Two senior aviation subcommittee members in the US House of Representatives are calling for a congressional hearing to explore aircraft icing hazards and "the steps being taken to address this potentially deadly risk," according to the 30 March request to House Transportation and Infrastructure committee leaders.

Representatives John Mica and Thomas Petri point to a long-standing most-wanted request by the US National Transportation Safety Board to reduce the dangers of aircraft flying in icing conditions as well press accounts of icing as being a "potential factor" in two recent high profile fatal crashes as justification for the hearing.

The letter specifically mentions the Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 crash near Buffalo, New York, on 12 February that killed 50, and the crash of a privately operated Pilatus PC-12 in Butte, Montana, on 22 March that killed 14.

Federal investigators recently downplayed the likely contribution of icing in the Colgan crash, saying there did not appear to be any icing protection system failures before the accident and that modelling and simulation efforts "indicate that icing had a minimal impact on the stall speed of the airplane".

The Board has called for a public meeting in mid-May to review the Colgan crash investigation factual findings to date.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news