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Air transportation safety investigation A16O0066

Table of contents

Avionics compartment fire

Air Canada
Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW, C-FHOS
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 97 nm WNW

View final report

The occurrence

On 25 May 2016, the Air Canada Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW (registration C-FHOS, serial number 19000101) was operating as flight ACA361 from Boston/General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, Massachusetts, United States, to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario. At 1652:12 Eastern Daylight Time, while en route at flight level 360, approximately 97 nm west-northwest of Boston/General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, a fire broke out in the right integrated control centre located in the middle avionics compartment. The flight crew did not receive any indication of fire. Numerous electrical systems failed, including most cockpit instrumentation. The ram air turbine automatically deployed, and the crew was eventually able to restore electrical power to the main buses. The flight continued to destination without further incident and landed with emergency services standing by. There were no injuries. The aircraft had significant damage to the right integrated control centre as a result of the fire.

Media materials

News release


A fluid contaminant spill on electronic components led to May 2016 in-flight avionics compartment fire
Read the news release

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Peter Machete

Peter Machete began in aviation in 1977, joining the Canadian Aviation Safety Board, the precursor to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), in November 1985.

Mr. Machete left the TSB in May 1996 to go back to the airline industry, and returned to the TSB in May 2003. During his time away, Peter performed maintenance audits on airlines and did insurance surveyor work. He undertook various familiarization courses on several aircraft types and he has numerous license endorsements.

Peter also completed courses in safety management systems for airlines, aircraft retrieval, aircraft performance and structures, and advanced rotary wing investigations.

  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 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.