Re: ATR-72's and Airbuses

Date:         11 Nov 96 01:52:20 
From: (Scott Odle)
Organization: Earthlink Network, Inc.
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In article <airliners.1996.2202@ohare.Chicago.COM>, wangermn@barder.Princeton.EDU says...

>The ATR42/72 did pass all the FAA icing test requirements during
>certification.  All planes out there have to pass these tests.  However,
>the icing conditions that caused the crash (supercooled droplets) is pretty
>rare and is not part of the certification requirement.  Now, it is clear
>given the accident and a couple of other incidents that the ATRs need
>better de-icing to cope with these conditions.  However, I've seen no reports
>on whether any other aircraft have had control problems that were due to
>similar icing conditions.  I believe the FAA or NTSB mused about testing
>other types of aircraft under similar conditions, but with the icing tanker
>now decomissioned I'd say the chances of that happening in the near future
>are minimal.  I wouldn't trust _any_ prop in those icing conditions.  (I
>think this was part of ATR's argument - the pilots knowingly flew the plane
>in severe icing conditions - a definite no no.)

The FAA did indeed research most or all other aircraft to see which may
have a problem and they did indeed test them before the tanker was
decommissioned.  Also, the loss of the tanker does not mean it will never
be done again, besides the tanker is only a small part of what is necessary
for the testing.

>As for the 737s, I bet if a plane that a) wasn't a Boeing b) didn't have
>over 2000 units in service had 2 unexplained crashes the FAA would have
>grounded it by now.

And what do you base these conclusions, obviously nothing other than shear

>It took another near accident (the Eastwind incident)
>to kick the authorities into gear and actually talk about making changes to
>the rudder system.

Do your have any idea how long the FAA and ntsb has been trying ot figure
out what the cause was.  What do you propose they change?  If you don't
know that a specific item is the problem area what good does redesigning
parts of the aircraft do when there is no idea if the problem is fixed.
If you car were broken down would you simply begin resigning it and
replacing parts or would you find out what the problem is so that you can
be sure that it is taken care of.

>Conclusion: yup, ATR should have just got on with improving the icing
>system, but some of their beefs about the US authorities are partially
>justified.  Oh, and you shouldn't feel safe in any turboprop flying through
>supercooled droplets.

What do you mean should have, THEY DID.