Caravan Crash Report Cites Icing, Overload, Fatigue

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Canada's Transportation Safety Board released its final report this week on a Caravan crash in which 10 people died in January 2004. Investigators found that the aircraft was over gross by at least 15 percent on takeoff, freezing participation was falling, and ice was visible on the leading edge of the wing. The aircraft climbed out at a shallow angle and stalled less than two miles out, most likely when the flaps were retracted. The Caravan impacted the frozen surface of a lake and sank. There were no survivors. The pilot's lack of appreciation for the known hazards associated with the overweight condition of the aircraft, ice contamination, and the weather conditions was inconsistent with his previous practices, the safety board said. His decision to take off was likely affected by some combination of stress and fatigue. The pilot had been on duty since 4:45 a.m., and had returned the night before from a trip to California, with only about five hours sleep time. He flew two legs that morning, took a break for a few hours, and was back at the airport at 3 p.m.