Engine failure ruled out in Fond du Lac plane crash

By Bryan Eneas
December 20, 2017 - 3:47pm

While all the details of last week’s plane crash in Fond du Lac aren’t available, engine failure was ruled out as a potential cause.

A press conference was hosted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on Dec. 20 which outlined findings thus far. Engine failure is the only cause which was ruled out so far according to Eric Vermette from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

“We have been able to determine the engines were operating up to the point of impact by conducting an engine examination out in Fond du Lac,” Vermette said.

He said it was “quite remarkable” there was no fire following the collision, as eye-witnesses reported being “showered in airline fuel” after impact. 

Vermette said the passengers’ luggage, personal effects and cargo was weighed to determine the aircraft's weight at the time of impact. He was unable to say if the airplane was overweight as the safety board’s investigations are underway.

“An aircraft has multiple different maximum take-off weights based on structural limits of the aircraft, but also on the conditions that it’s taking off from and runway lengths,” Vermette said.

He confirmed fuel samples were collected from the crash site as part of the investigation, however he was unable to say if the plane's fuel was contaminated. Vermette said the plane had “ample” fuel at the time of the crash.

Determinations about weather conditions and their impact on the collision haven’t been made yet either.

“There’s no official weather reporting source at Fond du Lac,” Vermette said. “Part of the data collection is getting the weather data from the surrounding area and part of the investigation moving forward will be to analyze that data to come up with what was happening at Fond du Lac.”

He said the safety board will be interviewing witnesses and passengers to learn more about the weather conditions at the time of take-off.

The flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder and emergency locator transmitter were recovered and secured from the crash site. These parts were shipped off to the Transportation Safety Board in Ottawa for examination.

Vermette couldn’t say how long it will be before a finished report about the craft will be submitted. He said if any serious safety concerns were found they would be relayed to operators and stakeholders immediately to mitigate any potential risk.


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On Twitter: @BryanEneas 

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