Accident Synopses

Note: All aviation accidents are investigated by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). Each occurrence is assigned a level, from 1 to 5, which indicates the depth of investigation. Class 5 investigations consist 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 November 2006 and January 2007, areall "Class5," and are unlikely to be followed by a TSB Final Report.

On November 11, 2006, a privately-owned Robinson R-22B helicopter was returning to the Boundary Bay,B.C., airport from Harrison Lake. While en route, the pilot decided to practice several manoeuvres (quick stops and descents with reduced power). During one manoeuvre, the main rotor rpm decayed slightly below the green arc, and the warning horn sounded. The pilot flared to increase the rotor rpm and added power. During the flare, the tail rotor struck the ground and the helicopter crashed. Both occupants received serious injuries. The helicopter was destroyed. TSB File A06P0240.

On November 12, 2006, a privately-owned Cessna 150G was being taxied from a country church yard to the owner's home grass strip. The pilot stopped the aircraft to wait for a vehicle to be moved. The driver of the vehicle was providing traffic control, and was struck by the propeller as he walked in front of the aircraft toward his vehicle. The driver sustained serious injuries to the right side of the body and was transported to hospital by ambulance. TSB File A06C0183.

On November 14, 2006, a Bell 206L helicopter was going through translation shortly after takeoff, when the engine (RollsRoyce Allison 250 C20R) lost power. The pilot carried out an autorotation. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail rotor driveshaft and vertical winglets during the landing. The pilot was not injured. TSB File A06C0188.

On November 18, 2006, a Hummelbird ultralight crashed in a field south of Plattsville, Ont. The engine (1/2 VW) reportedly stopped suddenly. The aircraft stalled and impacted the ground, causing substantial damage and seriously injuring the pilot. The pilot was airlifted to the Hamilton, Ont., hospital. TSB File A06O0290.

On November 24, 2006, a Falco F8L amateur-built was on approach to Runway 06 at the Hamilton, Ont., airport. The landing checks were completed and the landing gear lever was selected down. The aircraft touched down with the landing gear partially extended, and skidded to a stop on the runway. The pilot evacuated the aircraft and received no injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was moved to a hangar and placed on jacks. Maintenance found the landing gear circuit breaker popped, and once it was reset, the landing gear operated normally. TSB File A06O0296.

On November 24, 2006, a Spectrum Beaver ultralight, with two pilots on board, was performing low flying manoeuvres over a farmer's field, when one of the wings struck a fence. Control of the aircraft was lost and it struck the ground, resulting in substantial damage to the aircraft and serious injuries to the occupants. TSB File A06O0297.

On November 24, 2006, a Piper PA-31-350 was on an IFR flight from Edmonton, Alta. (CYXD), to Valleyview, Alta. (CEL5). After a visual approach to a runway, which was believed to be that of CEL5, the aircraft landed on a snow-covered, abandoned forestry strip about 1.5 NM south of CEL5, which was utilized as a summer helicopter staging area. During the landing roll, the aircraft went through two snow windrows, formed by a ploughed road that crossed the landing area, and came to rest facing 90° to the landing path. The aircraft sustained a collapsed nose gear, damaged propellers, and wrinkled nose structure. There were no serious injuries to the pilot or five passengers, who exited the aircraft and walked to a nearby forestry building. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activated automatically during the landing. Flight visibility at Valleyview was estimated at about 4 SM in light snow. The pilot was navigating by GPS and this was his first flight into CEL5. A pre-departure briefing by company operations involved a discussion of minimum IFR altitudes and diversion plans for weather. The company contacted the airport operator to determine runway conditions. Snow clearing was in progress. When the flight was in range of CEL5, the pilot activated the aircraft radio control of aerodrome lighting (ARCAL), and airport maintenance staff confirmed that the lights came on. The abandoned strip was not lit. TSB File A06W0214.

On November 27, 2006, a SOCATA TB 21 Trinidad airplane, occupied by the pilot alone, took off from Runway 23 at the Brantford, Ont., airport for a local flight. A power loss of the AVCO Lycoming TIO-540-AB1AD engine was experienced when the pilot retarded the throttle at the top of the climb a few miles southwest of the airport. Power was regained when the pilot advanced the throttle. He returned to the airport, joining a high right downwind leg for Runway 23. Again, all power was lost when the throttle was retarded. The pilot landed the airplane on the runway with no engine power. The landing gear was not down at touchdown, resulting in belly and propeller damage, but no injury to the pilot. TSB File A06O0298.

On November 20, 2006, a Schweizer 269C helicopter, was taking off from a helipad with one pilot and one passenger on board, for a recreational flight. During the transition to hovering, the aircraft started to spin to the right. The pilot tried unsuccessfully to regain control of the aircraft by slamming on the left pedal. The engine power did not decrease, and after several spins, the helicopter crashed on the helipad before coming to a stop on its left side. The tip weights of the three main rotor blades came off during the roll-over. One of them crossed through the cabin of an R22 helicopter parked on the helipad, and became stuck in a plastic container located approximately 100 ft away. Another one went through the wall of the company's hangar. The third was not found. Nobody on the ground was injured, and the two occupants were unharmed in the accident. The examination of the aircraft's controls did not reveal any pre-accident anomalies. The throttle engage switch was in the "HOLD" position, and the belt tensioner, which transmits the engine power to the transmission, was in the semi-stretched position. The aircraft took off even though the throttle engage switch was not in the "ENGAGED" position, and the engagement phase was not complete. While hovering, the revolutions of the main rotor and tail rotor diminished. The decrease in revolutions led to the loss of yaw control. When a loss of yaw control occurs while hovering, it is recommended to cut the throttle and conduct an auto rotation. TSB File A06Q0187.

Helicopter Accident

On December 5, 2006, a Bell 206B helicopter was working approximately 30 NM southeast of Chetwynd,B.C., in clear and calm weather. The helicopter approached a clearing for landing in an area that had 2–3 ft of snow cover. The pilot compressed the snow several times with the skid gear, and when satisfied that the snow had been compacted, reduced the collective to settle the helicopter for shutdown. When the pilot opened the right door to check tail rotor clearance, the helicopter rolled to the left. The main rotor blades struck the ground and the helicopter came to rest on its left side with substantial damage to the nose, engine deck, tail boom and main rotor blades. There were no injuries to the pilot or two passengers, who were seated in the front and rear left seats. The pilot contacted the company via satellite phone, and when arrangements were made for pick up, the emergency locator transmitter(ELT) was shut off. There was no post-impact fire. TSB File A06P0265.

On December 6, 2006, a Cessna 152 was on a round-robin photography flight from Saskatoon, Sask., to the Candle Lake Airpark, Sask. About 20 NM northeast of Prince Albert, Sask., the aircraft struck high-tension electrical lines running beside a highway. Part of the vertical stabilizer and rudder were torn from the aircraft. The pilot diverted the flight to Prince Albert, where he landed safely with emergency personnel standing by. No injuries were reported. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, and was dismantled for shipment back to its base. TSB File A06C0195.

On December 8, 2006, a Cessna 172N was on a local student training flight at Steinbach (South), Man.(CKK7). The instructor took control with the intention of demonstrating the recovery from a "balloon" on landing. The aircraft was flared about 15–20 ft above Runway 18. As the instructor applied power to recover, the aircraft stalled, dropping the left wing. The aircraft struck the runway heavily, causing damage to both wings, the nose gear, and propeller. There were no injuries. The flight school reported the wind as 180° at 8 kt. TSB File A06C0199.

On December 8, 2006, a Robinson R44 helicopter was lifting off from a confined area about 5 NM north of Cranberry Portage, Man. During liftoff, the main rotor contacted a power line, and the helicopter crashed. There were no injuries; however, the helicopter was substantially damaged. The two occupants were able to communicate by radio and satellite phone and walked two miles to a highway where they were met by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). TSB File A06C0200.

On December 9, 2006, a Bell 206L-3 helicopter was engaged in heli-skiing operations at Trout Lake,B.C., near Revelstoke, B.C., flagging areas for another helicopter to drop off skiers. The helicopter was in a steady hover, landing on a 7 500-ft dome, when it suddenly pitched up and rolled over, sustaining substantial damage. Heavy snow was falling at the time. There was no fire. None of the three occupants was injured. TSB File A06P0263.

On December 24, 2006, a Cessna T182T was departing Runway 33 at Buttonville, Ont., for a local flight. During takeoff, control of the aircraft was lost; it became airborne momentarily and touched down on the runway with a30° crab angle. The aircraft exited the runway to the west, the nose wheel dug into the soft grass, and the aircraft overturned. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, but there were no injuries to the three occupants. The aircraft was equipped with airbags, but they did not deploy.
TSB File A06C0321.

On December 28, 2006, the pilot of a PA-22-108 Colt departed Lyncrest, Man., on a local pleasure flight. Upon returning to the airport, the pilot decided to do a touch-and-go landing at a snow-covered grass strip near Oakbank, Man. The pilot was familiar with the strip, having used it in the past for training. The wind was calm and the pilot overflew the strip prior to touchdown. The aircraft touched down main wheels first, and as the nose wheel touched down, the tire broke through the crusted snow, causing the aircraft to nose over. The pilot was uninjured; the aircraft sustained damage to the left wing tip, propeller and windshield. TSB File A06C0209.

On January 10, 2007, a Eurocopter AS 350 B-2 helicopter was being relocated from a landing pad at the company base in Grande Cache, Alta., to a nearby parking area. Visibility was about 0.7 SM in falling dry snow, and there were approximately 4 in. of dry snow on the ground. After liftoff, the pilot established the helicopter in a hover at 15–20 ft above ground level (AGL). In conditions of blowing snow, the helicopter moved forward and to the right, and then down. The helicopter then struck a 4-ft high snow bank and the main rotor blades struck the ground. The helicopter came to rest upright; however, it was substantially damaged. The pilot sustained minor injury. There was no report of a system malfunction. TSB File A07W0006.

On January 10, 2007, a Bell 47 helicopter, with an instructor and student on board, encountered heavy snow showers and rapid in-flight rotor blade icing as it entered the Abbotsford,B.C., control zone from the east practice area(Sumas). The instructor elected to land immediately in a clear area near a freeway, but he could not maintain altitude with the available power and rotor rpm. The helicopter touched down on the crest of the median of the divided highway and bounced, touched down again, and turned 180° to the right before coming to rest upright near the highway. The occupants were not injured and there was no fire. Damage occurred to the skids, tail boom, and tail rotor blades; the main rotor did not contact the tail boom and was undamaged. Examination of the helicopter revealed no mechanical anomaly. A review of the local weather at the time of the accident shows that a severe snow squall passed through the area, containing a mixture of rain, wet snow, andpossibly freezing rain. TSB File A07P0018.

On January 12, 2007, while attempting to start a cold soaked, ski-equipped Cessna 185F, the engine was over-primed. The engine subsequently started at an unusually high rpm; the aircraft departed its parking spot and struck a snowbank. The aircraft sustained damage to its right wing, right landing gear leg, and horizontal stabilizer. TSB File A07C0006.

On January 24, 2007, a Cessna 401B was landing on Runway 22 at Swift Current, Sask. After touchdown, the right main landing gear collapsed. The right wing contacted the runway surface and the aircraft veered to the right off the runway surface. There were no injuries. Information provided indicated that all three wheels showed down and locked prior to touchdown, and that the warning horn did not activate until the right main landing gear began to collapse. Examination by company maintenance found that a double-ended adjusting screw (LH and RH threads) broke at the rod end and allowed the side brace to unlock from its overcenter position. TSB File A07C0016.

On January 28, 2007, a Cessna 172H was on approach for Runway 33 at the St-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Que., aerodrome. The aircraft landed approximately 200 ft before the runway threshold, on a snow-covered surface, and turned over onto its back. The pilot was not injured in the accident. TSB File A07Q0023.

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