Plane hits another from behind in Labrador
from; The Canadian Press
NATUASHISH, Newfoundland. - Two Twin Otter planes, one with 12 people aboard, clipped each other in the air Tuesday as they were landing in a remote northern Labrador community.
Innu Mikun Airlines Flight 961, carrying 10 passengers and two crew, was approaching the airstrip in Natuashish at about 9:45 a.m. local time when it was hit from behind by an Air Labrador cargo plane, said Innu Mikun spokesman Bob Halliday.
“It is very unusual for an airplane to be that close,” Halliday said. “Our pilots reacted promptly and made a safe and uneventful landing and all the passengers deplaned safely.”
But Philip Earle, Air Labrador’s chief operating officer, said it was premature to say which plane hit the other.
“This incident is rare and obviously we’re doing our own internal investigation to try and determine how it happened,” Earle said.
“We’re a little bit in awe at how this happened today, moreover given the fact that it was a clear day.”
There were two pilots aboard the cargo plane. No one aboard either flight was injured, officials with both airlines said.
There was minor damage to the right wing of the Innu Mikun plane but none on the cargo flight, said RCMP Sgt. Ren Osmond.
It was clear and sunny at the time the two planes made contact, Osmond said.
There is no airport or control tower in Natuashish, only a runway for cargo and small passenger flights. In situations like that, pilots depend on communicating with each other when landing.
The Transportation Safety Board was assessing the incident but has not decided yet whether to investigate, a spokeswoman for the federal agency said.
Natuashish is a remote Innu community of about 680 residents, accessible only by plane and boat.
Innu Mikun is a subsidiary of St. John’s, N.L.-based Provincial Airlines.