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Québec, Quebec, 9 October 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada today released its investigation report (M13L0123) into the collision between bulk carrier Heloise and tug Ocean Georgie Bain in the Port of Montreal, Quebec. The investigation determined that language barriers on board the Heloise, and the failure to use available navigation resources on board both vessels contributed to the collision.

On 03 August 2013, the Heloise entered the main channel of the St. Lawrence River, where it met with two upbound vessels and numerous pleasure craft. At about the same time, the Ocean Georgie Bain had left its base to assist another vessel with berthing and was also entering the main channel. The pilot on the Heloise, concerned by the presence of pleasure craft, altered its course. Once the Heloise was clear of the craft, the pilot steadied the course of the vessel in the direction of the Ocean Georgie Bain and the 2 vessels collided. The pilot on the Heloise was not monitoring the Ocean Georgie Bain at the time of the collision, and the bridge crew on the Heloise was not assisting the pilot by maintaining a lookout or using navigational equipment to advise the pilot of relevant traffic.There was considerable damage to the Ocean Georgie Bain but no damage to the Heloise other than traces on the hull.

The investigation identified numerous risks including that operations on the bridge can be affected when language barriers inhibit communication. In addition, vessels in close proximity might not be detected and a collision may occur if available resources for safe navigation, such as radars and an electronic chart system, are not used. The investigation also found that companies and vessel masters must understand and apply all of the safe manning requirements for a vessel to be manned adequately.

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Montreal, Quebec, 6 October 2014 – In its investigation report (R13Q0012) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that the May 2013 collision between a VIA Rail Canada Inc. passenger train and a tractor-trailer at a private level crossing in Québec occurred when the train was proceeding through the crossing while the manual gate protecting the crossing was up. There were no injuries.

On 2 May 2013, a VIA Rail Canada passenger train, after disembarking the passengers and refuelling, was travelling in reverse between Gare du Palais and the Limoilou Yard in Quebec, Quebec.   There were two crew members – the operating locomotive engineer in the lead locomotive, and the in-charge locomotive engineer on the ground, who was supervising the reverse movement. Instructions were being communicated to the locomotive engineer by radio. The collision occurred at the private level crossing leading to the Papiers White Birch paper mill. The last passenger car was damaged and the tractor-trailer was destroyed. About 300 litres of diesel fuel from the tractor-trailer's fuel tank spilled on the ground.

The investigation found that when the occurrence tractor-trailer started the turn to enter the paper mill, the manual gates at the crossing were up, and the traffic light controlling access to the plant was indicating that traffic could proceed. Noting that another truck had stopped on the paper mill side, the in-charge locomotive engineer concluded that the manual gate was down, and then informed the operating locomotive engineer that the crossing was protected while it was not. The guard who operates the crossing gates did not immediately recognize the need to lower the gates to protect the crossing, as the view of the train was partially obstructed and the refueling operation had taken less time than usual.

Following the occurrence, VIA Rail Canada Inc. amended its procedures so that trains no longer stop upon exiting Gare du Palaisand changed its refuelling point to move it away from the level crossing. Transport Canada has entered into discussions with the City of Quebec, the Papiers White Birch paper mill and Canadian National to improve the traffic light and crossing protection systems at this location.

The risk of passenger trains colliding with vehicles is a TSB Watchlist issue. Watch the TSB video!

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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MONTREAL, Oct. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced that it has reached a new agreement with the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), subject to ratification, on collective agreement terms
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MONTREAL, Oct. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - For the month of September, Air Canada reported a system load factor of 84.7 per cent, versus 83.2 per cent in September 2013, representing an
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MONTREAL, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Michael Rousseau, Executive Vice President & CFO of Air Canada will make a presentation to investors at the 2014 RBC Capital Markets' Airline and Aerospace
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Québec, Quebec, 2 October 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into the grounding of the passenger vessel Louis Jolliet highlights the need for comprehensive emergency procedures, training, and drills according to its investigation report (M13L0067) released today.

On 16 May 2013, the passenger vessel Louis Jolliet ran aground off Sainte-Pétronille, Île d’Orléans, Quebec, while on a cruise with 57 passengers on board. The passengers and some crew were evacuated, the vessel sustained minor damage, and was refloated at high tide. There were no injuries or pollution reported.

The investigation found that, although present on the bridge at the time of the grounding, the master was not participating in or supervising the navigation of the vessel, leaving navigation to the recently-hired chief mate, who initiated a course alteration, and went aground.

In examining the events following the grounding, the investigation determined that key crew members were not familiar with their emergency duties. The investigation also determined that the emergency procedures in place for the vessel had shortcomings with respect to passenger safety management, and crew members had not practiced such procedures in a realistic way. Although the task of securing the safety of the passengers was accomplished on the day of the occurrence, the Louis Jolliet may carry up to 1000 passengers, highlighting the need for comprehensive and detailed procedures, training, and drills in passenger safety management. The investigation also highlighted the need for effective oversight of passenger safety by Transport Canada (TC).

Since the occurrence, Croisières AML, the owner/operator of the vessel, has implemented many safety actions addressing the issues outlined by the TSB investigation including new procedures to familiarize the crew with the route and new training and drills related to passenger safety. TC subsequently issued a notice to their inspectors on their requirements under the current regulations and made improvements to their reporting system.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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Dorval, Quebec, 1 October 2014 – In its investigation report (A12Q0182) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that the October 2012 forced landing of a Piper PA-34 in Victoriaville, Quebec, was the result of a fatigue crack in the right engine’s crankcase and an improperly maintained cabin ventilation system. The two pilots aboard the aircraft were seriously injured.

On 15 October 2012, a Piper PA-34-200 operated by Nadeau Air Service Inc. left Trois-Rivières, Quebec on a training flight with two pilots aboard. During a missed approach to the Victoriaville airport, the right engine failed and caught fire. The crew followed the appropriate procedures; however, smoke and fire entered the cockpit because one of the cabin heater duct control cables was disconnected. Soon after, dense smoke spread into the cockpit, and the crew quickly descended to attempt a landing in a field near the airport. The aircraft struck the ground and came to rest inverted.

The investigation found that there was a fatigue crack in a weld-repaired area of the right engine's crankcase. This repair did not meet the engine manufacturer's standards. The crack spread and eventually led to the engine failure. Engine oil then spread in the engine compartment and caught fire. Additionally, because one of the cables for the heater ducts was disconnected, it was impossible to prevent smoke and fire from entering into the cockpit.

Although the risks associated with weld-repaired crankcases have been documented, certain repair shops are approved to make such repairs. The report notes that there is an increased risk of engine failure if an aircraft has a weld-repaired crankcase. The report also notes a risk that crews will not have information critical to flight safety if aircraft anomalies are not systematically recorded in the aircraft's journey log.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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MONTREAL, Oct. 1, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today that it will introduce non-stop flights between Toronto and Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Service to Mont-Tremblant will be operated four times per
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Richmond, British Columbia, 30 September 2014 – In its investigation report (A13P0165) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found the pilot of a Cessna 172 was not able to recover from a flight condition that led to a high-speed descent prior to colliding with terrain near Kamloops, British Columbia. The pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft suffered fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed.

On 6 August 2013, a student pilot was flying a Cessna 172 operated by TyLair Aviation Ltd. on a 2-hour training flight. The pilot and instructor discussed the training plan before the flight, and exercises were to be conducted in the company's training area 15 nautical miles west of the Kamloops Airport, as per normal practice. Following manoeuvres in the training area, the aircraft moved north of the practice area to an area of higher terrain and was climbing. Shortly after climbing to 9000 feet, the aircraft disappeared from radar and did not reappear. When the aircraft became overdue, the instructor notified search and rescue. The aircraft and the pilot were found the next day.

The investigation found that the aircraft collided with terrain 30 nautical miles west of Kamloops at about 4500 feet above sea level. The collision occurred at a high speed and a nose-down attitude. The manoeuvres the pilot was conducting were not known, but a nose-drop during some training manoeuvres could lead to a spiral dive if not corrected in time. It is possible that the pilot had begun recovery from a spiral dive and achieved a wings-level attitude, but did not have enough altitude to fully recover. During impact, the aircraft's cabin was severely compromised, making this accident unsurvivable.

Investigators also found that the aircraft was not carrying an emergency locator transmitter (ELT). An ELT was not required since the flight was not intended to travel beyond 25 nautical miles from Kamloops, but its removal should have been documented and placarded. The lack of an ELT resulted in a delay in locating the aircraft.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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New Destinations, Routes for Summer 2015 also include:Double-daily Non-stop Toronto and Montreal-ParisNew Montreal-VeniceNew Vancouver-OsakaMONTREAL, Sept. 25, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today it will introduce year-round mainline service to
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