Air transportation safety investigation A18W0129

Update: The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 14 November 2019.

Table of contents

Capsize on water landing

Simpson Air (1981) Limited
Cessna U206G, C-FNEQ
Little Doctor Lake, Northwest Territories

View final report

The occurrence

On , a Simpson Air (1981) Limited float-equipped Cessna U206G aircraft (registration C-FNEQ, serial number U20605036) was conducting a sightseeing flight from Fort Simpson Island Water Aerodrome, Northwest Territories, with stops at Virginia Falls and Little Doctor Lake, Northwest Territories. The pilot and 4 passengers were on board. At approximately 1830 Mountain Daylight Time, while the pilot was conducting a water landing at Little Doctor Lake, control of the aircraft was lost and the aircraft nosed over, coming to rest inverted and partially submerged. The pilot and 1 passenger were able to escape the submerged fuselage and climb up onto the floats; they were rescued by a nearby boater within 15 minutes. The 3 remaining occupants were unable to escape the fuselage and drowned. The emergency locator transmitter activated on impact; however, the signal was not received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre because the emergency locator transmitter was submerged.


Safety communications

2019-02-28

Aviation Safety Advisory A18W0129-D1-A1: Blocked double cargo door with flaps extended


Media materials

News release

Deployment notice

2018-08-17

TSB will deploy a team of investigators to a fatal air accident at Little Doctor Lake, Northwest Territories

Edmonton, Alberta, 17 August 2018 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) will deploy a team of investigators to a fatal accident involving a Cessna 206 operated by Simpson Air at Little Doctor Lake, Northwest Territories. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Gerrit B. Vermeer

Gerrit B. Vermeer started his professional aviation career by joining the Mission Aviation Fellowship and moving to Southern Africa. During his time there, he served as a line pilot and acted as chief pilot and operations manager. Upon returning to Canada, Mr. Vermeer flew for a charter operator out of the Edmonton International Airport, serving the oil and gas industry. In 2008, he joined Transport Canada (TC) and, for five and a half years, worked as an inspector in the Enforcement Branch. He then transferred to the Operations Division of the Prairie and Northern Region and, for the next year, served as a principal operations inspector for a number of northern operators.

Mr. Vermeer has a Bachelor’s degree in Mission Aviation Technology and currently holds a fixed wing airline transport pilot licence with approximately 6400 hours of flight time. He also holds a Canadian aircraft maintenance engineer license, as well as an airframe and powerplant technician license issued by the USA's Federal Aviation Administration.


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.

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