The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released its report this week on the fatal training accident that claimed two lives last year near Calgary’s Springbank airport (CYBW). Both the flight instructor and his student were killed in the October 26, 2017 accident.

The accident aircraft, a Piper PA-34-300T (Seneca II), was used by Springbank Air Training College (SATC) for multi-engine training. The purpose of the flight that day was to conduct a pre-flight test evaluation before the student was to take his flight test.

Using Nav Canada surveillance data, the TSB was able to determine that after reaching 80 KCAS, the Seneca lifted off from Runway 17 and retracted its gear. The aircraft reached 90 KCAS at about 15 seconds after takeoff, the maximum speed it obtained during the flight. The maximum altitude the Piper reached was 250 feet AGL, at about 40 seconds after takeoff, at which point the airspeed had decreased to 70 KCAS. Approximately 70 seconds after takeoff, the Seneca rolled to the left and entered a steep, descending left turn to the ground, approximately 1500 metres south of Runway 17.

The TSB noted that the aircraft’s 406 MHz ELT failed to activate.

No mechanical faults were found with the aircraft, and the TSB stated that in all likelihood a simulated left-engine-failure was undertaken that led to the loss of flight control. SATC has since updated its operating procedures with higher minimum altitudes for engine-out training during the various phases of flight.

In its news release accompanying the report, the TSB highlighted the need for lightweight flight-recording systems on commercial aircraft not currently required to carry them (TSB Recommendation A18-01).

This accident was the second fatal training accident involving a multi-engine aircraft based at Springbank airport in 2017. On February 13 of the same year, a Tecnam P2006T aircraft operated by Mount Royal University also crashed during a multi-engine training exercise, killing both pilots on board.

See below for the full TSB report of the Seneca accident.

Photo supplied by the TSB.

TSB Report A17W0172