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Air transportation safety investigation A21P0069

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 6 October 2022.

Table of contents

Loss of control at liftoff and overturn

Atleo River Air Service Ltd.
Cessna A185F, C-GYJX
Tofino Harbour Water Aerodrome, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

On , the Atleo River Air Service Ltd. Cessna A185F seaplane (registration C-GYJX, serial number 18503187) was conducting a flight from Tofino Harbour Water Aerodrome, British Columbia, to the Hesquiaht First Nation community located at Hot Springs Cove, British Columbia, with 1 pilot and 4 passengers on board. During takeoff at approximately 1138 Pacific Daylight Time, the aircraft momentarily became airborne before control was lost and the aircraft cartwheeled and came to rest inverted in shallow water. The pilot and passengers were able to exit the aircraft onto a sandbar. One passenger received serious injuries; the remaining 3 passengers and the pilot received minor injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged. No signal was received from the 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter.

Media materials

News release


Encounter with boat wake during takeoff led to 2021 loss of control and overturn of a seaplane in Tofino, British Columbia
Read the news release

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Ryan Libech

Ryan Libech joined the TSB’s Air Investigations Branch in 2020 after having spent 18 years in private sector helicopter maintenance and production management, notably working on BK117, Airbus EC120/130, Bell 206/407, and Agusta A109 helicopters, in emergency medical service, private and utility environments. He was also a maintenance lead for international helicopter deployment in the Middle East, and worked periodically as an instructor for professional maintenance training. The majority of his expertise is in aircraft maintenance and operations. Mr. Libech has a diploma in aircraft maintenance engineers technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Alberta.

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.