Forty years after its June 1965 first flight, the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander remains in production, and more than 800 of the 1,250-plus airplanes delivered remain operational. The rugged, maid-of-all-work design is employed in myriad applications, including air taxi, charter and scheduled services; crop-spraying; water-bombing; VIP/executive operations; photo-reconnaissance/surveillance; air ambulance; para-dropping; and law enforcement.
Quest Aircraft of Sandpoint, Idaho, received its first orders last month for the Kodiak, a high-wing, fixed-gear turboprop single, a prototype of which is currently in flight test. The orders are for seven aircraft. The 10-place, float-capable STOL airplane is powered by a single 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A. FAA certification is planned for next year.
Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, has acquired certain assets of Bombardier’s Commercial Service Centre, thus becoming the exclusive parts manufacturer, distributor and provider of technical support for out-of-production de Havilland Canada (DHC) aircraft.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Clarendon, Texas, June 7, 2005–An “unusual whining/hissing noise” alerted the pilot of Caravan N9505B to problems with the flight, which was at 6,000 feet on a climb to cruise altitude. At 8,000 feet, the noise grew louder and the inlet turbine temperature gauge started fluctuating. After a “bang,” the engine quit.
Cessna Caravan 208B Portland, Ore., Dec. 24, 2005–Making an intersection takeoff from Runway 21 at Portland International Airport, the FedEx Caravan failed to gain altitude, hit a glideslope antenna and crashed. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The cargo flight was operated by Empire Airline of Hayden, Idaho, and was on an IFR flight plan to Roseburg, Ore.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has appointed Lufthansa A.E.R.O. a designated overhaul facility for the PW150 series of turboprop engines. According to a P&WC spokesperson, Lufthansa A.E.R.O. is the first independent designated overhaul facility for the engine and will provide operators of Bombardier Q400s an additional choice for repair and overhaul services.
The use of thrust reversers to shorten landing distance is a great benefit to aviation. But according to the Safety Board, relying too much on that benefit could lead pilots into landing with minimal safety margins.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Unalakleet, Alaska, Oct. 24, 2005–The NTSB blamed the crash of a 208B Caravan on the pilot’s failure to maintain altitude/clearance from terrain while performing a low-altitude maneuver.
Cessna 208 Caravan, Round Rock, Texas, Oct. 18, 2005–The FedEx Caravan made a forced landing after the engine quit in night VMC. The ATP-rated pilot, the sole occupant, incurred minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. After takeoff from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and leveling off at 7,000 feet, the pilot reported “engine failure and a total power loss.” His attempts to restart the engine were not successful.
Cessna 208 Caravan, Cuenca, Ecuador, March 24, 2006–An Ecuadorian-registered Cessna Caravan, operated by Atesa Aero Taxis Ecuatorianos, lost power and crashed on departure from Cuenca Airport in VMC. The airplane was substantially damaged and five passengers were killed. The commercial pilot, the ATP-rated copilot and seven passengers were seriously injured.