Carburetor ice blamed for 2019 fatal plane crash north of Smithers

Crash photo TSB - sq 1

Last year's fatal plane crash just north of Smithers Landing is being blamed on ice build-up in the carburetor.

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The Transportation Safety Board has issued its investigation report into the May 2019 crash of the Cessna 182E, owned by Lakes District Air Services, which had been conducting surveys for the BC Wildfire Service. 

The crash killed the pilot and two of the three passengers on board -- former Hudson Bay Mountain Resort president and CEO Lorne Borgal and data analyst Amir Sedghi.

The lone survivor of the crash suffered serious injuries.

The report says the crash occurred about three hours into a fire surveillance flight and while the plane was flying in a low-engine power setting.

It says ice would have reduced the engine's ability to produce enough power to maintain altitude and would have eventually led to a complete power loss.

The plane did not have a carburetor air-temperature indication system, which might have alerted the pilot that ice accumulation was possible.

The report says, after issuing a Mayday, the pilot had indicated his intention to land at Silver Hilton Steelhead Lodge airstrip, but the plane's GPS didn't have its location in its database -- and it was unlikely the pilot had enough time to find a safe landing spot before the engine failed.