None of the crew members of the First Air Boeing 737-200 which crashed in the Canadian Arctic survived the accident, but three survivors are still being treated for injuries.

First Air has identified the 737-200, lost as it prepared to land at Resolute Bay, as a 36-year old airframe. The aircraft was registered C-GNWN, said the airline.

The aircraft, operating charter flight 6560 from Yellowknife to Resolute Bay, last communicated at 12:40 on 20 August while about 5mi (8km) from Resolute Bay airport. It added that the aircraft was lost about 10min later, at 12:50.

Twelve of the 15 on board - a total of 11 passengers and four crew - did not survive, the carrier said. Three survivors were taken to medical centres in Ottawa and Iqaluit for treatment.

First Air vice-president of marketing Chris Ferris said: "At this time the cause of the accident is unknown. The Transportation Safety Board is conducting their investigation and First Air is co-operating fully."

The airframe was modified as a combi version with a forward cargo cabin and cargo door.

It had previously been involved in a serious landing incident at Edmonton, in February 2004, while in service with First Air. The aircraft missed the runway during a low-visibility approach, instead touching down hard and travelling 1,600ft along ground on the left side of the runway, and crossing a taxiway, before steering back on.

Investigation of that incident, in which the 737 suffered airframe and engine damage, determined that the crew had lost visual cues and also suggested fatigue might have played a role.

Flightglobal's ACAS database last listed the aircraft as being owned by the carrier, and showed that it had logged over 86,000h and 62,000 cycles. Boeing 737-200s are powered by Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines.

First Air specialises in operations connecting cities in the Canadian Arctic region. The airline emerged as the operating brand of Bradley Air Services, and traces its origins to an air training school set up in Ottawa in 1946.

It is a subsidiary of Makivik Corporation, an organisation which protects the land rights and financial interests of the Inuit population. Makivik took over the carrier in 1990.

Lead image: Air Team Images

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news