November 23, 2017

Turn Back Proved Fatal


An attempt to make the so-called “impossible turn” after an engine failure on takeoff contributed to the crash of a Cessna 206 on floats on Kuashkuapishiu Lake, Quebec on Sept. 25, 2016 that killed two of three people on board.

In a report released this week, the Transportation Safety Board said the pilot of the 206, which had just taken off from the lake, had no chance of  making the turn after a fuel pump failure made the engine stop.

“The decision to make a 180° turn at low altitude suggests incomplete planning before takeoff, because it is impossible to make a 180° turn when gliding below 200 feet AGL,” investigators concluded.

The 206 had just cleared the shoreline and was climbing out at full power when the drive shaft in the engine-driven fuel pump sheared. Rather than take his chances with forced landing in the trees, the pilot tried to turn back to the lake. The right wing stalled and the aircraft spun into the ground. A post-crash fire consumed most of the plane.

The pilot survived but two passengers died. They were headed to Ra-Ma Lake with food, fuel and other supplies.