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TSB issues report on fatal Grumman Goose crash
4 March 2010

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released the final report regarding the fatal accident involving a Grumman Goose seaplane in August 2008.

A Pacific Coastal Airlines Grumman G-21A Goose, registered C-GPCD, crashed near Alice Lake, British Columbia, Canada killing five of the seven occupants.

The flight departed Port Hardy Airport, British Columbia, on a visual flight rules flight to Chamiss Bay, British Columbia. While likely climbing to fly above a cloud-covered ridge and below the overcast ceiling, the aircraft stalled. It struck trees. A post-crash fire ignited. The emergency locator transmitter had been destroyed in the crash and did not transmit.

Investigators concluded that:

Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:
1. While likely climbing to fly above a cloud-covered ridge and below the overcast ceiling, the aircraft stalled aerodynamically at a height from which full recovery could not be made before striking the trees.
2. The aircraft broke apart upon impact, and electrical arcing from exposed wires in the presence of spilled fuel caused a fire that consumed most of the aircraft.

Findings as to Risk
1. While the company’s established communications procedures and infrastructure met the regulatory requirements, they were not effective in ascertaining an aircraft’s position and flight progress, which delayed critical search and rescue (SAR) action.
2. The emergency locator transmitter was destroyed in the crash and failed to operate, making it difficult for SAR to find the aircraft. This prolonged the time the injured survivors had to wait for rescue and medical attention.