Accident Synopses

Note: The following accident synopses are Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) Class 5 events, which occurred between August 1, 2012, and October 31, 2012. These occurrences do not meet the criteria of classes 1 through 4, and are recorded by the TSB for possible safety analysis, statistical reporting, or archival purposes. The narratives may have been updated by the TSB since publication. For more information on any individual event, please contact the TSB.

— On August 4, 2012, the pilot of an Aeronca 7ACX was trying to start the engine by hand-propping the propeller at Prince Albert (Glass Field) Airport (CYPA), Sask. The engine started and increased in rpm; the aircraft moved forward. The pilot ran around the wing strut, jumped into the aircraft and pulled back the throttle lever. The aircraft struck a tractor parked in the vicinity and was substantially damaged. The pilot was partially in the aircraft and not secured by seat belts or a shoulder harness. The pilot struck the door post and suffered serious injuries. The aircraft had been tied down at the wing struts but heavy rains in the area made the ground soft, and the ground tie-downs had detached. The parking brake was set but did not hold. TSB File A12C0104.

— On August 5, 2012, the pilot of a Schweizer 269C-1 helicopter, with one passenger on board, was at an altitude of about 2 550 ft ASL and on approach to land at Widgeon Lake, B.C. when directional control was lost. The outside air temperature (OAT) was about 25°C. The helicopter rotated around its mast several times and descended into the water about 50 m from the shoreline. Both occupants egressed the sinking helicopter and swam to shore. They were evacuated to Vancouver Harbour by a floatplane and met by an ambulance. They did not require medical attention. The aircraft sank. TSB File A12P0121.

— On August 5, 2012, a float-equipped Cessna U206G began its takeoff run on Pelican Lake, Ont., with a pilot and four passengers on board. During takeoff from the water, the aircraft rolled to the left and the left wing clipped the water. The aircraft came to rest in an inverted position submerged in water. The pilot and four passengers evacuated the aircraft with minor injuries, but the aircraft was substantially damaged. The operator immediately responded and picked up the occupants by boat. Wind was reported as coming from a 280° angle at 10 kt, gusting to 20 kt. TSB File A12C0102.

— On August 6, 2012, a Cessna C-172 with one pilot and three passengers on board departed Salmon Arm Airport, B.C., on a flight to Victoria, B.C., with a stop in Pitt Meadows, B.C. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot flew along Shuswap Lake before force-landing in a field near a campground in Sicamous, B.C. During the landing roll, the aircraft nosed over. The occupants suffered minor injuries. The Salmon Arm Airport is 1 751 ft ASL, which is a higher elevation than Shuswap Lake and the field where the force landing took place. The outside air temperature was estimated at about 25°C. The aircraft flight plan indicated 5 hr of fuel endurance. TSB File A12P0122.

— On August 6, 2012, an amateur-built Murphy Rebel SR2500 was on the takeoff roll from a 75 ft-wide and 1 500 ft-long grass and gravel airstrip at the Sheslay River Airstrip, B.C. There was a strong cross wind. The aircraft swerved to the left and came to rest in trees bordering the runway. The rescue coordination center received an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal and sent a helicopter to pick up the pilot. There were no injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A12P0120.

— On August 8, 2012, an Aerospatiale AS350 B-2 helicopter had conducted two orbits of the landing zone 15 NM south of Norman Wells, N.W.T., before commencing an approach to landing. At about 20 ft above the ground, the helicopter struck some trees on the left hand side. The aircraft landed and came to rest upright. However, the rotor blades and tail boom were substantially damaged. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. The Trenton rescue coordination centre (TR RCC) reported an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal. TSB File A12W0107.

— On August 13, 2012, the pilot of a Cessna 150M aircraft was attempting to take off from a private grass strip 7 NM south of St. Catharines/Niagara District Airport (CYSN), Ont., and found that the aircraft would not climb. The pilot realized that the flaps were fully down and that the aircraft would not be able to clear the trees at the end of the runway, so he attempted to land on the remaining runway. The aircraft landed hard, collapsing both the left main gear and the nose gear. The aircraft came to rest upright with substantial damage to the wings, landing gear and fuselage. The pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. TSB File A12O0131.

— On August 17, 2012, an Aerostar (RX-8) balloon was on a commercial flight, as part of the hot air balloon festival, from Hydro-Québec Park to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. with three people on board. While the balloon was making its approach to a field located 1 NM south of Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil Airport (CSB3), Que., it started a rapid descent and made a hard landing. The pilot was severely injured and the basket was slightly damaged. TSB File A12Q0139.

— On August 17, 2012, a Fantasy Sky Promotions (Fantasy 8-90) balloon was on a privately operated flight, as part of the hot air balloon festival, from the Fort Saint-Jean Campus in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. with four people on board. While the balloon was making its approach to a field in Marieville, Que., it started a rapid descent and made a hard landing. A passenger was thrown from the basket and seriously injured on impact. The balloon was not damaged. TSB File A12Q0140.

— On August 19, 2012, the pilot of an unregistered Aeroquest Elan weight-shift basic ultralight departed from his home strip about 8 NM north of Lloydminster, Alta., for a local flight. He was not heard from that evening, so a search was started the next morning. The aircraft was found to have crashed in a ravine near the pilot's home. He was fatally injured. The pilot, who had recently purchased the ultralight and had taken possession that day, was conducting takeoffs and landings. Two TSB investigators were dispatched to the scene. TSB File A12W0117.

— On August 20, 2012, the pilot and the passenger of a Piper PA-28-140 were returning to Altona, Man., from Steinbach, Man., on a pleasure flight. On approach to the Altona Municipal Airport, the pilot noticed a vehicle parked on the runway with its lights flashing. The vehicle operator had been conducting a sweep of the runway for debris following a local car racing event. The operator had inadvertently locked the keys in the truck while outside the vehicle, thereby disabling it on the runway. The pilot overflew the airstrip and elected to land on an adjacent 2 000-ft grass strip. There was no wind, the outside temperature was high and the aircraft was landing into the setting sun. The aircraft touched down approximately 1/2 way down the strip at a high speed. The pilot immediately applied brakes but was unable to stop the aircraft before it overran the end of the runway. The aircraft entered a drainage ditch causing damage to the nose gear, engine cowling and propeller. The pilot came forward into the instrument panel and was injured. The passenger was not injured. The local RCMP and ambulance services responded and transported the pilot and the passenger to hospital for observation. TSB File A12C0112.

— On August 23, 2012, a Robinson R44 helicopter and a Robinson R44 II helicopter, both privately operated, were parked near each other at Chicoutimi/Saint-Honoré Airport (CYRC), Que. One of the aircraft was preparing to take off when the engine of the other aircraft started. The rotors of the two aircraft made contact and caused damage to the main rotor blades, but there did not seem to be any debris. Nobody was injured. The main rotor blades were removed from both helicopters and sent to the manufacturer in order to determine whether they could be repaired or whether they needed to be replaced. TSB File A12Q0153.

— On August 26, 2012, the pilot of a Luscombe 8AX at Lachute Airport (CSE4), Que. was starting the engine by hand because the aircraft was not equipped with a starter. Since nobody was around to help the pilot with start-up, the tailwheel had been attached to an anchor point with a nylon strap. After start-up, the strap broke and the aircraft began to move toward another aircraft. In order to avoid a collision, the pilot held onto the left wing strut. The aircraft came to a stop in a ditch, and the propeller and right wing tip were damaged. Nobody was injured. TSB File A12Q0147.

— On August 26, 2012, an amateur-built, float-equipped Glastar aircraft was departing from Stoney Lake, Ont. During the takeoff run, the pilot rotated the aircraft off the water earlier than usual to avoid boat traffic. The aircraft settled back onto the water with the left wing low and in a nose down attitude. Subsequently, the left float dug in and the aircraft spun around on the water. The aircraft came to rest upright. The occupants exited the aircraft before it capsized and were assisted by boaters. There were no injuries, but the aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A12O0140.

— On September 5, 2012, a private Cessna 172 with four adults on board and about 1/3 fuel capacity attempted to take off from a grass strip at the east end of Canim Lake, B.C. The aircraft became airborne but settled, and takeoff was aborted. The aircraft ran off the end of the strip into two ft of water and flipped over. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activated. There were no injuries. TSB File A12P0146.

— On September 5, 2012, a privately owned Cessna A188B (Ag Truck) departed from a field near Jarvie, Alta. in still air conditions. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft struck power lines and then collided with flat terrain and nosed over. The aircraft was substantially damaged, and the pilot sustained serious injuries. The pilot was wearing a five-point harness, a flight helmet and respirator. TSB File A12W0123.

— On September 9, 2012, a private Piper PA-24-250 Comanche flew from Maple Creek, Sask., to Saskatoon, Sask., to drop off a passenger and then flew back to Maple Creek without refueling. On arrival at Maple Creek, the pilot decided to divert to Swift Current, Sask., because of thunderstorm activity. In the turbulence, the cabin door popped open and the pilot's glasses got lost. The pilot had difficulty reading and setting radio frequencies. The pilot arrived in the vicinity of the Swift Current Airport but was unable to activate the aircraft radio control of aerodrome lighting (ARCAL) at Swift Current Airport. Several agencies and other pilots in the vicinity attempted unsuccessfully to assist, but fuel was eventually exhausted. A forced landing was made into a field about 5 mi. east of Swift Current Airport. The pilot reportedly sustained minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A12C0125.

— On September 14, 2012, a privately owned Piper PA-20X, with two people on board, was conducting high-speed taxiing exercises on Taxiway Delta at Bagotville Airport (CYBG), Que. While the pilot was putting the tailwheel on the ground, the aircraft veered slightly to the left, and then hard to the right and ground-looped. The aircraft ended up on the edge of Taxiway Delta. The left wheel collapsed; the left wing hit the grass and was bent. There was a small fuel leak. The two people on board were not injured. TSB File A12Q0166.

— On September 16, 2012, a privately owned Cessna 414A was on an IFR flight from Kuujjuaq (CYVP), Que. to Schefferville (CYKL), Que. While landing, the aircraft touched down at high speed on the wet runway. The crew was not able to stop the aircraft, which ended up in a ditch at the end of Runway 18. During the runway overrun, all the landing gears collapsed. Nobody was injured. At 20:51 GMT, 11 min after the accident, the automated weather observation system (AWOS) issued a ceiling of 300 ft with visibility of 1¾ mi. in light rain and mist. TSB File A12Q0167.

— On September 17, 2012, a Robinson R44 helicopter landed in dry grass at a remote gas plant site. Near the end of the 2 min cool down, as the pilot was about to disengage the drive engagement clutch prior to engine shutdown, the engine (Avco Lycoming O-540-F1B5) stopped. The pilot opened the door and observed a grass fire at the rear of the helicopter, below the engine. The pilot attempted to extinguish the fire using the cabin fire extinguisher and water bottles, but the fire spread to the engine compartment. Within 3 min, the helicopter was completely consumed by flames. The helicopter was destroyed; the pilot was not injured. The ground in the vicinity of the landing site was covered with tall, dry grass. In an area measuring approximately 12 ft in diameter, the grass had been cut using a hand-held weed whacker in order to provide a suitable touchdown spot. The helicopter was fitted with a D318-1 shield installation, in accordance with Robinson R44 Service Bulletin SB-46. This installation provides shields below the exhaust collectors and tailpipe to reduce the chance of grass fire. Section 10 of the R44 Pilot's Operating Handbook contains a safety tip that advises against landing in tall, dry grass, as the exhaust is low to the ground and very hot, and a grass fire may be ignited. TSB File A12W0131.

— On September 19, 2012, a Bell 206B helicopter landed on the shoreline of Oldman River, about 5 NM east of Cowley, Alta., with a pilot and one passenger on board, in order to access a fly fishing site. Following departure from the site, the helicopter flew into an unmarked single-wire power cable that spanned the river, approximately ¼ mi. from the landing site. A section of the No. 2 gauge cable wrapped around the mast and pitch links, resulting in a loss of control. A forced landing was carried out in a field immediately adjacent to the river. The helicopter struck the ground twice before coming to rest in a partially upright position. It was substantially damaged. The pilot sustained minor injuries, and the passenger was uninjured. The downed power cable ignited a grass fire which spread across a large section of the field. Good VFR weather conditions existed at the time of the occurrence. The pilot had flown into the area in the past but was unaware of the cable. The helicopter was not fitted with a wire strike protection kit. The power pole that supported the cable was marked with red and white stripes on one end of its span, but the opposite pole was obscured by trees. The power cable has been replaced and is now marked with two white cones on the section above the river. TSB File A12W0133.

— On September 23, 2012, a Boeing Vertol BV107-II helicopter was grapple logging about 23 NM west of Bella Coola, B.C. The grapple grabbed two logs, and the helicopter began to lift the load and fly it off the hill. As the logs were becoming airborne, the grapple began to slip and the load was deemed too heavy. As a result, the crew released the load. Unfortunately, one of the falling logs hit a worker on the ground, causing fatal injuries. TSB File A12P0161.

— On September 25, 2012, an unregistered amphibious Ramphos S ultralight was on a VFR flight from Joliette Airport (CSG3), Que. Shortly after the crosswind takeoff, the aircraft crashed. The pilot sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital. The aircraft’s right wing was substantially damaged. TSB File A12Q0176.

— On September 26, 2012, a float-equipped Cessna 185 was arriving at Ocean Falls, B.C., from Coal Harbour, B.C. with four persons on board. On short final, the pilot was advised that they were landing at the wrong dock. The pilot performed an overshoot and flew straight ahead at low altitude to the next dock about 1 NM away. Upon approaching the second dock, the pilot was advised that the first dock had been the correct one. The pilot then executed a left turn at low altitude. The aircraft lost speed and collided with the water on the aircraft's left side. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but it remained upright and did not sink. There were no injuries to the persons on board, all of whom were wearing personal floatation devices. They evacuated onto a rescue boat. The weather was clear with unlimited visibility, winds were light and variable, and manoeuvring room was unrestricted. TSB File A12P0165.

— On September 27, 2012, a Bell 206-L4 helicopter took off from a road located between the guy lines, about 150 ft from the Dubray transmission tower, which is located approximately 117 NM northeast of Chibougamau, Que. The tower had three guy lines attached at three different heights. During takeoff, the main rotor struck a guy line about 30 ft from the ground. The aircraft landed without further incident. The guy line was cut. The tips of both main rotor blades were substantially damaged. None of the three occupants were injured. The guy line bases were marked. TSB File A12Q0178.

— On September 28, 2012, the owner of a Denney Kitfox IV aircraft was conducting taxi runs on a private runway with the recently purchased aircraft. On the final taxi run, the aircraft became airborne near trees at the end of the runway. The aircraft climbed steeply then banked sharply to the right before power was reduced, and the aircraft pitched nose down. The aircraft entered the tree canopy almost vertically before impacting the ground. The owner, the sole occupant, sustained serious injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A12A0097.

— On October 1, 2012, the pilot of a Bell 206B helicopter was conducting dust control spray application in the Sudbury, Ont. area. While coming out of a turn to conduct another swath application, the helicopter lost altitude and collided with the ground. The helicopter was substantially damaged, and the pilot sustained minor injuries. TSB File A12O0162.

— On October 2, 2012, the pilot of a Lake LA-4-200 amphibious aircraft was conducting touch-and-go landings on the Ottawa River near Cumberland, Ont. On the first landing, the pilot encountered glassy water conditions and the aircraft touched down hard, buckling the fuselage. The aircraft sank rapidly, but the pilot was able to evacuate the aircraft and was rescued by a nearby boat. The pilot was wearing his shoulder strap and an inflatable life jacket at the time of the accident. TSB File A12O0169.

— On October 15, 2012, a float-equipped Cessna 172 overturned while taking off on a training flight from Pitt Lake, B.C. with an instructor and student on board. The student was able to escape the aircraft with minor injuries, but the instructor lost consciousness. Attempts by the student to extract the instructor were unsuccessful. The student pilot was rescued by a passing boat before Search and Rescue (SAR) arrived on scene. Rescue divers later recovered the deceased instructor from the aircraft. The aircraft was substantially damaged. TSB File A12P0179.

— On October 26, 2012, a Bushmaster Super 22 advanced ultralight was on a VFR flight in the Low, Que. area. The aircraft had experienced engine problems (Rotax 582) the week before the flight. The pilot had been forced to make an emergency landing in a field next to his runway, not far from his home. Following usage checks and a ground test, the pilot took off from the field and headed towards his runway. During the flight, the engine (Hirth Motoren K-G Reciprocating) sputtered again and then stopped completely. The pilot was not able to restart the engine and, as a result, he was unable to reach the runway. He crashed in a wooded area. The pilot was taken to hospital as a precaution. The aircraft was substantially damaged. As the aircraft was being recovered, it caught fire and became engulfed in flames. TSB File A12Q0189.

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