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Engine power loss led to loss of control on final approach in fatal Metro III accident in Ontario
15 April 2015
Metro III C-FFZN (©Robert W. Arnold)

Metro III C-FFZN (© Robert W. Arnold)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report into the November 2013 fatal Metro III accident in Red Lake, Ontario.

On 10 November 2013, a Bearskin Airlines Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, on a flight from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, was on final approach to the Red Lake Airport. The crew reported that they were 5 miles from the airport, and shortly thereafter declared an emergency. The aircraft struck trees along with some power lines, and was destroyed by a post-impact fire. Two passengers were able to evacuate the aircraft with non-life threatening injuries. Two flight crew members and 3 of the 5 passengers lost their lives.

The investigation found that the crew experienced a near total loss of power in the left engine at 500 feet above ground level due to a failure of an internal engine component. The crew was unable to identify the nature of the engine malfunction, preventing them from taking timely action to control the aircraft. The aircraft’s landing configuration generated higher drag which, combined with the engine malfunction, resulted in the aircraft losing airspeed in an asymmetric power state. As the aircraft slowed, the crew lost control at an altitude from which a recovery was not possible.

Following the occurrence, the aircraft operator revised its single engine and engine failure procedures to ensure that the propeller on a malfunctioning engine does not cause excessive drag. Honeywell, the engine manufacturer, increased the inspection frequency on fuel nozzles and clarified inspection procedures. Transport Canada issued a Civil Aviation Safety Alert regarding issues with the negative torque sensing (NTS) system on Honeywell TPE-331 engines, to emphasize the need to feather and secure propellers during engine power loss events.

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