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Beechcraft Duke owners should check flaps prior to flight

February 17, 2011, 05:32 pm

Pilots who fly the Be-60 Beechcraft Duke aircraft should be aware of the potential that wing flap malfunctions may contribute to an accident, according to Avstop.

The Federal Aviation Administration cautioned pilots who fly this particular aircraft, following a fatal 2007 accident that resulted in the death of the pilot, the aviation news source says.

In the original accident, the aircraft was destroyed shortly after taking off from New Castle Airport in Delaware. After investigating the flight, it was discovered that the flap actuators were potentially improperly maintained, as one was fully retracted and the other was fully extended.

The group encouraged pilots to perform flap preflight checks before taking off. To do so, pilots should visually verify that the flap positions align with cockpit indicators, and if a malfunction is apparent, they should perform a full inspection before takeoff.

The pilot who died from the faulty flap actuators was experienced in the field and had "a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings" as well as "1,080 hours of total flight time, with 425 hours in multiengine airplanes," the source said.

This case reinforces that even very experienced pilots are not immune to fatal accidents. Life insurance for pilots is important no matter what level of experience the pilot has.  

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