...More than 10 percent of all Mitsubishi's MU-2s ever built have been involved in fatal accidents. More than 300 people have died.
"It would make sense for them to ground the aircraft until they have completed their investigation and then set forth their recommendations," said Salazar.
...The average fatal accident rate for the MU-2 in North America for a five-year period from 2000 through 2004 was more than triple the average of other turboprop models in its class.
And the report noted the overall accident rate of the MU-2 to be about 78 percent higher.
But Mitsubishi officials, who declined to be interviewed, say while their airplane has unique flying characteristics, it is safe. They cite National Transportation Safety Board reports that show most MU-2 crashes have been attributed to pilot error -- not to the plane.
"I do not believe it is all pilot error. The numbers are far too great," Tancredo said. "And if it's that difficult to fly, should we be flying it? I mean, if it is so hard to fly that you have to have some sort of incredible expertise, I would suggest that we should look into grounding it just for that reason if nothing else."
Even though congressional pressure is building from Colorado and elsewhere, the MU-2 is flying without restriction. There have been 11 accidents in the past 18 months killing 12 people. Even so, federal officials who first told Salazar their current investigation of the MU-2 would be completed in October now say it will be sometime this year.
Granted this release is almost a month old, but does anyone have any followup?