Operators of U.S.-registered CitationJets must disengage the pitch-trim/ autopilot circuit breakers to prevent runaway pitch trim, a condition that has led to at least one accident, according to an October 21 AD (2203-21-17). A CitationJet was ditched on July 22 in Penn Cove in Coupeville, Wash., following a loss of elevator trim control, resulting in an uncommanded nose-down pitch attitude.
The first test flights of a Cessna Citation X equipped with Winglet Technology’s new elliptical winglets are proceeding well, according to Bob Kiser, president of the Wichita-based modification kit manufacturer. The winglets are expected to give the airplane an even higher maximum cruise speed at high altitude as well as improved climb performance and longer range.
According to the final report of the Irish Department of Transport Air Accidents Investigation Unit (AAIU) published earlier this year, a Beech King Air 90 (registration N712DB) rolled and dived during an August 2006 flight in Ireland because the owner/pilot lost control of the aircraft during a missed approach in instrument conditions. The pilot’s inexperience was deemed a factor.
Emergency AD 2003-08-52 was issued last month for the GE CT7-9B turboprop in response to 12 compressor-stall events in Saab 340Bs over a six-month period. The stalls occurred when pilots throttled back from takeoff power to climb power. Nine of the events involved engines that had the compressor variable geometry (VG) rigged to N1, one of two allowable rigging options that affords slightly higher performance at the expense of stall margin.
Aviation Partners said it is in the “preliminary stages” of “looking at the entire Citation line” as the possible next candidate for the company’s performance-enhancing blended winglets. No timetable, however, was immediately available. Meanwhile, the Seattle-based company expects to receive certification of its blended winglets for the Hawker 800 and 800XP in mid- to late summer, more than a year later than originally planned.
As the month of May came to a close, a team of Boeing engineers were putting the finishing touches to a one-of-a-kind flying machine at an outpost of that company’s “Phantom Works” just outside the sun- and sand-blasted southwestern Arizona town of Yuma.
In the arcane world of helicopter rotor aerodynamics, two concepts that show promise for enhancing safety and performance in the world of high-density-altitude heavy lift are under development on opposite sides of the U.S. Briefings on both were presented at the American Helicopter Society’s annual forum last month in Phoenix.
Researchers at the University of West Florida’s Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola are developing a symbol-based, flight-deck display that is capable of providing an instantaneous presentation of an aircraft’s flight situation to the pilot. Named Oz, the surprisingly intuitive concept is seen as applicable to all fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, large and small, civil and military.
LEARJET 35A, GROTON, CONN., AUG. 4, 2003–The first officer’s inadvertent retraction of the flaps during low-altitude maneuvering caused Learjet N135PT to stall and crash into a house while attempting to land at the Groton/New London Airport, said the NTSB. Factors were the captain’s decision to perform a low-altitude maneuver using excessive bank angle, the flight crew’s inadequate coordination and low clouds surrounding the airport.
HAWKER SIDDELEY HS-125-700A, BEAUMONT, TEXAS, SEPT. 20, 2003–While the crew was practicing stalls, Hawker N45BP, operated by Starflite, of Houston, was destroyed when it went down 15 miles northwest of the Beaumont airport. All three pilots on board were all killed.