December 20, 2018

TSB Issues Urgent Recommendations On De-Icing


The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued two recommendations this week that result from their ongoing investigation into the December 13, 2017 crash of an ATR-42 passenger airplane operated by West Wind Aviation. The crash resulted in injuries to all 25 occupants, 10 of them sustaining serious injuries with one passenger dying later.

The investigation has so far determined that there was residual ice on the wings of the aircraft when it landed at Fond-du-Lac airport (CZFD), and that this ice was not removed before the aircraft subsequently took off. The ATR-42 crashed into trees and terrain less than one nm beyond the runway.

One of the TSB’s recommendations issued as a result of the investigation, A18-03, reads, “[That] the Department of Transport and air operators take action to increase compliance with Canadian Aviation Regulations subsection 602.11(2) and reduce the likelihood of aircraft taking off with contaminated critical surfaces.”

The investigation has also revealed that there was minimal de-icing equipment available at Fond-du-Lac airport. According to the TSB’s website, the de-icing equipment that was available to West Wind Aviation in Fond-du-Lac airport consisted of two ladders, a hand-held spray bottle with electric blanket and wand, and a container of de-icing fluid.

This resulted in another TSB recommendation issued this week, A18-02, which reads, “The Department of Transport collaborate with air operators and airport authorities to identify locations where there is inadequate de-icing and anti-icing equipment and take urgent action to ensure that the proper equipment is available to reduce the likelihood of aircraft taking off with contaminated critical surfaces.”

Normally, the TSB does not issue recommendations until the final report has been prepared. However, citing the urgent nature of the recommendations, the TSB took the decision to release these two ahead of time.