Congressmen Push FAA To Evaluate MU-2

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The FAA has agreed to evaluate the safety of the Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 twin turboprop, after several members of Congress from Colorado asked for the airplane to be grounded. Two MU-2s have crashed in Colorado in the last year, killing three people. The FAA will not ground the aircraft, but will examine its record and check operational procedures and pilot training, The Washington Times reported on Thursday. Further, the FAA "won't hesitate to do that [ground the fleet] if we have the data to support it," FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette told the Times. Mitsubishi disputes claims that the aircraft is unsafe, the Times said. Last year, after four fatal crashes in MU-2s, Mitsubishi recommended that pilots get specialized simulator training specific to the aircraft. The FAA conducted a review of the aircraft's safety record in the mid-1980s and found no major problems. After another review in 1996, the FAA required changes in pilot training prior to flying in icing conditions. The current review is expected to take about two months.