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Air transportation safety investigation A22W0078

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 30 March 2023.

Table of contents

Collision with terrain

Arty’s Air Service Ltd.
Air Tractor, Inc. AT-502B, C-FJVL
Bawlf (Blackwells) Aerodrome (CFR2), Alberta, 18 NM S

View final report

The occurrence

An Air Tractor AT-502B aircraft operated by Arty's Air Service Ltd., was conducting agricultural application operations 29 NM SSE of Camrose, AB with only the pilot on board. During an application pass, the aircraft collided with terrain; the pilot was fatally injured. There was no post-impact fire and the ELT did transmit.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: Fatal aircraft collision with terrain at the Bawlf (Blackwells) Aerodrome, Alberta
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB is deploying a team of investigators following an airplane accident near Donalda, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, 12 September 2022 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following an aerial application aircraft accident near Donalda, Alberta. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Gerrit B. Vermeer

Gerrit B. Vermeer started his professional aviation career by joining the Mission Aviation Fellowship and moving to Southern Africa. During his time there, he served as a line pilot and acted as chief pilot and operations manager. Upon returning to Canada, Mr. Vermeer flew for a charter operator out of the Edmonton International Airport, serving the oil and gas industry. In 2008, he joined Transport Canada and, for five and a half years, worked as an inspector in the Enforcement Branch. He then transferred to the Operations department of the Prairie and Northern Region and, for the next year, served as a principle operations inspector for a number of northern operators.

Mr. Vermeer has a Bachelor’s degree in Mission Aviation Technology and currently holds a fixed wing airline transport pilot licence with approximately 6400 hours of flight time. He also holds a Canadian aircraft maintenance engineer license, as well as an airframe and powerplant technician license issued by the USA's Federal Aviation Administration.

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.