During the years 1982 through the present, there have been over 150 inflight icing related accidents within the United States involving aircraft that were equipped for flight in icing (not all of them were certificated for flight into known icing). Many of these accidents involve Part 23-certificated aircraft, where smaller scale may play a very powerful role. But the common perception of an icing accident as simply too much ice followed by a stall is based more on the old CAA cartoon depicting the effects of icing as “cumulative” than on what actually happens. These sixteen reports provide a cross-section of the types of events that have occurred. If United 21 and Northwest 5 represent the benchmark investigations of the 1940’s, then Simmons 4184 and Comair 3272 are the most comprehensive icing investigations of the 1990’s. Unfortunately, many of the lessons learned from all of these earlier accidents continue to be borne out by the investigations of the 21st century.

A number of these reports are not “blue-cover” NTSB reports, but simply the Factual and Probable Cause reports combined. There are many, many more of these within the NTSB data.

It is interesting to compare the the CVR transcript in the Circuit City accident (N500AT) and the interview with the captain of Northwest 5 (see Historical Reports). During the 65 years between these events, there have been hundreds of similar events, and this type of icing accident remains the dominant event type today in ice-protected airplanes. It would seem that, if we spent more time studying accident histories, we might prevent or at least mitigate any similar events in the future.

Rocky Mountain 217

 DeHavilland DHC-6
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
December 14, 1978 


Lear 25D
Detroit, Michigan
January 19, 1979

Simmons 4184

Embraer EMB-120
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
April 29, 1993

Martinaire 633

Cessna 208B Caravan
Ardmore, Oklahoma
March 2, 1995


Douglas DC-8
Narrows, Virginia
December 22, 1996

Comair 3272

Embraer EMB-120
Detroit, Michigan
January 9, 1997

Comair 5054

Embraer EMB-120
West Palm Beach, Florida
March 19, 2001


 Cessna 208B Caravan
San Angelo, Texas
January 24, 2003 

Jetlink 2733

Embraer EMB-120
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
April 29, 1993

Grand Aire 183

Dassault DA-20
Swanton, Ohio
April 8, 2003


Cessna 208B Caravan
Bangor, Maine
November 4, 2003

Skywest 3855

Bombardier CL-60 Rapid City, South Dakota
January 17, 2004


 Beech 90 King Air
Rawlins, Wyoming
January 11, 2005 


Cessna Citation 560
Pueblo, Colorado
February 16, 2005

American Eagle 3008

  Saab 340B
Santa Maria, California
January 2, 2006 



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