Investigators review icing, weight and balance implication in PC-12 crash

Washington DC
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Pilatus Aircraft has confirmed that the PC-12 that crashed on approach to Butte, Montana on 22 March was carrying seven children and seven adults despite having seats for only two crew and eight passengers.

The US Federal Aviation Administration requires seats for children above the age of two years old, which reportedly applied to six of the seven children on board. Investigators are analysing whether weight and balance issues, as well as icing or a recently issued airworthiness directive, may have affected control of the aircraft which crashed 152m (500ft) short of the runway in Butte, Montana.

The single pilot had filed an instrument flight plan from California to Bozeman, Montana, to take the three families on board on a skiing vacation. During the flight, however, the pilot, for reasons as yet unknown, decided to land at his alternate airport, Butte, 130km (70nm) closer than Bozeman.


 © AP