Aviation Investigation A15P0081

In-flight breakup

The occurrence

On 13 April 2015, the Carson Air Swearingen SA-226-TC Metro II (serial number TC-325), operating as Carson Air flight 66, was carrying freight from Vancouver International Airport (CYVR) to Prince George Airport (CYXS), British Columbia, with a crew of two pilots on board. Shortly after departure, approximately 15 nautical miles north of the airport, when it was at about 2400 metres above sea level, the aircraft lost altitude rapidly and disappeared off radar. A communication search was started immediately. Air and ground search started soon after.

North Shore Rescue ground search crews found aircraft wreckage in steep and heavily wooded terrain southeast of Crown Mountain before nightfall. More wreckage, including the cockpit, and the crew were found the next day. The two pilots had received fatal injuries. There was a small fire in the area of the right engine nacelle. The emergency locator transmitter had activated, but did not transmit (no signal was received).

Map of the area

Crown Mountain, British Columbia

Investigator-in-Charge

Photo of Jason Kobi

Jason Kobi, Regional Senior Investigator, Operations (Air), has 24 years of experience in civil aviation. He recently joined the TSB after a period of 5 years as a civil aviation inspector with Transport Canada. Before that, Mr. Kobi spent 12 years as a pilot, flying a number of types of aircraft including Bombardier CRJ, Dash 8 and British Aerospace BAe-146 aircraft. In addition to working as a line pilot, he was a line-training captain for the Dash 8 and was a ground-training instructor for the Bombardier CRJ.

Prior to his airline experience, Mr. Kobi flew extensively in British Columbia (BC) as a courier pilot on various types of aircraft. He also owned and operated a small charter company and flight school in BC where he held the position of chief pilot and chief flight instructor. Mr. Kobi holds an airline transport pilot licence with approximately 9,900 hours' flight time.

Photos

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TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation
  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation 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.

Report

Final report
2017-11-02

Aviation Investigation Report A15P0081
In-flight breakup
Carson Air Ltd.
Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, C-GSKC
North Vancouver, British Columbia
13 April 2015

Safety communications

Recommendations
2017-11-02

TSB Recommendation A17-02: The Transportation Safety Board of Canada recommends the Department of Transport, in collaboration with the Canadian aviation industry and employee representatives, develop and implement requirements for a comprehensive substance abuse program, including drug and alcohol testing, to reduce the risk of impairment of persons while engaged in safety‑sensitive functions. These requirements should consider and balance the need to incorporate human rights principles in the Canadian Human Rights Act with the responsibility to protect public safety.

All aviation recommendations

Media materials

News releases
2017-11-02

TSB recommends substance abuse program following fatal 2015 in-flight breakup north of Vancouver, British Columbia
Read the news release

Backgrounders
Speeches
2017-11-02

News conference for the release of Aviation Investigation Report A15P0081 (Carson Air)
Opening remarks

Kathy Fox, TSB Chair
Jason Kobi, TSB Investigator-in-Charge
Read the opening remarks

Media advisories
2017-10-31

TSB will hold a news conference to release its investigation report into the April 2015 in-flight breakup of a Carson Air cargo aircraft near Vancouver, British Columbia
Read the media advisory

2015-04-14

TSB Media Update - Investigation Next Steps: Crash of a Carson Air aircraft
Read the media advisory

Deployment notice
2015-04-14

TSB deploys team to aircraft accident in British Columbia's North Shore Mountains near Vancouver
Read the deployment notice