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Air transportation safety investigation A17Q0050

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 5 July 2018.

Table of contents

Collision with terrain

Exact Air Inc.
Piper PA-31, C-FQQB
Schefferville Airport, Quebec, 3.5 nm NW

View final report

The occurrence

The Piper PA-31 (registration C-FQQB, serial number 31-310) operated by Exact Air Inc., with 2 pilots on board, was conducting its 2nd magnetometric survey flight of the day, from Schefferville Airport, Quebec, under visual flight rules. At 1336 Eastern Daylight Time, the aircraft took off and began flying toward the survey area located 90 nautical miles northwest of the airport. After completing the magnetometric survey work at 300 feet above ground level, the aircraft began the return flight segment to Schefferville Airport. At that time, the aircraft descended and flew over the terrain at an altitude varying between 100 and 40 feet above ground level. At 1756, while the aircraft was flying over railway tracks, it struck power transmission line conductor cables and crashed on top of a mine tailings deposit about 3.5 nautical miles northwest of Schefferville Airport. Both occupants were fatally injured. The accident occurred during daylight hours. Following the impact, there was no fire, and no emergency locator transmitter signal was captured.

Media materials

News release


2017 fatal aircraft accident near Schefferville Airport, Quebec, highlights the risks of low-altitude flying
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to an aircraft accident site north of Schefferville, Quebec

Dorval, Quebec, 1 May 2017 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to an aircraft accident site north of Schefferville, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Mario Boulet

Mario Boulet has over 30 years of civil aviation experience. He joined the TSB in 2015 and is now a Regional Senior Investigator based out of Dorval, Quebec.

Before joining the TSB, Mr. Boulet worked during 8 years for Transport Canada as a civil aviation safety inspector after a career in the private sector for various approved maintenance organizations, aircraft manufacturers and airlines where he occupied positions from aircraft maintenance engineer to Person Responsible for Maintenance (PRM), including Minister Delegate for a major aircraft manufacturer.

Since 2006, Mr. Boulet also became an expert in the manufacturing and operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Mr. Boulet holds an aircraft maintenance engineer license from Transport Canada and a private pilot license.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

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.