ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-8-314 Dash 8 C-GXAI Schefferville Airport, QC (YKL)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 20 January 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8C model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-314 Dash 8
Operator:Air Inuit
Registration: C-GXAI
MSN: 481
First flight: 1997
Total airframe hrs:39314
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 42
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 45
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Schefferville Airport, QC (YKL) (   Canada)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, QC (YQB/CYQB), Canada
Destination airport:Schefferville Airport, QC (YKL/CYKL), Canada
Air Inuit flight 820, a DHC-8-314, suffered a tail strike on landing at Schefferville Airport, Canada. The aircraft had departed Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (CYUL) at 07:06 hours local time on a multi-stop flight to Salluit. The accident occurred on the second leg, from Montréal to Schefferville.

Probable Cause:

Findings as to causes and contributing factors:

1. The pilots forgot to perform the descent checklist and realized this at an inopportune time, when the pilot monitoring was providing a position report.
2. Given the ambiguities and contradictions in the stabilized approach guidelines, the captain interpreted that he was allowed to continue the approach below 500 feet above aerodrome elevation although the flaps had not been set to 35° and the final checklist had not been completed.
3. Communicating with the flight attendant to confirm the cabin status and performing the descent checklist during final approach added to the pilots’ workload, which was already heavy.
4. The combination of the visual conditions and the plan continuation bias prompted the pilots to continue managing the height and speed deviations past the stabilized approach gate.
5. When the aircraft passed 500 feet above aerodrome elevation, the pilots, who were dealing with a heavy workload, passed the stabilized approach gate without noticing it and continued the approach, which was de facto unstable.
6. At the time of the flare, the aircraft no longer had enough energy to stop the rate of descent solely by increasing the pitch attitude.
7. The instinctive reaction to increase the pitch attitude, combined with the hard landing, resulted in the aft fuselage striking the runway, causing major damage to the aircraft’s structure.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Accident number: A20Q0013
Download report: Final report

Landing after unstabilized approach
Runway mishap


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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 Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, QC to Schefferville Airport, QC as the crow flies is 940 km (588 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from 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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