A new control surface could reduce induced drag on commercial and business aircraft by up to 14 percent, resulting in fuel savings of more than $400 million per year across the entire U.S. air transport fleet. So claims Utah State University aeronautical engineering professor Warren Phillips, who recently introduced the devices, which he calls “twisterons.”
Comments are due March 5 on an FAA proposal to require a low-airspeed awareness system on Cessna 208 and 208B Caravans. The installation will cancel the prohibition against operating the turboprop single in moderate or worse icing conditions.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) listed it as merely a serious incident but considered it significant enough to issue a full report. The incident involved the loss of control a Saab 340 experienced when it encountered icing. There were no injuries and no damage to the aircraft, but the pilots did not recover from the loss of control until the aircraft was only 112 feet above the ground.
In the year before April 26, 2003, when Sino Swearingen’s number-one SJ30-2 prototype crashed after entering an uncommanded and unrecoverable right roll during high-speed flutter testing, company engineers were attempting to deal with lateral stability issues with the twinjet, according to the NTSB’s recently released factual report on the accident.
Performing intentional stalls at too low an altitude and the flight instructor’s “inadequate supervision” were blamed by the NTSB for the crash on September 20 last year of a Hawker 700 operated by Starflite Management of Houston near Beaumont, Texas. Two pilots, both preparing for a Part 135 competency check, and the instructor were killed.
Beech King Air A90, Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 17, 2004–After the right engine quit, Eclipse Enterprise King Air N45TT crashed while returning to land at Ferguson Airport, Pensacola. VMC prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The commercial-rated pilot and one passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The pilot thought the cause was fuel exhaustion, because he knew the airplane was low on fuel.
The NTSB believes currently required stall-warning systems are not adequate to cover all critically low-airspeed conditions and has recommended that the FAA require the installation of so-called “low-airspeed alert” systems on all airplanes used in FAR Parts 121 and 135 commercial operations.
HAWKER 700A, BEAUMONT, TEXAS, SEPT. 20, 2003–An instructor was preparing two pilots for their Part 135 competency and proficiency checks, doing stalls in a practice area near Southeast Texas Regional Airport, when the Hawker went into a spin and crashed. The NTSB blamed the flying pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control and adequate airspeed.
Honda’s “research project” light jet now has its first logbook entry. The six-passenger HondaJet (its now-official provisional name) broke ground for the first time on December 3 from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Piedmont Triad Regional Airport (GSO), Greensboro, N.C., on the leasehold of FBO and mod specialist Atlantic Aero.
The pilot flying a Cessna Caravan that crashed after takeoff on Oct. 6, 2005, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, violated operational requirements, according to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board’s final report. Among the violations were taking off at a weight greater than the legal maximum takeoff weight and exceeding the time allowed between wing contamination inspection and takeoff.