The Cessna 185-E went down about 20 kilometres from the Fort St. John airport last November, killing the pilot, who was the plane's sole occupant.
In its report, the TSB said pilot distraction appears to have been prevalent throughout the flight, and the plane experienced several altitude changes while the pilot was using his phone.
The Cessna was on what would have been a 65-minute flight from Peace River, Alta., to Fort St. John when it crashed.
The TSB said the pilot was on his cellphone for a total of 28 minutes during the flight and sent two text messages, the second of which was sent 11 minutes before the crash.
But the report also points out the pilot appears to have lost his bearings just before the Cessna went down, saying he was flying at night and the darkness may have affected his depth perception.
The plane was operated by Trek Aerial Surveys, which has since implemented safety training and now prohibits pilots from flying after sunset. The company also prohibits pilots from using their cellphones during flights unless it's an emergency.