CT156105 Harvard II - From the Investigator

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Report / January 27, 2017 / Project number: CT156105 Harvard II - A Category

Location: 13 nautical miles (NM) southwest of CYMJ
Date: 2017-01-27
Status: Investigation Ongoing

A CT156 Harvard II was operating out of 15 Wing Moose Jaw SK, with a two pilot crew from 2CFFTS. The mission was an instructional flight to practice visual sequences including basic aerobatics.

The two crew members consisted of a qualified flying instructor (QFI), who was monitoring from the rear seat, and a student pilot (SP) in the front seat, who was the pilot flying.

During the pull up into an aerobatic sequence, the QFI was not satisfied with the manoeuvre’s progress and instructed the SP to recover.  The QFI expected the SP to execute a nose high unusual attitude recovery, however, the SP selected the power control lever (PCL) to idle as per the inadvertent departure from controlled flight checklist. The QFI then took control of the aircraft and selected the PCL to full power, to continue with a nose high unusual attitude recovery.

Due to the initial nose high attitude and the reduction of the PCL to an idle power setting, the airspeed dropped to 75 knots. The QFI then brought the PCL back to idle to reinitiate the inadvertent departure from controlled flight checklist.  As the nose dropped to below the horizon, the QFI continued with a nose low recovery.

A low oil pressure caution, followed by an engine CHIP light, illuminated on recovery and coincided with degraded engine performance.  With the aircraft below a forced landing glide profile for a return to base, an attempt was made to climb to an altitude where such a glide would be possible.  The attempt was unsuccessful, and the engine performance continued to degrade, leading the crew to carry out a controlled ejection. One crew member sustained minor injuries during the ejection, and the aircraft was destroyed in the subsequent ground impact.

The investigation is focusing on human factors, mechanical factors, as well as training.

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