Transportation Safety Board wraps analysis of what caused Fond-du-Lac plane crash

Work has begun on a draft report into the December 2017 crashed that killed one person and seriously injured nine others.

Work begins on draft report into December 2017 crash that killed 1 and seriously injured 9 others

TSB investigators took photos like this of the aircraft wreckage in Fond du Lac, showing the extent of damage. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has wrapped its analysis into what caused a West Wind Aviation plane to crash near Fond-du-Lac, Sask., last year.

Work on a draft report has now begun, the TSB confirmed in an update earlier this month.

That means the agency's key work — including testing equipment recovered from the wreckage, reconstructing the day's events and interviewing witnesses, the airline and government officials — has been completed.

Here's a TSB chart showing how far along the report phase is in the overall investigation process:

The investigation into the West Wind Aviation plane crash has now reached the report phase, according to the TSB. (TSB)

One of West Wind Aviation's twin-turboprop planes, an ATR 42-320, crashed near the Fond-du-Lac airport shortly after takeoff on the evening of Dec. 13, 2017.

Ten people on board were seriously injured. One of them died in hospital two weeks after the crash.

The TSB has already reported that the plane was not de-iced before takeoff, despite the aircraft still having ice on it from its previous flight.

The agency has not ruled whether that's what caused the crash.

Next steps

Once the draft report is completed it will be sent to groups affected by the report, including the airline.

"They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect," according to the TSB's website.

"The board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public."

Judge appointed to lawsuit

Several of the flight's passengers have sued West Wind Aviation and its parent company. They allege the Saskatoon-based airline took "no appropriate steps" to de-ice the plane or runway and that the crew left the passengers "to fend for themselves in the chaos of the accident."

The Regina Court of Queen's Bench appointed Justice Robert Leurer to the case earlier this month.

West Wind Aviation has yet to file a statement of defence seven months after the suit was filed.

Tony Merchant, the lawyer representing the passengers, says that's not unusual.

"It is common for defendants not to file a defence in class actions until after the case has been certified," Merchant recently wrote CBC News.

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

Reporter and web writer for CBC Saskatoon

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