AgustaWestland (Booth No. 7020) has received FAA and EASA certification for the full ice-protection system (FIPS) on its AW139 medium twin helicopter. With the FIPS option, the aircraft can fly into known icing. Approval from Transport Canada is expected soon and the manufacturer plans to deliver 12 FIPS-equipped AW139s this year.
At a February 24 hearing on aircraft icing legislators criticized the FAA for delaying implementation of rulemaking that would address outstanding issues on the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list. “After the Colgan Air Flight 3407 accident near Buffalo last year,” said committee chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.), “it was widely speculated that the aircraft crashed due to icing.
The House aviation subcommittee yesterday held a hearing on aircraft icing to address issues brought to light by the NTSB’s recent “Most Wanted” list of “unacceptably slow” progress on icing rulemaking.
The FAA recently issued a revised Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin–SAIB SW-08-03R1–to warn helicopter operators of the “hazards of snow and ice,” according to the FAA Rotorcraft Directorate’s Safety Management Group in Fort Worth. The bulletin, “Recommendations for Rotorcraft During Icing Conditions,” was released in 2003, and new data has been added following additional FAA testing.
The NTSB has ruled that last February’s crash of a Colgan Air Q400 on the outskirts of Buffalo, N.Y., was due to the captain’s inappropriate actions in response to the activation of the stick shaker. Its report, released at a press conference yesterday, said the pilot pulled back on the control column when the shaker activated, placing the twin turboprop into an accelerated aerodynamic stall.
The FAA yesterday issued a final rule that prohibits Part 91K, 135 and 121 operators from taking off with “polished frost”–meaning frost buffed to make it smooth–on an aircraft’s wings, stabilizers and control surfaces. The new rule will take effect on Jan. 30, 2010. The FAA already prohibits major and regional air carriers from operating with polished frost.
Coincidental to the early taste of winter weather the Northeast received in mid-October, NBAA–in conjunction with local airport user groups and state business aviation associations–sponsored a pair of cold-weather operational seminars aimed at exploring the challenges and threats presented by in-flight and ground icing, as well as runway contamination.
Ever since the crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 (an ATR 72) in Roselawn, Ind., on Oct. 31, 1994, the NTSB has been recommending that the FAA enact a new rule that the Board believes might have prevented these accidents. As a result of the crash of Flight 4184, the NTSB recommended that the FAA “prohibit the use of the autopilot” during encounters with icing conditions.
The FAA last month amended its certification standards for icing protection on transport-category airplanes. The new rule, which goes into effect September 2, will require new systems to increase pilot situational awareness during icing conditions.
The FAA yesterday amended its certification standards for icing protection on transport-category airplanes. The new rule, which goes into effect September 2, will require new systems to increase pilot situational awareness during icing conditions.