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Air transportation safety investigation A20O0053

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 18 November 2020.

Table of contents

Mid-air collision

Privately registered
Champion 7GCB, C-FPTR
Privately registered
Cessna 172M, C-GEDC
Arnprior/South Renfrew Municipal Aerodrome, Ontario, 12 NM ENE

View final report

The occurrence

On , a privately registered Cessna 172M aircraft departed Arnprior Airport (CNP3), Ontario, with the pilot and three passengers on board, for a daytime local area flight under visual flight rules (VFR). The same day, a privately registered Champion 7GCB, equipped with floats, departed Golden Lake, Ontario, for a daytime VFR flight to Constance Lake, Ontario, with only the pilot on board.

Both aircraft were flying along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, at approximately 1500 feet above sea level and collided at 1447 EDT while flying over the river near Buckham’s Bay, approximately 12 nautical miles ENE of CNP3.

The Champion sustained damage to the tail, entered a descending left-hand spiral, hit the water, and overturned. The pilot egressed from the aircraft and was rescued by nearby boaters. The pilot received minor injuries. The emergency locator transmitter activated. There was no fire.

The Cessna sustained damage to the propeller, nose wheel fairing, and engine cowl. The pilot of the Cessna flew a few orbits of the accident site until the other pilot had been rescued, and then flew back to CNP3 without further incident.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: June 2020 mid-air collision between two small aircraft in Constance Bay, Ontario
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to the site of a mid-air collision near Constance Bay, Ontario

Gatineau, Quebec, 15 June 2020 — The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following a mid-air collision yesterday between two small aircraft over the Ottawa River, near Constance Bay, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Glen Whitney

Glen Whitney joined the TSB in June 2008 as an investigator/operations specialist in the TSB Air Investigations Branch at Head Office, in Gatineau, Quebec. He has over 26 years of civil aviation experience and has accumulated over 14,000 flight hours.

Prior to joining the TSB, his experience was gained flying floats, northern and gravel operations as well as scheduled commuter airline flying. He was also involved in flight crew training and checking and was the chief accident investigator at the airline.

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.