The FAA recently published a notice to operators, training managers and inspectors of the importance of AC 120-109, to reinforce the importance of adequate flight crew training on the use of aircraft stick shakers and pushers. The increased emphasis was the result of a September 2010 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to stem the numbers of loss-of-control accidents due to pilot unfamiliarity with stick pushers, as well as flight into icing and wind-shear conditions.
What makes the T-6 series a better trainer than the old airplanes is that it is designed to help new pilots make a faster transition into jets. The PT6 engine has a power management unit (PMU) that makes it respond more like a jet engine than a turboprop; hopefully the only difference is that T-6 pilots still need to step on the right rudder during takeoff, although rudder trim is available and easily accessible on the Hotas. Naturally the HUD helps with the transition to jets, too, as does the modern avionics suite.
Preliminary airplane performance modeling and simulation conducted by the NTSB show that icing had a minimal effect on the stall speed of the Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 that crashed outside Buffalo on February 12, killing all 49 occupants and one person on the ground, the Safety Board said today.
An NTSB preliminary report posted yesterday provides details on a May 4 incident involving a Hawker 800A that went of control and lost more than 10,000 feet before recovering. N71MT, owned and operated by Raytheon Aircraft, was on a maintenance test flight and the crew was setting up for a stall series at 17,000 feet near Lincoln, Neb.