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21st of June 2019, Blog #657

A Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R powered Basler BT-67 Turbo 67 (DC-3T) was scheduled to operate a positioning flight from Eabametoong Frist Nation Community (Fort Hope Airport) to Pickle Lake Aiport (both in the province of Ontario California). The flight was one in a series of flights delivering fuel to the Eabametoong Frist Nation Community.

The aircraft in Eabamet Lake (Source & © TSB)

Before the flight, the crew completed the required checklists, which included the Before-Takeoff Checklist, which required the arming of the automatic feathering system. This action was, however, not performed by the crew. For this sector, the captain would be the Pilot Monitoring (PM), and the co-pilot would be the Pilot Flying (PF), The weather was good;

  • Wind - 100º at 7 knots

  • Temperature - 16ºC

  • Dewpoint - 6ºC

  • Altimeter setting - 29.96 inHg

At approximately 01:40 lt (local time) the aircraft lifted off runway 27. with a positive climb rate the PF called for the landing gear to be retracted, the aircraft was at about 200 feet AGL (Above Ground Level) at that time when the PNF selected the landing gear up.

Aerial view of the accident area (Source & ©TSB)

This was immediately followed by the loss of power in both engines simultaneously. The only option the crew had at this point was to execute a forced landing in Eabamet Lake, directly west of runway 09-27 at Fort Hope Airport. The emergency landing was executed in total darkness but was successful. The aircraft fuselage remained upright and started to fill with water as soon as it came to a stop. Both pilots did not sustain any injuries and evacuated the aircraft via the main cabin door after retrieving the survival kit. After swimming to the shore of Eabamet Lake the crew started a fire to warm up. A police officer noticed the fire after responding to the call of an aircraft going down. He picked up the crew and transported them to the local nursing station for a medical assessment.

The aircraft submerged in Eabamet Lake (Source CBC News © Unknown)

Damage to the aircraft was substantial but was (reportedly) repaired.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated the accident. In their Air Transportation Safety Investigation Report (which served as the source for this blog) they concluded that the findings as to causes and contributing factors were as follows;

"After lifting the landing gear control handle, with his left hand on near the throttle quadrant, the pilot not flying may have inadvertently moved the fuel condition levers, cutting the fuel to both engines simultaneously"

The TSB Air Transportation Safety Investigation Repor, with much more details on the investigation, can be accessed by clicking on the .pdf file below;

DC3T Engines off 21Jun2019
Download PDF • 1.51MB

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