ASN logo
Last updated: 23 April 2021
Date:Monday 7 December 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander
Operator:Air Satellite
Registration: C-FCVK
MSN: 2028
First flight: 1986
Total airframe hrs:9778
Engines: 2 Lycoming O-540-E4C5
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Baie Comeau Airport, QC (YBC) (   Canada)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Baie Comeau Airport, QC (YBC/CYBC), Canada
Destination airport:Rimouski Airport, QC (YXK/CYXK), Canada
Flightnumber: 501
Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft, which was climbing at approximately 500 feet above sea level, pitched up suddenly and became unstable when the flaps were retracted while entering the cloud layer. The pilot-in-command pushed the control column down to level the aircraft. After deciding that the aircraft could not safely continue the flight, he began turning left to return to Baie-Comeau. While turning, the aircraft rolled rapidly to the left and began to dive. The aircraft crashed into the St. Lawrence River.

Probable Cause:

1. The aircraft took off with contaminated surfaces, without an inspection by the pilot-in-command. This contamination contributed to reducing the aircraft's performance and to the subsequent stall.
2. At take-off, the aircraft was more than 200 pounds over the maximum allowable take-off weight. This added weight contributed to reducing the aircraft's performance.
3. During the initial climbout, the pilot-in-command did not follow the recommended procedure when he entered an area of wind shear. Consequently, the aircraft lost more speed, contributing to the stall.
4. Insufficient altitude was available for the pilot to recover from the stall and avoid striking the water.
5. The co-pilot's shoulder harness was not installed properly. The co-pilot received serious head injuries because she was not restrained.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 8 months
Accident number: A98Q0194
Download report: Final report

Loss of control


Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

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 Baie Comeau Airport, QC to Rimouski Airport, QC as the crow flies is 75 km (47 miles).

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.
languages: languages