Loss of engine power led to forced landing during firefighting operations near Connell Ridge, BC

By the Transportation Safety Board of Canada
The Castlegar Source
May 1, 2024
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report into an emergency forced landing of an Air Tractor AT-802A aircraft, operated by Conair Group Inc., south of Cranbrook, British Columbia. On August 2, 2022, the firefighting aircraft, equipped with amphibious floats, was conducting aerial operations in the area of Connell Ridge, the site of multiple wildfires, when it sustained a loss of engine power. Unable to restore power, the pilot … completed an emergency landing in the trees, coming to rest approximately 200 m from the edge of the forest fire. The aircraft was substantially damaged by impact forces. The pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, sustained minor injuries. Firefighting aircraft must operate at low altitudes to fight forest fires effectively. At such low levels, recovery from an aircraft malfunction becomes extremely challenging. In such a situation, a pilot’s decision making and reaction time are critical for a successful outcome.

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