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Transport Canada - Aviation Safety Letter Accident Synopses - ISSUE 4/2009

Accident Synopses - ISSUE 4/2009

Note: All reported aviation occurrences are assessed by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). Each occurrence is assigned a class, from 1 to 5, which indicates the depth of investigation. A Class 5 consists of data collection pertaining to occurrences that do not meet the criteria of classes 1 through 4, and will be recorded for possible safety analysis, statistical reporting, or archival purposes. The narratives below, which occurred between February 1, 2009, and April 30, 2009, are all “Class 5,” and are unlikely to be followed by a TSB Final Report.

— On February 4, 2009, a Cessna 152, being flown by a student pilot on his first solo flight, bounced upon landing at the St-Hubert, Que., airport, and completed its run in the snow about 50 ft off the runway. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft sustained damage to the propeller and one wing. TSB File A09Q0021.

— On February 17, 2009, the student-pilot/owner of a Robinson R22 helicopter was practicing a confined area procedure a few miles north of the Gatineau, Que., airport. The helicopter sank in the snow on landing, causing a tail rotor strike. The tail boom, the tail rotor drive shaft, the tail rotor gearbox and the tail rotor were damaged. The pilot was not injured. TSB File A09Q0026.

— On February 21, 2009, a Piper PA-12 airplane experienced a right main landing gear collapse when landing on Runway 27 at the Rockcliffe airport, in Ottawa, Ont. The pilot stopped the engine and held the right wing in the air as long as he could, until there was not enough speed to maintain lift. The airplane went off the right side of the runway and stopped against a snowbank. There was no propeller strike and no damage to the airplane structure, other than the landing gear. The pilot and passenger were unhurt. TSB File A09O0035.

— On March 6, 2009, the pilot of a Cessna 310 was joining the circuit at the Airdrie, Alta., airport. He was demonstrating a single-engine approach and landing for his passenger, and on downwind, shut down the left engine and feathered the propeller. Shortly thereafter, the pilot selected the gear down and extended the flaps to 30°. The aircraft began to descend and full power on the remaining engine could not maintain altitude. The flaps and gear were retracted as the aircraft turned onto the final approach, but there was insufficient time for the aircraft to recover from the descent. The aircraft impacted a snow-covered field about 1 mi. short of the runway threshold, resulting in substantial damaged to the aircraft, but no injuries to the two occupants.  TSB File A09W0042.

— On March 14, 2009, a Cessna A185E amphibian aircraft was on a VFR flight from Shearwater, B.C., to Bella Coola, B.C. While flying down the Labourche Channel, 25 NM west of Bella Coola, at 700 ft, the pilot encountered a heavy snow shower. He began to descend, intending to land on the water, and configured the aircraft for landing. Because of the low visibility and glassy water, the pilot was not aware of how close the aircraft was to the surface. The aircraft’s left float touched the surface prematurely and broke the left front float strut. The propeller then sliced through the left float. The aircraft came to rest upright. The pilot and single passenger evacuated the aircraft and were both uninjured. The aircraft later overturned and sank. TSB File A09P0049.

— On March 14, 2009, a Piper PA-44-180 with one instructor and two students on board had departed Fredericton, N.B., for a local training flight. During stall recognition and recovery training, the aircraft inadvertently entered a spin. The instructor took control of the aircraft and recovered from the spin; however, not before the aircraft struck trees. The aircraft continued through the trees and came to rest in an upright attitude at ground level. The three pilots exited the aircraft through the windshield with non-life-threatening, but serious, injuries. The investigation revealed several safety issues, including altitude selection for stall practice, lack of stall demonstration for the student by the instructor, and abrupt aft movement of the control column just prior to the stall. It is unclear whether the instructor followed through with effective preventative control input to reduce the possibility of spin entry. Other findings include the lack of matches in the on-board survival kit and lack of appropriate survival clothing worn by the instructor, which allowed his core body temperature to fall to within two degrees of hypothermic levels before being rescued. Short- and long-term corrective action for these safety issues has been initiated by the operator.  TSB File A09A0017.

— On March 25, 2009, an MD600N helicopter was engaged in avalanche control operations in the Toba Valley, B.C. The centre door on the left side of the helicopter had been removed to allow the blaster to drop explosives onto the slope. While hovering, immediately after dropping explosives on to the mountainside at 7 000 ft above sea level (ASL), a gust of wind in conjunction with rotor downwash and fresh snow caused whiteout conditions and forced the helicopter uphill into the slope. The main rotor blades struck the mountainside and the helicopter slid down about 400 ft. The helicopter was destroyed, the pilot received minor injuries, and the two passengers were uninjured. TSB File A09P0060.

— On April 1, 2009, an AS 350D helicopter was returning to Kuujjuaq, Que., after a local flight. While the aircraft was hovering toward its parking area, a sign became detached from the Air Inuit hangar because of the turbulence created by the rotor. The sign was projected into the tail rotor. The pilot was able to maintain control of the aircraft and land without incident. An inspection revealed major damage to the tail rotor blades. Debris was also projected, and damaged the vertical stabilizer as well as the main rotor blades. TSB File A09Q0046.

— On April 9, 2009, a privately registered Beech Bonanza was in the circuit at Beiseker, Alta. The pilot had been in conversation with another pilot who was also in the circuit at the time. When the occurrence pilot called final for Runway 16, radio transmissions involving the other aircraft continued. The landing gear was not lowered for the landing. There was no reported gear warning horn. There were no injuries to the lone occupant and the TSB will follow up as to the serviceability of the warning horn. TSB File A09W0071.

— On April 9, 2009, a Piper PA-18-150 ski-equipped aircraft took off from Squamish, B.C., for a sightseeing trip with one passenger, and landed on the Mamquam Glacier, 12 NM east of Squamish. The pilot attempted a takeoff, but found the aircraft was not accelerating normally due to the snow conditions, so he abandoned the takeoff. He then disembarked the sole passenger along with some safety equipment and attempted another takeoff. The aircraft again did not accelerate normally. Before the pilot could abandon the second takeoff, the aircraft hit a crevasse and overturned. The pilot suffered minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A09P0074.

— On April 17, 2009, a Fleet 80 Canuck aircraft took off from Oliver, B.C., for a private strip located 4.3 NM west of Rock Creek, B.C. During the flight, the ceiling and visibility deteriorated. The pilot made a 180° turn, but found weather conditions in that direction just as bad, so he turned back on his original track. While in the vicinity of a snow-covered mountain saddle, he encountered whiteout conditions and the aircraft impacted rising terrain. The pilot received minor injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged. Signals were received from the emergency locator transmitter (ELT). A search and rescue (SAR) operation was launched and the pilot was rescued by a Department of National Defence (DND) helicopter about 7 hr after the accident. TSB File A09P0087.

— On April 23, 2009, a Cessna 150M aircraft was being prepared for start on the ramp at the Langley, B.C., airport. Two passengers were on board. As the battery was dead, the pilot set up the cockpit for start, left the cockpit and swung the propeller. When the engine started, it ran at a high power and the aircraft moved across the ramp, striking an empty Piper PA-28-140, which was parked on the ramp. Both aircraft were substantially damaged. The pilot of the Cessna and his two passengers were not injured. TSB File A09P0092.

— On April 24, 2009, an Enstrom F-28A helicopter took off from Chemainus, B.C., for Duncan, B.C. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot attempted to adjust the fuel mixture with his left hand, as his right hand had a previously injured index finger. This necessitated reaching across the panel. The adjustment resulted in a too lean mixture and the engine (Lycoming HIO-360-E1AD) began to backfire and run rough. At an altitude of about 300 ft above ground level (AGL), since the engine was no longer producing sufficient power, the pilot decided to enter an autorotation to a field. While flaring to arrest the forward motion, the tail contacted the ground and broke, and the helicopter rolled over several times. The pilot sustained minor injury. The helicopter was substantially damaged. TSB File A09P0100.

— On April 26, 2009, the pilot of a privately owned Maule M-6 executed a pass over the field in Masson, Que., to verify the condition of the grass landing strip. Since the grass strip looked in good condition, the pilot chose to land. On touchdown, the aircraft rolled over. The pilot, sole person on board, was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A09Q0059.

— On April 29, 2009, a Cessna Caravan 208 aircraft had landed at the St. Andrews, Man., airport with the pilot and nine passengers onboard. While exiting the aircraft from the front right door, a passenger tripped on the aircraft’s folding stairs and fell onto the tarmac. The passenger sustained serious injuries, was taken to a hospital for treatment, and was later released. The operator advised that the folding stairs at the right front door were serviceable and correctly extended. Safety action taken: The rear door stairs are larger and more secure and the operator has decided to exit all passengers from the rear door in the future. TSB File A09C0066.


This article was published by Transport Canada in TP 185E -. Reprinted with permission

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