A single task not being completed properly by airline staff led to the crash at the Dryden Regional Airport last February, which left one passenger with serious injuries.

On February 24, 2020, a Bearskin flight carrying members of Team Northern Ontario curlers was on its way to Sioux Lookout when it aborted takeoff. Emergency crews responded as the plane crashed into a snowbank, substantially damaging the vehicle.

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The Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada released their investigation report into the incident on April 14, 2021, saying the task of disengaging a propeller lock was started but not completed, leading to the incident.

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Their report states Bearskin flight 344’s two-person crew began the “Before Taxi” checklist. After the task of disengaging the propeller locks was interrupted, the Captain reportedly told the First Officer to stand by. TSB’s report says this caused the crew’s focus to shift to other tasks.

“It is likely that this slip of attention resulted in the engine power levers not being pulled over the flight idle gate to release the start locks,” the report states. Staff note the checklist did not contain a task to ensure the locks were released, and staff were unaware of the issue.

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It was later determined that a “positive torque” call required by standard operating procedures was not made, and due to the propellers' locks staying engaged, the torque differential between the left and right engines wasn’t noticed by the crew.

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With a significant power differential between the left and right engines, the aircraft lost control and left the runway – lodging itself into about four feet of snow. The injuries to the passenger were a result of the propeller blade fragments penetrating the cabin wall during impact.

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The injured passenger was later identified as Rick Lang, coach of the Team Northern Ontario women's curling rink. The team was on their way home to Thunder Bay after competing at the Scotties in Saskatchewan.

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Following the incident, Bearskin Airlines owner Perimeter Aviation has updated their procedures and checklist to ensure propeller locks are disengaged and has introduced enhanced training measures for less experienced flight crew members.

Dryden residents will recall the Air Ontario crash of 1989 that claimed 24 lives after the plane hit the brush after takeoff. The author of the subsequent inquiry, Virgil Moshansky, remained critical of airline safety measures when he appeared before a House of Commons committee in 2017.

In 2018, Transport Canada Civil Aviation implemented new safety measures as part of the Transportation Modernization Act. The City of Dryden turned over operations of the regional airport to the Loomex Group in 2019.