Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Remains of Missing American Pilot Retrieved: Cessna 172, N9784L

Administrative and security officials from Tombel Subdivision in Kupe-Muanenguba Division of the South West Region are still making their way out of the dense Equatorial forest near Eboko Bajo village where they went to collect the remains of a missing American pilot still stuck in the wreckage of his ill-fated small aircraft. 

The Cessna 172 went missing on Sunday June 22, 2014, while on a flight from the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Nigeria, to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, via the Douala International Airport.

The officials started off from Eboko Bajo village on the 35-km, 30-hour long round trek into the dense forest on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at mid-day after travelling through Kumba and Konye in neighbouring Meme Division; a distance of over 100 km. This was informed by the inaccessible nature of the terrain from Tombel to Eboko Bajo, which is about 100 km in a straight line. Tombel is located about 150 km from Buea, the South West Regional headquarters.

The officials include the Divisional Officer for Tombel Subdivision, Ayuk Edward Takor, the Gendarmerie Company Commander for Kupe-Muanenguba, Captain Mahok, Dr Njoh of Tombel District Hospital, the Commander of the Tombel Gendarmerie Road Safety team, Lt. Akam Sylvestre and the Commander of the Tombel Gendarmerie 'Post, 'Adjudant Chef' Ngoulouré Oumarou. However, because of the difficult nature of the terrain in the dense Equatorial forest on the Kupe-Muanenguba mountain range, only the gendarmes, Dr Njoh and some villagers - a team of 12 - continued to the site of the crash, reaching it at 60 am on Monday, April 13, 2015.

Talking to Cameroon Tribune on phone from deep inside the forest yesterday, April 13, 2015, Ngoulouré Oumarou explained that the wreckage was found by local hunters from Eboko Bajo village on April 9, 2015. This information was confirmed by the Member of Parliament for Tombel and Bangem, Hon. Nhon Ngujede Ngole Robert. The plane hit and broke a tree branch, with debris scattered all over, Ngoulouré explained. He added that upon receiving the news of the discovery, the local village chief sent another team back into the forest to confirm the information before reporting to the authorities.

According to 'Adjudant Chef' Ngoulouré, Nalovoka Oliver, Motia Ivo and third person known only as 'Alhadji,' made the discovery while on a hunting trip. They confirmed that the pilot of the aircraft was William Fitzpatrick, according to papers found on the spot. His insurance papers were also found in the wreckage, with his skeleton still in the cockpit. Fitzpatrick was the only one on board the plane with insignia 'Ecogarde African Parks No. 9748N,' Ngoulouré disclosed.

Information from the US Embassy in Cameroon shows that the pilot collected the newly-acquired plane from Dakar, Senegal, on June 19, 2014, where it had earlier been flown from America. The plane was to be used for conservation and anti-poaching surveillance activities in and around Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo Brazzaville. A US citizen and experienced pilot with more than 25 years' experience, William Fitzpatrick joined African Parks as Odzala's resident pilot in November 2013.

Source:    http://allafrica.com

Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, C-GSKC, Carson Air: Fatal accident occurred April 13, 2015 in the North Shore Mountains near Vancouver, Canada

A report on a cargo plane that crashed in the mountains north of Vancouver suggests it might have broken up in mid-flight.

Carson Air flight 66 had just taken off from YVR on Monday and was bound for Prince George when it lost altitude rapidly and disappeared off radar.

The Transportation Safety Board says the twin-engine plane dropped 1500 metres in less than 20 seconds and the crew didn’t declare an emergency.

North Shore Rescue ground search crews found aircraft wreckage in steep and heavily wooded terrain southeast of Crown Mountain.

Thirty-four-year-old pilot Robert Brandt and 32-year-old co-pilot Kevin Wang were killed.

Investigators say wreckage dispersal and the lack of terrain damage is consistent with an in-flight break-up.

The TSB released crash site images of wreckage in the North Shore mountains yesterday.

The plane was not equipped with cockpit voice or flight data recording systems.

In 2013, the Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation calling for cockpit voice or flight data recording systems on smaller aircraft.

Kevin Wang, 32, died in B.C. on April 13 when the small cargo plane he was co-piloting crashed in the North Shore Mountains. Wang lived in Yellowknife and worked at N.W.T.'s Air Tindi until he left last month to take a job with Vancouver-based Carson Air.

Andrew Sweet and Kevin Wang worked together at Air Tindi.

Air Tindi president Alasdair Martin says Kevin Wang was 'a very reliable young man' and that his death has shaken the close-knit community at the airline.

Kevin Wang, one of two pilots killed in a plane crash in B.C. on Monday, was a Yellowknife resident and pilot at N.W.T.'s Air Tindi until he left last month to take the job with Vancouver-based Carson Air.

Wang, 32, was originally from Vancouver, but had worked at Air Tindi for the past five years.

He was co-piloting a twin-engine Swearingen SA-226 plane from Vancouver to Prince George when it was reported missing shortly after 7 a.m. on April 13.

The aircraft was found in the North Shore mountains, and both Wang and pilot Robert Brandt, 34, were found dead at the scene.

Wang's former co-workers and friends at Air Tindi, many of whom worked alongside him for years until his departure, are struggling with the news.

"It's still quite surreal," said pilot Andrew Sweet. "When we chatted last, he had just gotten the job at Carson. He was really excited to be home with his wife and family, and the next day he's gone."

Sweet said he spent a lot of time with Wang during his time in Yellowknife, including rotations in Cambridge Bay and late-night trips to McDonald's.

"It's definitely left an empty space in my life and many lives that he knew," he said.

Sweet said while there are many questions that won't be answered until an investigation is completed, he said he's thankful he was able to work with and know Wang.

"We are all pilots, but some are very good at what they do, and Kevin was one of those guys," he said. "He knew what he was doing in the sky. He was a professional."

New opportunity

Wang came to Yellowknife in 2010, starting as a pilot-in-waiting on the ramp with Air Tindi and working his way up to flying the Twin Otter and most recently the King Air 350 used for medevacs.

Alasdair Martin, president of Air Tindi, said he spoke with Wang just before he left last month. He said Wang had fond memories of his time in Yellowknife, but was eager to move on to the new opportunity and stage in his life.

"He was popular; he did a very good job," he said. "A very reliable young man.

"Because he had a lot of friends here, a lot of people are fairly distressed or upset about what's happened. We're obviously trying to look after people who are a little shook up about having heard Kevin's died, and make sure everyone's safe to fly, provide any support we can."

Evan Woolridge, an Air Tindi pilot who graduated with Wang from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2009, said they both came to Yellowknife to get their wings.

Commuted to Vancouver

"He was a really quiet guy, but he was somebody who was always real happy around work and never complained about anything, just took it all in stride, which I think a lot more of us could have learned how to do," Woolridge said.

Wang juggled chasing his career goals in Yellowknife with being a good partner to his wife, who remained in Vancouver. He commuted to Vancouver whenever he wasn't working.

"It was hard for them to be apart," Sweet said. 

The B.C. coroner's office and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Source:  http://www.cbc.ca

BC fishing guide business being sued after fatal helicopter crash: Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II, C-FCTD

An American family is suing a BC fishing guide business after a man was killed in a helicopter crash two years ago that his loved ones blame on a “high-speed low altitude” thrill ride.

In a notice of civil claim filed in BC Supreme Court, Washington woman Julie Monson, on behalf of her three children, is suing company BC’s Finest Fishing, and Randal Killoran, for negligence.

The suit alleges her husband, 51 year old Michael Monson, died in a helicopter crash, during a group heli-fishing trip on the Homathko River, North of Bute Inlet.

It claims the pilot conducted a dangerous thrill ride flight down the river, without his clients wearing seatbelts.

It says the main rotor blade struck ground, and the rotorcraft rolled upside down.

The family is suing for loss of care, guidance, affection, companionship.

Five other people escaped.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.