Urgent Recommendation for Inspection of Canadian-Made De Havilland Otter Airplanes

Aviation regulators in Canada and the United States have been asked to order an immediate inspection of the type of Canadian-made floatplane involved in the fatal crash in Washington state.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Sudden We have asked Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration to require an immediate inspection of the De Havilland Canada DHC-3 aircraft, known as the DHC-3 Otter.

A critical piece of Otter’s horizontal tail stabilizer appears to have been dismembered in September when the Friday Harbor Seaplanes aircraft crashed in Puget Sound, north of Seattle, killing all 10 people on board, according to advisories.

The regulator may have unscrewed the clamp nut that attaches the two sections, and the locking ring that would have prevented separation was either missing or improperly installed, causing the part to fail. said it is possible.

Officials from the U.S. Transportation Safety Board and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board have asked the Otters Ontario-based manufacturer to test all pilots of that type of aircraft for tail stabilizers to ensure a lock ring is present and He said he asked them to draft instructions advising them to make sure they were installed correctly. .

Neil Sweeney, de Havilland Canada’s vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement that Viking Air, part of the company, issued a service letter on October 26.

“This letter was also provided to Transport Canada, the Canadian Transportation Safety Board and the NTSB,” he said.

“The service letter recommends that the operator visually verify that the locking ring associated with the DHC-3’s stabilizer actuator is present and properly installed.”

Transport Canada did not respond to a request for comment.

Harbor Air Group, based in Richmond, British Columbia, said in an emailed statement that it recently completed an additional inspection of the de Havilland Otter to examine components identified by the NTSB.

Meredith Mohr, vice president of sales and marketing for Harbor Airlines, said nothing had been found and that “all aircraft have returned to service.”

The single-engine, high-wing, propeller-driven DHC-3 Otter entered production in the early 1950s. It was intended primarily as a bushplane due to its short take-off and landing capabilities and its versatility with skis and floats.

It is served by a number of charter airlines in Canada and the United States, including Harbor Air, Campbell River and British Columbia-based Vancouver Island Air.

canadian press