TSB reports on 2022 collision with terrain at Qualicum Beach Airport

Accident site, approximately 1,880 feet east-southeast of the end of Runway 11 (Photo: Parksville Fire Department, TSB)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada on February 16 released its Class 4 investigation report (A22P0061) into the July 2022 collision with terrain of a privately registered Cessna 172P aircraft at the Qualicum Beach Airport, British Columbia.

On July 24, 2022, the privately registered Cessna 172P aircraft (registration C-GGSN, serial number 17274207) was conducting a recreational visual flight rules flight from Victoria International Airport (CYYJ) in BC to Qualicum Beach Airport (CAT4), BC. Before the flight, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) notes 18 U.S. gallons of 100LL aviation grade fuel were added to the aircraft at CYYJ, after which a total of 30 U.S. gallons of fuel was onboard.

At approximately 6:57 pm, after the pilot had conducted the walkaround inspection and run-up checks, TSB explains the aircraft departed CYYJ with only the pilot on board and flew at a cruising altitude between 2,300 and 2,500 feet above ground level (AGL) for approximately 27 minutes.

During the approach to CAT4 from the southeast, TSB explains the pilot conducted a reduced power descent, first to 2,000 feet AGL, then to 1,300 feet AGL. Shortly after the aircraft had levelled off at 1,300 feet AGL, TSB explains the pilot increased throttle and the engine began to sputter and its speed decreased from approximately 2,300 rpm to 1,200 rpm. The pilot further increased throttle, according to the report, but the engine did not respond. TSB notes the engine fuel mixture was set to full rich for the duration of the flight and carburetor heat was not applied at any time.

TSB in its report outlines how the pilot had been manoeuvring to join the downwind leg for Runway 29, but opted to conduct an emergency landing on Runway 11 and announced his intention on the airport’s mandatory frequency. TSB explains the pilot initiated a left turn, reduced throttle, added full flaps, and entered a forward slip in a steep descent. The aircraft briefly contacted the surface of Runway 11 beyond Taxiway C (at which point less than 1,850 feet of runway remained) and became airborne again, explains TSB, as the pilot initiated a go-around and increased the throttle to full power, raised the flaps, and the aircraft entered a climb.

Approximately 19 seconds after the initial touchdown, TSB in its report explains the pilot initiated a steep right turn immediately before reaching tree-covered, down-sloping terrain, and the aircraft began a rapid descent in a right bank and nose-down attitude. The pilot declared a MAYDAY on the airport’s mandatory frequency, explains TSB, and the aircraft impacted terrain in the trees along the edge of a farmer’s field. The pilot received serious injuries and was transported to hospital by air ambulance.

Airbus looking to fill more than 800 positions in Canada

To support the ramp-up of its A220 commercial aircraft production and to meet opportunities in the helicopters and defence, and space fields, Airbus plans to recruit more than 800 new employees in Canada in 2023, including approximately 500 for the creation of new positions.

“Airbus continues to have great ambitions for Canada,” said Benoît Schultz, President and CEO of Airbus Canada. “After recruiting more than 800 new employees and creating more than 400 positions for the A220 in Mirabel in 2022, we are pleased to announce that we will hire more than 800 additional employees across the country in 2023, including approximately 700 in Quebec.”

Airbus notes its recruitment needs in Canada are diverse, ranging from helicopters to defence, space to commercial aircraft – from sub-component assembly to flight operations – and include production and quality, engineering, IT and customer service. Two-thirds of the workforce will be in support functions, while one-third will be in production.

“In 2023, we aim to allocate one-third of our positions to young graduates and early career professionals and maintain our goal to have 33 per cent of new hires and promotions allocated to women, supporting our commitment to being an inclusive employer and contributing to diversity within our industry,” said Schultz, President and CEO of Airbus Canada.

(Photo: Airbus)

TSB publishes report of July 2022 fatal Citabria accident in Shawinigan

Photo of the damage to the left windshield post caused by the collision with the cable (Photo: TSB)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada on February 21 released its investigation report (A22Q0084) into a July 2022 fatal collision with a power line cable of a privately registered, float-equipped, Bellanca 7GCBC (Citabria) aircraft in Shawinigan, Quebec.

At approximately 2:30 pm on July 17, 2022, the privately registered, float-equipped, single-engine Bellanca 7GCBC aircraft (registration C-GOQZ, serial number 74174) took off for a local visual flight rules (VFR) flight from Trois-Rivières Airport (CYRQ), Quebec, to Shawinigan, Quebec.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) explains the purpose of the flight was for the pilot, who was alone on board, to position his aircraft on the Saint-Maurice River, near downtown Shawinigan, for the summer season. Given that the aircraft was not equipped with amphibious floats, TSB explains the departure from CYRQ was conducted by towing the aircraft on a trailer behind a pickup truck.

Less than an hour after departure, the aircraft was seen flying over the Saint-Maurice River, from west to east, in Shawinigan. Approximately 10 minutes later, the aircraft was seen flying over the river once again, near the same location, explains TSB, but this time it was flying from east to west at low altitude, until it collided with the lower cable of a power line, which was at a height of about 20 metres. After the impact, TSB explains the aircraft fell into the river in an inverted position. The pilot was fatally injured.

Investigation report: 2022 ultralight fatal collision with terrain near Westport

Map showing the site of the precautionary landing and the accident site (inset). (Image: Google Earth Pro, with TSB annotations)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada on February 15 released its Class 4 investigation report (A22O0140) into the September 2022, fatal collision with terrain of a privately registered Quad City Challenger II advanced ultralight aircraft near Westport, Ontario.

At 12:48 pm on September 24, 2022, the privately registered Quad City Ultralight Aircraft Corporation (Quad City) Challenger II (registration C-IYDD, serial number CH2-0604-2481) departed from a private grass runway near Yarker, Ontario, for a daytime visual flight rules (VFR) flight to Westport/Rideau Lakes Aerodrome (CRL2), Ontario. The pilot was the sole occupant on board.

As the aircraft was en route, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) explains a door opened and the pilot conducted a precautionary landing in a farmer’s field near Bobs Lake, east of Parham, Ontario. After landing, TSB explains the pilot called the aircraft owner, who was waiting at CRL2, and requested that he come to the field to assist with the repair of the door.

After the repairs, at 13:13 pm, TSB explains the aircraft departed from the field to resume the flight to CRL2. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft was observed flying at a low altitude in a southerly direction. TSB reports the engine was heard producing a sputtering sound and then stopping. The aircraft was then observed descending rapidly and rolling inverted, explains TSB, before colliding with terrain in a wooded area. The pilot was fatally injured.

Huronia Airport annual ski fly-in lands public interest

ABOVE: Huronia Airport manager Zachery Premate said that the annual Winter Ski/Wheel Fly-In was a success, with plans to make next year’s event “a little bigger and better”. (Photo: Derek Howard, MidlandToday.ca)

— By Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca

None of the aircraft landing at the Huronia Airport over the weekend had pilots flying by the seat of their snowpants, but skis on the plane’s wheels sure helped.

Located at 20 Ed Connelly Dr. in Tiny Township, Huronia Airport (CYEE) played host to their annual Winter Ski/Wheel Fly-In with food and beverage for the aviators, public and volunteers attending the event.

Parallel to the normal 4,000-foot runway, a secondary snow-laden landing was created along the west side to accommodate any aviators who had skis on the wheels on their planes, specific for taking off and landing on snowy terrain.

Bill Snelgrove, president of Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) local Flight #73, anticipated roughly 25 aircraft would have used the airport within the few hours of the event, a small portion of those being equipped with skis.

“We want to showcase the airport,” said Snelgrove. “A lot of people in the area don’t know we’re here, and they’re more than welcome to come out and talk to all the folks out here about aviation and the passion that that inspires.”

Past-president Rob MacDonald also shared some of the joy that comes with flying throughout North Simcoe and along Georgian Bay.

“I find that there’s a lot of freedom, and your mind goes completely somewhere else when you’re flying an airplane. Work doesn’t matter, things at home don’t matter, and schedules don’t matter other than what you’re doing in the aircraft. It’s a very focused way of having fun,” MacDonald shared.

Huronia Airport is jointly owned by the three municipalities of the towns of Penetanguishene and Midland, as well as Tiny Township where the airport is situated. Tiny Township Councillor Dave Brunelle stopped in to enjoy the sights and people, as well as indulge in the food and refreshments offered.

“The residents need to know more about these events,” said Brunelle who admitted he was surprised about the ski fly-in. “I want to come here and start beating the drums on these kinds of events.

“My dad was on the commission in 1970-1980, and when I came in here I was just blown away – from this building in particular, how far it’s come, and how it’s developed so much. I just want to promote this event and promote the whole airport.”

Brunelle added that “we’re in good hands” with Tiny Mayor Dave Evans and Penetanguishene Deputy Mayor Dan La Rose on the Huronia Airport Commission, stating there would be greater activity in store for the airport.

While the ski-in was created to draw attention to the airport during the winter months, other activities and events also take place throughout the year.

In May, the airport is planning to host a motorcycle show and swap meet; and although dates haven’t been confirmed, plans for a Discover Aviation (formerly COPA for Kids) event is in discussion for the summer. Also, a traditional aerobatics competition takes place in September.

“We’re looking at doing ‘Women in Aviation’,” said Snelgrove, “which is a very popular event down in the greater Toronto-Hamilton area and southwestern Ontario; that’s in the early planning stages. We’d like to bring them up north because we have women up here that are interested in aviation.”

Airport manager Zachery Premate was on hand, and shared what the potential could hold for the airport over the next five years.

“(To make this) a general aviation airport for North Simcoe,” said Premate, “we’ve got big plans with our hangar development and other different infrastructure improvements at the airport. We’re going to keep growing that general aviation base and also dabble in commercial development as well.”

As for the winter ski fly-in, plans for improvement were already in the works.

“We try to have this on an annual basis; next year we hope to have it a little bigger and better,” said Premate.


Government of Quebec provides funding of $300,000 for Mont-Tremblant Airport

The Government of Quebec is providing financial assistance of $299,575 to the Mont-Tremblant-La Macaza International Airport to support its ongoing airport activities, while aiming to help maintain regional air services.

“Our government is working to provide air services over our vast territory. Linking regions together is good for tourism and good for our economy. Investing in our airports means investing in our regions,” said Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility.

The Government of Quebec also granted initial financial assistance of $567,836 to Mont-Tremblant-La Macaza International back in September 2021.

“The pandemic has forced the suspension of Air Canada and Porter Airlines flights. Adding to this the suspension of our customs service, which blocks all our international flights, the airport’s revenues have shrunk by almost 90 per cent during this difficult period,” said Serge Larivière, President of Mont-Tremblant International Airport. “The assistance of the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable first made it possible to ensure the survival of a strategic infrastructure for our region. It will now allow us to relaunch our operations.”

(Photo: Mont-Tremblant International Airport-La Macaza)

Ottawa provides $9.3M in funding to BCIT aviation program

British Columbia Institute of Technology is receiving more than $14.5 million in funding to support aerospace and life sciences training through the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), which is overseen by Harjit Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister for the Government of Canada.

To address the aviation industry’s need for skilled workers, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is receiving more than $9.3 million in funding, specifically from the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, to launch a new hands-on training program for gas turbine maintenance, repair and overhaul. This investment is expected to create 160 new jobs, according to the government, and generate an additional $360 million in revenue in British Columbia by 2027.

“The Enhanced Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician program is a great example of how BCIT’s agile approach to workforce development, combined with input from industry leaders, can provide a springboard to new approaches for post-secondary education and provide Canadians with access to meaningful and rewarding careers,” said Paul McCullough, Interim President, BCIT.

(Photo: BCIT)

Joby completes second stage of certification

Joby Aviation of Santa Cruz, California, on February 9 announced it has completed the second of five stages required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger use.

In the second stage of the type certification process, Joby notes a company identifies the ways in which it will demonstrate it has met the regulatory intent of the safety rules (Means of Compliance) that were defined during the first stage of the process (Certification Basis).

Joby believes it is the first eVTOL company to reach this milestone, having also been the first eVTOL company to complete stage one and have its Certification Basis published in the Federal Register. Joby aims to have its aircraft available for commercial passenger service by 2025.

“Certification is an integral part of everything that an aerospace company does and, with the achievement of this critical milestone, we’re now able to confidently focus our efforts on closing the remaining certification plans and completing the testing required to certify our aircraft,” said Didier Papadopoulos, Head of Aircraft OEM at Joby.

Joby states it has also made substantial progress in the third stage of the certification process (Certification Plans), with four area-specific certification plans (ASCPs) submitted to the FAA as of November 2022 and the company’s first equipment-level qualification test plan submitted to the FAA, enabling for-credit qualification testing to proceed.

(Photo: Joby Aviation)

Report outlines benefits of downtown airports

A new report published by PortsToronto and authored by urbanist and University of Toronto Professor Dr. Richard Florida states a centrally located, city airport is critical to Toronto’s continued growth and ambitions.

The report, titled, Toronto’s Downtown Airport: A Powerful Economic Asset in the City’s Urban Core, notes that city airports, like Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, support businesses, provide connectivity and unlock opportunities that make a city world class. These airports also have a key role in building knowledge economies, outlines the report, playing a critical role in the circulation of people and ideas.

“Billy Bishop is central to Toronto’s prosperity,” said Richard Florida. “It brings tourists and much needed revenue to the city and its urban core, which are still recovering from the pandemic. More importantly, it provides a direct gateway to leading cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chicago, bolstering Toronto’s role as a global talent and tech hub.”

Billy Bishop Airport is projected to have added roughly $3 billion dollars to Toronto’s economy in 2022, up from $2.1 billion in 2019, and an amount which is expected to grow to nearly $4.8 billion by 2025.

According to a 2022 survey, PortsToronto notes 85 per cent of Toronto residents “agree” that “Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a valuable asset for the entire city”. A majority of Torontonians also agreed that Billy Bishop Airport is a good use of land (82%); that it makes sense to have an airport downtown (85%); and that the airport plays a central role for business, health care, and job creation for the city (78%).

The full report is available from PortsToronto.

(Photo: PortsToronto)

TSB releases investigation of fatal 2021 Aero Commander crash at Thunder Bay Airport

Map showing the occurrence aircraft’s take-off path, point of initial impact, and final resting position at Thunder Bay Airport (Source: Google Earth, with TSB annotations)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada on February 2, 2023, released its investigation report (A21C0078) into the 2021 loss of control and collision with terrain of an aircraft at the Thunder Bay Airport, Ontario.

On the evening of August 16, 2021, TSB explains a Rockwell International Aero Commander 690B aircraft, operated by MAG Aerospace Canada Corp., was conducting a visual flight rules flight from Thunder Bay Airport, Ontario, to Dryden Regional Airport, Ontario, with only the pilot on board.

The aircraft began to takeoff on Runway 12, according to the TSB report, and shortly after rotation, it entered a left bank, continued to roll, and then struck the surface of Runway 07 in an inverted attitude. The pilot was fatally injured, and the aircraft was destroyed by the impact and post-impact fire.

The TSB investigation found that the pilot’s decision to conduct the rapid, low-level, climbing steep turn was likely influenced by an altered perception of risk from previous similar takeoffs that did not result in any adverse consequences. TSB explains its investigation also determined that if air traffic controllers engage in communications that may be perceived by pilots to encourage unusual flight manoeuvres, pilots may perceive this encouragement as a confirmation that the manoeuvres are acceptable to perform, increasing the risk of an accident.

Following the occurrence, TSB explains MAG Aerospace Canada suspended all flight operations to hold a company-wide Safety Stand-Down meeting to discuss safety policies, compliance with standard operating procedures and safe practices, and reiterate the company’s anonymous, non-punitive safety reporting program. The company also updated its crew resource management training materials, explains TSB, to include more information on managing stress and internal/external pressures as well as the normalization of deviance, which refers to the acceptance of unsafe practices.