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Last updated: 27 October 2020
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 16 July 2003
Time:12:21
Type:Silhouette image of generic L188 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-188A Electra
Operator:Air Spray (1967)
Registration: C-GFQA
C/n / msn: 1040
First flight: 1959-04-08 (44 years 4 months)
Total airframe hrs:38775
Engines: 4 Allison 501-D13
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:4,6 km (2.9 mls) S of Cranbrook, BC (   Canada)
Crash site elevation: 1189 m (3901 feet) amsl
Phase: Maneuvering (MNV)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Cranbrook Airport, BC (YXC/CYXC), Canada
Destination airport:Cranbrook Airport, BC (YXC/CYXC), Canada
Narrative:
Several small forest fires had erupted near Cranbrook and the Air Spray Electra Tanker 86 was called in to fight the fires. Accompanied by a Turbo Commander the Electra took off from Cranbrook at 12:10. The Turbo Commander assessed the appropriate aircraft flight path profiles and established the most suitable fire-retardant delivery program for the ground fire. Following the flight path demonstrations by the Turbo Commander aircraft, Tanker 86 proceeded to carry out the retardant drop on the fire. After delivering the specified retardant load, Tanker 86 was seen to turn right initially then entered a turn to the left. In a left angle of bank of about 70 degrees and nose-low the Electra then struck the terrain on the side of a steep ridge at about 3900 feet above sea level. The aircraft exploded on impact.

Probable Cause:

FINDINGS AS TO CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:
1. For undetermined reasons, the Electra did not climb sufficiently to avoid striking the rising terrain.
2. Given the flight path and the rate of climb chosen, a collision with the terrain was unavoidable.
3. The characteristics of the terrain were deceptive, making it difficult for the pilots to perceive their proximity and rate of closure to the rising ground in sufficient time to avoid it.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Accident number: TSB Report A03P0194
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» CBC
» CP


Photos

photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-C-GFQA
accident date: 16-07-2003
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: C-GFQA
 

Map

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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