Concerned about the growing number of Cessna 208 Caravan icing accidents, aviation authorities in the U.S. and Canada have issued a bevy of new recommendations, airworthiness directives and restrictions. Caravans continue to be plagued by icing accidents–more than 34 to date– and the number of lawsuits against the manufacturer is mounting.
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne reported that the European Aviation Safety Agency approved TSOs of the Release 6.0 upgrade for the Entegra integrated flight deck system and for the EX500 multifunction display. The Lincoln, Mass. company said the approvals clear the way for Avidyne OEM partners to deliver the upgrade for retrofit on European-registered aircraft.
The comment deadlines for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to incorporate technology to reduce flammability exposure in fuel tanks and a related advisory circular have been extended from March 23 to May 8.
A proposed AD is aimed at owners of the Sandel ST3400 terrain awareness and warning system/radio magnetic indicator (TAWS/RMI). The action was prompted by a report of in-flight bearing anomaly caused by input signal fault and software error. The FAA wants owners of ST3400s to install new software and placard the system until the upgrade is installed. Comments on the proposed AD are due by April 24.
Two instances of bearing failure in GE CT7-8A turboshaft engines prompted the FAA to issue an emergency AD (2006-06-51) on March 17. The directive requires Sikorsky S-92 operators to inspect the chip detector for debris at intervals of 25 hours. The FAA says aluminum oxide contamination caused the first failure and damage from improper use of a tool caused the bearing to fail in the second case.
After nearly a year of planning, the FAA is launching a new en route traffic-management tool called airspace flow programs (AFP). The goal of the AFP is to shift away from using ground delays at destination airports not affected by en route weather as a tool to manage traffic demand during severe weather.
Houston-based flight services group Universal Weather and Aviation selected SkyCare International as its preferred handler for New Zealand and the Southwestern Pacific. SkyCare provides FBO services throughout New Zealand, using agents at most airports and with its own dedicated facilities in Auckland and Wellington.
NTSB preliminary statistics for last year show an increase in aviation accidents for airline and general aviation operations and a decline for on-demand air taxis. The NTSB said there were 1,669 accidents last year involving GA aircraft compared with 1,617 in 2004. The 562 fatalities involved in GA accidents were four more than during the previous year. The NTSB also reported higher GA rates (accidents per 100,000 flight hours).
A new FAA program is intended to improve the use of comprehensible English as the international language of aviation and support new English language proficiency standards that are scheduled to go into effect in two years. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member states must “adopt, and controllers and aircrews must conform to and achieve, new English language proficiency standards” by March 2008.
The investigation into the apparently accidental death of line employee Joyce Miller, 29, on February 28 at Wilson Air Center’s Charlotte/Douglas International Airport FBO continues, according to president Bob Wilson. “We are unable to make any further statement until it is completed,” he told AIN, adding that Wilson Air Center has “conducted a review of our procedures.” The Charlotte, N.C.