accident was “the pilot’s loss of aircraft control for undetermined reasons, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin and subsequent impact with the ground.”
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.
Concerned about the growing number of Cessna 208 Caravan icing accidents, aviation authorities in the U.S. and Canada have issued a bevy of new recommendations, airworthiness directives and restrictions. Caravans continue to be plagued by icing accidents–more than 34 to date– and the number of lawsuits against the manufacturer is mounting.
The FAA last month issued AD 2006-06-06, the result of further icing accidents and incidents involving the Cessna Caravan, flight manual revisions that contain erroneous data and the outcome of recent flight tests. The directive supersedes AD 2005-07-01, issued in March last year. The FAA said that flight manual revisions issued on Dec.