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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 168820
Last updated: 22 July 2021
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Date:14-AUG-2014
Time:00:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic AT8T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Air Tractor AT-802A
Owner/operator:Conair Group Inc.
Registration: C-GXNX
MSN: 802A-0530
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Chantslar Lake, 16nm E of Puntzi Mountain, BC -   Canada
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Puntzi Mountain Aerodrome (CYPU)
Destination airport:Puntzi Mountain Aerodrome (CYPU)
Narrative:
Carrying out wild fire fighting operations off of Chantslar Lake, BC along with 3 other aircraft of the same model. C-GXNX was second in the formation on a touch-and-go to pick up water. Upon lift-off, a control issue occurred and the aircraft struck the water, crashed and subsequently sank. The third aircraft in the formation exercised the precaution of dumping its water load and manoeuvring to stay clear of any contact with the accident aircraft as it continued its take-off. The fourth aircraft also dumped its water load but rejected the take-off and taxied to pick up the pilot in the water.

The pilot was wearing a helmet, a personal floatation device (PFD) and a 4-point safety harness. Pilot was able to egress, inflate his PFD and was held overnight in a hospital and released next morning (Friday 15th).


Findings as to causes and contributing factors
A wing stalled either independently or in combination with an encounter with a wing-tip vortex generated by the lead aircraft. This caused a loss of control moments after liftoff, and resulted in the right-hand wing tip contacting the water and in a subsequent water-loop.
The operator's standard takeoff procedures did not specify a liftoff speed for scooping operations. Lifting off below the published power-off stall speed contributed to a loss of control at an altitude insufficient to permit a recovery.
The takeoff condition, with the aircraft heavy, its speed below the published power-off stall speed, and a high angle-of-attack contributed to the loss of control.
An understaffed management structure during organizational changes likely led to excessive workload for existing managers. This contributed to risks, contained within the standard operating procedures, not being addressed through the operator's safety management system, resulting in continued aircraft operations below published minimum airspeed limitations.

Findings as to risk
If takeoff procedures do not specify a liftoff speed, pilots may take advantage of engine power and pitch control capability to get airborne below the published stall speed, risking loss of control at an altitude insufficient to permit a recovery.
If the aircraft is operated outside of the demonstrated flight envelope, there is a risk that pilots will be exposed to aircraft performance for which they are not prepared.
If organizations do not maintain the necessary management resources to oversee effective safety management practices, long-term efforts may dissipate, resulting in the risk of unsafe practices persisting in flight operations.

Other findings
The exposed rudder control cables on the floor, which run along both sides of the pilot's seat, may be subject to interference by items placed on top of them.
The exposed elevator control push-pull tube, under the pilot's seat, may be subject to interference by loose objects on the floor

Sources:

Cadors Number: 2014P1342
http://fireaviation.com/2014/08/15/seat-sinks-in-british-columbia-lake/
http://www.regosearch.com/aircraft/ca/GXNX
https://globalnews.ca/news/1511422/pilot-uninjured-after-water-bomber-crash-in-the-cariboo/
http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/aviation/2014/a14p0132/a14p0132.asp


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Aug-2014 09:24 Aerossurance Added
26-Aug-2014 05:30 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
20-Nov-2016 16:47 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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