NTSB Identification: ATL06IA071.
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Incident occurred Thursday, April 27, 2006 in Raleigh, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Beech C90A, registration: N90CH
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

While in cruise flight at 17,000 feet, the pilot smelled smoke. A few seconds later, flames and smoke started shooting out of the lower left windshield. The pilot turned off the windshield heat, and the flames went out, but the smoke persisted. The pilot declared an emergency with air traffic controllers, diverted, and landed the airplane safely. Examination of the airplane found scorch marks and soot on the left windshield near the terminal block. The damaged windshield was shipped to the manufacturer, PPG Industries, Inc., for further examination. Examination revealed the unit showed a condition similar to other units that were found to have overheated blocks during late 1996 and early 1997. These blocks were subject to a joint investigation by Raytheon Aircraft Company and PPG during 1997. That investigation identified the root cause of the terminal block overheating, relating to the manufacturing process. The manufacturing process was corrected by PPG in August 1996. Raytheon issued Safety Communiqué No. 134, describing the events, part numbers affected, and procedures to perform in case of such an event. These procedures were added to the FAA-approved airplane operating handbook in June 1997. The damaged windshield from this incident was one of the windshields manufactured just before the manufacturing process was corrected.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

The inadequate manufacturing process, which resulted in a windshield fire and subsequent emergency landing.

Full narrative available

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