Canadian Safety Board Recommends Approach Plate Changes

 - May 14, 2012, 4:35 PM

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) last week released its investigation report (A09Q0203) and recommendations derived from the December 2009 crash of a charter Beech King Air A100 while on approach to Quebec’s Chicoutimi/St-Honoré Aerodrome (CYRC).

The aircraft crashed three miles short of the runway during a non-precision approach procedure at night and in adverse weather. The aircraft struck trees after descending below the minimum descent altitude. Both pilots were killed, while two passengers received serious injuries.

The TSB asked Transport Canada (equivalent of the FAA) to require approach charts to depict the optimal path to be flown rather than the line joining the obstacle clearance altitudes currently shown. The TSB also wants to see Canadian operators use a stabilized, constant-descent-angle approach when flying non-precision instrument approaches.

TSB member Kathy Fox said, “During step-down approaches, aircraft are flown at minimum altitudes for a longer time, exposing people to increased risks of approach and landing accidents [ALAs]. To avoid ALAs, operators must fly stabilized, constant-descent-angle approaches, above the minimum altitudes. To help them do that, approach charts must show the optimal flight path for safe descent to the runway.”

The TSB said 70 percent of ALAs involve air-taxi aircraft.