Second Fatal Accident In Area This Year
The bodies of two men
aboard a Cessna 172 that went down on Vancouver Island, British
Columbia in reported IFR conditions Saturday were found by a rescue
party early Sunday morning, after rescuers were delayed in arriving
at the scene due to low clouds, wind and swirling snow that
enveloped the accident site.
The Victoria Times-Colonist reports the aircraft, a 1961 Cessna
172B (file photo of type, below) owned by a Port Alberni flying
club, was not equipped for IFR flight -- and locals say the weather
on April 15 was not ideal for visual flying.
"I certainly wouldn't have flown yesterday, it looked pretty
bad," said George Pohl, manager of the Sechelt Airport where the
flight departed at 2 pm Saturday en route to Port Alberni. "Most of
the local pilots weren't flying."
When the aircraft failed to show up at Port Alberni later that
day, an all-night search-and-rescue operation was launched.
Emergency crews were able to lock in on the 172's ELT signal, but
were hindered from travelling to the accident site -- a mountain
ridge about six miles from the city -- by the poor weather.
The poor conditions even forced a Cormorant rescue helicopter to
retreat from the scene, according to Capt. Cheryl Robinson with the
19 Wing Comox. "The weather was too awful, so they just couldn't
see a thing," she said.
Rescuers found the white airplane at around 6 am Sunday morning.
The plane had impacted trees, and was found inverted, said Master
Cpl. Paul Lloyd, a 19 Wing search and rescue technician who located
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not release the names of
the men onboard, but independent sources confirmed to the Alberni
Valley Times that the pilot was David Guy, 59, the treasurer of the
Alberni Flying Club and a pilot with over 20 years flying
Canada's Transportation Safety Board is investigating the
accident, although a full-scale inquiry is not expected unless an
aircraft defect, or similar extraordinary circumstances, are
discovered during the preliminary investigation, said TSB manager
Last Sunday's accident
was the second fatal plane crash near Port Alberni this year. As was reported by Aero-News,
a Cessna Caravan flying for Sonicblue Airways went down near the
city's airport on January 21. The plane's pilot and two passengers
were lost in that accident, with five others onboard injured.
Pilot error has been ruled out in that accident. Transport
Canada cancelled Sonicblue's operating license after the accident,
the airline's third fatal crash since 1998.