Sunday, 21st of February, 1982

– United States of America

Pilgrim Airlines Flight 458, a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Groton-New London Airport (GON/KGON), Connecticut, to Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS/KBOS), Massachusetts, operated with a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100, registration N127PM, experienced an inflight cockpit fire and it subsequently force landed on the frozen Scituate Reservoir near Providence, Rhode Island.

The aircraft was destroyed. One passenger was fatally injured, but the two pilots and the remaining nine passengers survived. (1 fatality, 11 survivors)

– Details:

At 4000 feet light icing on the windshield was noted, and the de-icing system was activated. After two cycles of de-icing, alcohol was smelled in the cockpit, and smoke was coming up from the control yoke. An emergency landing was attempted at Providence, RI but smoke and flames forced the crew to land on 10-12 inch thick ice on a reservoir. By then, heavy black smoke poured in the cockpit and fire was seen. Upon landing, the left main gear collapsed and the right wing was sheared off.

– Cause:

“The deficient design of the isopropyl alcohol windshield washer/de-icer system and the inadequate maintenance of the system which resulted in an in-flight fire. The ignition source of the fire was not determined.”

– NTSB Report:…/files/2020-01/N127PM.pdf