Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

April 19, 2007 09:00 ET

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada Releases its Final Report on the 2005 Fatal Aeroplane Crash in the Beauce Region, Quebec

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 19, 2007) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released today its final report (report A05Q0208) on the November 5, 2005 crash in the Beauce region, Quebec, in which the pilot and two wildlife protection officers lost their lives. The report concludes that the visual flight rules (VFR) night flight was conducted in marginal VFR conditions at an altitude below the minimum obstruction clearance altitude prescribed by the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) for night flight.

The aircraft was operated by Grondair and chartered by the Quebec ministFre des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife). It was on a night aerial surveillance flight intended to spot poachers hunting big game illegally. Foggy conditions prevented the pilot from identifying the visual references needed to maintain direction and navigate at the altitude required by the CARs. The aircraft continued in controlled flight until it struck treetops, broke up, and crashed in an inverted position in a clearing 7 miles southwest of the Saint-Georges aerodrome. The wreckage was partly destroyed by the post-impact fire, and was found three days later. The search and rescue operation was hampered because the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was destroyed by the impact and because the aircraft crashed outside the agreed surveillance area.

As a result of the accident, the Quebec ministFre des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune and the air carrier initiated safety action to prevent recurrence. The ministFre des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune conducted an administrative investigation. An action plan was prepared and the ministFre des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune intends to adopt a series of measures to make aerial surveillance operations safer. Grondair amended its company operations manual to set the minimum altitude for poaching surveillance flights at 1000 feet above the maximum elevation figure (MEF) published on VFR aeronautical charts.

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.

Contact Information

  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada
    John Cottreau
    Senior Media Relations Advisor
    819-994-8053
    Cell.: 613-292-4146
    or
    Transportation Safety Board of Canada
    Genevieve Lamarche
    Media Relations Advisor
    819-994-8067
    Cell.: 613-290-9875
    www.tsb.gc.ca