Deadly Winnipeg Crash Prompts Calls For Changes
Safety Board (CTSB) concluded icing brought down a Cessna 208
Caravan (file photo of type below) last October in Winnipeg.
Now the investigative agency wants to ground Cessna Caravans in
anything but light icing conditions.
Pilot Nancy Chase-Allen died when the Morningstar Air Express
caravan she was flying went down shortly after takeoff. Icing was
reported as moderate in the area at the time -- the flight was
legal under current icing rules.
During a news conference held Wednesday, board chairwoman Wendy
Tadros said, "Sadly this accident taught us that once airborne,
Cessna 208 pilots may not be able to safely exit dangerous icing.
The safest course from our perspective is to avoid the risk
Shortly after takeoff, Chase-Allen told controllers she was
returning to the field because of ice, but lost control of the
aircraft during the attempt. The plane crashed in downtown
The CTSB report also mentions the aircraft was about 3-percent
over-gross for the conditions, but discounted that as a causal
factor because of the uneventful takeoff.
CTSB recommended several changes to Caravan operational
procedures last January which were adopted by Transport Canada.
Included among those recommendations was an initiative to better
train pilots to recognize and deal with icing.
The companies relying on the country's 100 or so Caravans for
air shipments say the proposed rule change would be a financial
hardship -- especially in light of the severity of most Canadian
According to Canadian Press, ice has been a factor in 20 Caravan
accidents since 1990.
Chase-Allen's family has named Cessna in a $25 million US
lawsuit claiming negligence, fraud, product liability and breach of
The family's lawyer Jerry Skinner says Cessna has done little to
address the alleged problem the aircraft has with icing. He
maintains, "There have been Band-Aids -- new procedures, manual
changes. They have addressed almost everything other than anything
that would indicate the design of the aircraft is not appropriate
for flight into icing conditions."
It unclear at this point what Transport Canada (TC) will do with
CTSB's new recommendation. Up to now, TC has maintained concerns
about in-flight icing are best handled through training.
Executive director of the Manitoba Aviation Council Bill Zuk
agrees saying, "In essence every pilot is in fact the captain of
their aircraft. They have the control over whether they fly or not
and they have to judge through their weather reports and inspection
of the aircraft whether it's safe."