Weather satellites equipped to detect emergency locator transmitters helped rescue an estimated 1,500 sailors, hikers, downed pilots and others around the world last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its satellites, along with Russia’s Cospas satellites, form an international search-and-rescue system. NOAA said the 171 U.S.
The FAA, in collaboration with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, recently updated and reprinted its popular guidelines on icing.
CESSNA CARAVAN 208B, ROCKFORD, ILL., DEC. 17, 2002–At 10:51 p.m., Caravan N277PM crashed while on the ILS approach to Runway 7 at the Greater Rockford Airport (RFD). The pilot was killed and the airplane was destroyed. The Part 135 nonscheduled flight, operated by Planemasters as Flight 1627, was transporting cargo for UPS and was operating in IMC on an IFR flight plan, from Decatur Airport (DEC), Ill.
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.
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, Naches, Wash., Oct. 7, 2007–The commercial pilot and nine passengers died when the Caravan crashed in the mountains near Naches, at 7:59 p.m. No flight plan was filed for the flight from Star, Idaho, to Shelton, Wash., and the pilot did not obtain a weather briefing. There was an airmet for icing, low-level turbulence and mountain obscuration.
Last month the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03) containing “recommendations for rotorcraft during icing conditions.” The SAIB describes “procedures to reduce the probability of an engine in-flight shutdown due to ice and snow ingestion,” including special precautions during winter pre-flights and ground power settings.
The FAA released on November 8 a new fact sheet, “Safer Flying in Icing Conditions,” to warn operators that aircraft icing is a “continuing concern in all parts of aviation, from small airplanes 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.
MITSUBISHI MU-2, LEWISTON, IDAHO, FEB. 11, 2000–“The pilot failed to follow the flight manual procedures and did not engage the continuous ignition system, resulting in both engines flaming out when ice blocked the air induction system.
KING AIR B-200, PIQUA, OHIO, AUG. 24, 2001–The chief pilot for the Hartzell Propeller Co. waited for a chartered King Air to shoot the approach into the Piqua Airport after the turboprop circled while waiting for fog to dissipate. As he heard the airplane on final approach, the Hartzell pilot heard the “terrible sound of impact” followed by silence. The King Air’s ATP-rated pilot died in the crash.