Crash of twin-engine plane at Thunder Bay airport leaves 1 dead

From CBC News – link to source story

TSB investigating after plane crashed following day of flying for Ontario ministry

CBC News · Posted: August 17, 2021

A number of flights into the Thunder Bay, Ont., airport from Toronto and Sioux Lookout were either cancelled or diverted as a result of the airport closure due to the small-plane crash Monday evening. (Michael Fox/Twitter)

A twin-engine airplane crashed Monday evening at Thunder Bay’s airport in northwestern Ontario, leaving one person dead.

In a written statement, airport president and chief executive officer Ed Schmidtke confirmed a twin-engine airplane crashed just after 9 p.m. ET and there was one fatality.

The name of the individual hasn’t been released.

Schmidtke said the airport’s operations specialists, along with Thunder Bay police, firefighters and paramedics,  responded to the incident.

The scene is being held for a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation, he added.

Plane had finished day of work for ministry

TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski said Tuesday the crash occurred shortly after the plane — a Rockwell Commander 690 that was registered to MAG Aerospace — departed the Thunder Bay airport, heading for Dryden.

“Shortly after takeoff, the pilot … requested to return to the airport, and was returning to land on runway 07 at Thunder Bay,” Krepski said. “The aircraft lost control and struck the runway surface, and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada deployed a team of investigators this morning to gather information and assess the occurrence.”

MAG Aerospace is based in Dryden and provides a range of specialized aerial services, including fire management, airborne imagery and air charters, according to its website.

The plane’s wreckage was still sat on a runway at Thunder Bay International Airport on Tuesday morning. The scene was being held for Transportation Safety Board investigators to arrive. (Logan Turner/CBC)

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry said MAG Aerospace is one of the ministry’s long-term contract aircraft providers.

At the time of the crash, the plane was travelling to Dryden for routine maintenance after a completing a day of flying for the ministry. Further details were not provided.

A staff member with MAG Aerospace indicated the company will also likely issue a statement, but the timing is unclear.

Number of flights affected

A number of flights into the airport from Toronto and Sioux Lookout were either cancelled or diverted as a result of the airport closure on Monday night.

A Facebook post from Wasaya Airways said it had cancelled one flight from Sioux Lookout on Monday night, resulting in 37 passengers stranded in the northern town. At least two Air Canada flights from Toronto that were scheduled to land in Thunder Bay were rerouted after takeoff.

Just before nightfall, social media were filled with images showing a line of flames streaked across the runway with heavy smoke rising into the sky.

Krepski said two TSB investigators coming to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg are expected to be on the scene by early Tuesday evening.

“When they get there, they’re going to examine the accident site, examine the aircraft wreckage, identify components from the aircraft for further analysis at the TSB engineering lab in Ottawa,” Krepski said. “They’re also going to interview witnesses and gather information from air traffic control regarding communications and radar information, information about the weather, information about the aircraft’s maintenance records, pilot’s training records.

“It’s really about gathering as much information as we can about from the site and from other sources to begin our investigation.”

TSB deploys team of investigators to Roxton Falls, Quebec following an ultralight aircraft accident

DORVAL, QC, Aug. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving an ultralight aircraft in Roxton Falls, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

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.

The TSB is online at

Canadian investigators take over probe into Air Baltic A220 engine incident

From Flight Global – link to source story

By David Kaminski-Morrow27 July 2021

Canadian investigators are to probe an engine-control incident involving an Air Baltic Airbus A220-300 during which both powerplants shut down after the aircraft touched down in Copenhagen.

Danish authorities have delegated the investigation into the 11 July incident to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The board says the twinjet (YL-AAQ) had reached top-of-descent on its service from Riga to Copenhagen when the crew disengaged the autothrottle and deployed spoilers to reduce airspeed.

A few seconds after the autothrottle disengagement, a mast caution light illuminated for a right-hand throttle failure, and the crew completed an abnormal checklist for the throttle failure before continuing the approach.

“After touchdown with both main landing-gear on the ground, both engines shut down,” says the board, without elaborating.

“The aircraft came to a full stop on the taxiway and was towed to the gate.”

A220 YL-AAQ-c-Air Baltic

Source: Air Baltic

Pictured during an earlier flight, this aircraft (YL-AAQ) was involved in the incident

All A220s are powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines.

None of the 91 occupants was injured, says the safety board. The aircraft had landed on Copenhagen’s runway 04L.

Full circumstances of the incident have yet to be determined, with investigators still to identify whether the shutdown was the result of system logic or another cause.

Air Baltic took delivery of the aircraft in April 2019.

Pilot survives helicopter crash in Brantford, Ont., apparently hitting a power line

From The Toronto Star – link to source story

By The Canadian Press | Sun., July 25, 2021

BRANTFORD, Ont. – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says a helicopter pilot has survived a crash in southwestern Ontario after she appears to have clipped some power lines.

A spokesman for the TSB says a Robinson R44 helicopter was conducting an aerial spray operation north of the airport in Brantford, Ont., at about 7 a.m., when it crashed.

Chris Krepski says preliminary information is that the helicopter collided with a power line.

He says the helicopter was substantially damaged.

Despite that, the Brantford paramedic service chief says the approximately 35-year-old pilot was conscious and appeared to only have fractures and minor injuries.

Russell King says his crews on scene said it was her day to buy a lottery ticket.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2021.

Limited visual cues and runway conditions contributed to runway excursion of passenger aircraft in Terrace, BC

Richmond, British Columbia, 22 July 2021 — In its investigation report (A20P0013) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that limited visual cues due to falling snow and a snow-covered runway contributed to the 2020 runway excursion involving a WestJet Encore De Havilland of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 in Terrace, British Columbia.

The occurrence aircraft on Runway 33 at Terrace Airport. Image taken approximately 9 hours after the occurrence (Source: Terrace Airport)

On 31 January 2020, a De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 aircraft was conducting WestJet Encore flight WEN3107 from Vancouver, BC to Terrace, BC with four crew members and 43 passengers on board. During the landing roll, the aircraft drifted left from the snow-cleared area of the runway and the left main landing gear exited the runway surface, travelling for approximately 400 feet before returning to the runway. During the runway excursion, the aircraft’s nose landing gear collapsed. The aircraft came to a stop in the centre of the runway. The passengers were transported to the airport terminal by bus approximately 30 minutes after landing. No injuries were reported. The damage to the aircraft included the collapsed nose landing gear and damaged right propeller blades.

The investigation found that, given the falling snow and the snow-covered runway, there were limited visual cues available to the flight crew, which decreased their ability to accurately judge the aircraft’s lateral position once it was beyond the runway threshold. Snow clearing operations cleared the centre 100 feet of the runway, which resulted in windrows that were approximately 18 inches high along the edges of the cleared area. This reduced the pilot’s lateral maneuvering room during the landing.

It was also determined that the aircraft initially touched down 10 feet left of the centreline due to control inputs and variable wind conditions and, while the aircraft was still in a light weight-on-wheels condition, a gust contributed to a further deviation to the left until the left main landing gear came into contact with the windrow. As a result, the aircraft was pulled to the left and travelled through the uncleared portion of the runway. During the runway excursion, snow and ice became packed in the nose landing gear bay and caused structural deformation. Consequently, the nose landing gear was no longer being held in place and collapsed rearward into the fuselage, causing substantial damage to the aircraft.

Finally, the investigation also determined that, if aircraft operators do not provide pilots with all the possible tools and relevant information to assess runway suitability for landing, pilots may not evaluate all potential threats and may make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information.

Following the occurrence, WestJet Encore issued a revision to the Quick Reference Handbook on 14 February 2020 that included changes to contaminated runway operations. The Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society issued a memo informing staff of changes to its Winter Maintenance Plan, which aligned the procedures with Issue 04 of Transport Canada’s Advisory Circular 302-013: Airport Winter Maintenance and Planning.

See the investigation page for more information.

Investigation report: Loss of control and inadvertent descent near Upper Kananaskis Lake, Alberta, in January 2021

Calgary, Alberta, 13 July 2021 — Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A21P0001) into the loss of control and inadvertent descent of a privately registered Mooney M20F that occurred on 3 January, 2021 near Upper Kananaskis Lake, Alberta.

The TSB conducted a limited-scope, fact-gathering investigation into this occurrence to advance transportation safety through greater awareness of potential safety issues.

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.

TSB deploys team to the site of a tractor / aircraft collision near Saint-Esprit, Quebec

DORVAL, QC, July 5, 2021 /CNW/ – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following a collision between a tractor and an aircraft at an aerodrome near Saint-Esprit, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

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.

The TSB is online at Keep up to date through RSSTwitter (@TSBCanada), FacebookLinkedInYouTube and Flickr.

SOURCE Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Transportation Safety Board of Canada releases 2020 transportation occurrences statistics

Gatineau, Quebec, 29 June 2021 — Building on the preliminary statistics published in February 2021, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its 2020 annual statistical summaries on transportation occurrences in the airmarinepipeline, and rail sectors.

2020 transportation accidents reported to the TSB
Figure 1. 2020 transportation accidents reported to the TSB


In early 2020, broad travel restrictions were put in place in Canada and around the world in an effort to contain a new coronavirus that was rapidly spreading. The impact on commercial aviation was immediate, widespread, and lasting, with air transportation activity in Canada being greatly reduced during most of 2020.

In 2020, a total of 170 air transportation accidents were reported to the TSB. This number is 25% lower than the previous year’s total of 227 accidents and 32% below the average of 251 accidents reported in the prior 10 years, 2010 to 2019. Most (165) of the accidents in 2020 took place in Canada and involved Canadian-registered aircraft.

In 2020, 13 fatalities resulted from accidents involving Canadian-registered airplanes and helicopters (excluding ultralights), yielding a rate of 0.5 fatalities per 100 000 hours flown. This fatality rate is substantially lower than the 2019 rate of 1.1, and below the average yearly rate of 1.0 from 2010 to 2019.

Continue reading

Helicopter pilot helping in wildfire fight dies in crash near Edmonton

From The Globe and Mail – link to source story


Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says a helicopter pilot died in a crash while assisting in firefighting efforts west of Edmonton.

The government says the crash happened yesterday while crews were battling a wildfire in the Edson forest area near Evansburg, Alta.

In a statement, Minister Devin Dreeshen asks Albertans to do all they can to prevent wildfires so “first responders can get home safe.”

Fraser Logan, spokesman for the RCMP in Alberta, says the pilot was a 49-year-old man who was the only person in the helicopter.

He says the pilot was on his way to the wildfire to transport other first responders from the area.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says the pilot was operating a Bell 212 helicopter.

2018 Halifax runway overrun highlights TSB Watchlist issues

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 29 June 2021 – In its investigation report (A18A0085) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) identified multiple contributing factors that led to a 2018 runway overrun.

On 7 November 2018, a Sky Lease Cargo Boeing 747-412F aircraft was conducting a flight from Chicago/O’Hare International Airport (KORD), Illinois, U.S., to Halifax/Stanfield International Airport (CYHZ), Nova Scotia, with three crew members and one passenger on board. The aircraft touched down firmly on Runway 14 at approximately 5:06 Atlantic Standard Time, during the hours of darkness, and subsequently overran the runway. It came to rest 270 m (885 feet) past the end of the runway. Aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel responded. All three crew members received minor injuries and were taken to the hospital. The passenger, a deadheading pilot, was not injured.

The investigation determined that, as part of the pre-departure planning at KORD, the crew and flight dispatch reviewed the Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) for the intended flight. However, the ineffective presentation style and sequence of the NOTAMs led them to interpret that Runway 23 was not available for landing at CYHZ. Therefore, the crew planned to land on Runway 14.

During the approach to this shorter runway, new information regarding a change of active runway was not communicated by air traffic control directly to the crew, although broadcasted through an automated information system. As a result, the crew continued to believe that the approach and landing on Runway 14 was the only option available. Less than 90 seconds from the threshold, the crew realized that there was a tailwind component; however, they did not recalculate the performance data to confirm that the landing distance available was still acceptable, likely because of the limited amount of time available before landing. The unexpected tailwind resulted in a greater landing distance required, but this distance did not exceed the length of the runway.

Upon landing, a series of events prevented the aircraft from decelerating as expected and caused the aircraft to drift to the right of the runway. The pilot monitoring’s attention was focused on the lateral drift and, as a result, the required callouts regarding the position of the deceleration devices were not made.

Although manual brake application began 8 seconds after touchdown, maximum braking effort did not occur until 15 seconds later, when the aircraft was 800 feet from the end of the runway. From this position, it was not possible for the aircraft to stop on the runway and the aircraft departed the end of the runway and came to a stop 270 m (885 feet) past the end.

During the overrun, the aircraft crossed a significant drop past the end of the runway and was damaged beyond repair. While this uneven terrain was beyond the 150 m (492 feet) runway end safety area (RESA) proposed by Transport Canada, it was within the recommended International Civil Aviation Organization RESA of 300 m (984 feet). In 2007, the TSB issued Recommendation A07-06 stating that the Department of Transport require all Code 4 (1800 m or longer) runways to have a 300 m RESA or a means of stopping aircraft that provides an equivalent level of safety. The issue of Runway overruns has been on the TSB’s Watchlist since 2010.

The investigation included a thorough fatigue analysis, which identified the presence of 2 fatigue risk factors that would have degraded the crew’s performance during the approach and landing: the timing of the flight and insufficient restorative sleep in the 24-hour period leading up to the occurrence. Fatigue management is also a TSB 2020 Watchlist item.

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.