Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- October 31

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Oct 31, 1994: An American Eagle commuter flight crashed near Roselawn, Ind., with the loss of all 68 persons aboard. The aircraft, an Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72, had been in a holding pattern due to weather delays at Chicago. In a report issued on Jul 9, 1996, the National Transportation Safety Board cited the probable cause as a loss of control due to icing, the manufacturer’s failure to provide information on the icing hazard to the aircraft, and French aviation authorities’ failure to ensure its airworthiness under icing conditions. Deficiencies in FAA oversight were listed as contributory causes.

Following the accident, meanwhile, FAA took a variety of steps to reduce hazards to ATR aircraft and, on Dec 9, 1994, prohibited flight by models 72 or 42 into known or forecast icing conditions. On Jan 11, 1995, FAA eased this ban, subject to certain requirements, to apply only to freezing rain and freezing drizzle. The agency also required the installation of improved deicing boots on the aircraft by June 1995. Subsequent FAA actions on the broader issue of combating icing included the issuance on May 2, 1996, of 18 new airworthiness directives affecting pilots of 29 different aircraft types. (See May 28, 1992, and Dec 13, 1994.) “

Don Brown
October 31, 2007

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