Monday, February 18, 2019

Cessna 208 Caravan 675, Seair Seaplanes, C-GURL: Fatal accident occurred July 26, 2019 in Addenbroke Island, British Columbia

Pilot Al McBain

NTSB Identification: ANC19WA043
14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial Seair Seaplanes Ltd
Accident occurred Friday, July 26, 2019 in Bella Bella, Canada
Aircraft: Cessna 208, registration:
Injuries: 4 Fatal, 5 Serious.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On July 26, 2019, about 1100 pacific daylight time, a Canadian registered Cessna 208 airplane, C-GURL, owned and operated by Seair Seaplanes Ltd., was destroyed when it collided with terrain in the vicinity of Addenbroke Island, British Columbia (BC), Canada, under unknown circumstances. The airplane departed Vancouver International Water Airport (CAM9), Vancouver, BC, and was destined for a remote lodge about 29 nautical miles (nm) southeast of Campbell Island Airport (CBBC), Bella Bella, BC. The pilot and 3 passengers received fatal injuries, and the remaining 5 passengers received serious injuries.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board. This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Canadian government. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from: 

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Place du Centre, 4th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 1K8
Tel.: (1) 819-994-4252
(1) 819-997-7887 (24 hour)
Fax: (1) 819-953-9586

Pilot Al McBain died July 26, 2019 when the Cessna 208 Caravan 675 he was flying crashed crashed on Addenbroke Island. Three of the plane's eight passengers also died. 

A float plane that crashed on Addenbroke Island on Friday was bound for a popular fishing lodge in Hakai Pass.

When contacted Sunday, a woman who answered the phone for Ole’s Hakai Pass Fishing Lodge said “no comment” when asked if the plane was carrying its guests bound for the remote but popular lodge.

A statement provided via email Monday confirmed the plane’s destination.

“Ole’s can confirm that the float plane that crashed on Addenbroke Island was destined for Ole’s Fishing Lodge,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our guests and their families.

“We have no details to provide at this time to allow our guests and their families time to process this tragedy.”

The Cessna 208 Caravan left Vancouver and was bound for Ole’s on Friday before crashing around 11 a.m. while carrying one pilot and eight passengers.

To date, four people have been confirmed dead. Two were airlifted to Vancouver in critical condition, while three others were in serious but stable condition and remain at local hospitals.

On Sunday, Al McBain, the pilot of the float plane, was identified as having died in the crash.

Nathalie Chambers, a councillor with the District of Saanich on Vancouver Island, says her older brother was a lifelong adventurer who loved nature, could fix any engine and had flying in his blood.

She says their late father, Maj. John Harold McBain, had been a pilot for the Comox 442 Rescue Squadron that was dispatched after the crash to investigate and rescue the five others who were injured.

Through tears, Chambers says it was strangely fitting that the rescue squadron her father was once part of was sent to find her brother.

Chambers says she doesn’t know why the crash occurred but has learned the weather in the area was extremely poor. Weather records show it was raining at the time the plane crashed.

Ole’s Hakai Pass Fishing Lodge is near Calvert Island; the company’s website advertises fishing for trophy salmon and halibut in fishing packages that begin with a two-hour float plane ride from Vancouver to its picturesque location.

Many of Ole’s guests are returning visitors who make fishing in Hakai Pass an annual tradition; Ole’s celebrates its return guests by inducting them into the Decade Club, with at least five members joining the prestigious 20 Years Club.

A Facebook page associated with the lodge featured an image of a Seair float plane as recently as July 19.

The B.C. Coroners Service provided an emailed statement Monday, updating the status of its investigation into the deaths.

“The recovery of the deceased is now complete and they are being transported by federal agencies for examination by a coroner to confirm identification,” spokesman Andy Watson said in an email. “Until that process is complete, we will not be able to provide age ranges or hometowns of the decedents.”

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is now investigating. A three-person team arrived Sunday to the uninhabited island, about 100 kilometres north of Port Hardy. The TSB is an independent agency that investigates incidents to improve the safety of air, marine, rail and pipeline transportation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the efforts of Canadian Coast Guard crews who responded to Friday’s crash.

Trudeau, who’s in Vancouver to mark the completion of renovations at the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, says his thoughts are with those involved, their families and their friends, and he thanked the members of the coast guard who helped at the scene.

The Kitsilano coast guard base was shut down by the former Conservative government in 2013, then reopened shortly after the Liberal government took power in 2015.

Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, also thanked the rescuers: “This has obviously been a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts are with those involved and with their families, their friends and their communities.”

The pilot of a float plane that crashed on Addenbroke Island Friday has been identified in online tributes.

Pilot Al McBain has been flying with the Seair Seaplanes family for more than 15 years at the time of Friday’s crash, said company spokeswoman Kim Haakstad in an email.

“We are awaiting information from authorities and not in the position to provide any additional information at this time,” she wrote. “This is out of compassion for the families and loved ones of those involved.”

While authorities have not officially identified any of the crash victims, Facebook memorial posts about McBain began circulating Sunday, with one friend calling McBain “truly one of the nicest guys.”

“I guess I’m at peace knowing he passed doing the thing he loved most,” wrote one friend. “Flying.”

Another friend wrote that they had been dreaming about a cruise together later this year.

“He worked hard and loved to fly. He talked about what he wanted to do in the future and the places he still wanted to visit,” the post read.

The memorials came as a team of three Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Sunday morning to the remote, uninhabited B.C. island, about 100 kilometres north of Port Hardy, to begin their probe into the crash that killed four of nine people on board.

“We’re expecting to begin our work this morning,” said TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski in a call Sunday. “From what I understand, it’s a pretty remote site.”

The Transportation Safety Board is an independent agency that investigates incidents to improve the safety of air, marine, rail and pipeline transportation.

The Cessna 208 Caravan departed from Vancouver and was bound for a fishing lodge in Hakai Pass on Friday before crashing around 11 a.m. Inside, there was one pilot and eight passengers on board.

Of the nine people, four have been confirmed dead. Two others in critical condition were airlifted to Vancouver while three others in serious but stable condition were taken to local hospitals.

Weather data from the Hakai Institute showed intense rain between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Friday, around the time of the crash.

The single-engine aircraft, with capacity for 14 people, was heading to Calvert Island, a popular recreational site that’s home to the Hakai Land and Sea fishing lodge and a Hakai Institute coastal research station. The charter flight was not bound for either destination.

Friends and coworkers are paying tribute to a man believed to be the pilot of a float plane that crashed on a remote island north of Port Hardy on Friday.

The chartered flight took off from the Lower Mainland and was on its way to a remote fishing lodge when it crashed around 11 a.m. on Addenbroke Island.

Four people died and five people survived; two of them have serious injuries while the three are in stable condition.

One of the victims has been identified online as pilot Al McBain, although officials have not formally identified any of the deceased.

"[He was] a very passionate man in aviation. He was a very highly motivated individual," former co-worker Neil Diaz told CTV News. "Very sad that he passed away this way. He lived his life to the fullest."

Many on social media echoed the sentiment that McBain was a passionate and skilled pilot.

"You died doing what you love," wrote Rob Hilditch in a social media post. "Your skills certainly saved the five survivors. You will be missed greatly."

A friend who attended flight school with him in Richmond said McBain comes from a family of pilots.

"His father was a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot stationed in France," Jean-Pierre Riffard said from his home in Milwaukee, Wis. "I guess he wanted to go in the footsteps of his father and he loved flying."

Riffard said typically, pilots who are trying to become commercial airline pilots would start off as a float plane pilot, but McBain has been a float plane pilot for more than 20 years, showing his love for the job.

"He was a really dedicated pilot, very safe, not taking any risks. I don’t understand what happened in this crash … I'm sure the passengers were in the safest hands possible as he had excellent decision making."

Friends said he was a ramp worker for Air Canada and also a float plane captain for Seair Seaplanes.

The company confirms McBain has worked as one of its pilots for more than 15 years, but would not say whether he was on that chartered flight.

"We can confirm Al McBain has been a Seair pilot with the Seair family for several years," the company said in an email to CTV News.

"Out of respect for loved ones and emergency response authorities, Seair is not in the position to comment on the identities or status of any of those involved in the accident. We await confirmation from these authorities and continue to provide all possible information in order to assist during this difficult time." 

The company has not confirmed its pilot was killed in the crash.

"We are deeply saddened by the devastating accident on Friday, and our hearts are heavy," it wrote in an Facebook update Sunday. "We are continuing to work with authorities in any way that is helpful to the investigation."

On Friday, Seair suspended all its flights. It has since resumed its scheduled flights.

Three investigators with the Transportation Safety Board have arrived at the crash site Sunday morning to begin its investigation.

Westland-Bell 47G-3B-1 Sioux AH1, ZS-HGY: Fatal accident occurred July 30, 2019 in Alldays, Limpopo, South Africa

NTSB Identification: WPR19WA206
14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Aircraft: BELL 47G, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On July 30, 2019, about 0900 coordinated universal time, a Bell 47G-3B-1 helicopter, ZS-HGY, impacted terrain following a total loss of engine power near Alldays, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The pilot was fatally injured, and the passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was operated under the pertinent civil regulations of the government of South Africa.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the government of South Africa. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the government of South Africa. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Civil Aviation Authority
Accidents and Incidents Investigation Division
Private Bag X 73
Halfway House 1685
South Africa
Tel.: +27 0 11 545-1000
+27 0 83 461-6277 (24 hours)
Fax: +27 0 11 545 1465

Van's RV-6A, VH-ANU: Accident occurred July 28, 2019 at William Creek Airport (YWMC), near Lake Eyre, South Australia

NTSB Identification: WPR19WA208
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Sunday, July 28, 2019 in Williams Creek, Australia
Aircraft: VANS RV6, registration:
Injuries: 2 Serious.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On July 28, 2019, at 0537 coordinated universal time, a Van's RV-6A , registration VH-ANU, bounced during a landing attempt and came to rest inverted near William Creek, Southern Australia. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating the accident. As the state of manufacture of the airplane and engines, the NTSB has designated a US accredited representative to assist the ATSB in its investigation.

All inquiries concerning this accident should be directed to the ATSB:

Australian Transport Safety Bureau
62 Northbourne Avenue
Canberra ACT 2601
Tel: 1 800 020 616
Tel: (02) 6257 4150
International: +61 2 6257 4150

A man and woman have each suffered multiple injuries but are in a stable condition after a plane flipped while landing at a remote airport in the state’s Far North.

Emergency services were called to William Creek Airfield about 3.05 pm Sunday after the light plane landed awkwardly before flipping on to its roof.

The male pilot, 54, and his female passenger,53, who are both from Western Australia, were trapped in the wreckage.

Locals from the nearby hotel and campground came to the aid of the pair as emergency services made the long trip to the airfield. Paramedics and police from Coober Pedy – 167 km away – and Oodnadatta – 205km away – took almost two hours to arrive because of road conditions.

The South Australian Ambulance Service said the pair suffered numerous injuries, including to their arms, chest, shoulders and head but were conscious while awaiting treatment.

The first ambulance crew arrived at 5 pm.

A Royal Flying Doctor Service crew flew the pair to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was monitoring the incident but unlikely to send inspectors to the scene.

The Van's RV-6A is registered in the southern suburbs of Perth.

It left Perth just before midday on Friday, heading east.

It is unclear where the plane landed before flying to William Creek on Sunday.

The crash comes less than a month after two people were killed in a plane crash near Leigh Creek Airport.

Pilot Peter Gesler, 59, and his passenger Rachel Whitford, 48, died on impact when their plane crashed at 6.24pm on July 6, 4.5km northeast of the airport.

Mooney M20E, N6098Q: Incident occurred February 18, 2019 at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Gear up landing. 

Date: 18-FEB-19
Time: 19:16:00Z
Regis#: N6098Q
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20E
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

VAN NUYS, California - A pilot in a small aircraft suffered no injuries when he was forced to land his plane on Monday at the Van Nuys Airport.

It was not immediately known what forced the emergency landing, but the aircraft landed with its gears up at about 11:15 a.m., said Van Nuys Airport spokesperson Diana Sanchez, who had no immediate information on where the airplane had taken off from or where it was headed.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene at 11:16 a.m. and reported that there was no active fire involvement, said Taylor Rappaport of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Original article can be found here ➤

VAN NUYS — A pilot in a small aircraft suffered no injuries when he was forced to land his plane Monday at Van Nuys Airport.

It was not immediately known what forced the emergency landing, but the aircraft landed with its gears up about 11:15 a.m., said Van Nuys Airport spokesperson Diana Sanchez, who had no immediate information on where the airplane had taken off from, or where it was headed.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene at 11:16 a.m. and reported that there was no active fire involvement, said Taylor Rappaport of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Original article can be found here ➤

Beechcraft B90 King Air, N321DZ: Incident occurred February 17, 2019 at Arthur Dunn Airpark (X-21), Titusville, Brevard County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Gear collapsed.

R W Aircraft Inc

Skydive Space Center

Date: 17-FEB-19
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N321DZ
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B90
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

On Sunday afternoon at about 12:30 p.m., a twin-engine aircraft performed a belly or “gear-up” crash landing which occurs when an aircraft lands without its landing gear fully extended and uses its underside, or belly, as its primary landing device.

According to the Titusville Fire Department, the incident was caused by an “apparent landing gear issue” and no injuries were reported.

Belly landings are one of the most common types of aircraft accidents and are normally not fatal if executed carefully, according to aviation experts.

Original article can be found here ➤

Incident occurred February 15, 2019 in Frederick, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland --  Authorities are investigating an ultralight plane crash Friday afternoon at Utica District Park.  

Scanner reports say the pilot was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

Original article can be found here ➤

Federal Aviation Administration Probes Southwest Airlines Over Baggage Weight Discrepancies: Government’s yearlong safety investigation uncovers problems with weight and balance calculations across Southwest’s fleet

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor
February 18th, 2019 9:50 a.m. ET

Federal air-safety regulators are investigating Southwest Airlines Co. for widespread failures to accurately track the combined weight of checked bags loaded into each of its jets, according to government officials and internal agency documents.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s yearlong civil probe, the documents show, found systemic and significant mistakes with employee calculations and luggage-loading practices, resulting in potential discrepancies when pilots compute takeoff weights. The inaccuracies ranged from a few dozen pounds to more than 1,000 pounds in excess of what the paperwork indicated, sparking disputes between the company and some agency inspectors about potential safety consequences.

In an email to The Wall Street Journal last week, an FAA spokesman confirmed the investigation and said the agency has ordered “a comprehensive solution to the methods and processes used” by the airline. “The FAA will not close its investigation until it is satisfied that Southwest’s corrective actions are consistent and sustained,” the spokesman’s email added.

The agency hasn’t decided whether to impose fines or any other punishment, according to people familiar with the investigation, which hasn’t been reported before.

In email responses to questions from the Journal, a Southwest spokesman said it has cooperated fully with the FAA and voluntarily reports issues to enhance safety. He called the company’s dealings with the agency part of a “routine dialogue.” Stressing that the agency hasn’t imposed fines or taken any other formal enforcement action, the spokesman said the exchanges with the FAA “do not constitute findings of noncompliance.” The airline said it plans to phase in new baggage-counting procedures by year’s end.

Unlike other large U.S. airlines, Southwest doesn’t rely on computerized scanners to ensure accurate counts as bags are piled into the bellies of aircraft. Instead, the carrier has the ground crew count bags. Regardless of the way bags are counted, airlines use average bag weights to calculate the overall weight of checked luggage. In the course of the inquiry, Southwest told the FAA its system carries “less than minor risk” for passengers, according to documents.

But some FAA inspectors expressed concerns that in extreme circumstances, such as an engine failure at takeoff, a plane could experience handling difficulties. Pilots set takeoff speed and thrust depending on total aircraft weight and how it is distributed, including passengers, fuel and contents of cargo holds.

There haven’t been any Southwest accidents linked to suspect weights, and the probe—described by the FAA in documents as a high-priority “enforcement investigation”—is continuing.

Dozens of investigative updates and other FAA documents reviewed by the Journal lay out a pattern of failures to comply with agency requirements that pilots have verified, up-to-date total aircraft weights before takeoff. The files also include extensive correspondence—stretching back to January 2018—between agency managers and Southwest officials about various views on the safety implications.

Southwest over the past year has implemented procedural changes and internal reporting safeguards, repeatedly telling the FAA in documents that nagging problems with manual bag counts and weight calculations fall well within operating safety margins of its fleet of Boeing Co. 737s. Distracted baggage handlers and last-minute bags are a major cause of loading discrepancies, according to Southwest.

Amid lingering FAA concerns, Southwest is embracing technology. By year’s end, the spokesman said, the carrier plans to institute computerized scanning of all individual bags on the tarmac, just before they are loaded into the cargo holds of its more than 700 Boeing 737 jets.

In a Jan. 11 letter, Jeff Hamlett, Southwest’s senior director of regulatory compliance, told a high-ranking FAA inspector that scanners are slated to be phased in first in Seattle, San Diego and Sacramento. After that, his letter said, the carrier “will review the test results and evaluate a phased roll out” nationwide.

In the same letter to the local FAA manager, Southwest, which carries more domestic passengers than any other carrier, asked for the investigation to be closed without further FAA action, citing “our efforts and responsiveness to your office.”

Some FAA officials have estimated in interviews that during certain periods, at least one-third of Southwest’s roughly 4,000 daily flights could have operated with inaccurate weight data, a figure Southwest doesn’t agree with. The Southwest spokesman said there is no current information to support the estimate, “especially given the controls and adjustments that we’ve implemented.”

It is unusual for this type of FAA investigation to last for so long without at least some interim enforcement action, according to government and industry officials. The agency and Southwest also have unusually divergent views on what prompted the probe in the first place, according to these officials.

In the documents, agency inspectors wrote that the investigation was partly sparked by separate allegations lodged by a whistleblower and received on an agency “hotline” for safety complaints. By contrast, the Southwest spokesman said the probe was prompted entirely by voluntary reports from the airline and its employees.

In early 2018, when the investigation was launched, the FAA told the carrier “there have been numerous reports of ground operations personnel and/or flight operations personnel not following Southwest Airlines procedures for entering correct and complete weight information” before takeoff. One early document called it a “high-risk concern.”

The inaccuracies prompted swift FAA responses, and were considered serious enough to require Southwest to physically audit the number of bags unloaded daily from 25% of its flights. That sample was later reduced, at Southwest’s request, to 15%. The airline continues to provide daily status reports to the agency.

In rare cases, FAA documents referred to flights with cargo loading discrepancies totaling more than a ton. Southwest said it can’t comment on weight issues with any particular flight because of confidentiality requirements covering voluntary incident reports.

In some documents, Southwest said an error resulting in a 1,500-pound lower-than-actual takeoff weight should be considered within safety limits. In other documents, the airline said anything up to a 10,000-pound mistake would amount to a minor risk. Several current and former Boeing 737 captains said they would consider the larger weight discrepancy dangerous to rely on for takeoff calculations. Southwest has said all of its planes are typically designed to take off at weights in excess of 150,000 pounds.

The investigation is complicated by the fact that the Dallas-area FAA office that oversees Southwest faces separate scrutiny by the Transportation Department’s inspector general. That audit focuses on allegations local office managers have been too compliant with Southwest requests, affecting a host of issues beyond weight calculations. In the past the FAA has said it welcomed the audit, calling it an “opportunity to improve upon what is already the safest aerospace system in the world” and adding that the audit is “designed to identify potential risks before they become serious problems.”

Original article can be found here ➤