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Last updated: 20 October 2021
Date:Friday 25 August 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208 Caravan I
Operator:Maldivian Air Taxi
Registration: 8Q-MAT
MSN: 20800212
First flight: 1992
Total airframe hrs:1590
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Rasdhoo, Ari Atoll (   Maldives)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:?
Destination airport:Malé-Velana International Airport (MLE/VRMM), Maldives
Maldivian Air Taxi Flight 3610A landed at Rasdhoo at 14:19 hrs. The aircraft a Cessna Caravan I on floats, departed Male International at 13:58 hrs carrying 9 passengers and pilot. It was scheduled to touchdown at Rasdhoo and allow 7 passengers to disembark for the Kuramathi Resort and continue to Veligandu Resort with the remaining passengers to that resort.
After landing on the leeward side of Rasdhoo the pilot reported the time and informed the operator at the home base of his difficulty in steering. According to eyewitnesses, the pilot took approximately half and hour to dock at the floating jetty (an operation that normally takes 5-10 minutes).
The pilot informed base that owing to the damage to the water rudder he had decided to leave the 2 Veligandu passengers at Rasdhoo and return to base. The pilot then checked the float compartments and pumped out water from them.
Following the pumping out of water the pilot proceeded to take-off. He reported being nose heavy and eyewitnesses confirmed that the propeller hit the water twice. After which time the pilot sensed that the aircraft was listing to the port and he tried to get to Kuramathi, the island in front as he couldn't steer because of the broken right hand side water rudder. As the listing became severe he shutdown the engine, informed base and abandoned the aircraft. Eyewitnesses also confirmed that the left side submerged first. The onlookers threw ropes on the aircraft and whilst being towed into Rasdhoo harbour, the aircraft submerged fully. Only the wings and the tail was above water..

Probable Cause:

Causes / Factors:
i) The aircraft sank as a result of intake of water, initially on the RHS due to damage arising from striking coral; and subsequently the considerable intake of water through the open hatch compartment on the LHS due to the waves, when power was applied for take-off.

ii) The pilot aware of the problem had not checked thoroughly the floats, including hatch compartment doors for security and damage.

iii) The absence of a trained resort agent as per requirements would have further increased the workload of the pilot and exacerbate the situation.

» Maldives CAA


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