Air transportation safety investigation A15P0081

Update:The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 2 November 2017.

Table of contents

In-flight breakup

Carson Air Ltd.
Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, C-GSKC
North Vancouver, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

On 13 April 2015, Carson Air Ltd. flight 66 (CA66), a Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II (registration C-GSKC, serial number TC-235), departed Vancouver International Airport (CYVR), British Columbia, with 2 pilots on board for an instrument flight rules flight to Prince George, British Columbia. At 0709 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), approximately 6 minutes after leaving Vancouver, the aircraft disappeared from air traffic control radar while climbing through an altitude of 8700 feet above sea level in instrument meteorological conditions, about 4 nautical miles north of the built-up area of North Vancouver. Deteriorating weather conditions with low cloud and heavy snowfall hampered an air search; however, aircraft wreckage was found on steep, mountainous, snow-covered terrain by ground searchers at approximately 1645 PDT. The aircraft had experienced a catastrophic in-flight breakup. Both pilots were fatally injured, and the aircraft was destroyed. Although the aircraft's 406-megahertz emergency locator transmitter activated, the antenna was damaged and no signal was received by the Cospas Sarsat (international satellite system for search and rescue). The accident occurred during daylight hours.

Safety communications

2017-11-02

TSB Recommendation A17-02: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.

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

Deployment notice

2015-04-14

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

Richmond, British Columbia, 14 April 2015 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team to an accident involving a Carson Air aircraft that occurred in British Columbia's North Shore Mountains near Vancouver. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence

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


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 2 investigation. These investigations are particularly complex and involve several safety issues requiring in-depth analysis. Class 2 investigations, which frequently result in recommendations, are generally completed within 600 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

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 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.

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