AT43, vicinity Fond-du-Lac SK Canada, 2017
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On 13 December 2017, ATR 42-320 (C-EWGA) being operated by West Wind Aviation on a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Fond-du-Lac to Stony Rapids as flight WEW282 descended into trees shortly after making a night take-off from Fond du Lac and was destroyed by the subsequent terrain impact. Seven of the 25 occupants sustained serious injuries from which one subsequently died and the other 18 occupants all sustained minor injuries.
The TSB has disclosed that the aircraft collided with trees and then terrain less than a mile west of the end of Runway 28 at Fond du Lac, from which it had just taken off, with both engines still operating at impact. There was no post crash fire. The position of final impact was close to the extended centreline of the take-off runway and a “wreckage path” at least 250 metres long has been found leading to the final impact position. The aircraft in its final resting position was observed to have been “tilted steeply to the right” with its left side appearing to be the most damaged and the position of the fuselage rupture corresponding to approximately that of seat row 3.
As of 27 December, the on-site phase of the Investigation was coming towards a close and removal of the aircraft wreckage to a secure location was imminent. Some components with NVM which may contain useful information have been recovered from the wreckage and a UAS has been employed to record site evidence.
- Editor's Notes
- The Aerodrome Chart current at the time of the accident includes a note to the effect that runway 28 Departures are predicated on being able to climb visually “over the airport to 1700 feet before proceeding on course”. Although no official weather reports are quoted for Fond du Lac around the time of the accident, the weather conditions at the flight’s destination, about 65 nm to the east, were sub zero temperatures with a surface visibility of 2-3 statute miles and a cloud base of 1700-1900 feet.
- On 22 December, 2017, Transport Canada announced that it had suspended West Wind Aviation’s Air Operator Certificate which action “prohibits the company from providing commercial air services”. It explained that “the department took this serious action in the interest of public safety because the department identified deficiencies in the company’s Operational Control System” and noted that “an Operational Control System ensures that a company’s day-to-day actions are compliant with safety requirements for things such as, for example, the dispatching of personnel and aircraft”.
An Initial “Investigation Update” was released on 27 December 2017. At that date, it was noted that West Wind Aviation was not flying its remaining ATR aircraft “while it conducts an internal review of its operations”.