Aircraft modifications went undocumented before 2013 crash

WEST CRACROFT ISLAND, B.C. – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has concluded that undocumented modifications to a small float plane may have indirectly led to a fatal crash that killed three people, including the pilot, on October 24, 2013. The TSB investigation found that several alterations had been made to the aircraft before it left Port McNeill, B.C. that morning. Since nobody had documented the effects that these changes would have on flight, the plane may have performed in unexpected ways that the pilot could not control, leading to the fatal accident on a small island in Potts Lagoon, West Cracroft Island. “The aircraft experienced an accelerated aerodynamic stall while being flown at an altitude from which recovery was not possible,” read the TSB’s report, which was published on Feb. 25. If multiple modifications to an aircraft are made “without adequate guidance on how to evaluate and document the effects on aircraft handling,” the report added, “pilots may lose control of the aircraft due to unknown aircraft performance.”

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