Tue, May 08, 2012
Plane Was Consumed By Fire After Skidding Into Ditch
A pilot was airlifted to a hospital Sunday morning after surviving a dead stick landing at Pitt Meadows Airport in British Columbia. The airplane, a Mustang 2 replica of the iconic WWII fighter, lost power at 200 feet and came down on a taxiway, then skidded into a ditch and caught fire. Assistant Fire Chief Brad Perrie said the aircraft took off around 0740 local time, and was in the air for less than half a minute when it lost power.
“The pilot attempted to put it down onto the runway but ended up on the taxi area … he skidded into a small irrigation ditch. The plane burst into flames, the pilot managed to escape and was treated for injuries.”
The Vancouver Sun newspaper reports that Perrie said it’s not unusual for aviation enthusiasts to purchase and fly “kit-planes.” Under Canadian aviation guidelines, any aircraft built by an amateur must obtain a special certificate of airworthiness from Transport Canada. Before construction begins, the design must be approved and it must also be inspected during construction, and then again before the first flight is taken.
Perrie said the replica was a one-third scale model of the original aircraft. Airport operations manager James Neale said the Transportation Safety Board is expected to take over the investigation. The runway was closed temporarily but re-opened shortly after the incident.
Emergency crews arrived on scene shortly after the accident occurred and found the aircraft in a ditch engulfed in flames. The pilot had exited the aircraft and was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital with minor burns and undetermined back and neck injuries.
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