Sunday, September 16, 2018

Piper PA-31-310 Navajo C, C-FNCI: Fatal accident occurred August 01, 2018 in Calgary, Canada

NTSB Identification: ANC18WA061
14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 01, 2018 in Calgary, Canada
Aircraft: Piper PA-31, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On August 1, 2018, at 1336 mountain daylight time, a Canadian registered Piper PA-31, C-FNCI, operated by Aries Aviation Services Corp., was substantially damaged after impacting terrain under unknown circumstances 35 miles southwest of Calgary, Canada. The pilot, and sole passenger were fatally injured. The flight originated from Penticton Regional Airport (CYYF), British Columbia, and was destined for Calgary Springbank Airport (CYBY), Alberta.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board. This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Canadian government. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from: 
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) continues to investigate the plane crash in Kananaskis Country that left two men aboard dead.

On Aug.2, the Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft carrying two — a pilot and survey technician — crashed near Rae Glacier Trail on Aug.2.

The plane had departed from Penticton, B.C. and was heading to Calgary/Springbank Airport when it went down.

“While descending to 14,000 feet at approximately 37 nautical miles southwest of Springbank Airport, the pilot indicated that there was a problem. No other transmissions were received,” TSB reported.

The aircraft was operated by Aries Aviation International which had never had a fatal incident prior to the crash. In early August, the company website stated that it had over “60,000 hours accident free and have flown more than 18 million line kilometres of survey.” Aries planes have flown in more than 80 countries. On the Aug. 2, the company was conducting an instrument flight rules flight between British Columbia and Alberta.

The precise cause for the crash remains unknown. TSB has completed the field phase of the investigation and moved to examination and analysis. At this stage, TSB reviews records, tests wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies the ultimate safety deficiencies. The report phase follows once the safety deficiencies are suspected and/or confirmed.

Jonathan Lee, the Western Regional Manager for TSB, is the Investigator-in-Charge for the Kananaskis crash. Lee has been an investigator for 13 years and has experience in approximately 50 investigations both in Canada and worldwide. He’s also flown over 35 types of aircraft and has amassed 6500 flight hours.

The aircraft that crashed in Kananaskis Country Wednesday leaving two men dead was operated by Aries Aviation International. In the company’s history, there has never been an incident like it.

“We’re just reeling from it. We’re in shock,” said Calida Lara, Aries operations centre manager. “So we’ve been in business 23 years and this is the first incident we’ve ever had.”

“We’ve had a spotless record,” she added.

The plane went down near Rae Glacier Trail around 1:35 p.m. Wednesday and the bodies of two men, now idenfied as the pilot and survey technician, were recovered from the site. Canmore, Cochrane and Kananaskis RCMP responded along with Kananaskis Emergency Services and Kananaskis Fire and EMS in a coordinated response.

On the Aries Aviation website, the company states that it’s had over “60,000 hours accident free and have flown more than 18 million line kilometres of survey.” The company has experience in more than 80 countries.

The flight had departed from Penticton, B.C. earlier Wednesday and its intended destination was the Calgary/Springbank Airport. The company was doing aerial mapping survey work in the province. The pilot and technician were returning to base after the project had been completed, Lara said.

Aries is cooperating fully with the Transportation Safety Board during the duration of the investigation. The precise cause for the crash remains unknown.

“The weather was really weird yesterday so who knows, right? But we can’t speculate because we have no idea,” said Lara. “That’s why we’re in shock – experienced pilot, you know, experienced crew and 23 years in the business. We’re kind of a tight-knit company here, kind of like family. So it’s a bit of a shock.”

“We just want to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of those that perished in the flight.”

Two investigators from the TSB of Canada arrived on site in Kananaskis Country Thursday. The aircraft was a Piper PA-31 Navajo, confirmed Chris Krepski, media relations specialist for TSB.

“This is the initial data gathering phase of the investigation, so the field phase,” said Krepski. “So we’re obviously on the site now, documenting the wreckage, examining the wreckage, identifying pieces that we may want to remove from the aircraft for further examination, interviewing witnesses. [We’re] gathering information about weather, pilot training, aircraft maintenance as well as information from aircraft controls such as radar data and communication data.”

After gathering the necessary information, investigators will analyze the data and try to determine causes and contributing factors of the crash.

“We haven’t yet decided what level of investigation we’re doing here with this one yet.”

Officials at the scene of a small plane crash in a remote area in Kananaskis say that the bodies of two men have been found in the wreckage of a twin engine aircraft.

Officers from Kananaskis, Cochrane and Canmore were called at about 1:30 p.m. to respond to eyewitness reports of a plane crash in the Rae Glacier area.

They have since located the wreckage of the small aircraft in the Highwood Pass Day Use Area and recovered the bodies of two men.

A helicopter looks for a plane that took off from the Calgary area and went down in a remote location in Kananaskis Country, Alta.

Authorities say the plane originated from Calgary and it could have been a business flight.

"As far as we know, they were doing a mapping exercise. That's all we know so far," said Corporal Chris Kosack. "They did hit the mountain known as Mount Rae and then slid down from there."

Kosack says they've gathered a lot of information from witnesses who told them they heard the sound of an engine and then saw the explosion.

He says it was a difficult recovery to complete given the conditions. "It's very difficult terrain, it's dangerous and it's a glacier. That's why the public safety officers are taking the lead on that with their specialized equipment and training."

Authorities with the Royal Canadian Air Force say that a Hercules aircraft was deployed from Winnipeg to help in the search after a distress call was recieved in Trenton, Ontario.

The Transportation Safety Board is aware of the incident and has now taken over the investigation.

Information about the occupants of the plane is being withheld and RCMP continue to hold the scene.

Two men are dead after a plane went down in Kananaskis Country.

Mounties said they were called to an area near Rae Glacier, about 100 kilometres southwest of Calgary, around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Cpl. Laurel Scott with the RCMP has confirmed that the bodies of two male occupants were recovered from the crash site.

Scott said the two deceased men were the only people on board the plane when it took off.

Kananaskis Public Safety officers were “instrumental” in recovering the bodies, Scott said.

Royal Canadian Air Force spokesman David Lavallee confirmed the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received a mayday call on Wednesday, followed by the activation of an emergency beacon from the area of Mount Rae.

He said a CC-130H Hercules aircraft was sent from Winnipeg to search for the crashed plane.

Police said witnesses reported the plane going down. Members of the Kananaskis, Cochrane and Canmore RCMP detachments were dispatched to the area. Kananaskis Emergency Services, Kananaskis Fire and EMS crews also responded to the crash.

Chris Krepski, spokesman with the Transportation Safety Board, said the agency was notified of the incident on Thursday. The TSB said on twitter a team has been dispatched a team to investigate.

Two men are dead after a plane crashed into a mountain in Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary, on Wednesday.

The twin-engine, Piper PA-31 Navajo crashed at approximately 1:30 p.m. in the Rae Glacier area, RCMP said.

"As far as we know, they were doing a mapping exercise," Cpl. Chris Kosack said.

"They did hit the mountain known as Mount Rae and then slid down from there."

RCMP established there were two people on board the plane, and Kananaskis Public Safety Officers recovered two bodies from the wreckage.

Chris Krepski, a spokesperson with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said the plane had a pilot and survey technician onboard.

The plane was headed from Penticton to the Calgary Springbank Airport, and hit the mountain about 64 kilometres southwest of that airport, Krepski said. 

"We're deploying investigators to the access site tomorrow, they're expected to arrive late in the morning. We'll be gathering information on the site there," Krepski said. 

He said there was no indication yet on the cause of the crash, but investigators will survey the aircraft and collect pieces of the wreckage for further examination. 

Calida Lara of Aries Aviation Services Corp. confirmed the plane was owned by Aries.

She declined to provide any additional information about the plane's route or occupants until the families could be notified. 

Police said they wouldn't be providing any information about the plane's occupants at this time. 

Hiking trails and backcountry access in the area, including Ptarmigan Cirque Trail, the Rae Glacier Route and Rae Mountain, are closed.

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