THC was the prime factor.
Overwater Flight Risk
The company did not provide personal floatation devices in the land-plane fleet, and management expected single-engine aircraft to remain within gliding distance of land at all times. The pilot was familiar with the route, and given the low cloud en route and the current weather at Lutsel K'e, it is likely that a diversion to the south to remain within gliding distance of land would have to be made well before arriving at the shoreline near the accident location. The direct flight track flown toward Lutsel K'e suggests that, after crossing the Pehtei Peninsula, the pilot was prepared to overfly 11 nm of open water at low level, increasing the risk to the aircraft and its occupants. Overflight of Great Slave Lake on the earlier flight from Fort Simpson to Yellowknife indicated a willingness on the part of the pilot to accept that risk.