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Last updated: 18 March 2019
Date:Wednesday 23 January 2013
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Kenn Borek Air
Registration: C-GKBC
C/n / msn: 650
First flight: 1979-11-13 (33 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:28200
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mount Elizabeth (   Antarctica)
Crash site elevation: 3960 m (12992 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:South Pole-Amundsen-Scott Station, Antarctica
Destination airport:Terra Nova Bay-Zucchelli Station, Antarctica
A de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter airplane was destroyed when it crashed into a steep snow- and ice-covered mountain slope at 13,000 feet 3960 metres) asl in the Queen Alexandra range in Antarctica. All three crew members were killed.
The airplane operated on a VFR repositioning flight from Amundsen-Scott Station to the Zucchelli Station at Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. There was a solid cloud cover in the area and the crew’s view of Mount Elizabeth was likely to have been obscured. The crew probably received a terrain warning 45 seconds before impact. A climb was initiated, but aircraft climb performance was not sufficient to avoid the terrain.

Search and rescue workers made visual contact with the plane's crash site late at night on January 25.

Probable Cause:

Findings as to causes and contributing factors:
The crew of C-GKBC made a turn prior to reaching the open region of the Ross Shelf. The aircraft might have entered an area covered by cloud that ultimately led to the aircraft contacting the rising terrain of Mount Elizabeth.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Accident number: A13F0011
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
13 NOV 1979 C-GKBC de Havilland Canada first flight
30 NOV 1979 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air delivered
19 FEB 1980 N55921 ARAMCO leased
NOV 1983 N55921 Empire Airways leased
JAN 1990 N55921 Empire Airlines new name
06 JAN 1992 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air returned
22 MAY 1993 C-GKBC Harbour Air leased
OCT 1993 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air returned
13 MAY 1996 C-GKBC Harbour Air leased
OCT 1996 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air returned
APR 1997 C-GKBC Harbour Air leased
OCT 1997 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air returned
15 SEP 2004 C-GKBC Maldivian Air Taxi leased
15 JAN 2005 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air returned
12 APR 2010 C-GKBC Kenn Borek Air settled back to terrain on take-off, sustaining substantial damage to the nosegear and fuselage

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 South Pole-Amundsen-Scott Station to Terra Nova Bay-Zucchelli Station as the crow flies is 2238 km (1399 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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