…Pilot Picks Wrong Airport…


According to the TSB, the string of errors began before Flight 183 left Toronto on its daily nonstop flight to Kelowna, a city of about 100,000 people 200 miles east of Vancouver. An Air Canada dispatcher, aware of a major forest fire burning near Kelowna, called Kelowna Tower to ask if the airport was even open. He was told it was, but that the ILS/DME approach wasn’t authorized and that VFR conditions prevailed. As the plane neared its destination, the crew was told by air traffic control that the NDB approach was also unavailable. However, neither the dispatcher nor the crew was told the reason the navaids were unauthorized. They were working perfectly, but the published missed approach for both infringed on the restricted airspace around the fire. Adding to the pilots’ incomplete picture of the situation was the fact that the company-produced route manual didn’t have a VFR transition procedure for Kelowna’s Runway 15, which was active. The route manual also didn’t show the Vernon Airport, or its air traffic frequency.