Pilot's Motivation and Poor Visibility Cited in 2022 Tyax Beaver Float Plane Crash

Beaver float plane crash in BC highlights pressures on air taxi pilots to prioritize safety over customer service, as poor visibility and stall/downdraft contributed to the incident.

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Pilot's Motivation and Poor Visibility Cited in 2022 Tyax Beaver Float Plane Crash

Pilot's Motivation and Poor Visibility Cited in 2022 Tyax Beaver Float Plane Crash

On July 17, 2022, a Tyax Air Service Ltd. Beaver float plane crashed in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia, seriously injuring the pilot and two of the five passengers on board. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released its report on the incident, indicating that several factors may have contributed to the crash, including poor visibility and the pilot's motivation to reach the intended destination of Lorna Lake.

The TSB's investigation found that the pilot had attempted to fly to Lorna Lake earlier in the day but diverted to another location due to poor visibility. On the second trip, the pilot encountered increasing low cloud and reduced visibility. When she tried to turn around, the plane's speed dropped, and it crashed, likely due to a stall or downdraft.

The report suggests that close interactions with passengers can affect a pilot's ability to make safe decisions, as the role of air taxi pilots begins with customer service. "The pilot was motivated to find a route to the destination, Lorna Lake, despite the visibility and cloud height not being sufficient to continue the flight safely," the report states.

Why this matters: The TSB's findings highlight the unique challenges and pressures faced by air taxi operators in Canada. The report serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing safety over customer service and the need for pilots to make decisions based on weather conditions and operational limitations, rather than external pressures or motivations.

The aircraft, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, was substantially damaged in the crash. The pilot and two passengers sustained serious injuries, while three other passengers received minor injuries. The TSB's investigation report emphasizes the need for pilots to prioritize safety and adhere to operational guidelines, especially in challenging weather conditions and remote locations.

Key Takeaways

  • Tyax Air Service Beaver float plane crashed in BC, injuring 5 on board.
  • TSB report cites poor visibility, pilot's motivation to reach destination as factors.
  • Pilot attempted to turn around, leading to stall or downdraft and crash.
  • Close passenger interactions can affect pilot's ability to make safe decisions.
  • Report emphasizes need for pilots to prioritize safety over customer service.