An FAA draft letter of interpretation seeks public comment by May 3 on the meaning of the term “known icing conditions,” used–but undefined–in the FARs.
Every few years, a debate erupts about whether the phenomenon of ice bridging is real or something questionable that pilots discuss while hangar flying or warning of the dangers of flying in icing conditions. The issue recently resurfaced at an NTSB public meeting about the icing-related crash of a Cessna Citation 560 in Pueblo, Colo., on Feb. 16, 2005.
Cessna Citation 550, Fort Yukon, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2005–The NTSB has concluded that the University of North Dakota icing research jet accident was caused by the pilot’s improper use of anti-icing equipment during cruise, which resulted in ice ingestion into both engines and the complete loss of power. Factors were the icing conditions, inadequate crew resource management and failure to use a checklist.
Mitsubishi garnered top bragging rights in the most recent AIN product-support survey, and the biennial pilots’ review of proficiency (PROP) seminar series is one good reason why. How many manufacturers sponsor regular owner/operator safety seminars–let alone doing so for aircraft that went out of production almost two decades ago?
CESSNA 425 CONQUEST I, SAN JOSE, CALIF., MARCH 6, 2002–The NTSB concluded that the in-flight breakup of Conquest N444JV was caused “by the pilot’s loss of control, which resulted in exceeding of the design stress limits of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight structural failure.” The loss of control was blamed on the loss of primary airspeed reference resulting from pitot tube icing, caused by the internal failure of the pitot heat switch.
The European Aviation Safety Agency in late August certified the Eurocopter EC 225 twin-turbine helicopter for unrestricted operations in icing conditions. To be able to fly in such conditions, the 11-ton, $17 million helicopter is fitted with an optional duplex-architecture protection system. The five main rotor blades are deiced cyclically by mats heated by metal resistors.
Cessna Citation 560, Pueblo, Colo., Feb. 16, 2005–The failure of the crew to activate the de-icing boots of the Circuit City Citation on approach to Pueblo in icing conditions and failure to maintain airspeed caused the crash of the airplane, the NTSB concluded. (See page 1 for full article.)
Cessna 550 Citation II, Ft. Yukon, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2005–The captain, copilot and two research scientists were not seriously injured when Citation N77ND made an off-airport, gear-up emergency landing after both engines quit simultaneously. The University of North Dakota flight was doing icing research in IFR conditions when the accident occurred.
Manufacturers of very light jets (VLJs) will be affected by new Advisory Circular 23.1419-2D, which provides guidance in meeting Part 23 requirements for obtaining approval to fly into icing conditions. Comments on a draft of the circular are due by March 6. The advisory will supersede all previous policies related to ice-protection systems on Part 23 airplanes, as well as an advisory circular on contaminated-tailplane stalls.
Comments are due March 5 on an FAA proposal to require a low-airspeed awareness system on Cessna 208 and 208B Caravans. The installation will cancel the prohibition against operating the turboprop single in moderate or worse icing conditions.