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Aviation Safety Letter 3/2003

More lessons learned in 2002...

The following occurrence descriptions were randomly selected from the TSB's-Class 5 investigations for the year 2002. As you will see, there are very few new accidents. The occurrences have been slightly edited and de-identified, just enough to protect the innocent, the foolish or the simply unlucky aviators. Some locations were left in where needed for proper context.

A Piper PA18-150 had departed Fort Nelson Gordon Field (CBL3), with 2 people on board. On touchdown at an unimproved farm field, the pilot was not satisfied with the speed of the aircraft and decided to abort the landing. Shortly after liftoff, the aircraft struck a power line, control was lost and the aircraft overturned into a small pond. Both occupants sustained minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

Aborting a landing is OK, as long as you have room for it. - Ed.

A Nanchang CJ6A (Yak 18) aircraft was on a local familiarization flight with the pilot/owner occupying the rear seat and his passenger occupying the forward crew position. The aircraft crossed over Osoyoos Lake and commenced a climb toward rising terrain on the east side of the lake. During this climb, the airspeed decreased rapidly. The aircraft made a slow turn to the right and entered a box canyon where it subsequently stalled and crashed. The pilot sustained serious injuries; the passenger was released with minor injuries. The aircraft was destroyed.

Considering the past history of flying into "box canyons," these two people were lucky. If you fly in mountains, valleys and canyons, you must be twice as vigilant about knowing your aircraft performance capacities. - Ed.

A DHC-2 Beaver amphibious float-equipped aircraft departed the Sudbury airport, in Ontario, and was destined to Lake Temagami. After takeoff, the landing gear was not retracted. Upon touchdown on the water surface at Lake Temagami, the aircraft nosed over and came to rest in an inverted position. Egress from the aircraft was unhampered and the uninjured pilot was picked up by boaters who observed the occurrence.

Flipping floatplane
Amphibious aircraft are wonderful, until you land on the water with the wheels down.-Ed

A Cessna 180 on floats was landing westbound on the Fraser River at the Pitt Meadows float base. Shortly after the aircraft descended out of the tower controller's view, behind a tree line along the riverbank, an ELT signal was received in the control tower. The left float had dug in upon touchdown and the aircraft nosed-over and eventually became inverted. The two occupants had time to exit the cabin and were rescued uninjured by a water taxi about 40 minutes after the accident. Both occupants had been wearing the lap and shoulder restraint belts, and the pilot was wearing an inflatable coat.

Good example of use of safety and emergency equipment. - Ed.

As a Cessna 206 was about to touch down on a 1 200-ft-long dirt strip, the sun broke through the clouds, blinding the pilot. When vision was restored a few seconds later, the aircraft was poorly positioned and the pilot aborted the landing. The aircraft could not out-climb the uphill slope of the strip, and impacted shrubs and small trees at the end. The aircraft was substantially damaged, and the occupants, who wore the available shoulder harnesses, were uninjured.

A setting sun can seriously affect your vision. See the article on proper sunglasses in this issue of ASL. - Ed.

The crew of a Bombardier CL-415 was taxiing for departure at Pickle Lake, Ontario, for a local firefighting flight. As the aircraft was manoeuvring, its left wingtip struck a standing Bell 205A helicopter, which was parked on the ramp. No injuries resulted. The CL-415 sustained damage to its left wing. The Bell 205A sustained damage to its main rotor system.

Taxiing in tight quarters? If unsure of clearance, use a marshaller. - Ed.

A DHC-2 Beaver on floats was en route from Holinshead Lake to Kashishibog when the pilot encountered deteriorating weather conditions. As the flight progressed, the ceiling became increasingly lower until it was nearly at tree top level. Shortly thereafter the pilot located a cabin at the destination outpost camp. On final approach to the camp, the aircraft struck the water while in a turn, tearing off one float, and it eventually sank. The pilot and four passengers exited the aircraft and attempted to swim ashore. While swimming, one of the passengers went missing and was not located.

Continued flight into deteriorating weather conditions — why? — Ed.

A Piper PA28-180 was en route from Pickle Lake, Ontario, to International Falls, Minnesota. Approximately 16 NM north of the Fort Francis airport, the engine lost power and the aircraft was forced to land on a logging road. Two of the three people on board received minor injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The operator advised that the aircraft had run out of fuel.

Run out of fuel - why? - Ed.

A Cessna 182 aircraft was in level flight at 10 500 ft, preparing for a parachute jump. A jumper was outside the aircraft on the step and holding on to the strut in preparation to jump, when his parachute deployed prematurely, pulling him rearwards off the step. The helmet of the jumper struck the horn of the right-hand elevator, injuring the jumper and damaging the elevator. The right-hand elevator was buckled and torn off the outboard hinge, but the pilot was able to control the aircraft and land safely, noticing only a restriction during the flare. The critically injured jumper was found about eight hours later.

The reason for the premature opening of the parachute was not in the report. If you fly in support of sport parachuting, look into this with the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association. — Ed.