Preliminary Report: Icing Might Have Caused Caravan Crash

 - October 31, 2006, 4:53 AM

Cessna Caravan 208B, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Oct. 6, 2005–Icing conditions were present when the Caravan, operated by Morning Star Air Express under contract to FedEx, crashed after takeoff from Winnipeg International Airport at 5:40 a.m. en route to Thunder Bay, Ontario. The ATP-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was killed. She was instructed to turn right on course after departing Runway 36. Soon after that, she told ATC she needed to return to the airport because of icing. The airplane hit railroad tracks about four miles southeast of the airport and was destroyed. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the accident.

Although there have been more than 30 ice-related Caravan accidents in the last 10 years, this was the first since the FAA issued an airworthiness directive in March that required a “tactile inspection” of Caravan flight surfaces in potential icing conditions before takeoff. The NTSB preliminary report did not include the full weather report; it said only that the flight was taking place in instrument meteorological conditions.