"This Cessna [Caravan] should not take off into anything more than light icing -- period," said Wendy Tadros, chair of Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB), at a news conference on Wednesday. "We think it would be safer if a Cessna 208 pilot never took off during anything but light icing conditions." The TSB asked both Transport Canada and the FAA to go further than current recommendations that tell pilots to fly out of moderate and severe icing conditions. The recommendation accompanied the release of the final report on the October 2005 crash of a Cessna Caravan that encountered icing shortly after takeoff. The pilot tried to return to the airport, but didn't make it, and was killed. Although the airplane was 288 pounds overweight, the safety board said the main problem was icing.
In a statement, Cessna said, "The Caravan was designed for safety and its record is excellent. There are more than 1,700 Caravans operating around the world and the fleet has more than 9.5 million flight hours. Representatives from the FAA, Cessna Aircraft Company and the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) have formed a coalition to increase awareness on Cessna Caravan 208 operational safety. As a result of this coalition, Cessna and RACCA have begun an extensive training programs to increase pilot awareness of existing operational procedures in harsh environments, including operations in icing conditions. We have conducted in-person training on harsh weather operations for the Caravan for a number of years, and this year, launched an on-line training site dedicated to proper procedures for flying in icing conditions. It is our policy not to comment on cases under litigation, so we can't comment specifically on the Winnipeg crash."