Wing Icing and Excess Weight Led to Caravan Accident
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report on the 2012 crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan concluded the stall-induced accident was the result of the pilot’s decision to depart Snow Lake, Manitoba, with the aircraft weighing 600 pounds more than its maximum allowable gross weight and with ice clinging to the wing and tail surfaces. The Cessna Caravan, operated by Gogal Air Services, left Snow Lake on Nov. 12, 2012, headed for Winnipeg and crashed shortly after takeoff, striking terrain in a wooded area approximately one mile beyond the end of the runway. The pilot was killed, but all seven passengers survived with serious injuries. The overweight takeoff and accumulated airframe icing had the cumulative effect of increasing the aircraft’s stall speed, reducing its takeoff and climb performance, and impairing the protection afforded by the aircraft’s stall warning system. The investigation found that the aircraft had likely been partially operating as a scheduled air carrier in instrument meteorological conditions on the day before the accident. The safety board said Gogal Air Services was authorized to operate the Caravan only as a nonscheduled carrier in day-VFR conditions.