Cessna 208B Caravan, Parks, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2002–The NTSB attributed the Caravan accident to the pilot’s improper in-flight planning/decision making, his flight into known icing conditions and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed. Factors were the pilot’s improper preflight planning/preparation, the icing conditions and an inadvertent stall and spin.
The Falcon 7X flight-test program is progressing on schedule, with four of the trijets logging more than 850 hours during 275 test flights. Certification flights with the EASA have begun and will be completed by year-end, to be followed by final certification and first deliveries early in the new year. As a further mark of progress, Falcon 7X S/N 04 joined the test fleet in late July.
Several Beechjet flameouts have led the NTSB to make recommendations to prevent recurrences. The final recommendation, if adopted, would have wide implications: require the FAA and industry to pursue research to develop an ice detector that would alert pilots to internal engine icing and require that it be installed on new production turbofan engines and retrofitted to existing turbofan engines.
The NTSB wants the FAA to attend immediately to “deficiencies” in the cold-weather operating procedures for Saab 340s, as well as the aircraft’s performance in icing conditions. Specifically, the Board recommends that Saab 340 pilots maintain a minimum operating airspeed of 1.45 Vs before known or forecast icing conditions and during icing encounters.
The third Beechjet dual engine flameout in less than two years has left NTSB investigators, as well as aircraft manufacturer Raytheon and engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada, scratching their heads. Meanwhile, without any answers or precise operating guidance, Beechjet pilots, owners and passengers are left to ponder a disturbing trend.
It’s going to be a photo finish between the Eclipse 500 and Cessna Citation Mustang in the race for full FAA type certification (TC). Yesterday, Cessna completed the 150-hour function and reliability testing, the last major hurdle before TC.