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Air transportation safety investigation A17W0172

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 21 November 2018.

Table of contents

Loss of control and collision with terrain

Springbank Air Training College
Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, C-GCCM
Calgary/Springbank Airport, Alberta, 0.8 nm S

View final report

The occurrence

At 0949 Mountain Daylight Time on 26 October 2017, the Springbank Air Training College Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II (serial number 34-7570103, registration C-GCCM) departed from Runway 17 at Calgary/Springbank Airport (CYBW), Alberta, with a student pilot and flight instructor on board. The purpose of the flight was to conduct a multi-engine training flight to the practice area. Approximately 70 seconds after takeoff and 0.8 nautical miles south of Runway 17, the aircraft rolled to the left, entered a steep, descending left turn, and collided with terrain. There was a post-impact fire, and the aircraft was destroyed. The 2 occupants were fatally injured. The 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter did not activate. Motorists on the nearby Trans-Canada Highway who witnessed the accident arrived on scene in less than 1 minute.

Media materials

News release


Loss of control during a simulated engine failure led to fatal collision with terrain near the Calgary/Springbank Airport, Alberta, in October 2017
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to Springbank Airport in Calgary, Alberta, following a small aircraft accident

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Springbank Airport, Alberta, following an occurrence involving a small aircraft. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Barry Holt

Barry Holt has been an air safety investigator at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 2001. He has been investigator-in-charge on over 300 class 5 and 20 class 3 investigations in the Western Region, and was part of the technical team that investigated the collision with water of the Cougar Helicopters' Sikorsky S-92A (A09A0016) off the coast of Newfoundland in 2009.

Before that, Mr. Holt spent 15 years in the field as an aircraft maintenance engineer, mostly in remote and/or northern locations, on light and heavy helicopters. Previously, he had been a hoist operator for search and rescue activities and a senior helicopter maintenance engineer for the Canadian Coast Guard, and also worked at Transport Canada in the Enforcement Branch for a short time.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB 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.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail 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.