News release

Update on TSB investigation into the accident involving a Mitsubishi MU-2B in les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1 April 2016 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) continues its independent investigation into the 29 March 2016 aircraft accident in les Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec.

What we know

  • Moncton Air Traffic Control cleared the aircraft for an instrument approach to Runway 07 at les Îles-de-la-Madeleine Airport.
  • Preliminary observations indicate that the aircraft was near wings level in a slight nose-high attitude at impact. More analysis of the aircraft attitude at impact is required.
  • The wreckage is contained in a 150m x 150m field. The aircraft came to rest approximately 91m from the initial point of impact.
  • Initial assessments indicate that the engines were producing power at the time of impact.
  • The investigation will examine previous occurrences with this type of aircraft, and subsequent safety action taken in Canada, the United States (U.S.) and other jurisdictions.
  • It is believed that there is a GPS tracking device installed in the aircraft. The team will recover the device for further analysis.
  • Approach-and-landing is a phase of flight during which a high number of accidents take place. The investigation will be paying close attention to this Watchlist issue.

Progress to date

There are currently seven TSB investigative team members on site. So far, the team has:

  • Almost completed the examination and documentation of the accident site;
  • Obtained initial witness statements from the Sûreté du Québec. The team may do follow-up interviews with selected eyewitnesses;
  • Taken photographs of the wreckage and obtained aerial images from the Canadian Coast Guard;
  • Appointed a TSB team member as a family liaison person.


The TSB conducts independent investigations in collaboration with numerous agencies. In this investigation:

  • The Canadian Coast Guard has provided high-resolution aerial imaging of the accident site.
  • The Sûreté du Québec is responsible for ensuring that there was no criminal activity surrounding the occurrence. They secured and surveyed the site, conducted initial witness interviews and provided site documentation. Information collected will be provided to the TSB for the investigation.
  • A Transport Canada Minister’s Observer has arrived at the accident site.
  • Contacts have been established with the Coroner’s Office to coordinate our activities.
  • The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has an accredited representative on site, as the aircraft was registered in the U.S. This is granted under international conventions and the purpose is to facilitate the transfer of information between both countries.
  • The NTSB accredited representative is accompanied by a second NTSB investigator and technical advisors from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aircraft manufacturer, and the manufacturer of the engines.

Next steps

The Field Phase of the investigation will be concluding, and the Examination and Analysis Phase will commence. In the coming days and weeks, the team will:

  • Transport the aircraft to the TSB Laboratory in Ottawa for further analysis;
  • Examine components such as instrumentation and any device that contains non-volatile memory;
  • Gather additional information about weather conditions;
  • Gather information on air traffic communications and radar information;
  • Obtain and examine aircraft maintenance records;
  • Obtain and examine pilot training, qualifications and proficiency records;
  • Interview family, witnesses, the aircraft operator and others;
  • Review operational policies and procedures;
  • Examine the regulatory requirements;
  • Examine survivability issues such as cabin and cockpit crashworthiness and emergency response; and
  • Examine the MU-2 aircraft design and previous safety communications and studies in Canada and elsewhere.

Additional updates will be provided as required.

Visit the active investigation page for more information about this investigation.

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.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053

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