The Citation Sovereign, Cessna’s newest aircraft, had completed 15 test flights at press time since its first flight on February 27. Cessna said all flights have gone “very well” and testing to date includes stall characteristics, stability and control, autopilot development, thrust reversers and airspeed calibration.
SCHEMPP-HIRTH NIMBUS 4DM, MINDEN, NEV., JULY 13, 1999– The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its final report on the crash of a Schempp-Hirth Nimbus 4DM glider that killed former FAA Administrator Donald Engen and friend Bill Ivans, who owned the powered glider. It is believed that Engen was sitting in the passenger seat behind Ivans, who would have been flying the aircraft.
All major milestones with the Sovereign have been completed on or ahead of schedule, according to Brad Thress, Sovereign senior product director, who added that Cessna displayed the super-midsize jet, with completed interior, for the first time at the NBAA Convention last month. So far two test airplanes (a prototype and S/N 001) have logged 220 hr on some 120 flights.
Design changes to resolve a manufacturing problem with the wing leading-edge anti-ice system of the Premier I were under way at press time. It was possible the modification would be installed on all affected aircraft before the June 29 compliance date of an AD that prohibits the new jet from flying into known icing until it is modified.
The FAA yesterday issued an Airworthiness Directive for all Bombardier Challenger business jets, as well as the derivative CRJ100 and 440 regional jets, that requires revising the aircraft flight manuals to modify the cold-weather operations limitations and include additional limitations and procedures. “This AD results from reports of uncommanded roll during takeoff,” the FAA said.
Whenever a manufacturer develops a new airplane, engineers have the opportunity to incorporate new technology into the design. With the large-cabin Columbus, Cessna engineers didn’t opt for a composite airframe or an all-electric systems architecture, but they have chosen an innovative approach to fly-by-wire flight controls.
Tom Macdonald, the Osprey V-22 chief test pilot, received the Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. The award, established in memory of Kincheloe, who died in 1958 in the course of flight-testing an F-104 Starfighter, is presented annually for outstanding flight-test accomplishments.
Cessna 208B Caravan, San Angelo, Texas, Jan. 24, 2003–The NTSB said the Caravan crashed during a simulated forced landing because the flight crew failed to cycle the de-ice boots and failed to maintain adequate airspeed during the maneuver. A contributing factor was the ice accumulation on the airfoils’ leading edges.
Piper PA-46 Meridian, San Antonio, Jan. 18, 2008–The instrument-rated pilot of the Meridian was killed and the aircraft destroyed when the pilot lost control on an instrument approach in IMC to San Antonio International Airport. The pilot reported that he was having trouble performing a “coupled” approach and that he was trying to “get control” of the airplane before the flight disappeared from radar.
Aero Commander 690A, Antlers, Okla., Oct. 15, 2006–The NTSB blamed the
in-flight breakup of the experimental Aero Commander on the pilot’s failure to reduce airspeed in moderate turbulence. Contributing factors were his decision to exceed the maximum takeoff weight, and the prevailing turbulence.