11 Accidents In Two Years
The design of the Mitsubishi MU-2B twin turboprop is not inherently unsafe, the FAA said in a safety report released last week. The airplane has been involved in 11 accidents in the last two years, in which 12 people died. The FAA's analysis found that compared to similar twin-turboprop airplanes, the MU-2B accident rate is about twice as high. The fatal rate is about 2.5 times higher, while fatal accident rates in icing conditions are four times higher. An MU-2B pilot is seven times more likely to lose control and have a fatal accident during an emergency compared to pilots flying similar airplanes in similar situations. The airplane is complex and high-performance, the FAA said, and pilots and maintenance workers need better training to properly handle and fly it. The safety review was undertaken after several members of Congress from Colorado asked for the airplane to be grounded, following two fatal crashes at Centennial Airport.