Small aircraft operators too complacent about safety, say investigators

Transportation Safety Board

Canada's Transportation Safety Board says small aircraft operators in Canada have fallen into a trap of accepting too many safety risks, and it has to stop.

TSB senior investigator Glen Whitney says so-called air-taxi operators, companies that carry fewer than 10 passengers in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, often in remote areas, don't flagrantly break regulations as a general rule.

But he says, over time, many have become complacent about the safe operation of their aircraft as they come under pressure to cut costs.

And Whitney says that puts pilots and passengers at risk.

The TSB issued four new recommendations Thursday for the operators of small aircraft in Canada.

Those recommendations, stemming from a 14-year investigation of the industry, include a call on Transport Canada to educate pilots and service operators about the risks of accepting unsafe practices.