Aviation Investigation A15W0087

Mid-air collision

The occurrence

On 21 June 2015, a midair collision occurred between a Cessna 185 and a Cessna 172. The collision took place 20 nm northeast of the Fort McMurray, Alberta Airport (CYMM). The pilot, who was the lone occupant of the Cessna 185, was able to land at the Fort McMurray Airport. The aircraft was substantially damaged but the pilot was uninjured. The Cessna 172 collided with terrain and the pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries.

Map of the area


Photo of Gerrit Vermeer

Gerrit B. Vermeer started his professional aviation career by joining the Mission Aviation Fellowship and moving to Southern Africa. During his time there, he served as a line pilot as well as Acting Chief pilot and Operations Manager. Upon returning to Canada, Gerrit flew for a charter operator out of the Edmonton International Airport, serving the oil and gas industry. In 2008, he joined Transport Canada (TC) and, for five and a half years, worked as an inspector in the Enforcement Branch. During a major reorganization of TC, Gerrit transferred to the Operations division of the Prairie and Northern Region and, for the next year, served as a Principle Operations Inspector for a number of northern operators.

Gerrit has a Bachelor’s degree in Mission Aviation Technology and currently holds a fixed wing airline transport pilot licence with approximately 6400 hours of flight time. He also holds a Canadian aircraft maintenance engineer license, as well as an airframe and powerplant technician license issued by the USA's Federal Aviation Administration.


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Transportation Safety Board 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.


Deployment notices

TSB deploys team to the site of an accident involving two aircraft near Fort McMurry, Alberta
Read the deployment notice