Lingering Effects

By Richard N. Aarons
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

Findings as to Risk:

(1) Installation instructions for the ELT did not provide a means of determining the necessary degree of strap tightness to prevent the ELT from being ejected from its mount during an accident. Resultant damages to the ELT and antenna connections could preclude transmission of an effective signal, affecting search and rescue of the aircraft and occupants.

(2) Flying beyond gliding distance of land without personal floatation devices on board exposes the occupants to hypothermia and/or drowning in the event of a ditching.

Other Findings:

(1) Earlier on the day of the accident, the pilot flew the route from Fort Simpson to Yellowknife in cloud on a VFR flight plan in controlled airspace.

(2) With the ELT unable to transmit a usable signal, the SkyTrac system in C-GATV was instrumental in locating the accident site. This reduced the search time and allowed for timely rescue of the seriously injured survivors.

Safety Actions

Operators in Canada and the U.S. were warned to be sure ELTs secured by hook and loop systems are appropriately retained. Air Tindi issued several company directives including these:

Dispatch limitations:

All scheduled flights will be dispatched under IFR. VFR flight may only be conducted if authorized by operations management personnel.

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