Narrative:The Beech 99 departed Pikangikum, at 18:38 on a night VFR flight to Poplar Hill. The captain, who was the pilot flying and sitting in the right-hand seat, completed a normal takeoff. The flight took off from runway 27, over a lake. About 400 feet above ground level, the captain began a climbing right turn en route. During the turn, she had difficulty seeing the artificial horizon and concentrated on the aircraft's bank angle. The first officer called that the aircraft was in a 2000-feet-per-minute descent and took control. The aircraft struck the frozen surface of the lake, bounced, and became airborne again. The first officer retained control, and the captain attempted to feather the damaged right propeller. The first officer, believing that both propellers had sustained damage, force-landed the aircraft on the lake surface. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.
FINDINGS AS TO CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:
1. The captain chose to fly the aircraft from the right seat during a night departure when not current to operate the aircraft from the right seat.
2. The captain did not set the instrument lighting correctly for the night take-off and was unable to use the artificial horizon effectively, resulting in the loss of situational awareness after take-off and the subsequent loss of control of the aircraft.
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 Pikangikum Airport, ON to Poplar Hill Airport, ON as the crow flies is 37 km (23 miles).