Language selection

Air transportation safety investigation A23W0103

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 24 January 2024.

Table of contents

Loss of control and collision with terrain

AFS Aerial Photography Inc.
Cessna 152, C-GRCA
Claresholm Industrial Aerodrome (CEJ4), Alberta

View final report

The occurrence

On 28 August 2023, a privately registered Cessna 152 aircraft, operated by AFS Aerial Photography, departed from the Claresholm Industrial Airport, Alberta, with one pilot on board. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft collided with terrain approximately 6000 feet northeast of the airport. The emergency locator transmitter activated, and its signal was received by several aircraft in the vicinity. There was no post-impact fire.

The pilot was fatally injured.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: Loss of control and collision with terrain at Claresholm Industrial Aerodrome, Alberta
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators following yesterday’s small aircraft accident near Claresholm, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, 29 August 2023 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Claresholm, Alberta, to investigate yesterday’s small aircraft accident involving a privately registered Cessna 152. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Jonathan (Jon) Lee

Jonathan (Jon) Lee is the Western Regional Manager for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been an aircraft investigator for 19 years, and has been managing the Edmonton office for eight of those years. He has been involved in approximately 50 investigations. Mr. Lee has also participated in foreign investigations that involve Canadian aerospace products. Working with the National Transportation Safety Board (United States), the Aviation Safety Council (Taiwan), Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (South Korea), and the Aviation Accident Investigation Board (Mongolia) has made Mr. Lee appreciate the importance of the TSB’s role in global aviation.

Before working in accident investigation, Mr. Lee gained industry experience as a pilot in operations ranging from regional airlines and transcontinental cargo to medevac and flight instruction. He has flown over 35 types of aircraft and has accumulated 6500 flight hours. He maintains a valid and current airline transport pilot license.

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.