Sunday, July 9, 2017

North American Harvard Mk IV, C-FWLH, Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association: Incident occurred July 09, 2017 at Owen Sound Billy Bishop Regional Airport, Ontario, Canada

The pilot and his passenger were not seriously hurt after a Canadian Harvard flipped upside down during landing at the Wings and Wheels show on Sunday.

The 1952 North American Harvard Mk IV was landing around 2:30 or 2:45 p.m. when it left the runway at the Owen Sound Billy Bishop Regional Airport, hit a small earth berm and flipped over onto its roof.

"I can't say what happened because we don't know ourselves," Pat Hanna, past-president of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association, said later in the afternoon. 
"Crosswinds were present at the time."

The transportation Safety Board of Canada was contacted and was expected to further investigate today.

Hanna said there were minor injuries in the incident. The pilot needed stitches to a cut on his head.

In a news release, Grey County OPP said the 46-year-old pilot from Toronto was taken to hospital where he was treated and released. The 21-year-old woman from West Grey who was the passenger in the plane was treated at the scene and released.

An off-duty physician and a nurse visiting the event came to the assistance of the victims. Grey County paramedics and the Inter Township Fire Department also assisted at the scene, the news release said.

While Hanna didn't see the plane flip over himself, he said several people who witnessed the incident said it went over very slowly.

Hanna said there was substantial damage to the aircraft.

Based in Tillsonburg, the CHAA's mission is to acquire, preserve, restore, maintain, display and demonstrate the Harvard and other training aircraft associated with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and the Royal Canadian Air Force. The CHAA has been a regular participant at the Wings and Wheels event since it began 10 years ago.

On Sunday they were taking off and landing at the airport, where they were providing sightseeing tours to the public.

Hanna said in 32 years, Sunday was the first time the CHAA had experienced such an incident.

"It is not a good day," he said.

The runway at the airport had to be closed Sunday afternoon after emergency personnel responded, but it was reopened later in the afternoon to allow aircraft to leave.

By 5 p.m. most of the aircraft, including the other two Canadian Harvards that were brought in, had left. The plane that flipped sat far enough off the runway that it wasn't interfering with runway traffic.

Wings and Wheels coordinator Steve Meades said the incident was an accident, and he was sorry it happened.

He said Wings and Wheels organizers would be meeting today to further discuss the incident.

Ontario Provincial Police say two people have been hurt in an incident at Owen Sound Billy Bishop Regional Airport.

Investigators are trying to determine how a vintage plane overturned during a fundraising event at the airport around 2:30 Sunday afternoon. A photo sent to the Blackburn Radio newsroom showed a plane lying on its top side on a grassy area at the airport.

The plane is a North American Harvard Mk IV> Police say the plane was attempting a landing when it somehow went off the runway and flipped onto the grass.

Two people, a 46-year-old man from Toronto who was the pilot, and his 21-year-old female passenger, from West Grey, suffered minor injuries. The pilot was taken to hospital where he was treated and released. The passenger was treated at the scene. An off-duty doctor and a nurse attending the event came to the victims’ aid, police say.

The airfield was hosting the Wings and Wheels fundraiser, where over 300 vehicles and 60 planes were on display.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has been notified and will continue the investigation.

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