Beech King Air C90, Windsor Locks, Conn., June 23, 2006–The nonflying pilot’s improper procedure, resulting in his inadvertent retraction of the landing gear while the airplane was on the ground, was the cause of the accident, the NTSB concluded. The FAA King Air, N20, had landed and was doing a touch-and-go at Bradley International Airport when the nonflying pilot asked the pilot flying if he wanted flaps up.
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.
While the NTSB determined that “unnecessary and too aggressive” rudder inputs by the first officer broke the vertical stabilizer off American Airlines Flight 587, there was plenty of blame to spread among the airline, U.S. and French aviation regulators and Airbus Industrie, builder of the A300-605R that crashed into the community of Belle Harbor, N.Y., on Nov. 12, 2001.
Moscow-based Tekhnoavia, an aircraft design house, delivered two piston SM-2000s in December and one turboprop SM-2000T last month. The trio of aircraft went to a Russian customer.
In the January issue of AIN (page 39), we recounted the origins of the Learjet, complete with references to the well worn tale of the Swiss fighter connection. We then heard from Bill Lear’s eldest son, who suggested that “since you can’t get it straight from the horse’s mouth, here it is from the horse’s offspring, who followed closely in the horse’s hoofsteps!”
Flight’s second century began Dec. 17, 2003, at 10:35 a.m., 100 years to the minute from Orville Wright’s momentous launch of the first powered airplane. Much fanfare, including participation by the President, attended the marking of that moment at Kitty Hawk, N.C., last month.
“The center of gravity was found to be well forward of the allowable limit,” according to an NTSB update on the accident in which a Challenger 600 overran a runway on takeoff from Teterboro Airport, N.J., on February 2 (see page 58). Initial findings of the investigation have indicated that, as configured, the airplane would have had a c.g.
Boeing’s Phantom Works has sent its canard rotor-wing (CRW) prototype aloft for flight test. The unmanned 80-second flight, controlled by former USAF special operations pilot Stetson Cowan, took place at the company’s Yuma, Ariz. test facility on December 3 and is reported to have gone well.
All subsonic jet and transport-category airplanes (those with an mtow of 12,500 pounds or more) for which application of a new type design is submitted on or after Jan. 1, 2006, will have to meet new noise certification levels, under a long-expected notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) published December 1.
Cessna 425, Menominee, Mich., Dec. 5, 2006–The pilot of the Conquest I told the NTSB that he landed and taxied onto the airport terminal ramp at Menominee normally. He brought the props into the Beta (reverse) range while taxiing to control speed. After he stopped on the ramp, he put the propellers back into Beta and backed the airplane about four to six feet to align with a parked airplane.