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26th of February 2018

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

A Beechcraft King Air A100 was scheduled to operate a series of flights in the Province of Quebec, Canada on this day in aviation history, 2018. The first two flights of the series went without any abnormalities. The third flight of the day from Sept-Îles was delayed for 46 minutes due to snow accumulation on the aircraft. Snow needed to be removed from the aircraft, some was swept off, and for the rest to melt the aircraft was placed in a hangar.

The aircraft after the runway overrun (© TSB Canada)

When the snow stopped and the aircraft was clean the aircraft was refuelled and took off at 1049 local time from Sept- Îles to Havre Saint-Pierre. After take-off, the aircraft climbed to 11.000 feet for the cruise flight part of the flight, as it was only a short flight descent was initiated at 11.08 local time and ATC was informed. The weather was obtained from the Automatic Weather Observation System, heavy snow and 1/4 mile visibility. After requesting a runway condition report the crew was informed that an 80 feet wide area was cleared down the runway, traces of dry snow remained. The part of the runway that wasn't cleared had 30-inch high snowdrifts on it. As they started the approach the aircraft started to configure for landing;

  • Flaps 30%

  • Gear down and locked

  • and the pre-landing checklist was completed

The speed at the time was stabilised at 120 knots at this time. All the crew had to do is select full flaps, select propellor to MAX RPM and reduce to the Landing reference speed (Vref) of 100 knots The standard calls were made as required, and at the MDA (Published Minimum descent Altitude) the Pilot Monitoring told the Pilot Flying he did not have visual contact (As required by procedure they should have had visual contact at MDA). When there was no reply from the Pilot Flying was challenged by the Pilot Monitoring for not carrying out a go-around, he replied he had visual contact and continue below the MDA. At 125 AGL they still lacked visual contact with the runway, after passing the PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) the crew lost all external reference for a brief moment. They then spotted a small section of the runway (Later estimated to be 20 feet long by 4 feet wide), and aligned the aircraft with this visible portion of the runway, still unable to see the runway or the runway lights.

The aircraft after the runway overrun (© TSB Canada)

They had passed the runway threshold 20 seconds ago and had been overflying the runway at a low level since. They touched down 3800 feet from the threshold, 700 feet from the end of the runway. . A small bounce later they were on the ground but 3 seconds later ran off the runway. It continued for 220 feet after leaving the runway, coming to a stop in a snowbank. ATC was informed and an evacuation was initiated. Of the 8 occupants (2 crew and 6 passengers) 1 crew member and 3 passengers received minor injuries.

The impact with the snowbank caused some substantial damage;

  • Propellor blades were bent backwards when abruptly stopped upon contact with the snowbank.

  • The left Main landing gear was substantially damaged

  • Both wings were substantially damaged

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC) investigated the overrun and published an extensive (87 pages) report into the accident (Available by clicking here). Some of the findings that concluded the investigation, (full list in the report);

  1. The approach was continued past the Final Approach Fix (FAF) while the weather was below the minima.

  2. Runway lighting was only at 30% brightness

  3. The landing was continued without knowing the remaining runway length

  4. The aircraft was not correctly configured for landing

  5. Due to procedure, policy and training deficiencies, the pilot monitoring did not have the tools to be more assertive and pro-active calling for a go-around

A video on this investigation made by the TSBC can be watched by clicking on the window below:


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