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Last updated: 19 October 2021
Date:Saturday 21 January 2006
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Sonicblue Airways
Registration: C-GRXZ
MSN: 208B0469
First flight: 1995
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 7
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:20 km (12.5 mls) SSE of Port Alberni, BC (   Canada)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tofino Airport, BC (YAZ/CYAZ), Canada
Destination airport:Vancouver International Airport, BC (YVR/CYVR), Canada
Flightnumber: 604
En route from Tofino to Vancouver, the pilot issued a mayday and wanted to divert to Port Alberni Airport, BC (YPB). The aircraft did not make it and crashed in the woods, some 10 km from the airport.

Probable Cause:

1. The engine lost power when a compressor turbine blade failed as a result of the overstress extension of a fatigue-generated crack. The fracture initiated at a metallurgical anomaly in the parent blade material and progressed, eventually resulting in blade failure due to overstress rupture.

2. The combination of aircraft position at the time of the engine failure, the lack of equipment enabling the pilot to locate and identify high terrain, and the resultant manoeuvring required to avoid entering instrument flight conditions likely prevented the pilot from attempting to glide to the nearest airfield.

1. Single-engine instrument flight rules (SEIFR) operations in designated mountainous regions have unique obstacle risks in the event of an engine failure. Canadian equipment requirements for such operations do not currently include independent terrain mapping, such as terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS).

2. Airline operators are not currently required to conduct any additional route evaluation or structuring to ensure that the risk of an off-field landing is minimized during SEIFR operations.

3. Pilots involved in commercial SEIFR operations do not receive training in how to conduct a forced landing under instrument flight conditions; such training would likely improve a pilot's ability to respond to an engine failure when operating in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

4. Mean time between failure (MTBF) calculations do not take into account In Flight Shut Downs (IFSDs) not directly attributable to the engine itself; it may be more appropriate to monitor all IFSD events.

5. The design of the Cessna 208B Caravan fuel shutoff valves increases the risk that the valves will open on impact, allowing fuel spillage and increasing the potential for fire.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years
Accident number: TSB Report A06P001
Download report: Final report


Forced landing outside airport

» CADORS Number: 2006P0080

Follow-up / safety actions
On January 23, 2006, Transport Canada announced International Express Aircharter Ltd.'s air operator certificate was suspended. International Express Aircharter Ltd. also does business as Regency Express Flight Operations and Sonicblue Airways.

On March 22, 2006, Transport Canada announced International Express Aircharter Ltd. was fined $125,000 for failing to maintain their aircraft properly, and their air operator certificate was cancelled. International Express Aircharter Ltd. was charged with failing to maintain five aircraft in accordance with the company`s air operator’s maintenance control system. In one case, a maintenance inspection was overdue by more than 270 hours.

TSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Tofino Airport, BC to Vancouver International Airport, BC as the crow flies is 187 km (117 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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