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Air transportation safety investigation A19W0095

This is the summary of a class 5 occurrence to which TSB investigators deployed. The investigation is now closed.

Table of contents

Collision with water

Cessna 150J
Jasper, Alberta

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability. This report is not created for use in the context of legal, disciplinary or other proceedings. See Ownership and use of content.

The occurrence

On , at approximately 1300,Footnote 1 the pilot and the passenger arrived at Jasper Airport to prepare the Cessna 150J aircraft (registration C-GCEA) for a flight to Hinton/Entrance Airport, Alberta. The aircraft took off to the northwest on Runway 31 at 1323, continued climbing for 25 seconds, and reached an altitude of approximately 150 feet above ground level. At 0.5 nautical miles (nm) from the airport, the aircraft stalled and entered a spin to the left, and impacted the water in a pool of the Athabasca River. The aircraft was equipped with a 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitter, which activated on impact.

Immediately following the accident, a pilot at the airport who had seen the accident called 911 on his personal cellphone. Another eyewitness drove to the scene within minutes of the impact and assisted both the pilot and the passenger to shore.

A number of passersby on Highway 16 stopped to administer first aid, and Jasper Emergency Medical Services responded shortly afterward. The pilot, who was severely injured in the accident, was transported to Edmonton by air ambulance. The passenger was fatally injured.

All of the major components of the aircraft were accounted for at the accident site. The wing flaps were found in the retracted position. The aircraft was within the certified weight and balance limits. Based on examination of the wreckage and the photo and video information collected, it was determined that the engine and flight controls had been operating normally prior to impact.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Jasper Warden station, located 5 nm south of the accident site, records hourly weather information. The information recorded at 1300 indicated the following:

An aviation routine weather report (METAR) for Edson Airport, located 68 nm northeast of the accident site, recorded the following weather at 1300:

At the time of takeoff, the winds at Jasper Airport were southerly at 5 to 10 knots, and the density altitude, based on the altimeter setting at Edson Airport, was 5088 feet above sea level.

The aircraft was equipped with a Garmin GPSMAP 196. It was recovered at the accident site and was sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory for analysis. Just before the loss of control, the GPS (global positioning system) recorded a reduction in ground speed from 83 mph to 64 mph and a course change approximately 30 degrees to the left of the runway track. During the reduction in airspeed, the altitude remained constant at about 150 feet above ground level for almost 5 seconds before the aircraft departed controlled flight and entered the aerodynamic stall and left-hand spin.

Media materials

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team following a small aircraft accident in Jasper, Alberta

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving a Cessna 150 in Jasper, Alberta. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Jonathan (Jon) 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 19 years, and has been managing the Edmonton office for eight of those years. He has been involved in approximately 50 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 (South 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.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 5 investigation. Class 5 investigations are limited to collecting data, which are then stored in the modal database. If TSB investigators deployed to the occurrence site, a short description of the occurrence is posted to the TSB website once the investigation has been completed. These investigations are generally completed within 90 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

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.