Squawk Box

October 2002 Issue

Fire and Ice

King Air heater disables de-ice system for turboprop’s empennage

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.


The crew of a Beech E90 King Air experienced a loss of empennage flight controls, which resulted in total loss of aircraft control, and the airplane crashed into a building during an instrument approach. The six occupants sustained only minor injuries.

Investigators looking into the crash found the problem may have begun under the floor at a heater register forward of the lavatory.

Two inches from the heat ducting is a tubing that supplies pneumatic pressure to the deice boots on the empennage. The heater register was at fuselage station 277. The pneumatic tu...

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