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Air transportation safety investigation A11H0002

This investigation was completed 25 March 2014.

Table of contents

Controlled flight into terrain

Bradley Air Services Limited (First Air)
Boeing 737-210C, C-GNWN
Resolute Bay, Nunavut
20 August 2011

View final report

The occurrence

On 20 August 2011, the Boeing 737-210C combi aircraft (registration C-GNWN, serial number 21067), operated by Bradley Air Services Limited under its business name First Air, was being flown as First Air charter flight 6560 from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to Resolute Bay, Nunavut. At 1642 Coordinated Universal Time (1142 Central Daylight Time), during the approach to Runway 35T, First Air flight 6560 struck a hill about 1 nautical mile east of the runway. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and an ensuing post-crash fire. Eight passengers and all 4 crew members sustained fatal injuries. The remaining 3 passengers sustained serious injuries and were rescued by Canadian military personnel, who were in Resolute Bay as part of a military exercise. The accident occurred during daylight hours. No emergency locator transmitter signal was emitted by the aircraft.

Safety communications

Safety information


Aviation safety information A11H0002-D2-L1: Inadequate guidance for FDR maintenance
Read the safety information

Safety advisory


Aviation safety advisory A11H0002-D1-A1: IFR separation in Class D airspace
Read the safety advisory

Media materials

News releases


TSB highlights worldwide problem with unstable approaches and calls for improved crew communications following 2011 crash in Resolute Bay, Nunavut
Read the news release


TSB Aviation Investigation Update: First Air Flight 6560
Read the news release



Animation for landing approach of First Air flight 6560 Resolute Bay, Nunavut on 20 August 2011



A11H0002 (Resolute Bay): Recommandation A14-01 - Stabilized approaches
Read the backgrounder


A11H0002 (Resolute Bay): Crew Resource Management
Read the backgrounder

Investigation update


First Air Flight 6560, Boeing 737 Accident, 20 August 2011, Resolute Bay (A11H0002)
Read the investigation update

Deployment notice


TSB Deploys Team to Investigate Air accident in Resolute Bay, Nunavut

Gatineau, Quebec, August 20, 2011 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has deployed a team to today’s air accident in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. On 20 August 2011, at approximately 1:30 pm Eastern Time, a Boeing 737 operated by First Air, was involved in an accident.

Investigation information


Photo of Brian MacDonald

Brian MacDonald has been an investigator with the Air Investigation Branch of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada for 8 years. Prior to that, Mr. MacDonald served in the Canadian Forces as a helicopter pilot for various operational units including Search and Rescue. Mr. MacDonald also spent 7 years as an accident investigator with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has investigated numerous accidents as Investigator-in-charge. He has experience investigating a variety of accidents involving numerous aircraft types, up to and including Boeing 747s.


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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.