Thursday, August 23, 2012

Acro Sport II, C-GTXT: Accident occurred August 22, 2012 in a community lagoon, N of Manitou, Manitoba - Canada

The Acrosport II is described as an aerobatic training aircraft and nimble in the air. 

Tony Butt was the passenger in the plane that crashed. 

Gilbert Bourrier was the pilot of the plane.
 (Springfield Flying Club)

A section of the crashed plane can be seen partially submerged in the lagoon. 
(Ron Dhaliwal/CBC)

RCMP and Transportation Safety Board investigators examine the scene of the plane crash, where the tail section can be seen at the edge of the lagoon.
 (Ron Dhaliwal/CBC)

Two men died in a plane crash Wednesday night near Manitou, Man., a small community southwest of Winnipeg. 

 Both men, Gilbert Bourrier, 64, and Tony Butt, 48, were from Winnipeg.

Bourrier was the pilot.

Both were members of the Springfield Flying Club for about 12 years but had been flying for more than 20 years, said Burt Barkman, a volunteer at the club.

He said members are grieving the loss of their friends.

“A lot of guys have called in. You can imagine. It's all very sad, very sad,” he said.

“It's like one of your co-workers has a car accident and the chair is empty today. So what do you say?"

Their two-seater red Acrosport II biplane took off from the Manitou airport then turned back but for reasons still being investigated, the pilot lost control and the plane crashed into a lagoon, RCMP said.

The crash was reported just before 8 p.m. CT, about 1.6 kilometres north of the town, according to police.

Russell Langseth, who was on the grounds at the airport, had been speaking to Bourrier and Butt minutes before they climbed into the plane.

Langseth was curious about the craft, which he said was built from a kit and featured an open cockpit.

"I was asking him questions about his plane — just that it was small, very maneuverable," he said, adding the two men were "sittting right out in the breeze" when inside the cockpit.

The plane took off shortly afterwards and Langseth watched in shock as it crashed.

“It looked as though he started into a roll and then leveled off and then for some reason angled down into the lagoon,” he said.

Several people in the area rushed to the scene but they couldn't save the two men.

“I think it was three fellows that were there ahead of me [and] they waded out to the wreckage. You couldn't see too much of it — it was mostly submerged,” Langseth said.

Witnesses were able to pull Butt from the wreckage and attempt resuscitation efforts. Bourrier remained trapped in the plane, and both men were pronounced dead just after 8 p.m.

Manitou mechanic Harry Brendle had dinner with the two men just prior to their flight. He was eating at the Spotlight Cafe when Bourrier and Butt, sitting at a nearby table, struck up a conversation with him.

Brendle described them as friendly and enthusiastic flyers who told him they had flown to Manitou from the Lyncrest Airport in southeast Winnipeg and were returning to the same strip.

They said they wanted to make it home before dark.

A short time later Brendle heard sirens and reports of a plane crash. He knew it was the two men he just met.

"Well I was quite sad. I mean they seemed like very nice guys," he said. "By the sound of it, they did work restoring planes and stuff for a museum."

The conditions were near perfect at the time of take off, Langseth noted.

"It had been a little breezy, maybe 10 to 12 miles per hour from the south, but when he took off it had dropped down to maybe half that, may five or six miles per hour at the most. So wind wasn't a factor."

Two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) are at the site trying to determine what caused the crash.

The Acrosport is an aerobatic training aircraft described on websites as "nimble in the air."

Butt had posted a photo of the plane on his Facebook page earlier this month, adding the comment: “Looking forward to watching the world go tumbling by. Something very spiritual about flying and aerobatics.”

Peter Hildebrand, TSB regional manager, said the plane was manufactured in 2006 and registered and approved by Transport Canada.

Hildebrand said it looks like the pilot was doing some kind of a turning maneuver just before the crash.

“There's an east-west runway at Manitou and it took off from the west … and it was off to the west for a bit, made a turnaround back over the airport and that's when this turning maneuver occurred," he said.

Barkman watched the two men take off Wednesday from the Winnipeg landing strip and wondered why their cars were still in the parking lot when he went home later that night.

He found out Thursday morning.

Barman described both men as experienced flyers and ‘super guys.’

“Isn't that the ones that always go first? The good guys?”

He the flying club will meet to decide how to honour their two friends.

Manitou is located about 140 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

C-GTXT Acro Sport II homebuilt 2006
  2nd row, 2nd plane . . .

Aircraft Information

Mark:   C-GTXT
Common Name:   Acro SportModel Name:   ACRO SPORT II
Serial No:   2044
Basis for Eligibility for Registration:   CAR Standard 549 - Amateur Built Aircraft
Category:   AeroplaneMax take-off weight:   793.79 kgs
Engine:   1, Piston
24-bit address:   110000000111100100111110
Regional Office:   Winnipeg
Base of Operations:   CANADA , Manitoba, JL5 Lyncrest Airport

Manufacturer Information

Manufacturer:   Gilbert J. Bourrier
Country of manufacture:   CANADA Year of Manufacture:   2006

Registration Information

Type of Registration:   Private
Owner Registered Since:   2008-06-10
Latest Certificate of Registration Issued:   2008-06-10

Last Registered Owner Information

Name:   Bourrier, Gilbert
Address:   653 Beaverhill Blvd
City:   Winnipeg Province/State:   Manitoba
Postal Code:   R2J 3P2Country:   CANADA
Region:   Prairie and Northern
Mail Recipient:   Yes  

Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) : Report 
Record #1
Cadors Number: 2012C3675 
Reporting Region: Prairie & Northern 
Occurrence Information
Occurrence Type: Accident 
Occurrence Date: 2012-08-23 
Occurrence Time: 0000 Z 
Day Or Night: day-time 
Canadian Aerodrome ID: CKG5 
Aerodrome Name: MANITOU 
Occurrence Location: MANITOU (CKG5) 
Province: Manitoba 
Country: CANADA 
World Area: North America 
Reported By: NAV CANADA 
AOR Number: 151279-V1 
TSB Class Of Investigation:
TSB Occurrence No:
Aircraft Information
Flight #:
Aircraft Category: Aeroplane 
Country of Registration: CANADA 
Model: II 
Year Built: 2006 
Amateur Built: Yes 
Engine Model: IO-360-B1B 
Engine Type: Reciprocating 
Gear Type: Land 
Phase of Flight: Cruise 
Damage: Substantial 
Owner: Private 
Operator Type: Private 
Event Information
Collision with terrain
Loss of control - inflight
Detail Information
User Name: Ridley, Rod 
Date: 2012-08-23 
Further Action Required: No 
O.P.I.: System Safety 
Narrative: An amateur built Acro Sport with two people on board departed Manitou to return to its home base of Lyncrest, and after a pass over the Manitou airstrip, the aircraft descended rapidly into a lagoon. Both male occupants were fatally injured. Investigators from TSB Winnipeg will attend the site today. 

 The plane that crashed in a lagoon north of the Manitou airstrip Thursday morning is loaded on a trailer.

Steel tubing, wood and fabric.

Those are the raw materials for a homebuilt plane like the kind that crashed in Manitou.

The Acro Sport II is a big step up from the wood-and-wire wings the Wright brothers fashioned for their historic flight, but there’s no mistaking the nostalgic appeal of this biplane.

This is the kind of plane with an open cockpit you see in old movies, where an aviator’s scarf flutters like a silk banner behind the handsome pilot as he lifts off.

The practical reality is the biplane hasn’t been available through an airplane manufacturer since the 1930s.

It can only be had by building one yourself or buying one second-hand.

For all that, it’s as safe as any aircraft that takes to the sky, aviation experts on both sides of the border insist.

“I’ve seen the fantastic workmanship of the homebuilt planes and I know a lot of homebuilders. They take great pride in good workmanship,” said Shirley Render, executive director of the Western Canada Aviation Museum. “If it’s properly built, it’s safe.”

Federal aviation regulations are strict for planes built under amateur construction.

“They’re built under strict regulations. You’re not allowed to fly them unless they’ve been inspected every step of the way by a Transport Canada inspector,” Render said.

That means before the plane’s ribs and struts are covered, every rivet gets an inspector’s gaze first.

The model of biplane in the Manitou crash is an Acro Sport II, designed in the 1970s by an American aviator famous for aircraft designs.

Paul Poberezny spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Second World War and in Korea flying more than 400 different types of aircraft. He started flying at age 16.

In 1953, he founded the Experimental Aviation Association in Oshkosh, Wis., for flyers who wanted to build their own planes.

Today, the EAA is home of the biggest private air show in the world.

Poberezny designed hundreds of planes in his lifetime but the biplane held a special appeal, said a technical specialist at EAA’s Oshkosh headquarters on Thursday.

“The big appeal is the nostalgia factor… You have an open cockpit. You can hear the wind whistling and in the homebuilt movement, the biplane remained the most popular style until the 1960s,” said Tim Hoversten, EAA’s technical aviation specialist.

The Acro Sport II is not a kit to assemble. The aviator had better be good with a plane and saw or have the money to buy from a builder who is.

“It’s not built from parts that are made. You have to make every part,” Hoversten said. “It’s made from steel tubing, wood and fabric. Those are the major construction materials.”

You can build an Acro Sport II for as little as $20,000 from scratch. New, an engine alone will set you back $20,000.

Acro Sport II

Basic dimensions for a Acro Sport II, a biplane with an open cockpit designed by American aviator Paul Poberezny:

Tandem two-seater
Weight: About 700 kilograms
Wingspan 6.6 metres
Length: 5.7 metres,
Height: About two metres
Range: 692 kilometres
Maximum ceiling: 6,000 metres
Maximum speed, 245 km/h
Cruising speed, 198 km/h

– source: Wikipedia, verified through the Experimental Aircraft Association.

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