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Air transportation safety investigation A19P0176

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 27 July 2020.

Table of contents

Loss of control and collision with terrain

Privately registered
Piper Aerostar PA-60-602P, C-FQYW
Gabriola Island, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

A Piper PA-60-602P aircraft was on a private/pleasure flight from Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (KBIH) in Bishop, California to Nanaimo Airport, British Columbia (CYCD). While on an instrument approach to Nanaimo Airport, the aircraft collided with terrain on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. All 3 people aboard were fatally injured.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: December 2019 collision with terrain of an aircraft in Gabriola Island, British Columbia
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team following a piston twin-engine aircraft accident on Gabriola Island, British Columbia

Richmond, British Columbia, 11 December 2019 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving a piston twin-engine aircraft on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Dan Clarke

Dan Clarke joined the TSB’s Air Investigations Branch as a Senior Technical Investigator in the Pacific Region in 2018. During his career, Mr. Clarke worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer – structures, for several fixed wing and rotary wing operations.

Mr. Clarke also has several years’ experience as a Quality Assurance Manager. Prior to joining the TSB, he worked for Transport Canada's Civil Aviation Branch for nine years, the first four years as an Airworthiness Inspector and the last five years as a Technical Team Lead.

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.