Accident de Havilland Canada U-1A Otter (DHC-3) C-FJIK,
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Date:Monday 26 November 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland Canada U-1A Otter (DHC-3)
Owner/operator:Smithers Air Service
Registration: C-FJIK
MSN: 229
Year of manufacture:1957
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Takla Narrows, BC -   Canada
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
The aircraft had been chartered to carry a stove and 3 passengers to a remote hunting and fishing lodge. on the return flight the passengers and 250 to 300 cases of empty beer bottles were to be carried.
The passengers were in the cockpit and first row of seats; the rest of the aircraft was filled with beer bottles.
Immediately after lift-off, the aircraft pitched to a steep nose high attitude, which the pilot was unable to prevent or correct. The aircraft stalled and fell to the ground. A severe fuel-fed fire erupted on impact and gutted the aircraft.
The pilot had been thrown clear, but the pax died in the fire.

Investigation determined that there were not less than 4773 bottles aboard. A weight and balance calculation based on this discovery indicates that the gross weight of the aircraft was 636 lbs over the maximum allowable, with the c of g 11.5 in aft of the rear limit. Calculations by the manufacturer indicate that the aircraft would run out of elevator control with the c of g 4 in aft of the rear limit. The pilot had estimated that a dozen bottles weighed 3 to 4 lbs, when the true weight is 7 lbs.


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