Wrong fuel to blame for Thompson plane crash: investigation

Investigation says wrong fuel is to blame for Thompson plane crash on September 15, 2015.
Investigation says wrong fuel is to blame for Thompson plane crash on September 15, 2015. Transportation Safety Board

WINNIPEG — The Keystone Air flight that crash landed near the Thompson airport in mid-September was filled with the wrong fuel, the Transportation Safety Board confirmed.

The twin piston-engine aircraft requires aviation gasoline (AvGas), but was re-fueled with turbine engine fuel (Jet A1), according to the report released Thursday.

“It’s the same idea as diesel versus gasoline, so you can’t put diesel fuel in your automobile that is gas driven,” Eric Vermette with the Transportation Safety Board said.

But how that happened is still under investigation.

“We wanted to release this information so pilots and fuellers are vigilant,” Vermette said.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Wrong fuel could be to blame for Thompson plane crash

Gord Johnson, a retired pilot, says the Keystone pilots are not to blame and from his experience it was human error on the part of the fuellers in Thompson.

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“Whoever’s fueling it should know what the hell they’re putting in it,” Johnson said. “I’ve fueled up thousands of time and I just say to the guy filling it up and the guy knows, typically the fuel cap is marked with the type of fuel it requires.”

Johnson said that almost happened to him once. He says he arrived at an airport and saw the fueller trying to put the wrong fuel in and had to stop him.

“I said you got the wrong fuel, now I was just lucky because of where I was but he could have well filled my airplane with aviation fuel and burned out both my engines,” Johnson said.

Johnson said from his experience the fueller would give the pilot a fuel sheet that indicated how much fuel and what type was put into the aircraft, something the pilot must sign off on.

Johnson believes the fueller must of checked the right box or the pilots would have noticed.

That’s something the Transportation Safety Board says they’re still trying to figure out.

Six government employees on board were not seriously hurt.

The two pilots are on leave and are recovering from their injures at home.

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To examine the full report click here.