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Date:Tuesday 11 November 1969
Time:ca 18:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic H25A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH-125-400A
Operator:Churchill Falls Co.
Registration: CF-CFL
MSN: 25193/NA725
First flight: 1969
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Total:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:N of Wabush Airport, NL (YWK) (   Canada)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Churchill Falls Airport, NL (ZUM/CZUM), Canada
Destination airport:Wabush Airport, NL (YWK/CYWK), Canada
The aircraft departed Churchill Falls Airport, at 18:00 local time, for a planned 20 minute night flight to Wabush Airport. During the climb the crew received from Moncton Air Traffic Control centre the current Wabush weather: cloud, 700 feet scattered; ceiling, 1000 feet overcast; visibility 10 miles in light drizzle. The weather was deteriorating but remained above the approach minima.
As it neared destination, Moncton Centre cleared the aircraft to the Wabush Airport to perform an DF approach on the "Whiskey-Kilo" (WK) beacon which was a cancelled procedure. This clearance was acknowledged and read back by the co-pilot. The WK is an airway beacon; however, the only currently approved instrument approach procedure at Wabush was based on the WZ beacon.
At 18:29 the pilot reported to the tower that he had crossed the beacon and was on the final approach to the runway.
Flying the approved approach procedure on the WK beacon rather than on the WZ resulted in a 6 mile northward displacement of the approach pattern. Having crossed over a beacon that the pilot apparently assumed incorrectly to be south of the field, he was now flying at his minima approach altitude expecting to see the runway ahead. The aircraft crashed 5.5 miles north of the WK beacon into the rock face of a lighted open-pit mine, killing all eight persons on board.

Probable Cause:

ASSIGNED CAUSE: "The pilot was cleared by air traffic control centre to perform a cancelled approach procedure. The pilot performed the currently approved procedure on the wrong beacon."

Aircraft strayed off planned course
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Churchill Falls Airport, NL to Wabush Airport, NL as the crow flies is 195 km (122 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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