In remote northern Canadian airports, a majority of pilots are unable to properly de-ice their planes, according to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).

That’s according to a report released by the TSB, investigating the fatal December 2017 plane crash just outside Fond-du-lac.

The TSB sent a questionnaire to 655 pilots, asking pilots about their experience with de-icing procedures at remote airports.

Only 37 per cent of respondents said they are able to effectively de-ice their aircrafts at remote airports. A majority of respondents said their planes take off with ice or snow on the aircraft.

A year ago, a West Wind Aviation plane, headed for Stoney Rapids, crashed less than a kilometer from the Fond-du-Lac runway. A 19-year-old man, died in hospital following the crash. The other 24 occupants all suffered injuries.

A prior investigation into the crash, found the plane took off with ice on the aircraft. The April investigation also found there was minimal de-icing equipment in the terminal.

The TSB is recommending pilots collaborate with Canada’s Department of Transport to identify locations where there is inadequate de-icing equipment.

The cause of the Fond du Lac plane crash is still unknown, according to the TSB.

Often no pre-flight inspections

Many pilots who answered the questionnaire said they “rarely” have access to proper inspection equipment.

“The unavailability of adequate equipment is a significant underlying factor that prevents pilots from being able to conduct a proper pre-flight inspection for contaminants,” the TSB report read.

West Wind Aviation said it’s bettering its de-icing equipment.

“West Wind has delivered enhanced deicing equipment to its destinations across the north, and training of its personnel has been accomplished,” the company wrote in a Facebook post.

Since the Fond du Lac crash, West Wind Aviation has appointed a new management team and implemented a “zero tolerance program” for ice on planes before takeoffs.

The Ministry of Transportation has 90 days to the TSB’s report.