With Mandatory Pilot Training, Caravan's Icing Problems Appear Under Control

Bernstein: "I am very, very cautious, I will feel a lot better when May comes around and there haven't been any accidents."

While supportive of the Airworthiness Directive draft, FedEx says the industry needs more time to install these new devices. It is asking that the compliance deadline be extended until Sept. 1.

FedEx has already installed the warning system on 59 of its 253 Cessna 208s. The installation time has averaged 30 hours per plane – or 8 more hours than the FAA estimated in the draft. The task is taking 12 more hours than Cessna's own estimate. Based on the current rate of installation, FedEx says it wouldn't complete the task until August.

The FAA also wants deicing boots installed on the plane's forward baggage pod. Bernstein notes that this was a requirement in an earlier directive.

FedEx says that it has already installed these deicing devices on half of its fleet.

In addition, FedEx notes that it is going beyond the directive and installing the Garmin multi-function displays with terrain avoidance awareness systems and a WSI satellite receiver to obtain "real time" weather information.

In its comments, Bernstein says RACCA is just seeking "fine tuning" of the language.

In one comment, Stephen McClure, of Bennington, Vt., questions the need for the low airspeed awareness system. "The aircraft already has such a system. It is called the airspeed indicator. The idea that you need another annunciator light or aural tone to remind you that your airspeed is decreasing in icing conditions is laughable," McClure writes.

We Recommend