Animation of collision with terrain of a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec on 29 March 2016

On 29 March 2016, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 departed St-Hubert, Quebec (CYHU), destined for Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec. The aircraft struck terrain approximately 2 km south-west of Îles-de-la-Madeleine Airport (CYGR).

For more information about this accident, visit the investigation page.

Animation

Transcript of the video

On March 29, 2016, the Mitsubishi twin turbo-prop aircraft departed Montréal/Saint-Hubert airport for Iles-de-la Madeleine, Quebec, an approximate two-hour flight. On board were the pilot, a passenger-pilot, and five passengers.

The aircraft was flying through cloud. However, for viewer clarity, clouds have been removed.

The pilot's initial plan for approach to the destination airport was to use the autopilot to descend at a rate of 1500 feet per minute. The intent was to bring the aircraft to an altitude of 3000 feet above sea level as it crossed the first of two approach waypoints, just over 9 miles from the runway. From there the aircraft would descend to the final waypoint and then continue to the runway for landing.

For increased fuel efficiency, and to minimize time spent in cloud, the pilot subsequently decided to delay the descent. This meant a revised descent rate of 2000 feet per minute and a steeper, much faster approach to the initial waypoint. However, when the descent did begin it was initially at just 800 feet per minute, leaving the aircraft too high as it crossed the initial waypoint and about 100 knots faster than the recommended airspeed, meaning the approach was unstable. This excessive speed made it difficult for the autopilot to capture and maintain the desired course, resulting in a wandering flight path.

In an attempt to further reduce altitude and decrease airspeed, the pilot moved the throttle levers to idle, reducing engine power. Despite this, the aircraft was still flying too high and too fast as it crossed the final waypoint.

Less than a minute later, the airspeed had decreased to where the flaps could be extended and the landing gear lowered.

With less than 2 miles to go and flying about 500 feet above ground, the pilot disconnected the autopilot, then realized the airspeed had dropped well below the recommended approach speed and was close to the stall speed. To increase the airspeed, he rapidly advanced power to full, which caused a sudden and unexpected roll to the right and an increasing rate of descent.

Although the pilot attempted to recover, there was insufficient altitude before striking the ground.