A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan operated by Tropicair crashed November 25 in the Gulf province of Papua New Guinea killing three of 10 on board. The Caravan pilot was among the seven survivors. The airplane was on a domestic flight from Kikori to Gobe when it crashed into a river near an airstrip, possibly during an emergency-landing attempt.
Cessna 208 Caravan
Brazil’s civil aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), approved Blackhawk’s XP42A performance upgrade for the Cessna 208A Caravan. ANAC’s certification follows similar approval from the FAA in June that permits the engine upgrade on the Cessna 208A in the U.S. The XP42A mod includes a new 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A; Hartzell four-blade propeller; composite cowling; high-efficiency inlet duct; larger oil cooler; and two new exhaust stacks. Blackhawk claims the package increases climb rate by 24 percent and cruise speed by 9 percent.
Ah, that new airplane smell.
Cessna demo pilot Rip Lee and I climb aboard the factory-fresh Grand Caravan EX and I glance over at the Hobbs meter: 4.3 hours total time. Airplanes don’t get much newer than this.
FlightSafety International announced a “significant” expansion of the training the company offers for Cessna Citations and Caravans at its learning centers in Orlando, Fla.; San Antonio and Wichita. This includes training for the full Citation Excel/XLS series in Orlando, including a new level-D XLS+ sim outfitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics; addition of the only existing CJ2+ simulator in San Antonio; and a Cessna Caravan simulator equipped with a Garmin G600 avionics suite that just came online in Wichita.
Blackhawk Modifications has delivered its first two XP42A Cessna Caravan 208As, a modification that replaces the stock 675-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A with an 850-shp PT6A-42A, along with a new 100-inch-diameter Hartzell propeller. The first upgraded aircraft was delivered late last week to Waialua, Hawaii-based Skydive Hawaii. Guyana-based Trans Guyana Airways took delivery of its XP42A Cessna Caravan today at EAA AirVenture.
Blackhawk received FAA STC approval for its XP42A upgrade package for the Cessna Caravan 208A. The package includes a new 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine; wide-chord, 100-inch-diameter Hartzell four-blade propeller; composite cowling and high-efficiency inlet duct; a larger oil cooler; Blackhawk DigiLog engine gauges; and a new exhaust stack. Deliveries will begin this month, Blackhawk said. The upgrade has been available for 208B Caravans, with more than two dozen installations performed to date.
France’s Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses (BEA) made a formal recommendation to EASA that its data recorder requirement cover single-engine commercial aircraft the size of the Caravan. EASA has yet to respond. The request stems from the Sept. 5, 2010 crash of a Cessna 208 Caravan, the cause of which was determined to be creep rupture of a number of turbine blades on its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6. The turboprop quit 11 minutes after takeoff from Pointe-à-Pitre Airport (TFFR) on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
North American Surveillance Systems introduced a sliding, air-operable cargo door for the Cessna Caravan. According to the Deland, Fla.-based company, the enhanced door requires no modification to the aircraft and installs in place of the standard two-piece cargo door. Installation of the new door, which adds about 45 pounds but has the same exterior profile as the original, takes about one hour, the company said. The air-operable feature enables parachute and bundle-dropping operations, it noted.
Flight-testing is complete on Blackhawk Modifications’ Cessna 208A Caravan XP42A upgrade and FAA STC approval is imminent, according to the company. The upgrade provides the same operational advantages as the 208B Grand Caravan.
Tony Cestnik, president of Anchorage, Alaska-based Aero Twin, carved a niche for himself and his business by making the Cessna Caravan more rugged to operate in the bush, and the experience he built in that untamed territory shaped his approach to the process.
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