As I prepared to pen yet another article dealing with winter operations, the realization hit me that we will likely have ice-related accidents. It seems that every winter we are peppered with articles dealing with many of the issues that need to be addressed to maintain safe flight under some challenging conditions.
Business aircraft pilots taxiing into Toronto Pearson’s de-icing area this winter will see–since they’re hard to miss–two large truck-mounted de-icing units cleaning down 747s, A340s and other big iron. They’re Danish built Elephant Beta-15 rigs, with telescopic booms that can reach 75 feet, high enough to spray the top of the fin of an A380.
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 proposed AD would require the installation of de-icing boots on the landing-gear struts and cargo pods, as well as other changes to deicing equipment and procedures, on nearly 750 U.S.-registered Cessna 208 Caravans. The directive stems from the FAA’s investigation into nine icing-related incidents within the past few months and six accidents in the previous two icing seasons.
Two recent fatal accidents in icing conditions involving Cessna Caravans prompted the NTSB to issue more recommendations for the turboprop single. The Safety Board wants the FAA to require that operators maintain at least 120 knots when flying in icing conditions. The NTSB also wants Caravans to be prohibited from operating in more than light icing conditions and flown manually when in icing conditions.
Cessna has joined with the FAA and the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) for a Caravan “educational and awareness campaign.” The coalition “will pool resources to enhance existing operational procedures in harsh environments, including operation in icing conditions,” said the RACCA, whose members fly the overwhelming majority of Caravans.
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