Update on Lightning Strike in Powell River
March 8th, 2017
For Immediate Release
Richmond, BC – At approximately 7:18 P.M. on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 a Pacific Coastal Airlines Beechcraft 1900C (C-FCPZ) carrying nine (9) passengers and two (2) flight crew was struck by lightning during final approach to the Powell River Airport (YPW).
Flight 219, a regularly scheduled flight, was en route from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) South Terminal to Powell River Airport at the time.
The aircraft landed safely at YPW and all passengers and crew were deplaned without incident. No injuries to passengers or crew were reported.
The captain that was in charge of this flight is our most senior pilot with more than thirty-five (35) years of flying experience at Pacific Coastal Airlines.
Following established safety procedures, maintenance crew in Powell River immediately conducted an exhaustive review of the aircraft and its systems. During that check the maintenance crew discovered a small egress hole, about the size of an eraser at the end of a pencil, located on the right hand elevator as would be expected in this situation. Elevators control the aircraft’s pitch, and therefore the angle of attack and the lift of the wing. There was no structural damage to the aircraft. Upon completion of the comprehensive safety inspection it was determined there was no other damage to the aircraft or its systems and the plane was certified as safe and released back into service this morning.
Lightning strikes to airplanes are relatively common and rarely result in a significant impact to the continued safe operation of the airplane. The Beechcraft 1900C is engineered with a lightning static discharge system to reduce the impact of any such incident and in this case that system worked exactly as designed, thus allowing the flight crew to land the plane safely at the Powell River airport.
Pacific Coastal Airlines’ first priority is safety, and our organization fully complies with all safety rules and regulations in accordance with Transport Canada.