Kestrel Aircraft has tapped Cox to supply an electro-mechanical ice protection system for its single-engine turboprop, the companies announced today at the NBAA Convention. The system allows “effective ice removal” without the need for de-icing boots or an anti-icing fluid system. According to Kestrel president and CEO Alan Klapmeier, the electro-mechanical system “allows for effective ice removal while retaining a laminar flow.” The single-engine Kestrel is expected to be in service by 2016.
GE Global Research presented new findings on nanotextured anti-icing surfaces and coatings last week at the American Physical Society Conference in Boston. While there are many applications for this technology, aircraft are at the top of the list.
The FAA has finally put a regulatory nail in the coffin of ice bridging with a new rule requiring Part 121 airline pilots to activate deicing systems at the first indication of ice accumulation.
At a February 24 hearing on aircraft icing legislators criticized the FAA for delaying implementation of rulemaking that would address outstanding issues on the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list. “After the Colgan Air Flight 3407 accident near Buffalo last year,” said committee chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.), “it was widely speculated that the aircraft crashed due to icing.
The House aviation subcommittee yesterday held a hearing on aircraft icing to address issues brought to light by the NTSB’s recent “Most Wanted” list of “unacceptably slow” progress on icing rulemaking.
The FAA yesterday amended its certification standards for icing protection on transport-category airplanes. The new rule, which goes into effect September 2, will require new systems to increase pilot situational awareness during icing conditions.
The crew of the Colgan Air Q400 that crashed outside Buffalo on February 12 observed “significant” ice accretion on the aircraft’s windows and wings before the eventual upset that killed all 49 on board and one person on the ground, according to the NTSB’s lead investigator for the accident, Steven Chealander.
Wreckage crews have recovered both Pratt & Whitney PW150 engines of the Colgan Air Q400 that crashed outside Buffalo last Thursday, and preliminary inspection shows a condition “consistent with high-powered flight” when the airplane hit the ground, according to NTSB member Steven Chealander.
Two new online icing education courses were released this winter, one from King Schools and the other by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Air Safety Foundation (ASF). Both offer a useful introduction and refresher on preparing for icing conditions and dealing with ice-related problems.
Pilots should “activate boots as soon as the airplane enters icing conditions,” according to a safety alert released in December by the NTSB. The alert (SA-014) is yet another attempt by the Board to persuade pilots that there is no such thing as ice bridging and that pilots should not wait for ice to build to one-quarter to one-half-inch thickness before inflating boots in icing conditions.
- Page 1