EDMONTON, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Drawing attention to improvements made
by the operator, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today
released its investigation report into the January 2013 collision with
terrain of an aircraft operated by Kenn Borek Air Ltd.
On 23 January 2013, the de Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter departed South
Pole Station, Antarctica, for a visual flight rules (VFR) repositioning
flight to Terra Nova Bay, with a crew of 3 on board. When an
anticipated radio position report was missed, the flight was considered
to be overdue. Shortly thereafter, an emergency locator transmitter
signal was detected and a search and rescue effort was initiated.
Extreme weather conditions at the Mount Elizabeth crash site prevented
the search and rescue team from accessing the site for 2 days. Once on
site, it was determined that the aircraft had impacted terrain and the
crew had not survived. Adverse weather, high altitude and the condition
of the aircraft prevented the recovery of the crew and a comprehensive
examination of the aircraft. However, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR)
and a satellite tracking unit were recovered from the exposed tail
section of the aircraft.
The TSB found the CVR to be non-functioning on the day of the accident.
Because of this, information important to a complete understanding of
the accident was unavailable to investigators. However, based on
information gathered, the investigation team was able to conclude that
the crew of the aircraft made a turn prior to reaching the open region
of the Ross Shelf. The aircraft may have entered an area covered by
cloud that ultimately led to the aircraft contacting the rising terrain
of Mount Elizabeth.
Following the accident and during the TSB investigation, Kenn Borek Air
Ltd. has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve safety. For
example, it has:
amended its GPS standard operating procedures;
improved the accuracy of aviation navigational charts in the Antarctic
and developed company VFR routes for flights exceeding 400 nm; and,
amended its pre-start checklist to confirm an adequate oxygen supply is
onboard the aircraft and functionality of the cockpit voice recorder.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
For further information:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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