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Updated: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 12:15:35 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

TSB releases final report on Resolute plane crash



A view of the crash field of First Air flight 6560 that smashed into a hillside in Resolute, Nunavut on August 20, 2011. The TSB says 'a complex series of events' led to the deadly accident that killed 12 people and seriously injured three survivors. Transportation Safety Board

A view of the crash field of First Air flight 6560 that smashed into a hillside in Resolute, Nunavut on August 20, 2011. The TSB says 'a complex series of events' led to the deadly accident that killed 12 people and seriously injured three survivors. Transportation Safety Board

The Transportation Safety Board says a deadly First Air plane crash in Nunavut was the result of a "complex series of events" all lining up together.

The board blames an undetected autopilot change, a faulty compass reading and disagreement between the pilots about whether to abort the landing.

The crash in August 2011 killed eight passengers and four crew members.

Three passengers miraculously survived when the Boeing 737 slammed into a hill while attempting to land at the Resolute airport.

The board says the First Officer on board twice suggested the landing be called off.

The first time, the pilot didn't believe that was necessary. The second, the suggestion wasn't clearly communicated. 

It wasn't until alarms sounded seconds before the crash that the pilot tried to pull up, but it was too late.

Animation tells the story

At the time of the crash, the pilots were relying on instruments to land in a heavy fog. 

The TSB's chief investigator in the case, Brian MacDonald, used animation to tell the story of what happened to the plane. 

It showed how the flight went off course as the auto-pilot turned the aircraft to align with the runway.

Normally, the auto-pilot would correct its course, but in this case, the auto-pilot mode was inadvertently changed. 

A compass error may have led the pilots to believe, wrongly, that they were lining back up as a strong wind pushed them further off course. 

"There was a lot going on in the cockpit," MacDonald said. 

The First Officer, also known as a co-pilot, mentioned to the captain they were off course, and the crew spent the next minute and twenty seconds trying to figure out why. 

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