Thursday, August 08, 2013

Cessna 172L Skyhawk, C-FQTR,: Accident occurred August 06, 2013 in Cache Creek Hills, west of Kamloops, BC

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released pictures of the crash scene that killed a 16-year-old pilot near Kamloops Tuesday as they continue to investigate the crash.

The body of Lorne Perreault was found at the scene Wednesday after search and rescue crews spotted the wreckage in the Cache Creek Hills.

Operators of a Kamloops flight school say they believe Perreault may have been performing unauthorized manoeuvres minutes before his single-engine Cessna crashed.

Perreault, who had logged about 100 hours of experience, including cross-country flying, was confined to staying within 20 kilometres of the Kamloops airport, but he was found 50 kilometres away.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the crash and are trying to determine whether there were environmental factors involved.

Operators of a B.C. flight school say a 16-year-old pilot had abandoned his flight plan in the minutes before the single-engine plane crashed west of Kamloops.

Lorne Perreault, 16, was flying a solo flight as part of his training towards a private pilot license. The Cessna 172 was reported missing on Tuesday. The wreckage and Perreault’s body were found Wednesday evening. 

David Cruz, the director of TylAir Aviation where Perreault was a student, says the pilot had abandoned a strict flight plan that set a 20-kilometre radius around the Kamloops airport. The plane was found 55 kilometres west of Kamloops in the Cache Creek Hills. 

"This is indeed a tragedy that truly words cannot express -- the shock that event has brought on not only the family but everyone else involved,” Cruz said.

Cruz also says the Cessna had completed a mandatory full maintenance check on July 12, and although a cause of the crash has not been determined, Cruz believes mechanical issues will not be a factor.

He also confirms the teen had logged nearly 100 hours of flight time before the crash and was considered an experienced student well on the way to obtaining his private pilot's license.

The Transportation Safety Board has sent two investigators to the crash site in the hopes of determining why the plane crashed.

This is a plane used by TylAir Aviation Ltd. flight school, photographed by KTW during the company's recent open house. 

The body of Lorne Perrault, the 16-year-old student pilot who went missing this week in a Cessna 172 after taking off from Kamloops Airport, has been found.

Perrault apparently crashed in the hills near Cache Creek, about an hour from Kamloops.

Perrault was training for his pilot's license and had almost 100 hours of flying experience when he took off on a solo flight on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Lt.-Commander Desmond Jones of the Joint Task Force Pacific/Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria said Perrault and the plane were found at about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Jones said a Royal Canadian Air Force Buffalo aircraft found an aircraft crash site in the Cache Creek Hills.

An RCAF Cormorant helicopter lowered two search and rescue technicians to the site and they confirmed the aircraft was the one that was being sought.

Jones said Perrault did not have any vital signs, noting the Cormorant helicopter transported the body back to Kamloops Airport, where the coroner pronounced the teenager's death.

Jones said Perrault family's is asking for privacy.

The federal Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the cause of the crash.

Perrault took off from Kamloops Airport in the four-seater training plane on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 10:30 a.m. for what was supposed to be about a two-hour flight, performing exercises in the area near Kamloops Lake.

"He was cleared by his instructor to go out into this area and not venture off from there," said David Cruz of TylAir. Aviation Ltd., the flight school at which Perrault was training.

"Once those exercises were complete with the circuits, he was to return at 12:45 p.m. yesterday [Aug. 6]. When he was not at the tarmac at 12:45 p.m., the company immediately dispatched two planes to search for him in the area he was supposed to be."

When the planes failed to locate either plane or pilot, the school called in Coast Guard Search and Rescue, which dispatched Buffalo aircraft and search helicopters.

While the search was still active, Cruz told KTW there was no obvious explanation for the plane's disappearance.

"These planes are required to fly at a higher altitude, at a safe altitude, so that there is no challenge with any type of obstacles in the vicinity," he said.

"The practice area where he was instructed to perform his exercises was right above the lake, so there was no obstructions in the near vicinity.

"The weather conditions were near-perfect, for lack of a better word, yesterday in the morning when he departed. So, we're unsure at this time what has caused him not to return."

Perrault was an experienced flyer with 70 to 80 trips under his belt, more than 30 hours of solo flight time and all the licensing required to fly a plane.

"He had extensive knowledge of how to fly a plane," Cruz said.

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