Safety procedures not followed in 2015 plane accident at Margaree Airport

A Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation has found that safety deficiencies caused the partial collapse of landing gear that sent a small plane off a runway in Cape Breton in August 2015.

The final report released Thursday found that neither of the two pilots had considered that landing on a short runway at an unfamiliar airport with known high terrain nearby were hazards that might create additional risks and increase their workload.

The report also found the presence of a nearby tower resulted in the pilot who was not flying to focus his attention on monitoring the aircraft's location, rather than monitoring the flight or the other pilot's actions.  

No injuries in crash

The chartered Beechcraft A100 was carrying two crew members and two passengers when it tried to land at the Margaree Airport around 4 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2015. It veered off the runway and came to a stop in some trees. There were no injuries but the airplane was heavily damaged.

"Some of the checklists were missed during the approach itself and the checklist allows for effective communication between the two crew members," Doug McEwen, a senior technical investigator with the Transportation Safety Board in Dartmouth, said Thursday.

"They didn't recognize that the descent itself was considered an unstable descent."

Plane going too fast

The plane came in too steep and too fast and landed hard.

Darryl Cross, operations manager for Maritime Air Charter Limited, said Thursday he was not surprised by the investigation report's findings. Maritime Air Charter, based at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, has two aircraft, four full-time pilots and two contract pilots.

Cross, who is also responsible for maintenance, had been in his position for eight months when the crash happened.

"In this particular case I think we had a situation where the right ingredients weren't there to create a successful outcome," Cross said Thursday.

Cross says that since the incident, the company has improved its safety measures. They include a preflight risk assessment checklists and better training for pilots.

"I'm confident that this is an event of the past and going forward we've got a very well-run operation that I hope will never ever have to encounter another incident like this again."