Unfavourable weather conditions and loss of engine power contributed to a 2021 fatal small plane crash in Montréal, Quebec

Dorval, Quebec, 25 January 2023 — Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A21Q0092) into a fatal 2021 occurrence where a Cessna 172M banner towing aircraft lost engine power and collided with terrain in Montréal, Quebec. The investigation found that unfavourable weather conditions along with loss of engine power contributed to the occurrence.

On 2 October 2021, a Cessna 172M aircraft operated by Publicité AERO-GRAMME Inc. took off from St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie Aerodrome, Quebec, with one pilot and one passenger on board, to conduct a visual flight rules (VFR) aerial advertising flight in the region of Montréal, Quebec. While the aircraft was flying over the St. Lawrence River near the Concorde bridge, a loss of engine power occurred. The pilot was attempting an emergency landing, when the aircraft’s left wing grazed some treetops, causing the aircraft to cartwheel before colliding with terrain. A post-impact fire occurred and the aircraft was destroyed. The passenger was unable to evacuate the aircraft and was fatally injured, while the pilot sustained serious injuries.

The investigation found that during flight planning, weather forecasts indicated unfavourable conditions, making it difficult to meet the minimum requirements for a VFR flight; however, the pilot decided to take off and proceed with the flight at an altitude of 500 feet above sea level (ASL), likely under the influence of an unconscious cognitive bias and the time constraints to complete the flight.

Additionally, atmospheric conditions conducive to carburetor icing most likely caused ice to develop, which would have reduced the engine’s ability to produce enough power to maintain the aircraft’s altitude. Given the amount of ice that was quite likely in the carburetor when the carburetor heat was turned on, the melted ice entered the engine causing an additional loss of power. To remain within VFR conditions, the pilot continued the flight at an altitude of 500 feet ASL, flying over built-up areas. Consequently, when the engine lost power, the possible locations for a safe landing were considerably limited.

See the investigation page for more information.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Government of Canada is strengthening our supply chain with investments at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

Transport Canada

MOUNT HOPE, ON, Jan. 23, 2023 /CNW/ – A strong supply chain is a priority for the Government of Canada to make life more affordable for Canadians. The government is therefore committed to ensuring that our supply chains are efficient and reliable to support Canada’s economic growth, create good jobs, while ensuring they are resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, announced an investment of up to nearly $23.5 million under the National Trade Corridors Fund for an expansion and sustainability project at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

This project, which will cost close to $47 million, will allow the Hamilton International Airport to:

  • handle increased cargo operations by improving and expanding airfield capacity;
  • increase de-icing capacity; and
  • build a new independent road to reduce congestion.

This investment will have significant economic and employment benefits for the region, such as reducing supply chain congestion, facilitating the movement of goods and creating good jobs for Canadians in the region.

The Government of Canada continues to make investments to strengthen the country’s supply chain, promote economic growth and enhance the opportunities for our businesses to expand into global markets. This represents a long-term commitment to work with stakeholders on strategic infrastructure projects to address transportation bottlenecks, vulnerabilities, and congestion along Canada’s trade corridors.

Quotes

“The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is an important trade hub for key economic sectors such as transportation, warehousing, agriculture, automotive, manufacturing and more. This significant funding will help the airport manage the growth of cargo operations in this strategic trade corridor, while providing opportunities for access to global markets and creating new permanent jobs.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra 
Minister of Transport 

“The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is home to one of Canada’s largest cargo freighter distribution networks and is crucial to the supply chains and economic opportunities in Hamilton and the surrounding communities. Today’s investment highlights our commitment to build reliable and efficient supply chains while creating jobs and positioning our economy for success.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi 
Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas

“The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is the fastest growing cargo airport in Canada and a key economic driver of our city. By investing in our local airport, the federal government will help create 1,830 new, permanent jobs in Hamilton and will improve operations at what I feel is already the most efficient airport in the country. With Hamilton’s booming population and business growth, this investment will certainly benefit our city and the region.”

Lisa Hepfner 
Member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain

“Investments like this highlight our government’s commitment to growing Hamilton’s economy, creating well paid jobs and investing in infrastructure that will be utilized for decades to come. Led by champions like Cathie Puckering, this project highlights the bright future of the airport and our city.”

Chad Collins
Member of Parliament for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek

“Today’s announcement from the federal government is an important step towards strengthening the efficiency and resiliency of the national supply chain by adding capacity and alleviating constraints at the largest domestic overnight express cargo airport in Canada. These investments at the Hamilton International Airport will improve the fluidity, reliability, and safety of critical transportation infrastructure, while enabling economic growth, creating jobs and ensuring essential goods are accessible to all Canadians”

Cathie Puckering 
Vice President and Head – Canadian Network, Vantage Airport Group

“Hamilton International Airport, Canada’s third largest cargo airport by payload, serves as a global gateway in a strategic transportation and trade corridor, and is an economic engine generating significant jobs, industry activity, and GDP. This support from the National Trade Corridors Fund will enable Hamilton International Airport to advance investment to expand and strengthen its airfield and critical assets, create new full-time jobs, generate additional economic activity, and ensure that existing infrastructure under pressure today will be ready to support current and emerging growth well into the future.”

Cole Horncastle 
Executive Managing Director, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

Quick Facts

  • An efficient and reliable transportation network is key to Canada’s economic growth. The Government of Canada, through the National Trade Corridors Fund, is making investments that will support the flow of goods across Canada’s supply chains.
  • The National Trade Corridors Fund is a competitive, merit-based program designed to help infrastructure owners and users invest in the critical transportation assets that support economic activity in Canada. A total of $4.7 billion over 11 years (2017-2028) has been allocated to the program.
  • Through the National Trade Corridors Fund, Transport Canada is supporting improvements to Canada’s roads, rail, air, and marine shipping routes to foster domestic and international trade.
  • The National Trade Corridors Fund’s Increasing the Fluidity of Canada’s Supply Chains call for proposals supports fluid and reliable trade flows between Canada and global markets, as well as internal trade corridors.

Related Product 

National Trade Corridors Fund Backgrounder 

Unsuccessful visual scanning, operator task saturation factors in 2021 aircraft/drone collision near Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario

Richmond Hill, Ontario, 19 January 2023 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A21O0069) into the August 2021 collision between a remotely piloted aircraft, commonly referred to as a drone, and a small aircraft that took place near the Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario.

On 10 August 2021, a Cessna 172N aircraft operated by Canadian Flyers International Inc. was on final approach to the Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, with a student pilot and flight instructor on board, when it collided with a York Regional Police DJI Matrice M210 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operated by a pilot located on the ground and a visual observer. Following the collision, the Cessna aircraft continued the approach and made an uneventful landing. After parking the aircraft, damage on the front left cowl under the propeller was observed. The York Regional Police RPA was destroyed. There were no injuries to either pilot on the Cessna 172N or to persons on the ground.

The investigation found that the Cessna pilots were unaware of the presence of airborne RPA traffic in the vicinity and, due to several factors, the active scanning that is part of the see-and-avoid principle was unsuccessful in identifying the conflict. Additionally, York Regional Police policy does not require that visual observers be trained crew members, and the RPA pilot did not brief the visual observer on his role and responsibilities before the operation. As a result, the visual observer was not aware of the requirement to maintain visual line-of-sight with the RPA, nor was he trained in visual scanning techniques or aircraft identification. Finally, the RPA pilot was tasked with operating the camera system, monitoring the status of the RPA, and communicating on multiple channels. As a result, he likely became task saturated, restricting his ability to visually monitor the RPA and hear radio calls on the control zone’s mandatory frequency and the sound of incoming aircraft, both of which preceded the collision. As a result of these factors, the conflict went unrecognized and the two aircraft collided.

Following the occurrence, the York Regional Police amended its directive to include the addition of a pre-flight risk assessment tool, and an updated RPA pilot checklist. There is also additional guidance for the role of the visual observer, including a quick reference card outlining their roles and responsibilities, as well as a requirement to have a visual observer present for all operational RPA flights. 

See the investigation page for more information.

Government of Canada support for expansion of Milton and Mississauga-based aerospace manufacturer

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario News Release

Over $9-million FedDev Ontario investment is helping Cyclone Manufacturing Incorporated to commercialize 1,500 parts and support 110 jobs at Milton and Mississauga locations

January 17, 2023  Milton, Ontario

Canada’s aerospace industry is one of the most research‑intensive and export-focused manufacturing industries in our country and employs thousands of highly skilled workers across the country. In southern Ontario, manufacturers play an integral part in the global supply chain, with products on virtually every passenger aircraft in the world.

Today, Adam van Koeverden, Member of Parliament for Milton, along with Rechie Valdez, Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Streetsville, visited Cyclone Manufacturing Incorporated (Cyclone) to see how the Government of Canada’s investment’s of over $9 million is helping the company to expand its capacity at its Milton facility. In September, MP Valdez, on behalf of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the investment at one of the three Mississauga locations.

This investment through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, will help Cyclone expand its facilities in all locations in order to become more productive and competitive. The expansions will include a heat treatment oven at its Milton facility and a temperature-controlled production area at one of its Mississauga facilities. These improvements will allow Cyclone to become more productive and competitive, while also transitioning to greener operations by including more environmentally friendly technologies. This project will support 110 jobs in the region and enhance the company’s ability to create new and larger parts.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the aerospace sector by providing businesses and organizations the support they need to grow, create jobs and contribute to a strong recovery and future economic growth in a greener and more sustainable and inclusive way. 

Quotes

“Small-and medium-sized aerospace businesses, like Cyclone, are developing new and innovative products that will position Canada as a leader in this field. With investments into businesses like this, our government is helping to create and maintain thousands of jobs, contribute to a growing economy, and finding new ways to reduce Canada’s carbon footprint.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“This project will help Cyclone expand in a green way, boosting competitiveness and supporting 110 local jobs while contributing to the growth of the aerospace sector here in southern Ontario.”
– Adam van Koeverden, Member of Parliament for Milton

“Today’s investment will help the company emerge from the pandemic as a key player within the global aerospace supply chain, while also creating local jobs in Mississauga and Milton.”
– Rechie Valdez, Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Streetsville 

“The Aerospace industry was one of the hardest industries to pull through 2020 to 2022. This FedDev Ontario assistance will help Cyclone go back to its history of investments and continue to be one of the top suppliers in the aerospace industry.”
– Robert Sochaj, Vice President, Cyclone Manufacturing Incorporated

Quick facts

  • Ontario’s aerospace industry contains over 200 firms, employing more than 44,000 workers and is responsible for more than $6 billion in revenues.
  • Founded in 1964, Cyclone is an aerospace parts manufacturer that makes a range of aircraft metal parts, and performs sub-assemblies for major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Bombardier, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer. Cyclone has four facilities in southern Ontario, three in Mississauga and one in Milton.
  • Through this project, Cyclone will become the first Canadian Airbus supplier to introduce Zinc-Nickel plating for its aircraft parts, which is more environmentally friendly than the Cadmium plating currently used.
  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative is part of a Government of Canada strategy that includes measures being implemented by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to boost the aerospace industry. With a national budget of $250 million over three years, FedDev Ontario is delivering $67.5 million in support in southern Ontario. 
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested nearly $150 million in 30 aerospace projects across southern Ontario, creating over 920 jobs and maintaining over 850 jobs, including an investment of over $4.2 million for Dishon Limited to expand operations, adopt advanced technology and create 50 jobs.

Associated links

CTA publishes a new dashboard providing the number of complaints it receives per 100 flights flown by airlines

GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 19, 2022 /CNW/ – The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) today announced the publication of new data to provide Canadians with additional information about the air travel sector. The data shows the number of air travel complaints submitted to the CTA per 100 flights operated by Canadian and foreign airlines.

The complaints data is compiled by the CTA and will be updated on a quarterly basis.

The tables include:

  • air travel complaint data submitted during 3-month time periods
  • airlines that operated a minimum of 100 flights to/from/within Canada during each time period
  • airlines with an average of 1 or more complaints per 100 flights

Background

  • The complaint data is based on the information submitted by passengers and may not have been reviewed by the CTA at the time of publishing
  • The data is based on the number of flights by airline and does not reflect the number of passengers per flight or the size of the aircraft
  • The data used for this dashboard is based on all of the air travel complaints submitted to the CTA; the numbers do not imply whether or not an airline actually met its regulatory requirements
  • Most complaints (97%) are resolved informally through facilitation or mediation; other complaints move to a formal adjudication process
  • Airlines identified in the complaint may change based on the information supplied by the passenger and the airline during the complaint review process
  • Complaints related to accessibility are not included in these tables
  • The number of flights operated per airline during the time period is provided by a third party (Cirium)

About the CTA

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.

Main rotor blade failure during emergency landing resulted in 2019 fatal helicopter accident in Campbell River, BC

Richmond, British Columbia, 8 December 2022 — Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A19P0142) into the September 2019 loss of control and collision with terrain of a Bell helicopter in Campbell River, British Columbia (BC).

On 24 September 2019, an E & B Helicopter Ltd. Bell 206B helicopter was conducting a flight from Campbell River Heliport, BC, to Moat Lake, BC, with only the pilot on board. Shortly after departure, while flying southeast along the coastline, the helicopter briefly levelled off at 615 feet above sea level (ASL), then began a descent. When the aircraft was at 417 feet ASL, it entered a right-hand climbing turn toward land and, following the turn, it began to descend again. During this descent, control of the helicopter was lost when it was about 200 feet above ground level and the helicopter fell to the ground, striking a building and 2 vehicles. The pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was destroyed by the impact forces and a post-impact fire.

The investigation found that an engine power anomaly likely occurred while the helicopter was in cruise flight and, as a result, the pilot reversed course and entered a descent consistent with an autorotation. At some point during the flight, the main rotors became deformed. Although indications of fatigue were present post-occurrence, the extent to which this fatigue contributed to the deformation could not be determined. In the last moments of the flight, likely as a result of the deformed blades, the main rotor rpm decreased to a point that could not sustain autorotational flight, and the helicopter fell vertically and impacted the ground. The investigation also revealed that the engine fuel system did not have the appropriate accumulators and double check valve for installation on the Bell 206 helicopter. During the installation of the engine, the company maintenance control system was ineffective at ensuring that the engine installation complied with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If maintenance procedures do not include a thorough review of all related instructions and bulletins, there is a risk that an aircraft will be released into service in a non-airworthy configuration.

The investigation examined the air operator’s safety culture. The pilot was the company’s owner, accountable executive, and operations manager, and direction on how the maintenance department was to respond to a partial loss of engine power that occurred a week before the occurrence came from him. The investigation revealed that many operational and maintenance-related decisions were being made based on a single opinion, rather than a process of validation by a hierarchy of independent and skilled supervisors. In addition, several opportunities to improve the safety of the flight had been missed. If company management routinely deviates from regulatory requirements, there is an increased risk that an unsupportive safety culture will develop, affecting the entire organization.

Finally, the investigation examined Transport Canada’s (TC’s) approach to managing cardiovascular health and hypertension in pilots. Using a variety of different risk calculators and all available medical information about the occurrence pilot, an independent cardiology review was conducted as part of this investigation and revealed that the pilot possessed many of the key indicators for a high-risk cardiac event. In this occurrence, TC’s civil aviation medical examination to assess pilot fitness did not identify the level of risk presented by the pilot. If TC guidance material and the civil aviation medical examination report do not require a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner to perform a global cardiovascular assessment, when appropriate, there is an increased risk that a pilot with high cardiovascular risk factors will be incapacitated while operating an aircraft as a result of a medical event.

See the investigation page for more information.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.


Main rotor blade failure and collision with terrain
E & B Helicopters Ltd.
Bell 206B (helicopter), C-GEBY
Campbell River, British Columbia
24 September 2019

Executive Summary

On 24 September 2019, the E & B Helicopters Ltd. Bell 206B helicopter (registration C-GEBY, serial number 3375) was conducting a visual flight rules flight from the operator’s base at Campbell River (E & B Heli) Heliport (CCR6) in Campbell River, British Columbia, to Moat Lake, British Columbia, with only the pilot on board.

Shortly after departure, while flying southeast along the coastline, the helicopter briefly levelled off at 615 feet above sea level, then began a descent. When the helicopter was at 417 feet above sea level, it entered a right-hand climbing turn toward land and, following the turn, it began to descend again. During this descent, at 1103 Pacific Daylight Time, control of the helicopter was lost when it was about 200 feet above ground level and the helicopter fell to the ground, striking a building and 2 vehicles. The pilot was fatally injured. No one on the ground was injured. The helicopter was destroyed by the impact forces and a post-impact fire.

The investigation found that an engine power anomaly likely occurred while the helicopter was in cruise flight and, as a result, the pilot reversed course and entered a descent consistent with an autorotation. Following the occurrence, a visual and microscopic examination of the main rotor blades revealed several indications of structural failure in flight. At some point during the flight, both main rotor blades became deformed. Although indications of fatigue were present post-occurrence on a small portion of the trailing edge of one of the main rotor blades, the extent to which this fatigue contributed to the deformation could not be determined. The investigation also found that in the last moments of the flight, likely as a result of the deformed blades, the main rotor rpm decreased to a point that could not sustain autorotational flight, and the helicopter fell vertically and impacted the ground.

The investigation also revealed that the engine fuel system did not have the appropriate accumulators and double check valve for the Bell 206 helicopter. During the installation of the engine, the company maintenance control system was ineffective at ensuring that the engine installation complied with the manufacturer’s recommendations, including having the correct accumulator and double check valve configuration for the Bell 206. If maintenance procedures do not include a thorough review of all related instructions and bulletins, there is a risk that an aircraft will be released into service in a non-airworthy configuration.

The investigation examined the air operator’s safety culture. Safety culture within a company can be summarized as “how we do things around here.” The pilot was the company’s owner, accountable executive, and operations manager, and direction on how the maintenance department was to respond to a partial loss of engine power that occurred a week before the occurrence came from him. The investigation revealed that many operational and maintenance-related decisions were being made based on a single opinion, rather than a process of validation by a hierarchy of independent and skilled supervisors. In addition, several opportunities to improve the safety of the flight had been missed. If company management routinely deviates from regulatory requirements, there is an increased risk that an unsupportive safety culture will develop, affecting the entire organization.

The investigation examined the certification process of composite main rotor blades. A structural fatigue test, completed as part of the primary structural element threat assessment, is intended to ensure the continuing airworthiness of a structural component, the failure of which could be catastrophic. A dynamic load assessment helps determine the maximum damage size to be introduced into the structural fatigue test specimen. The investigation determined that no dynamic assessment was carried out for the certification of the model of Van Horn composite blades installed on the occurrence helicopter. If data from a dynamic assessment is not available, the fatigue test may not discover structural responses associated with this damage. If a structural fatigue test does not include quantitative assessments and simulated damage that is of probable sizes and at critical locations as determined from a dynamic load assessment, the resulting airworthiness limitations may not be adequate to prevent failures or excessive structural deformations.

The Van Horn composite blades are certificated on the basis of the “no-growth” method. This method is used to show that “the structure, with damage present, is able to withstand repeated loads of variable magnitude without detectable damage growth within a specified replacement time.”Footnote1 However, Van Horn’s quality assurance process has no established inspection for internal defects following production, or criteria for the permissible size of internal defects. Therefore, it is possible that an unknown intrinsic flaw could exist following production that might exceed a predefined damage limit and would affect the structural integrity of the helicopter blades. If helicopter main rotor blade manufacturing processes do not include internal inspections for defects or criteria for permissible defects, there is a risk that defects that affect structural integrity will not be identified.

Finally, the investigation examined Transport Canada’s (TC’s) approach to managing cardiovascular health and hypertension in pilots. Using a variety of different risk calculators and all available medical information about the occurrence pilot, an independent cardiology review was conducted as part of this investigation and determined that the pilot’s actual annual risk for a sudden incapacitating cardiovascular event exceeded 5% per year. This surpasses the 2% threshold set by TC and the 1% threshold cardiologists recommend for single-pilot operations. Post-mortem results confirmed the presence of extensive atherosclerotic coronary artery disease in all 4 major coronary arteries, with significant (>75%) stenosis. This analysis revealed that the pilot possessed many of the key indicators for a high-risk cardiac event. In this occurrence, TC’s civil aviation medical examination to assess pilot fitness did not identify the level of risk presented by the pilot. If TC guidance material and the civil aviation medical examination report do not require a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME) to perform a global cardiovascular assessment, when appropriate, there is an increased risk that a pilot with high cardiovascular risk factors will be incapacitated while operating an aircraft as a result of a medical event.

The investigation determined that the pilot was not forthcoming with his CAMEs about conditions that were being followed by his family physician. In addition, the pilot’s family physician did not report the pilot’s conditions to TC, which contributed to TC’s incomplete understanding of the pilot’s health. If pilots do not declare all health issues to TC CAMEs and/or if pilots’ family physicians do not report medical conditions that are likely to constitute an aviation hazard, as required, TC may not be able to accurately assess the medical fitness of pilots, resulting in an increased risk that pilots will operate with diagnosed medical conditions that could affect flight safety.

Associated links (A19P0142)

TSB Investigation report: Fatal collision with obstacle on takeoff at Canton Aerodrome, Ontario

Richmond Hill, Ontario, 6 December 2022 —Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A22O0118) into the 13 August 2022 fatal collision with obstacle on takeoff of a privately registered Piper PA-28-180 aircraft at the Canton Aerodrome, in Ontario.

The TSB conducted a limited-scope, class 4 investigation into this occurrence to advance transportation safety through greater awareness of potential safety issues. See the Policy on Occurrence Classification for more information.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.


Collision with obstacle on takeoff
Privately registered
Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-28-180 (Cherokee), C-FYSZ
Canton Aerodrome, Ontario
13 August 2022

History of the flight

At approximately 2015Footnote1 on 13 August 2022, during daylight hours, the privately registered Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-28-180 (Cherokee) aircraft (registration C-FYSZ, serial number 285205) began its take-off roll on Runway 14 at Canton Aerodrome (CTN7), Ontario, for a visual flight rules (VFR) flight to Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport (CYRO), Ontario, with the pilot and 1 passenger on board.

Shortly after becoming airborne, when the aircraft had travelled approximately 1400 feet down the runway and was at a height of approximately 26 feet above ground level, the left wing struck a tree located approximately 40 feet to the left of the runway centreline. Then, the aircraft was seen to veer to the left before disappearing from view. The aircraft then struck multiple additional trees before colliding with terrain,Footnote2 and came to rest approximately 220 feet to the left of the runway centreline (Figure 1).

At approximately 2045, bystanders reached the accident site and contacted emergency services, which arrived on site at 2100. Although both occupants were wearing safety belts with shoulder harnesses, they were fatally injured.

The aircraft’s 406 MHz emergency locator transmitterFootnote3 activated, and the signal was received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Trenton, Ontario. There was no post-impact fire.

Map showing the accident sequence (Source: Google Earth, with TSB annotations)
Figure 01. Map showing the accident sequence (Source: Google Earth, with TSB annotations)

Aerodrome information

CTN7 is private aerodrome at an elevation of 520 feet above sea level (ASL). It has 1 runway surface (Runway 14/32), which is asphalt and is 1958 feet long and 40 feet wide. Prior permission is required before landing at the aerodrome.

Mature trees are present on both sides of the runway, starting approximately 600 feet before the departure end of Runway 14. The grassy area along the runway edges was maintained up to the runway edge lights on both sides of the runway. The runway had not been used regularly for approximately 5 years. A review of historic Google Earth imagery and the conditions observed following the occurrence show that, over the past 4 years, the tree canopy has expanded toward the edges of the runway, likely reducing the opening over the Runway 14 departure end. On 14 September 2022, Transport Canada received written notice that CTN7 was closed. Transport Canada indicated that CTN7 would soon be removed from publications.

Aircraft information

The PA-28-180 aircraft is a 4-seat, low-wing aircraft equipped with a carbureted Lycoming O-360-A4A engine, a Sensenich all-metal, 2-bladed, fixed-pitch propeller, and fixed tricycle landing gear. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 4034 hours of total air time before the occurrence. It had been registered to the Outaouais Flying Club inc. (a private flying club) since April 2005. The last annual inspectionFootnote4 had been completed in March 2022.

Pilot information

The pilot held the appropriate licence and met the recency requirements for the flight in accordance with existing regulations. He had a private pilot licence — aeroplane with a night rating and a Group 3 instrument rating; his medical certificate was valid. He had accumulated approximately 600 total flying hours and approximately 190 of those hours were on the occurrence aircraft. The occurrence takeoff was the pilot’s third takeoff from Runway 14 at CTN7; the previous one was in October 2019.

Weather information

The weather was suitable for the VFR flight. The automatic hourly aerodrome routine meteorological report issued at 2000 for Peterborough Airport (CYPQ), Ontario, the closest aerodrome to the accident site, located 14 nautical miles north of CTN7, reported the winds from 200° true at 3 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, no clouds, temperature 20 °C, and dew point 10 °C. On the day of the occurrence, the sunset in Canton was at 2035.

Accident site and aircraft wreckage

Photo of the damage to the left wing (Source: TSB)
Figure 2. Photo of the damage to the left wing (Source: TSB)

The aircraft struck the ground in a nearly vertical, nose-down attitude; the nose and right wing impacted the ground first, followed by the lower right side of the fuselage. The right wing was nearly separated from the aircraft, and had folded back along the right side of the fuselage. The engine was displaced significantly to the left of the fuselage centreline, and the left wing was relatively undamaged by the ground impact. There were signs of tree strikes along both wing leading edges, the most significant of which was on the outboard leading edge of the left wing, approximately 2 feet inboard from the wing tip (Figure 2).

The aircraft systems were examined to the degree possible on site, and no indication of a malfunction was found. Damage to the propeller was consistent with power being produced at the time of impact, although the amount of power could not be determined. Due to the damage to the nose section, the position of the engine controls could not be determined with certainty.

The ignition key was found in the BOTH position. The stabilator was trimmed slightly nose up, which is consistent with a take-off configuration, and the flaps were found retracted. The fuel selector was selected to the right tank. Both the left and right fuel tanks were compromised and leaking fuel. Approximately 35 L of aviation fuel (AVGAS) were recovered from both tanks.

The aircraft was being operated within its weight and balance limitations.

The aircraft was not equipped with a lightweight data recorder, nor was it required to be by regulation. No data was available from the global positioning system on board the aircraft. Given the absence of data, the investigation could not determine the complete sequence of events that led to the aircraft deviating slightly to the left during takeoff, which resulted in the impact with a tree followed by a loss of control and collision with terrain.

This report concludes the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s investigation into this occurrence. The Board authorized the release of this report on . It was officially released on .

Government of Canada makes important investments at two Saskatchewan Airports

Transport Canada

OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 6, 2022 /CNW/ – The last few years have underscored the crucial role airports play in supporting essential air services. By ensuring community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue, and forest fire response, airports contribute to keeping Canadians safe and connected from coast to coast to coast.    

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that the Government of Canada is making important safety investments at two Saskatchewan Airports.

Through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program, two airports in Saskatchewan will receive over $1.7 million from the Government of Canada for projects and equipment that will help maintain safe airport operations for passengers, crews, and airport workers. The airports receiving funding are:

La Ronge

  • to purchase a loader – $424,990
  • to purchase a sweeper – $391,600
  • to purchase a 4×4 snowplow – $444,600

Prince Albert

  • to purchase a 4×4 snowplow – $420,000
  • to purchase material spreader, wet/dry combination – $105,000

The equipment will be used in maintaining aircraft movement surfaces and the removal and control of ice and snow from airside surfaces such as runways, taxiways and the apron.

This funding is in addition to the May 2021 announcement under the program to provide the La Ronge Airport with $110,000 for a material spreader and more than $3.2 million to the Prince Albert Airport for the rehabilitation of airfield electrical systems and for airfield drainage improvements.

Quote

“Airports play a crucial role in keeping Canadians connected across our vast country, and the last two and a half years have only underscored this. Today’s investment of over $1.7 million in the La Ronge and Prince Albert airports is great news for the region’s air sector and for all the communities these airports serve. Investments like these will ensure that our air sector comes out strong as we enter post-pandemic recovery, and help us keep our commitment to building safer, stronger communities.” 

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • As announced in the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Airports Capital Assistance Program received a one-time funding top-up of $186 million over two years.
  • The Fall Economic Statement 2020 also announced the temporary expansion of eligibility for the Airports Capital Assistance Program to allow National Airports System airports with less than one million annual passengers in 2019 to apply for funding under the Program in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • Since the Airports Capital Assistance Program started in 1995, the Government of Canada has invested over $1.2 billion for 1,215 projects at 199 local, regional and National Airports System airports across the country. Funded projects include runway and taxiway repairs/rehabilitation, lighting enhancements, purchasing snow clearing equipment and firefighting vehicles as well as installing wildlife control fencing.

Associated Link

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.

Minister of Transport announces expanded Canada-Colombia Air Transport Agreement to allow unlimited flights and destinations

Transport Canada

Additional capacity to increase tourism and trade opportunities for both countries

OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 2, 2022 /CNW/ – Canadians rely on a strong air sector to keep their communities connected and get them the essential goods they need on time. Expanding Canada’s existing air transport relationships allows airlines to introduce more flight options, giving passengers and businesses more choice.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the recent conclusion of an expanded air transport agreement between Canada and Colombia. The expanded agreement allows designated airlines of both countries to operate an unlimited number of passenger and cargo flights to an unlimited number of destinations in Canada and Colombia. This is a significant increase from the previous agreement, which allowed 14 passenger and 14 cargo flights per week.

Colombia is currently Canada’s largest South American international air transport market. The expanded agreement will allow airlines of Canada and Colombia to better respond to the needs of this growing air transport market.

The new rights under the expanded agreement are available for use by airlines immediately.

Quotes

“This significantly expanded agreement will improve connectivity for passengers and businesses in Canada and Colombia, and demonstrates our commitment to enhance air services with Latin America. Our government will continue to strengthen our economy and our air sector, and this expanded agreement will help Canadian businesses do just that.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“Our government will always advocate for Canadians, and with a global landscape that changes as quickly as today’s, that priority becomes more important than ever. The expanded agreement reaffirms our commitment, as it creates the flexibility needed for airlines and airports to accommodate Canadian and Colombian businesses and travellers alike. The Latin American market offers growing demand for Canadian products and services and we will continue to support our Canadian exporters as they deliver excellence around the world.”

The Honourable Mary Ng
Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Colombia is Canada’s 19th largest international air transport market.
  • Canada’s first air transport agreement with Colombia was concluded in 2012. This agreement was reached under Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of international air services.
  • Since the launch of the Blue Sky policy in November 2006, the Government of Canada has negotiated air transport agreements with more than 100 countries.

Associated Link

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.