Recommendation R20070018

Recommendation issued to: Cessna Aircraft Company

Recommendation details
Output No: R20070018
Date issued: 09 October 2007
Safety action status: Closed - No Action
Background: Why this Recommendation was developed

Output text

Safety Recommendation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that Cessna Aircraft Company, consider revising the Cessna 208 series aircraft Pilot Information Manual for emergency procedures on chip detector and pilot warnings.

Initial response
Date issued:
Response from: Cessna response
Response text:

Cessna Aircraft Company responded to this proposed safety recommendation (draft recommendation F) in the ATSB draft report by stating:

Cessna continues to support our previous stance on this subject. A chip detector annunciation can identify a minor to a major problem. This is the reason Cessna has elected to leave the checklist somewhat up to the pilot's discretion. The pilot is the only one in a position to assess whether he has a minor or major problem and the potential effects. It would be equally bad to lead the pilot into a premature off airport landing when a minor problem would have allowed the engine to run normally to a safe airport landing.

Prior to this occurrence, Cessna and APC records show that there has never been an electrical discharge damage (EDD) failure on an APC starter generator installed on 208 aircraft. A review of the Lucas starter generator maintenance history, that Cessna had access to, reveals no incidents of any EDD or electrical short problems on Lucas units during the past five years. (Five years is as far as the easily accessible records go back.) Based on the above information, Cessna does not believe a change to the emergency procedures is warranted.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB does not accept Cessna's comment in relation to the information contained in the pilot's emergency procedures.  While acknowledging that the pilot is best placed to evaluate any abnormal situation, the emergency procedures statement "if engine gauges are normal, proceed to destination..." can be misleading if the number-1 engine bearing is becoming distressed.  This investigation has shown that this process can take only a few minutes from chip detector light illumination to complete engine failure. 

It is the ATSB's view that the Cessna emergency procedures should consider this scenario and include a statement such as "land at the nearest suitable location" irrespective of engine gauge readings. This does not mean the pilot should carry out an off airport landing as stated in the Cessna response.  As such, the ATSB now formally issues safety recommendation R20070018.

Last update 05 April 2012