Caravan Icing Suits Consolidated

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Lawsuits are mounting against Cessna over the performance of its Caravan turboprop singles in icing conditions. As AVweb told you earlier this month, an Alaska jury recently exonerated Cessna and the aircraft’s design in a case involving the deaths of 10 people in a Caravan crash in Dillingham, Alaska, in 2001. Last week, the Nolan Law Group, which is representing plaintiffs in four Caravan icing-related suits in the U.S. and one in Canada, has won the right to consolidate the U.S. cases into a single action to be heard in Kansas. The cases focus on the plane’s deicing system and the law firm is asking the FAA not to wait for the courts in taking action on the alleged problems.

"We believe there are deadly defects in the deicing system and we have been trying to get the FAA to require recertification of the plane for flight into icing conditions,” said Nolan spokesman Tom Ellis. “The urgency here is to save lives." Last spring, the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) requiring pilots to physically examine lifting surfaces before taking off in icing conditions. Last week, the agency turned down a plea by operators to relax the AD’s five-minute time limit, which often requires pilots to get out of the plane in the run-up area to run their hands over the wings.