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Is The Cessna 208 Caravan A Safe Aircraft?  
User currently offlineVald From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12968 times:

Following a crash of a 208 in ireland on 05-july-2007.
I was thinking of quite a few of Fedex aircraft that crashed & when i lived in the states for almost ten years
(91 till 99) i kinda remember a couple there too.
After i went to AVIATION SAFETY NETWORK site to be honest i was shocked to see how many
occurrences were on the database.
After all its first flight was only 1982 &
approx 1000+ bulit = 134 hull losses over 10% of total production

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCsturdiv From Australia, joined Aug 2005, 1515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12956 times:

Did you check to see what the causes were of those crashes? I am sure that not all of the 134 losses can be blamed on the equipment, there is some pilot errors in there somewhere.


An American expat from the ORD area living and working in Australia
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4358 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12942 times:

I don't understand from a safety point of view why it only has one engine while many smaller aircraft have a decent fuel burn and economics with two engines. When the engine fails, you have a problem. In the jungle or mountains or deep sea, a safe emergency landing is difficult. I flew on them though in Honduras and Belize and it were pretty nice flights.


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlinePILOTALLEN From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 656 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12942 times:

They are just as safe as the pilots flying them. The biggest complaint....besides lack of speed is their ability to pick up a lot of ice. With landing gear struts hanging out, wing struts, belly pod and large wings/tail...but even with the ice just as long as the pilot/pilots are on top of it there won't be too much of a problem. I flew around in one for a winter and it had every trait of every other cessna built, strong, reliable (espeically with the Pratt) and rugged. Ice was the biggest problem and the lack of speed didn't help when building it....but in my opinion its a safe plane


Thats not flying, thats falling with style -Woody
User currently offlineDispatcher From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 254 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12942 times:

Nothing scientific here, only my opinion.. the type of flying they do, single pilot, single engine, night IFR may speak more about the accidents than the plane itself.

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12937 times:

The Caravan is a popular "step-up" plane for new commercial pilots, i.e. with a fresh commercial certificate in hand, you can go off and pick up some turbine PIC time by flying ungodly early shifts for the local Fedex affiliate...so you have low-time pilots flying boxes at odd hours (single pilot), often IFR in some really lousy weather just to build the time to put themselves into a regional airline cockpit, and I'm afraid that some of those less-than-ideal conditions that I just mentioned contribute to the rather high accident rate  Sad It would be interesting to compare accidents in passenger ops vs. freight ops in the USA, I think we'd see a huge difference  Wink


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12912 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 2):
I flew on them though in Honduras and Belize

The Caravan is also a popular aircraft in countries that may or may not monitor or enforce safe maintenance and operating practices as well as others. It would be interesting to see where all of the hull losses have taken place.


2H4




Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12903 times:

I flew in a float-equipped 208A this past May here at Lake Hood, Alaska. All ten of us flew on this aircraft, line #289 N675HP, on a brief 30 minutes familiarization flight for the summer tourism season, and I gotta tell ya...I love every second of that flight.  Smile I'll do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance. This aircraft is at least 10 yrs old, but whoever the previous owner was, took extremely good care of that bird. So if you have doubt about flying in a Caravan...it should all depends on the maintenance of the individual aircraft, and the pilot's qualifications. You have the last call whether you want to go aboard. But please don't condemn the entire aircraft's production because of several hull losses. Each hull loss is different in their unique situation.
Regards.



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineBOAT From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12885 times:

Even if 50-60% are due to pilot error, that still leaves too many to not question the design and mfg of an aircraft. I had noticed the list of losses of Caravan on ASN a few months ago, and, like Vald, was suprised at the number of crashes. Maybe it has something to do with the type of service and location of many of the aircraft. I expect a very valid explanation forthcoming; as I have said before, the knowledge of members on this Site "blows me out of the water".

BOAT


User currently offlineVald From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12859 times:

Okay, single engine, single new pilot (low hours), it is a bush plane so maybe it flies alot in unsafe landmass &
the even its loaded to the gills, when things go wrong is there any margin for error?, i mean 10% is 10%. it seams like
whatever way you look at it & IT'S A MODERN AIRCRAFT. it is unsafe. val


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12841 times:

There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

The aircraft is not unsafe - it has a very good reputation among people who fly them.

But it is often used in conditions and places where the safety margin is minimal.
As noted above - low time pilots, night IFR, all winter and all weather, cargo airlines, short strips, seldom an ILS, etc.

Probably 40-50 % of all Caravan flights are at night.

Any aircraft flown in those conditions will suffer higher losses than passenger aircraft or low flight time private aircraft.

The engine is extremely reliable and not a real issue. A second engine would make the aircraft too heavy and too expensive for it's primary role as a short haul feeder.

One thing about the Caravan though - it is a very survivable aircraft should it go down. A lot of people walk away from Caravan hull loss crashes.


User currently offlineVald From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12837 times:

thanks boat,
I'm not for one minute slating the 208,
I don't find it a good looking aircraft but if
10% of a320's, a330's. b737's, b747's where ever the came from & they fly from everywhere.
Q:WOULD YOU FLY ON THEM!
val


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12818 times:

Quoting Vald (Reply 11):
Q:WOULD YOU FLY ON THEM!

Yes, I love it whenever I get a chance about once every two or three months riding with a friend who does some of those night flights. (Not for FDX)

And if I win the lottery I'm buying one - because that plane I could be certified to fly with my medical restrictions.


User currently offlineVald From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12803 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 10):
There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

The aircraft is not unsafe - it has a very good reputation among people who fly them.

Most aircraft have a super safe reputation among people who fly them.
Thats why the fly them.
to quote myself

Quoting Vald (Reply 9):
10% is 10%



Quoting Vald (Reply 9):
whatever way you look at it

fact.
val


User currently offlineVald From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12790 times:

sorry, the last post seams a bit arragant  Wow!

User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12786 times:

Quoting BOAT (Reply 8):
Even if 50-60% are due to pilot error,

Off the top of my head, I'd say 85-95% are due to pilot error (read: Ice). A good friend of mine just got out of them recently, and is starting a job flynig bizjets. He is excited to not have to do battle with the ice any longer!

Also, another friend of mine put one down on a road at night after an engine failure. I don't recall exactly why the engine failed, unfortunately.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12780 times:

Quoting Vald (Reply 9):
whatever way you look at it & IT'S A MODERN AIRCRAFT. it is unsafe.

So, okay, what's the point of this post, then? Did you want us to support your forgone conclusion  Yeah sure I, for one, will not.

If you wanted to do this, then your thread title is misleading. Why didn't you just assert "Cessna Caravan is an unsafe aircraft!" in your thread title?

Do you also assert that "crotch rocket" motorcycles are fundamentally unsafe? They are modern (far more modern than a Harley), and quite a few of them end up in crumpled heaps on the side of the road with the rider greviously injured or dead...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineVald From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12742 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 16):
So, okay, what's the point of this post, then? Did you want us to support your forgone conclusion   I, for one, will not.

The point is, sir
There are alot of these planes falling from the sky.
this is not not an A, B, or even a C Thing.
To use your own example,
forget about the person on the bike, car, or PLANE,
if & it is just an if ( don't kill the messager)
if 10% of nissans, honda, HARLEYs, saab's, spacehoppers, whatever failed while moving, is that safe!
that all.
IS IT A SAFE AIRCRAFT (ice & all)
val.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 12701 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting Vald (Reply 17):
IS IT A SAFE AIRCRAFT (ice & all)

Define "SAFE".

2H4




Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12607 times:

Quoting Vald (Reply 9):
it seams like
whatever way you look at it & IT'S A MODERN AIRCRAFT. it is unsafe. val

Since you started the thread and didn't do the research, it's you're responsibility to look up all those crashes and put together some numbers showing how many were aircraft related and how many were pilot error. If you are unwilling to do that then I suggest this thread be deleted because it's basically you just saying "The Cessna 208 is unsafe because it had had crashes". We have a 208 wreck from "Scenic" airlines in our crash lab at ERAU Prescott. I did an investigation on it for class and the cause (which we knew already), was pilot error while flying in known icing (also attributed to pilots improper weight and balance). he airplane is completely intact save for the fact it is completely flat except for the tail. I'd say it stands maybe a total of 2 feet off the ground now. All 9 pax and pilot were killed.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 5):
The Caravan is a popular "step-up" plane for new commercial pilots, i.e. with a fresh commercial certificate in hand, you can go off and pick up some turbine PIC time by flying ungodly early shifts for the local Fedex affiliate

From what I've heard from FedEx 208 pilots, that is completely UN-true. Getting a job flying a 208 for FedEx right now is harder than getting a job flying a CRJ-900 at a major regional. I was just hired into US Airways Express with a grand total of 300.1 TOTAL time. FedEx 208's usually require at least 1,500 total plus at least 500 (yes five hundred) cross-country time. Now small 208 charters may be a step up for new commercial pilots, but 208 cargo in the US is not a first job for new commercial pilots.



Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12565 times:

Quoting Vald (Reply 17):
The point is, sir
There are alot of these planes falling from the sky.
this is not not an A, B, or even a C Thing.
To use your own example,
forget about the person on the bike, car, or PLANE,
if & it is just an if ( don't kill the messager)
if 10% of nissans, honda, HARLEYs, saab's, spacehoppers, whatever failed while moving, is that safe!

No there are not a lot of these planes falling from the sky.

What is the accident rate per year?

Is it trending up or down?

What is the accident rate by geographic distribution?

What percentage of the hull-write off crashes are without injuries/ serious injuries/ fatal?

What are the primary groupings of accidents - day/night - VMC/IMC - landing/takeoff/enroute ?

Most importantly - what is the accident rate for non-hull right offs? With the same evaluation factors?

Let's take a look at the data for Cessna aircraft accidents and incidents in the US over the past 10 days:

http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/accident_incident/preliminary_data/

Total: 29 (The C560 bird strike @ Trenton is reported twice)

Fatal: 2

By Aircraft Type (# incidents by damage level: N=None; M=Minor; S=Substantial; D=Destroyed)

C150 - 2 N; 3 M;
C152 - 1 M;
C172 - 7 M;
C177 - 1 M;
C180 - 1 S (F)
C182 - 1 M; 2 S;
C185 - 1 S;
C190 - 1 S;
C206 - 1 M; 2 S;
C210 - 1 D (F)

C310 - 1 M;
C340 - 1 S;
C337 - 1 S;

C560 - 1 M;
C650 - 1 M;

No 208's.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12556 times:

Acutally your initial # is wrong - # 1,000 was delivered in Oct 1998

There are over 1,600 still flying in the world today - 7.65% loss


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12543 times:

Yes, provided it is flown by a competent pilot who respects its limitations, and does so despite pressure from the employer to do otherwise. The fact that it is turbine powered and equiped and certified for known icing may lead some into a false sense of security. It is a very marginal aircraft in anything over moderate icing. A quick look at the design should reveal that. Next question...


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12537 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 22):
fact that it is turbine powered and equiped and certified for known icing may lead some into a false sense of security. It is a very marginal aircraft in anything over moderate icing.

Agreed, you can't fly it like you would an Otter or Beaver in Ice.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12531 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 23):
Agreed, you can't fly it like you would an Otter or Beaver in Ice.

There is little that will. I hope the Twin Otter going back into production is a big success.

You know, I was about to make a joke about an icy Beaver, but it would probably get me banned.

[Edited 2007-09-27 05:07:37]


Proud OOTSK member
25 Bok269 : But Cessna determined that It would have much better of both with one.
26 N685FE : I suggest that the both of you put your heads together to come up with one sensible or knowledgeable statement. First of all there is no way in hell
27 RFields5421 : Fedex operators have lost 5 of the 50 aircraft written off since Jan 1 2002 But they lost 13 in the 10 years before that The overwhelming thing which
28 Post contains links Rongotai : Well I fly about 20 times a year on the Soundsair Caravan service from Wellington (NZ) to Koromiko (Picton). This is a route that is 90% over water th
29 RFields5421 : The Twin Otter have lost 246 aircraft out of 844 produced - 29% lost - Production run 1964-1988 - 138 hull losses - 16.3% AN-24 - 1100 aircraft - 139
30 RFields5421 : One thing this discussion and research has proven to me - don't fly the C-208 in icing conditions, and get out of icing/ on the ground as soon as poss
31 Kstatepilot : Tell me any aircraft that is to be flown in hard ice! Even the CRJ that I fly we get out of the ice ASAP. You aren't supposed to takeoff and fly in i
32 Planespotting : More like - flying the Caravan into known icing conditions is risky, but if pilot reports show only light to moderate rime or clear ice, you'll likel
33 Jano : I just flew Pacific Wings' Cessna 208B Caravan from OGG to MKK and HNL on Sep 19. The flights were 30 minute hops and were some of my best and most in
34 DHHornet : A lot of the above are the type aircraft that operate in difficult environments so this will always reflect in the figs. The Caravan is of sound desi
35 Post contains images 2H4 : A search of the NTSB database (back to the early 1960s) reveals a total of 127 accidents. Of these, a total of 31 (or approximately 25%) occurred in
36 Lowrider : Apples and oranges. The Caravan spends a much higher percentage of any given flight in the conditions where icing is most likely to occur. Rarely did
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