April 2015 Issue

Saving The MU-2

Lessons learned from type-specific training for Mitsubishi’s turboprop apply to what you fly, too.

On September 30, 2005, then-Director of FAA’s Flight Standards Service, Jim Ballough, noted in a letter to the type’s owners/operators, and to maintenance technicians, “the MU-2 series airplane has been involved in 11 accidents over the past 18 months, with a total of 12 fatalities.” The letter announced the agency “urgently” was undertaking an “in-depth” safety evaluation and added, “performance expectations and control techniques common in other turboprop twins do not necessarily transfer to flying the MU-2.” Ballough’s letter acknowledged the widespread perception that the airplane had a problem, thanks to its wing design and use of spoilers for roll control, which had been building for years.

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