News release

No definitive answers as to what led to the 2012 fatal air accident involving a private aircraft near Renfrew, Ontario

Richmond Hill, Ontario, 10 January 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A12O0170) into the loss of control and collision with terrain of a SOCATA TBM700N. The pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft died in the crash.

On 8 October 2012, the privately-owned aircraft left Carp/Ottawa Airport on an instrument flight rules flight plan to Goderich, Ontario. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot altered the destination to Wiarton, Ontario. Air traffic control cleared the aircraft to climb to flight level (FL) 260 (26 000 feet above sea level). The aircraft continued its climb through FL260 and entered a right hand turn, which quickly developed into a spiral dive. At 1219 Eastern Daylight Time, the aircraft struck the ground and was destroyed.

Given the high level of destruction and the fact that recorded data was limited to air traffic control recordings, it was not possible to conclude with any certainty why the aircraft entered the rapid descending turn. The investigation concluded that the pilot lost control of the aircraft for undetermined reasons and it collided with terrain. In addition, it was noted that the avionics system had the capability to record data essential to the accident investigation, but the recording medium was destroyed in the accident.

The Board identified as a possible factor an increased risk of incapacitation due to hypoxia (a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply). This can happen following depressurization when aircraft operate above 13 000 feet above sea level without an available emergency oxygen supply.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation 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.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053