Narrative:A de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 passenger plane, registered LN-BNS, was destroyed in a loss of control accident off Værøy, Norway. All three passengers and two crew members were killed.
Widerøes flight WF839 arrived at Værøy-Stolport Airport (VRY) at 14:30 in gusty conditions. Three passengers deplaned, two came on board. After the airplane was fueled, it taxied out for the last leg to Bodø Airport (BOO). The following wind conditions were radioed to the crew: "wind variable middle direction 250 at 21 max 57". The crew asked for confirmation that the wind was gusting to 57 knots, which was confirmed. The wind force of 57 kts was 7 knots over the allowed to operate the aircraft on the ground. The crew taxied to runway 25 and were given a new wind measurement for the west end of the airfield with variable orientation (varied within 210°-290°) and gusts of 34 knots. This wind speed was 14 kts over the company limit for departures.
The pilot in command commenced takeoff and reported rolling at 14:42. After takeoff the airplane turned to the west and climbed over sea. It entered an area of severe turbulence/wind shear and the crew had difficulty to control the airplane. The forces imposed on the airframe exceeded the design strength leading to an overload failure of the tail surface or elevator, or both.
The plane hit the sea in a left banking attitude, nose down and at a high vertical speed.
CAUSE: "The cause of the accident was that the plane during departure came into the wind that exceeded the aircraft's design criteria. Thus there was a break in the horizontal stabilizer / elevator which meant that the plane could no longer be controlled."
» Scramble Vol.11, nr.12
Official accident investigation report
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Værøy-Stolport Airport to Bodø Airport as the crow flies is 85 km (53 miles).