While Ibis Aerospace officials have been cheering publicly for months that the Ae270 Spirit turboprop single is nearing FAA and EASA approval, their mood behind closed doors was likely more muted. This is because the Ae270, until recently expected to be certified late this or early next year, is not meeting performance guarantees and won’t enter production in its current form, a U.S. spokesman told AIN last month.
Raytheon Beech King Air A90, Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 17, 2004–The pilot of Eclipse Enterprises King Air N45TT took off from Ferguson Airport, Pensacola, Fla., to refuel at Jack Edwards Airport, Gulf Shores, Ala. But seconds after the airplane rotated, the right engine quit because of fuel exhaustion. The airplane drifted right, and the pilot applied full left rudder and lowered the left wing to correct.
Raytheon Beech King Air E90, New Roads, La., June 23, 2005–While making a go-around at False River Regional Airport, the 4,000-hour pilot lost control and the King Air pitched up, stalled and crashed into a cornfield. All five people on board were killed. The NTSB determined the cause of the accident was the multi-engine- and instrument-rated pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during the go-around.
“It caught my eye becauseit was…different,” said Brad Brooks, a customer service agent. That difference was an angleof ascent more than 45 degrees– other than a brief correction so violent that the tail pitched over the nose. “I’ve never seen that before,” said Brooks.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, Ferndale, Md., May 14, 2004–The MU-2 pilot was finishing his third round-trip IFR Part 135 cargo flight from Baltimore Washington (BWI) to Philadelphia. Starting the previous evening, at about 9:50 p.m., he had flown back to BWI, landing on Runway 15R at 11:05. At 2:30 a.m., he returned to land on Runway 28.
Ibis Aerospace’s Ae270 turboprop single completed EASA certification, and FAA certification is expected shortly. However, the current version of the Ae270 has not met performance targets and the Czech manufacturer intends to develop an improved Ae270 to go into production. Ibis said it will receive additional financing this year to fund development through to the point that series production can begin.
Cessna 550 Citation II, Venice, Fla., Aug. 25, 2004–The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the Citation accident was the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in a stall and undershoot of the runway.
In late December Eclipse Aviation confirmed that a supplier problem has delayed certification of its VLJ from next month to late in the second quarter. Despite the setback, at press time Eclipse said its five flying test aircraft have amassed more than 1,000 flight hours in just over 750 flights.
Beech King Air 90, Rawlins, Wyo., Jan. 11, 2005–The NTSB said the air ambulance accident was caused by “the pilot’s inadvertent flight into adverse weather [severe icing] conditions, resulting in an aerodynamic stall.” A contributing factor was the pilot’s inadequate planning for the forecast icing.
Bombardier Challenger 600, Aspen, Colo., Feb. 9, 2006–Encountering what the pilot said were wake vortices from a BAe 146 taking off from Runway 33 at Pitkin County Airport, the Challenger was substantially damaged as it landed on Runway 15. At 50 feet agl, the Challenger rolled hard to the left and the stall warning horn sounded.