Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


TSB Release Report Into Fatal Airport Crash

By Adam Riley Feb 4, 2023 | 7:47 PM

Courtesy - Transportation Safety Board

The Transportation Safety Board says the fatal plane crash at the Thunder Bay Airport in August of 2021 was the result of a steep turn following take off.

The incident occurred on August 16th, 2021 when the Rockwell International Aero Commander 690B, operated by MAG Aerospace Canada Corp, was conducting a bird dog flight, between the Thunder Bay Airport and the Dryden Regional Airport.

The TSB says this was the pilot’s 3rd flight of the day and the plane had been refueled as part of a flight back to the operator’s facility for maintenance.

The pilot, identified as Peter Balodis, taxied to Runway 12 before being instructed by air traffic control to line up on the runway.

At 9:09 p.m Balodis was given takeoff clearance and took off, however the aircraft entered a climbing left turn. When it reached 45 feet above the ground the plane enter a rapid roll to the left.

Within a minute of being given clearance for takeoff the aircraft struck the surface of Runway 7, fatally injuring Balodis.

The impact, along with a post-impact fire destroyed the aircraft.

Two airport fire trucks responded to the accident and were on site within a minute of the crash and had the fire under control a minute and a half later.

The TSB report says while the emergency response was immediate, the accident was not survivable due to the severity of both the impact and the post-impact fire.

The report found several causes, contributing factors and risks including:

  • After takeoff from Runway 12 at Thunder Bay Airport, Ontario, as the pilot conducted a rapid, low-level, climbing steep turn, the aircraft entered an accelerated stall that resulted in a loss of control and subsequent collision with the surface of Runway 07 in an inverted attitude.
  • The decision to conduct the rapid, low-level, climbing steep turn was likely influenced by an altered perception of risk from previous similar takeoffs that did not result in any adverse consequences.
  • If air traffic controllers engage in communications that may be perceived by pilots to encourage unusual flight manoeuvres, pilots may perceive this encouragement as a confirmation that the manoeuvres are acceptable to perform, increasing the risk of an accident.
  • If NAV CANADA’s reporting procedures do not contain specific criteria for situations where air traffic services personnel perceive aircraft to be conducting unsafe flight manoeuvres, there is a risk that these manoeuvres will continue and result in an accident.
  • Most of the wires that comprised the elevator trim cable failed before the impact as a result of excessive wear; however, this did not contribute to the occurrence because the trim tab remained in the normal take-off position.

Following the crash MAG Aerospace Canada Corp. took several safety actions, a list of those actions can be found in the full report here.


Leave a Reply