US FAA issues airworthiness directive including winter training and low airspeed alarm to address Cessna Caravan icing risks

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Completion of an approved pilot winter operations training course and fitment of a low airspeed warning system to Cessna 206 Caravans are expected to be mandated soon by a US Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive applying to all commercial operations by the type, says the US Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA).

The Caravan Icing Working Group, involving RACCA, the FAA and Cessna, was formed early this year. While the group worked on a programme to improve icing risk management, the FAA introduced interim restrictions on Caravan operations in marginal winter weather. Many of the accidents invoved major cargo operators.

The working group has resulted in the launch of an FAA-approved, Cessna-run Caravan Safety Awareness seminar and a winter operations seminar. Pilots can attend seminars or complete a five-module online training course to gain a certificate of completion by Cessna. This certificate, plus fitment by the operator of a low airspeed warning system, will be mandated by December, says RACCA, and Cessna says it is updating its Caravan flight manual to include the new requirements.