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Backgrounder: A16P0186-20180426-1

Investigation findings (A16P0186) into the October 2016 fatal accident of a Cessna Citation 500 near Kelowna, British Columbia

Findings as to causes and contributing factors

  1. The aircraft departed controlled flight, for reasons that could not be determined, and collided with terrain.

Findings as to risk

  1. If flight data, voice, and video recordings are not available to an investigation, the identification and communication of safety deficiencies to advance transportation safety may be precluded.
  2. If night and instrument proficiency are not adequately maintained, a pilot may not be able to recognize an aircraft upset and respond appropriately, especially during high-workload situations, increasing the risk of loss-of-control accidents.
  3. If weight-and-balance documents are inaccurate, there is a risk that aircraft will be operated outside of the allowable centre-of-gravity specifications, which could affect flight stability and controllability.
  4. If Transport Canada does not effectively oversee private operators, this sector of aviation may be exposed to higher risks that could lead to an accident.

Other findings

  1. Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directive (AD) 79-12-06 requires that the upper and lower spar caps be inspected for cracking every 600 hours or 600 landings, whichever comes first, unless Cessna Service Bulletin SB57-10 Rev 4 is carried out. A review of the technical records for the aircraft determined that the last record of compliance for AD 79-12-06 was dated 21 December 2007, and had taken place 1062 hours and 1405 landings earlier.
  2. The investigation determined that there is no formal process in place at Transport Canada to assess and grant an operational approval for single-pilot operations on a Cessna Citation 500.
  3. Given that all components of the aircraft were accounted for at the wreckage site, the investigation concluded that there was no in-flight breakup or separation of the wing.