Air transportation safety investigation A12H0001

Update: The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 08 August 2013.

Table of contents

Mid-Air Collision

between Beechcraft V35B, N6658R
and Piper PA-28-140, N23SC
Warrenton, Virginia, 6 nm S

View final report

The occurrence

The Beechcraft V35B Bonanza (registration N6658R, serial number D-103232) was in a shallow climb, heading southbound, in the vicinity of Warrenton, Virginia. The aircraft was operated under visual flight rules for the purposes of a biennial flight review. The Piper PA-28-140 (registration N23SC, serial number 28-21217) was in level flight, also under visual flight rules, and was heading in a southeasterly direction. At 1604:45 Eastern Daylight Time, the aircraft collided approximately 1800 feet above sea level. The Beechcraft broke up in flight, and the pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured. There was a post-impact fire at the Beechcraft accident site. The pilot of the Piper, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, conducted a forced landing in a pasture, approximately 6 nautical miles south of the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport. The pilot sustained injuries, which required examination at a local hospital.

The Piper was registered to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employee, and the Beechcraft was registered to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) employee. Given the unique circumstances surrounding the ownership and operation of the accident aircraft, the United States, as the State of Occurrence, represented by the NTSB, and Canada, represented by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), respectively requested and accepted delegation of the accident investigation, in accordance with paragraph 5.1 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (International Civil Aviation Organization).

Media materials

Investigation Update

2012-08-22

Midair Collision between Beechcraft V35B Bonanza and Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee near Warrenton, Virginia (A12H0001)

Read the investigation update

NTSB release

2012-05-29

NTSB delegates investigation of Virginia accident to Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Read the press release (External link)

Deployment notice

2012-05-29

Transportation Safety Board of Canada deploying investigators to a mid-air collision in Virginia, USA

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a mid-air collision involving a Piper PA-28 and a Beech Bonanza near Warrenton-Fauquier Airport in Virginia, USA. Because of special circumstances, the TSB has been delegated to investigate this accident by the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB), in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

TSB will gather information, assess the occurrence and launch an investigation. The NTSB will have an accredited representative as an observer.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Jonathan Lee

Jonathan (Jon) Lee is the Western Regional Manager for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been an aircraft investigator for 13 years, and has been managing the office for 8 of those years. He has been investigator-in-charge or deputy investigator-in-charge on 50 Class 2 or Class 3 investigations. Mr. Lee has also participated in foreign investigations that involve Canadian aerospace products. Working with the National Transportation Safety Board (United States), the Aviation Safety Council (Taiwan), Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (Korea), and the Aviation Accident Investigation Board (Mongolia) has made Mr. Lee appreciate the importance of the TSB's role in global aviation.

Before working in accident investigation, Mr. Lee gained industry experience as a pilot in operations ranging from regional airlines and transcontinental cargo to medevac and flight instruction. He has flown over 35 types of aircraft and has accumulated 6500 flight hours. He maintains a valid and current airline transport pilot license.


Photos

The crashed Piper PA-28 A TSB investigator examining the propeller of the crashed aircraft Two TSB investigators examining the wreckage from the Beechcraft BE-35 Flightpath

  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 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.

Date modified: