Unsecured float hardware and long-term wear lead to 2012 crash of floatplane in Trout Lake, Ontario
Winnipeg, Manitoba, 14 January 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A12C0099) into the 1 August 2012 loss of control and collision with terrain of a privately-owned Cessna 180G floatplane in Trout Lake, near Kenora, Ontario.
The floatplane departed Trout Lake, Ontario, with the pilot and 2 passengers on board, and headed towards a lake to the northwest for a day of fishing. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft entered an uncommanded roll into a steep bank and began to descend, striking rising terrain. The pilot and 1 passenger were seriously injured, the second passenger sustained minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged.
Upon examining the wreckage, investigators found that a front bracing wire for the float had become detached in flight. It was likely that an unsecured clevis pin had fallen out, and that the wire had become disconnected after takeoff. The floats then twisted out of alignment due to the looseness of the float attachment fittings, which had developed as a result of long-term wear. The misaligned floats increased drag, causing a loss of airspeed, leading to an aerodynamic stall and a loss of control.
Investigators noted that there is no requirement to periodically disassemble floats for inspection. As such, corrosion damage to float attachment hardware may go undetected, which places pilots and passengers at risk of accidents.