October 14, 2020

Lack of Stall Warning Cited by TSB in Beaver Crash


On July 11, 2019 a float-equipped de Havilland DHC-2 Mk. I Beaver operated by Hawk Air crashed shortly after taking off from Hawk Junction Water Aerodrome (CNH6) in Ontario, resulting in fatal injuries to both the pilot and his sole passenger.

According to the Transportation Safety Board, the fuel selector had likely been set to the rear tank, which did not have enough fuel for the takeoff. The aircraft lost power shortly after takeoff, and it appeared that the pilot turned the aircraft left in an attempt to either return to the lake or to land in a more desirable location.

The Beaver then experienced an aerodynamic stall and spun to the ground. There was no post-impact fire, but the aircraft was destroyed. The ELT was activated and the Trenton JRCC received the signal.

In their report, the TSB point out that in 2013 they expressed concern about the lack of a stall warning system in Beaver aircraft. The TSB goes on to note that in 2017 they issued a recommendation calling on Transport Canada (TC) to require all commercially operated Beavers to be equipped with a stall warning system. After studying the issue, TC decided not to require a stall warning system in commercially operated Beavers.

Appendix A of the TSB report lists 14 accident investigation reports since 1998 where stalled Beaver airplanes led to crashes that claimed the lives of 38 people.

The full TSB report is appended below.

Top image: Google Earth with TSB annotations