GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The TSB today released its
investigation report (A11P0027) into the 9 February 2011 midair
collision between two Cessna 150 aircraft over Dewdney, British
The two accident aircraft were part of a four aircraft formation flight.
One was the lead aircraft and the other was behind and to its right.
During a right turn while in formation, the aircraft on the right lost
sight of the leader. While trying to regain sight of the leader, the
aircraft climbed, turned left, and struck the lead aircraft. The two
aircraft briefly joined together and descended out of control until
about 400 feet above ground level where they separated. The lead
aircraft then broke up and continued descending out of control to the
ground. Both of its occupants suffered fatal injuries. The other
aircraft's pilot regained control and landed in a nearby field without
engine power, and was uninjured.
"Formation flying is a challenging activity requiring high levels of
skill and discipline," said Bill Yearwood, Manager, Air Investigation
Operations, Pacific Region. "Without appropriate training and thorough
preflight briefings, there is an increased risk of in-flight
collisions, and these collisions often cause fatal accidents."
Training is required for formation flying during events such as air
shows. However, for casual formation flight outside of air shows, the
only regulatory requirement is a pre-arrangement between pilots
intending to fly in formation. The group had a pre-flight briefing to
discuss join-up procedures after takeoff and breakout procedures.
However, this briefing did not discuss the procedures for loss of sight
of an aircraft, nor did it review the practices for returning to the
formation. Further, the investigation found that flying in formation in
high-wing aircraft such as the Cessna 150 poses an elevated risk of
loss of visual contact, due to the limited cockpit vision angles.
Since the accident, Transport Canada issued a safety bulletin regarding
the hazards associated with formation flying. It highlights the
importance of pre-flight planning and flying skills in reducing the
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.
SOURCE: TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
TSB Media Relations
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