Friday, October 14, 2016

Incident occurred October 07, 2016 at Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport (CNQ3), Welland, Ontario

Damages to two aircraft that collided last Thursday at the Dorothy Rungeling Airport in Welland could approach $1 million, according to a federal investigator.

“We are trying to get to the bottom of why exactly that happened,” said Peter Rowntree, a senior regional investigator with the Transportation and Safety Board of Canada.

“We have the radio out of one of the aircraft and we are going to have it tested to see if it is working properly and see where we are going from there,” Rowntree said.

Rowntree estimated damage to one of the planes, a Pilatus PC-12, could be between $500,000 and $1 million. He said the second plane, an ultralight, is a write-off.

On Oct. 6 two planes collided while taxiing. The pilot of the ultralight plane was taken to hospital with minor injuries. The pilot and four passengers of the second plane were not hurt.

The Transportation Safety Board isn’t conducting a full investigation, but are looking into why the crash occurred. Rowntree said once they know what the cause is, investigators will decide if there is need for a more in-depth investigation for safety purposes.

The Dorothy Rungeling Airport is considered an uncontrolled airport, so all communication over the radio is not recorded. Rowntree said they wont be able to check if the landing and take off were communicated via the radio before the crash occurred.

“There is no tower there, they are on a unicom, so basically everyone should be on the same frequency when they are at the airport. It is their responsibility to know what they are doing and what their intent is.”

He said investigators are asking for people who were listening to the airport frequency at about 2 p.m. last Thursday to come forward with information. Witnesses can call the airport at (905) 714-1000.

Rowntree said it’s hard to predict how long the investigation will take.

If one of the pilots is found to be at fault, Rowntree said the Transportation Safety Board does not take disciplinary action. The Transportation Safety Board doesn’t determine any civil or criminal liability. Rowntree said they focus on how to better safety procedures and ensure better safety practices in the future.

“It would be up to transport Canada that if they were interested in this occurrence it would be up to them to investigate the circumstances of the accident,” Rowntree said about whether there could be a police investigation.


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