July 7, 2022

TSB reports on fatal South River Airpark accident

Jon Robinson

Map showing the accident sequence at Sundridge/South River Airpark, Ontario. All annotations related to the aircraft’s operations are approximate. (Source: Google Earth, with TSB annotations)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its investigation report (A21O0085) into the loss of control and collision with terrain that occurred in September 2021 at the Sundridge/South River Airpark, Ontario.

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

In the early afternoon of September 16, 2021, a privately registered Mooney M20J aircraft departed from Runway 15 at Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport (CYKZ), Ontario, for a visual flight rules (VFR) flight to Sundridge/South River Airpark (CPE6), Ontario, with 1 pilot and 1 passenger on board. The occupants were aiming to meet with members of The Ninety-Nines for the East Canada Section’s 2021 Gold Cup Air Rally.

On its final approach to CPE6, the TSB explains that observers of the accident reported, that during the latter stages of the final approach, the aircraft’s nose-down pitch attitude increased, and its airspeed and rate of descent were faster than a normal approach for a Mooney M20J aircraft. During the initial flare, TSB explains the aircraft ballooned into the air and then bounced three times on the runway surface.

The pilot initiated a go-around after the third bounce and retracted the landing gear, explains TSB, noting that as the aircraft slowly climbed and cleared some smaller trees located approximately 250 feet from the departure end of the runway, it was reported to be moving slowly and not accelerating. The aircraft then disappeared from view and, shortly afterwards, crashed into a wooded area located approximately 1,300 feet from the end of Runway 30. The passenger was found at the site fatally injured, while the pilot died during air ambulance transport before arriving at the hospital.

For the full report visit TSB’s website.