Aviation Investigation A17F0052

Table of contents

Missed approach

The occurrence

On 7 March 2017, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by WestJet was conducting flight WJA2652 from Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto, Ontario, to Princess Juliana Airport (TNCM), in Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. During the final approach to Runway 10 at TNCM, the aircraft descended too low and the flight crew executed a missed approach. A second approach was conducted and the aircraft landed without further event. No injuries were reported. The TSB is investigating.

Map of the area


Photo of Nora Vallée

Nora Vallée is a Senior Investigator with the International Operations and Major Investigations-Air division. Nora has more than 30 years of experience in aviation. A graduate in aviation at the College de Chicoutimi (CQFA), her career began in northern Quebec as a professional helicopter pilot. She then left the helicopters to pursue her career on airplanes by doing charter flights on different types of small multi-engines. She later became an instructor at Chicoutimi College. Passionate about aviation safety, she accepts the responsibilities of chief instructor and the safety program of the College.

In 2003, she joins Transport Canada (TC) where she held various positions throughout the years, such as Enforcement Investigator, Air Crew Examination Specialist and finally Minister's Observer and Technical Advisor on aircraft occurrence investigations.

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.


Final report


Aviation Investigation Report A17F0052
Risk of collision with terrain
Boeing 737-800, C-GWSV
Princess Juliana International Airport, Sint Maarten
07 March 2017

Media materials

News release


Misidentification of runway in reduced visibility contributed to the March 2017 risk of collision with terrain of a WestJet flight in Sint Maarten
Read the news release