Saturday, June 03, 2017

Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer, C-GZSW, Smile Makers Inc: Fatal accident occurred June 02, 2017 in Gravenhurst, Muskoka Region, Ontario, Canada

Seasoned pilot Ted Dirstein in one of his favorite places -- the cockpit of an airplane. Dirstein was killed on June 2nd when the plane he and a Stratford man were traveling in crashed near Muskoka Airport. 

BRACEBRIDGE – The aviation community is in shock after a seasoned local pilot lost his life in a plane crash that shut down Highway 11 near the Muskoka Airport on Friday, June 2.

Ted Dirstein, 66, of Bracebridge, and Allan Metiver, 48, of Stratford, Ont. were killed when the amphibious plane they were traveling in crashed near the Muskoka Airport on June 2 causing local OPP to close the highway in both directions between Doe Lake Road in Gravenhurst and Highway 118 in Bracebridge until just after 7 p.m. The southbound lanes had reopened just before 6 p.m. but a tractor-trailer jack-knifed while trying to turn around, forcing police to close the lanes again.

According to Peter Rowntree, the regional senior investigator for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, who attended the site of the wreckage on Saturday, the aircraft was returning to the airport shortly after take-off around 5 p.m. when it crashed.

He said the left wing of the small plane struck the side of Highway 11 before bouncing and coming to rest in a lightly brushed area at the side of the roadway destroying the aircraft on impact.

Rowntree said there was no evidence of an explosion or a fire following the crash.

Dirstein was currently working out of the Lake Central Air Services facility, located at the Muskoka Airport, as a flight trainer.

Lake Central Chief Operating Officer Jim Hodgson said he has been greatly affected by the death of his friend of more than 30 years.

“We were very close friends both at work, as well in our personal lives. So this is a very difficult time for me as well as my staff,” said Hodgson on Monday.

An experienced pilot with a long list of accolades, Dirstein’s obituary indicates he recently served as a test pilot for the Expedition airplane developed and built in Parry Sound.

He is survived by his wife Karen and daughters Laurelea and Karina.

“It has been a very hard few days for friends and family and continues to be a struggle each and every hour,” his daughter Laurelea posted on Facebook. “It blows me away how fast my best friend, and father, was taken from me,” she writes.

Along with flying, Dirstein is remembered as a passionate off-road motorcycle rider and an avid snowmobiler.

A post by Jordan Elliott on the Lake Effect Slayers snowmobile club Facebook page reads, “To one of our mentors, a father, husband, friend, champion, a fellow slayer.... someone who we could all look up to. You will be missed Ted.”

Among the comments, those who knew Dirstein described him as “Calm, cool and collected. One super cool dude who has been there, done that and did it well,” and as being “always happy to lend a hand no matter the time.”

Visitation was held at Reynolds funeral home in Bracebridge on Wednesday, June 7 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. A celebration of life will be held in August with details to be announced at a later date. 

Original article can be found here

Investigators have a lot of work in front of them, as they try to piece together what caused an amphibious plane to crash Friday afternoon in Gravenhurst.

Two men died when the plane crash-landed following takeoff from Muskoka Airport, near the Gravehurst-Bracebridge town line, at about 5:10 p.m. Friday.

Ted (Edward) Dirstein, 66, of Bracebridge, and Allan Metivier, 48, of Stratford, died in the crash. The lake aircraft came down in a ditch mere feet from the northbound lanes of Highway 11, just south of the Highway 118 interchange.

Lead investigator Pete Rowntree of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said his crew has an idea what happened, but isn't yet sure why.

"It certainly looks like it was trying to get back to the airport and aerodynamically stalled and crashed into the ground," he said. "It looks like they took off and for whatever reason they turned around immediately to come back to the airport, so we'll assume that there was something wrong."

Rowntree added his team is not aware of any radio calls from the plane to indicate any issues prior to crash.

The aircraft was removed from the scene late Saturday night and brought to the TSB's facility in Richmond Hill. Investigators will be able to look at the aircraft in more detail, exploring the engine, flight controls and fuel system. They'll also look at aircraft and pilot records, as well as weather conditions at the time of the crash.

It's still very early in the investigation, Rowntree said. It will likely be at least a month before they have the answers they are looking for. In that time, the TSB will also determine whether or not to conduct a full investigation that leads to a public report, or a Class 5 investigation, a more low-key scenario, where an explanation letter is provided to the next of kin and a report the coroner's office.

"We've got a lot of work cut out for us, trying to comb through the wreckage and seeing if we can find any discrepancies," Rowntree said. "It was fairly severe and extensive damage to the aircraft. There's a lot of damage. We've got to sort through that damage and see if there was anything that was pre-existing prior to the accident."

Highway 11 was shut down in both directions for about two hours immediately after the crash Friday. Southbound lanes were the first to re-open, around 7:15 p.m., while it was nearly midnight before both northbound lanes were cleared.

Given where the plane crashed, and what time of day the crash occurred, investigators have been inundated with witnesses providing information on the incident, which Rowntree and his colleagues are following up on.

UPDATE: Bracebridge OPP have released the names of the two people killed in Friday's plane crash.The occupants of the aircraft have been identified as Ted (Edward) Dirstein, 66, of Bracebridge, and Allan Metiver, 48, of Stratford, Ont.

BRACEBRIDGE – Details are starting to come to light surrounding the fatal aircraft crash Friday night that killed two passengers and tied up traffic along Highway 11.

Peter Rowntree, the regional senior investigator for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said in an interview Saturday the amphibious aircraft had departed Muskoka Airport at around 5 p.m. but soon after takeoff, the plane returned to the airport and crashed during the turn.

“When it crashed, the left wing struck just the side of the highway …and the aircraft bounced and came to rest,” the inspector said in a video interview. “It was a fairly significant impact so the aircraft is destroyed.”    

Bracebridge OPP stated at around 5 p.m. they had closed Highway 11 in both directions between Doe Lake Road in Gravenhurst and Highway 118 in Bracebridge for an “incident with a plane.”

OPP have reopened the southbound lanes around 5:50 p.m. but the northbound lanes remained closed for a time. Both sides had to be closed again at 6:33 p.m. when a tractor trailer jack-knifed trying to turn around in the southbound lanes at the scene blocked traffic.

The north and southbound lanes were re-opened at 7:15 p.m.

Rowntree said there was no evidence of an explosion or a fire following the crash.

“It is just a very severe crash,” he said.  

District of Muskoka chair John Klinck has expressed his condolences to the family of the two people.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the victims’ families and our condolences go out to the Muskoka Airport community of tenants, businesses and staff,” John Klinck said in a press release Saturday morning. “We are also grateful to our first responders for their dedication and professionalism in this emergency situation.”

The district operates the Muskoka Airport, which re-opened its runways late last night following the accident investigation by the Transportation Safety Board.

Safety board officials were combing through the wreckage Saturday afternoon.

“So we are looking at things like the engine, flight controls … looking for any discrepancies in those items,” Rowntree said. “We always look at man, machine and the weather.”

Original article can be found here:

No comments:

Post a Comment