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Caravan Down: Lake Erie Accident


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Once again a situation is pressed upon us where all we can do is offer condolences.


In the coming months the cause of this accident may be brought forward, and it may, or may not have anything to do with the engine, or the fact that it was a single engine A/C. But to say that we should cease all passenger travel on single engine ships seems a bit harsh. Now I may be offering only the humble opinion of a rookie pilot with nothing more then a licence to learn, but everything I have seen about aviation says that it is about recognizing risks and managing them as best as we can. I don't think (In My VERY Humble Opinion) anyone can argue with the kind of numbers that P&W put up with their engines. Schooner69 is right, too many towns in this country rely on airplanes like the PC12 and the 'Van to say that they should be relegated to carrying only paper and boxes, and most of the companies that run this service probably couldn't afford to do it on a twin.


If the single engine does end up being the cause of the incident, then maybe we need some new procedures, but to rule out the airplane entirely would put a lot of people in a bad spot, not just pilots with runs to fly anymore. But that’s just my thoughts.

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Interesting read, while my condolonces go out to all involved in the accident, I must comment on what has been said.


While I've always had the highest regard for Chucks opinion, I do have to agree with Schooner69's post. If you look at light twins (ie under 12.5) they normally don't perform too well on one at gross. So, where does that put you half way between YXD and YKA at night???? Kinda pooched... Just like if you were in a single... Now if we look at heavier twins, some aren't much better, look at the driftdown chart on an F-27 and you'll find that route is just barely doable with the appropriate drift down... Try it in a PA31-310 at gross, I wouldn't want to see the results...


Now, when you couple this with the fact that so many of the accidents happen due to loss of control due to one engine failure, then I have to question why the twin is safer.


Training does make it safe for all, and if you are trained properlly you will know what is safe, and what is not. If your twin engined airplane will not maintain MOCA on one engine, would you go?? What would be the difference between that and going with a single??? The difference may be in the engines reliability...


Would you rather have a C-208 with it's PT-6, or say a PA31-350 with the same load over the rocks at night?????

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All these musings about which is safer really boils down to one issue.


Each of us have to decide what am I most comfortable with.


The loss of control after an engine failure in any multi engine airplane is a red herring and does not address the true issue, in other words any loss of control in an airplane is a pilot proficiency issue.


Sooooo I try and choose the lesser of all evils when choosing when and what to fly......


Lets revisit the loss of an engine over the rocks at night in a single engine versus a twin that will have drift down.....


How about taking into consideration the fact that we now have very accurate terrain mapping GPS to map read the valleys and at least attempt to reach some point where a survivable landing can be made???


This Caravan accident is going to be very, very problematic for the industry, sad, sad, sad turn of events for everyone.....


Lets at least pray that it was a mechanical problem.



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O/T but close...


A frequent situation here on the we(s)t coast for single engine wheel equipped aircraft drivers is having the YVR Trem/TRSA not providing service "due to staff shortages" and those poor drivers being forced to cross the straits below 2500 feet. The shortest route is Point Roberts drct Mayne Island...approx 12 nm...and there is no way anyone should be flying S/E beyond gliding distance from land.


I've refused on one occasion to comply on safety grounds and have gotten higher...but most folks will do as ATC instructs them to do without thought of safety.


And this situation usually occures on a warm sunny weekend...yeh.

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I sort of think that this discussion on s/e vs. me could in itself be reg herring. There were reports of freezing rain in the area, and while my experience with the Caravan is very limited, anyone that I've spoken to with any time on type commented that the laminar wing of the 208 was down-right nasty with ice on it. Combine that with a full load of hunters and their gear...


Just my humble opinion...

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I think you could be bang on Iflynkd... Taking off in an airplane that is known to have icing faults (look at what happened to the owner of seair) into freezing rain is just not smart.. I hope it turns out to be something else, but right now it looks like the PIC might not have made a wise decision if the reports of freezing rain are true.

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Now that TC has suspended their OC it becomes even more perplexing.


I had a bad feeling about this one right from the start.


In deference to all the people who are suffering from the grief of not even being able to recover the bodies I for one will not speculate in any manner on this accident.


My fear and concern goes beyond the greiving relatives and friends of the victims, but also to the damage this high profile loss of life will do to our industry here in Canada. God knows we have enough problems already without something like this happening.


Terrible beyond words.



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