Wings Magazine

News Accidents
Close call in Rankin Inlet for airplane


May 16, 2024  By Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kivalliq News

There were no injuries to the three people on board the single-engine PC-12 aircraft that went down near Rankin Inlet this past Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (Photo courtesy Nate Hutchinson, Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative, Kivalliq News)

All three people on board a single-engine PC-12 aircraft operated by Kudlik Aviation walked away unharmed after the plane went down about 9 km southeast of Rankin Inlet on May 7.

Rankin Inlet Fire Chief Mark Wyatt said the plane was on the ground and the RCMP were already onsite when firefighters arrived on the scene.

He said there were two pilots and a passenger on board at the time of the accident and all were fine, health wise.

“Once we got the call, we had to assemble a team to go out, find them and rescue them,” said Wyatt.

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“Search and rescue (SAR) only had a couple of people available, so the fire department, basically, got some guys together with snowmobiles. There were a couple of civilians who helped out, as well.

“So it was more of a joint effort between the fire department, SAR and the RCMP. There was a lot of ice fog at the time but they found the plane fairly quickly. It wasn’t too far out into the Bay. The three people on board were brought back with no injuries.

“It was a beautiful day in Rankin and the pilot did a great job. He took the landing gear up so he didn’t break it and he just brought it in on its belly. I’m sure there’s some damage to the plane but, overall, given the circumstances, it looked pretty good.”

RCMP Sgt. Patrick Frenette said police are still investigating the cause but, thus far, there’s no indication of foul play or anything of that nature.

He said right now, it seems all evidence is pointing to engine failure.

“The three on board the aircraft were a little shaken up,” said Sgt. Frenette. “They had just crashed into Hudson’s Bay, so, of course, they’re going to be shaken-up a bit. But, all in all, I think they were in pretty good spirits and doing fine. They were still pretty much absorbing all the information.

“They were coming into Rankin to fuel up and then they were going to be on their way to Quebec City. All three of them were on their way back to Quebec later on, and everyone was doing fine and in fairly good spirits considering the events.

“We’ll remain in contact with our partners in terms of the fire department, Transport Canada, the airport authority and everyone else to make sure that everything has been completed thoroughly and the investigation is done adequately.

“They’re very lucky that they had a very experienced pilot at the controls.”

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2023

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