Air transportation safety investigation A19C0138

Updated in January 2020 : This investigation is in the report phase.

Table of contents

In flight breakup

Blue Water Aviation Services
Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba

The occurrence

On , a de Havilland DHC-3T aircraft operated by Blue Water Aviation Services was conducting a flight from Bissett (CJY6), Manitoba, to Family Lake near Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba, with 1 pilot and 2 passengers on board. Upon turning on final approach for the water at Family Lake, the right wing became detached from the fuselage. The aircraft entered an uncontrolled descent and collided with the water surface. JRCC and RCMP responded. The pilot and both passengers sustained fatal injuries.


Media materials

Deployment notice

2019-10-28

TSB deploys an investigator to Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba, following an aircraft accident

Winnipeg, Manitoba, 28 October 2019 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying an investigator to Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba, following Saturday’s accident involving a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Ross Peden

Ross Peden has 35 years of civil aviation experience. He joined the TSB in September 2001 as a Flight Operations investigator in the TSB central region office in Winnipeg Manitoba. Prior to joining the TSB, he worked as an airline pilot for different Canadian and foreign carriers, which included a 4 year stint in Sudan Africa and 3 years in Paris France. During that time, he flew different aircraft types, starting on small bush aircraft and eventually finishing commercial career on large jet aircraft. In 1996 he joined Transport Canada, as an Instrument procedures specialist, followed by a period with what was then called system safety.

Since joining the TSB, Mr. Peden has participated in several TSB investigations, including the 2005 Air France accident at Pearson Airport in Toronto.


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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