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NNSL photo/graphic

A Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. Jetstream 31, left, slid on the ice and hit a company Beechcraft Kingair 90.

Planes damaged in ground collision

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (Mar 07/05) - Two planes were damaged - one apparently beyond repair - during a maintenance accident in Fort Smith.

The Feb. 21 accident involved a Jetstream 31 and a Beechcraft Kingair 90, both owned by Northwestern Air Lease Ltd.

Two engineers in the Jetstream, parked on a taxiway in front of a company hangar, were testing a new engine.

"The aircraft slid on the ice and hit the Kingair," says Brian Harrold, the company's co-owner and quality assurance manager.

Harrold says it is unknown why the plane started to move, although it may have been hit by a gust of wind.

No one was injured in the accident, Harrold says. "Other than wounded pride."

The aircraft were parked about 140 feet apart. There was no one on the Kingair.

Harrold says the Kingair is likely a total loss, since most of the right wing and engine mounting were destroyed. "We're still waiting to hear from our insurance company."

Meanwhile, repairs are being made to the Jetstream, and Harrold says it may be back in the air by mid-March. Its right wing engine and propeller were damaged.

Harrold estimates the cost of damages at about $400,000 for the Kingair and $150,000-$200,000 for the Jetstream.

"We've got a company investigation ongoing," Harrold said, adding the Transport Safety Board of Canada and Transport Canada have been advised of the accident and will be notified of all repairs and inspections before the Jetstream resumes flying.