January 2008 Issue

Saving The Cessna Caravan

Industry and the FAA recently took a close look at the Cessna Caravanís safety in icing conditions. All of us can use what they learned.

Thereís virtually no substitute for Cessnaís Model 208 Caravan as an economical, high-volume utility airplane. Thatís why it was a shock to the industry when the FAA considered revoking the Caravanís "known ice" certification. After becoming indispensable as a small-package workhorse and charter/backcountry passenger transport, a terrible trend began to develop: Caravans were crashing after encountering icing conditions. The FAA threatened to pull the 208ís certification for flight in icing unless industry figured out how to reverse the trend. Somebody had to save the Caravan. What operators, Cessna and the FAA did may change the way we all think about icing certification.

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