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Last updated: 23 March 2019
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 9 December 1997
Time:15:26
Type:Silhouette image of generic E110 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante
Operator:Sowind Air
Registration: C-GVRO
C/n / msn: 110285
First flight: 1980
Total airframe hrs:13724
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 17
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Little Grand Rapids, MB (   Canada)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Winnipeg International Airport, MB (YWG/CYWG), Canada
Destination airport:Little Grand Rapids Airport, MB (ZGR/CZGR), Canada
Flightnumber: 301
Narrative:
Flight 301 departed St. Andrews at 14:15 CST on a 40-minute, scheduled flight to Little Grand Rapids. The flight was pilot self-dispatched and departed under visual flight rules (VFR) in controlled airspace. When the aircraft approached Little Grand Rapids, the crew received the unofficial airport weather report by radio from the airport manager. The weather was reported as a ceiling of 200 feet agl and a visibility of one statute mile, and the crew flew an instrument approach. A missed approach procedure was carried out and the aircraft climbed back above the cloud layer. The crew then heard that a company Piper Navajo had landed on runway 18, visibility on finals being 2 miles. The Bandeirante crew then began a second approach, descending to an altitude of 150 feet. The track followed by the aircraft was east of the normal approach path and at low level. Power was applied just before the aircraft banked rapidly to the left, followed by a nearly immediate right bank and impact with the terrain. The aircraft descended into the trees in a shallow left bank approximately 400 feet south and 1 600 feet to the east of the approach to runway 36.
It was found a.o. out that at both takeoff and landing, the aircraft was about 1 000 pounds heavier than the relevant maximum allowable weight. Also, the GPS installed in C-GVRO was not approved as a primary navigational aid. The available information indicates that the flight crew used the GPS as a primary navigational aid during the last approach to Little Grand Rapids.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "
1. At the time of the occurrence, the base of the cloud at Little Grand Rapids was between 100 and 300 feet agl, with fog to the east of the airport, and the visibility was one to two miles.
2. The aircraft was flown in marginal weather at low level, below the minimum en route altitude for commuter operations and below the MDA for the NDB A approach at Little Grand Rapids. The MDA for the approach was 1 560 feet asl, 555 feet above the airport elevation.
3. While the aircraft was being maneuvered at very low level in marginal weather, it descended after an abrupt turn, and flew, in controlled flight, into the terrain."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years
Accident number: A97C0236
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Photos

photo of Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante C-GVRO
photo of Embraer 110P1 Bandeirante N84940
N84940 was sold to Canada as C-GVRO in July 1996.
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft
 

Map
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 Winnipeg International Airport, MB to Little Grand Rapids Airport, MB as the crow flies is 266 km (166 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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