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News release

Loss of situational awareness contributed to 2012 aircraft crash near Pickle Lake, Ontario

Winnipeg, Manitoba, 27 February 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A12C0141) into a collision with terrain of a privately-registered aircraft near Pickle Lake, Ontario.

On 16 October 2012, the Aerofab Inc. Lake 250 aircraft was on a flight from Lac La Biche, Alberta, to Trois-Rivières, Quebec, with planned stops in The Pas, Manitoba, and Pickle Lake, Ontario. There were two pilots and two passengers on board. That evening, while conducting a visual approach landing in Pickle Lake, the aircraft entered a steep descent and struck terrain approximately one nautical mile east of the runway. Both pilots and one passenger were fatally injured. The surviving passenger sustained minor injuries. The aircraft was destroyed on impact and the emergency locator transmitter was activated. There was no post-crash fire.

The investigation found that the dark environment to the east of the airport, the lack of visual cues and the low intensity runway light setting likely contributed to a loss of situational awareness as to the aircraft's relative position from the runway and the rate of descent. This loss likely led to the pilots not taking measures to correct the aircraft's high rate of descent prior to its collision with terrain.