Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Transport Canada says Island Express Air contravened federal regulations: Airline grounded following incident; daily flights from Qualicum Beach supposed to start March 5th

Beechcraft B100 King Air, C-GIAE


The operator of the plane that slid off the runway at Abbotsford International Airport was fined $30,000 last year for repeatedly allowing improperly maintained aircraft to take off.

Transport Canada announced Wednesday that it had suspended Island Express Air’s air operator certificate due to last week’s accident and “contraventions of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.”

At least two people were hospitalized last Friday after the California-bound charter plane operated by Island Express Air slid off the runway at YXX while attempting to take off.

Island Express Air announced in February that it would be launching daily flights from Qualicum Beach starting Monday, March 5th.

Transport Canada issued the following news release Wednesday:

“Today, Transport Canada suspended Island Express Air’s Air Operator Certificate. The suspension prohibits the company from providing commercial air services. The department took this action in the interest of public safety due to the airline’s February 23, 2018 accident in Abbotsford, BC and its contraventions of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

“In light of these threats to public safety, Transport Canada will not allow Island Express Air to resume its commercial air service until it proves it can keep its operations consistently compliant with aviation safety regulations… We will continue to monitor Island Express Air’s actions as the company works towards compliance with aviation safety regulations.”

Dale Nielsen of Island Express Air told The Abbotsford News Wednesday that the company was working with Transport Canada on addressing the issues, but didn’t have a date on when the airline – which regularly flies between Abbotsford, airports on Vancouver Island, and Boundary Bay – would resume service.

Transport Canada’s record of corporate offenders shows that the airline had, on six occasions, “permitted a take-off to be conducted in an aircraft that was in their legal custody and control, which was not maintained in accordance with a maintenance schedule that conforms to the Aircraft Equipment and Maintenance standards.” The incidents cited took place in January and February of 2017.

The company had previously been fined $5,000 for allowing an aircraft to take off in 2011 “when it did not meet the requirements of applicable Airworthiness Directives.” And another $5,000 fine was levied in 2016 for allowing a “person to act as a flight crew member in an aircraft when the person had not fulfilled the requirements of the air operator’s ground and flight training program.” That incident took place in May of 2015.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.pqbnews.com

Island Express Air's president Gerry Visser shows off one of his airline's planes in 2012.


Transport Canada has grounded Island Express Air, the airline who had a small plane crash shortly after takeoff Friday in Abbotsford.

Island Express, based in Abbotsford, will be barred from operating as a commercial airline until “it proves it can keep its operations consistently compliant with aviation safety regulations,” Transport Canada said in a statement. “The department took this action in the interest of public safety.”

The agency also said the airline had contravened parts of the Canadian Air Regulations, but did not provide details.

“Transport Canada takes aviation safety seriously and expects all air operators to fully comply with aviation safety regulations. The department does not hesitate to take action when regulatory non-compliance is identified. We will continue to monitor Island Express Air’s actions as the company works towards compliance with aviation safety regulations. ”

In a recorded message on Island Express’s voicemail, the airline said they are “voluntarily suspending all flight operations.” 

“Our management team is currently working with Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board to find out the cause of the incident.”

The February 23rd crash involved a Beechcraft B100 King Air, C-GIAE, which was carrying two crew and eight passengers.

According to reports from the scene, the plane had climbed to about 300 feet when it apparently lost control and crashed into a raspberry field adjacent to Abbotsford Airport, near Walmsley Avenue and Clearbrook Road.

Two people were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

There was snow falling in the area at the time of the plane’s takeoff — about seven centimetres fell during the day, a further 15 cm the next day — but airport general manager Parm Sidhu said after the crash that it was too early to speculate if icy conditions were contributing factors in the accident.

According to Island Express’s website, the airline has 10 aircraft and serves Abbotsford, Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo with scheduled flights. They also have provided charter service to destinations around B.C., Canada, and the United States.

The airline was fined $5,000 in 2016 by Transport Canada for “for permitting a person to act as a flight crew member in an aircraft when the person had not fulfilled the requirements of the airline’s ground and flight training program.”

Original article can be found here ➤ http://vancouversun.com

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