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Air transportation safety investigation A18P0115

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 28 March 2019.

Table of contents

Loss of control on initial climb and impact with the runway

Historic Flight Foundation
de Havilland DH-89A MKIV Dragon Rapide (biplane), N683DH
Abbotsford Airport, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

On , a vintage De Havilland DH-89A biplane, operated by the Historic Flight Foundation, was conducting an air ride with four passengers on board during an airshow at the Abbotsford International Airport, British Columbia. During the initial climb, shortly after becoming airborne, the aircraft impacted the runway with its right wings, and came to rest on its nose on the right edge of the runway. Three passengers received minor injuries. The other passenger and the pilot were severely injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

Media materials

New Releases


Investigation report: August 2018 loss of control on initial climb and impact with the runway at Abbotsford International Airport, B.C.
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB is deploying a team of investigators to the site of an aircraft accident at the Abbotsford International Airport, British Columbia

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of an aircraft accident that occurred yesterday at the Abbotsford International Airport, British Columbia. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy joined the Aviation Investigation Branch at the TSB Pacific regional office as a technical investigator in June 1999. During his career, Mr. Murphy worked as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) on both fixed and rotary wing, and turbine engine aircraft. He advanced his knowledge of aircraft operations by completing a Private Pilot License (PPL) in 2009, and subsequently added ratings to this license.

  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 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.