Aviation Investigation A17Q0050

Collision with terrain

The occurrence

On April 30, 2017, C-FQQB, a Piper PA-31 Navajo operated by Exact Air, was conducting its second magnetometric survey flight of the day from Schefferville, Quebec, with two pilots on board. The crew was accompanied by C-FVTL, another Piper PA-31 from the same air operator. C-FQQB took off at approximately 13:36 for a flight of approximately 5 hours, followed by C-FVTL. Around 6:55 pm, C-FQQB was reported missing by the C-FVTL crew and research was launched. The aircraft was located approximately 3.5 nautical miles (nm) from the Schefferville Airport. The two pilots of C-FQQB sustained fatal injuries. The TSB is investigating.

Map of the area


Photo of Mario Boulet

Mario Boulet has over 30 years of civil aviation experience. He joined the TSB in 2015 and is now a Regional Senior Investigator based out of Dorval, Quebec.

Before joining the TSB, Mr. Boulet worked during 8 years for Transport Canada as a civil aviation safety inspector after a career in the private sector for various approved maintenance organizations, aircraft manufacturers and airlines where he occupied positions from aircraft maintenance engineer to Person Responsible for Maintenance (PRM), including Minister Delegate for a major aircraft manufacturer.

Since 2006, Mr. Boulet also became an expert in the manufacturing and operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Mr. Boulet holds an aircraft maintenance engineer license from Transport Canada and a private pilot license.


Link to the TSB Flickr page

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Transportation Safety Board 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.


Deployment notices

TSB deploys a team of investigators to an aircraft accident site north of Schefferville, Quebec
Read the deployment notice