Final Report: Icing blamed for fatal Caravan crash in Canada

 - January 24, 2007, 10:12 AM

Cessna 208 Caravan, Winnipeg, Canada, Oct. 6, 2005–The Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) found that, although the Morningstar Air Express Caravan took off clean, its performance diminished as ice built on its critical surfaces. Moderate icing was forecast for the area. The Caravan was also about 3 percent overweight and 488 pounds over the 8,550-pound mtow for operating in icing conditions. Before the final report was issued, the TSB recommended that Caravan pilots not take off in worse than light icing conditions.

“Last January, the TSB recommended safer procedures for pilots encountering icing conditions in flight,” said Wendy Tadros, chair of the TSB. “We also went to the root of the problem, making recommendations to advance safety for the 1,713 Cessna 208s that fly worldwide.”

The report also concluded, “Aviation weather forecasts incorporate generic icing forecasts that may not accurately predict the effects of icing conditions on particular aircraft. As a result, specific aircraft types may experience more significant detrimental effects from icing than forecasts indicate.”

The Caravan took off from Winnipeg International Airport at 5:37 a.m., on a freight flight to Thunder Bay, with one pilot on board. Several minutes later, the aircraft began a descent and the pilot requested an immediate return to Winnipeg. The Caravan turned right and descended below radar coverage. After a very steep descent, it crashed on railway tracks in Winnipeg. The ATP-rated pilot was killed, and the aircraft was destroyed by impact and an intense post-crash fire.