DORVAL, QC, Oct. 1st, 2014 /CNW/ - In its investigation report (A12Q0182) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that the October 2012 forced landing of a Piper PA-34 in Victoriaville, Quebec, was the result of a fatigue crack in the right engine's crankcase and an improperly maintained cabin ventilation system. The two pilots aboard the aircraft were seriously injured.
On 15 October 2012, a Piper PA-34-200 operated by Nadeau Air Service Inc. left Trois-Rivières, Quebec on a training flight with two pilots aboard. During a missed approach to the Victoriaville airport, the right engine failed and caught fire. The crew followed the appropriate procedures; however, smoke and fire entered the cockpit because one of the cabin heater duct control cables was disconnected. Soon after, dense smoke spread into the cockpit, and the crew quickly descended to attempt a landing in a field near the airport. The aircraft struck the ground and came to rest inverted.
The investigation found that there was a fatigue crack in a weld-repaired area of the right engine's crankcase. This repair did not meet the engine manufacturer's standards. The crack spread and eventually led to the engine failure. Engine oil then spread in the engine compartment and caught fire. Additionally, because one of the cables for the heater ducts was disconnected, it was impossible to prevent smoke and fire from entering into the cockpit.
Although the risks associated with weld-repaired crankcases have been documented, certain repair shops are approved to make such repairs. The report notes that there is an increased risk of engine failure if an aircraft has a weld-repaired crankcase. The report also notes a risk that crews will not have information critical to flight safety if aircraft anomalies are not systematically recorded in the aircraft's journey log.
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, Media Relations, 819-994-8053