Icing Cited In Caravan Crash

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Airframe ice may have caused the crash of a Cessna Caravan in the Canadian province of Manitoba last week, possibly the first such accident since the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) last March requiring a "tactile inspection" of Caravan flight surfaces in potential icing conditions before takeoff. It's speculated that pilot Nancy Chase-Allan, 49, didn't run her hands over those surfaces before taking off from Winnipeg even though icing conditions were present. Peter Hildebrand, of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, told the Canadian Press that the icing hazard was high before Chase-Allan took off. "The conditions that existed yesterday are getting to the upper end," he said. According to the Canadian Press, Chase-Allan radioed controllers in Winnipeg saying the plane was icing up just before it spiraled onto railway tracks in the middle of the city. She died instantly but no one else was hurt. The AD was issued in response to a seemingly high number of ice-related incidents in Caravans. There have been more than 30 in the past 10 years in North America. The plane was owned by Morningstar Air Express under contract to FedEx. It was on its way to Thunder Bay, Ont. Chase-Allan was filling in for another pilot on the run. She normally worked in Moncton, New Brunswick, where she was also a real estate agent.