Transport Canada, FAA Look For Input on Cessna 206 Egress

An accident in August 2018 has triggered the request.

The Cessna 206’s cargo-door configuration has been a concern since the aircraft’s introduction in the 1960s, with Cessna modifying newer models with design changes.Flying/Cessna Aircraft Company

Transport Canada and the FAA are looking for input on the operation of the cargo doors on certain models of the Cessna 206, particularly those involving floatplane installations. An August 2018 accident in the Northwest Territories, Canada, trigged the request.

The pilot of the Simpson Air Limited Cessna U206G had four passengers on board the airplane for a sightseeing flight from Fort Simpson Island Water Aerodrome, including landings at Virginia Falls and Little Doctor Lake. The early-evening flight was in the process of the water landing at Little Doctor Lake, around 18:30 mountain daylight time, when the pilot lost control and the floatplane nosed over. While the pilot and a passenger escaped, the remaining three occupants did not get out of the airplane in time.

The Transportation Safety Board determined that the severity of the accident, otherwise survivable, was compounded by the passengers’ inability to exit the airplane while it was submerged. According to Notice NOTC0041, “Canadian authorities are considering mandatory action to require a Cessna door handle kit, placards, and limiting the airplane occupancy to five for all Cessna U206 airplanes on their registry. The FAA is continuing to investigate to determine if we should consider similar AD action.”

Operators, owners, and pilots are requested to deliver feedback regarding “any information on prior experience with the 206 cargo doors with regard to use, operation, and clarity of placards and instructions as well as any modifications or alterations completed by owners and operators that aid in the usability with and without flaps extended,” the notice said. The FAA’s Airworthiness Fact Sheet on the matter can be accessed here.