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Aircraft spin caused 2012 Cessna crash: TSB

Feb. 20, 2014, Richmond Hill, Ont. - 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, Ont.


February 20, 2014
By Carey Fredericks

At 18:15 Eastern Daylight Time on August 24, 2012, a Cessna 172S, owned by the Waterloo-Wellington Flying Club (WWFC), departed the Kitchener/Waterloo Airport, Ont. The aircraft flew to Niagara Falls, then to Toronto, and back to a practice area north of the Kitchener/Waterloo airport. At approximately 20:16 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 air work. Also, WWFC has indicated that it will have GPS trackers as well as cockpit voice recorders installed in its fleet of aircraft.

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