News release

Aircraft spin caused the 2012 Cessna crash in Moorefield, Ontario

Richmond Hill, Ontario, 20 February 2014  – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A12O0138) into the August 2012 collision with terrain of a Cessna 172S in Moorefield, Ontario.

At 1815 Eastern Daylight Time on 24 August 2012, a Cessna 172S, owned by the Waterloo-Wellington Flying Club (WWFC), departed the Kitchener/Waterloo Airport, Ontario. The aircraft flew to Niagara Falls, then to Toronto, and back to a practice area north of the Kitchener/Waterloo airport. At approximately 2016 Eastern Daylight Time, the aircraft crashed into a field, 25 nautical miles north of the airport. The aircraft was destroyed; the pilot and 3 passengers were fatally injured.

The investigation determined that the aircraft entered a spin in a configuration for which spins were not authorized and that the aircraft did not recover prior to ground impact. The investigation also found that there was a breach in the aerodynamic stall warning horn, but the effect on the operation of the horn could not be determined. A spin manoeuver is preceded by a stall, and a damaged horn may activate too late or not at all, increasing the risk that pilots are not warned of an impending aerodynamic stall in a timely manner.

Since this occurrence, WWFC has implemented some changes to its flight program. It has re-emphasized to pilots its policies regarding air manoeuvers, such as spins, to be conducted only with an instructor on board, and strengthened its ground school programs regarding airwork. Also, WWFC has indicated that it will have GPS trackers as well as cockpit voice recorders installed in its fleet of aircraft.

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