A report has been released on the crash of a plane last August at Abbotsford International Airport. Abbotsford Airport Authority photo

Plane that crashed after Abbotsford airshow wasn’t allowed to carry paying passengers: report

Five people, including four passengers, were hurt in crash at Abbotsford International Airport

The plane that crashed following the second day of last year’s Abbotsford Airshow didn’t have a permit to carry paying passengers and “did not meet modern aircraft safety standards,” the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) wrote in a report issued Thursday morning.

Five people were injured – two seriously – when a 74-year-old De Havilland Dragon Rapide crashed shortly after takeoff at the Abbotsford International Airport. The museum that owned the plane had sold rides to paying customers on the air show’s website, the report said.

The plane was operated by the Historic Flight Foundation, a U.S. flight museum.

The report notes that while the aircraft “was considered airworthy, it did not meet modern aircraft safety standards.” The plane had been issued a “Special Airworthiness Certificate – Experimental” by American aviation authorities that allowed it to fly. Transport Canada had issued a permit that allowed the plane to be flown to and from the air show, but which didn’t allow it to carry paying passengers.

Airshow spokesperson Jadene Mah said the Historic Flight Foundation had been selling “memberships” rather than tickets, and that the practice is common for museums that attend air shows.

Those who buy such memberships receive cards and must sign waivers saying they know they are flying on an historic aircraft.

The plane took off with four passengers at 5:31 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2018, shortly after the air show had concluded for the day.

“During the takeoff, the aircraft encountered strong, gusting crosswinds,” the report said. “It climbed to about 30 feet above ground level before descending suddenly and impacting the runway, coming to rest on its nose immediately off the right edge of the runway.”

The TSB found that the aircraft is “more difficult to handle during crosswind takeoffs than most tail-wheel-equipped aircraft, particularly from paved (rather than grass) runways.”

The report said that, “according to pilot notes, the maximum allowable crosswind component for takeoff is 17 knots. This is not a limitation of the aircraft; rather, it is a cautionary speed, meaning that operating in winds above that value would require above-average flying skills.”

Crosswinds during the plane’s takeoff were estimated to be as much as 18 knots. The plane soon “encountered swirling winds, resulting in a sudden loss of airspeed shortly after becoming airborne,” the report said.

The report also found that the aircraft didn’t have an accurate passenger manifest on board, which could make it difficult for first responders to identify passengers.

The report concludes with several “safety messages” that stress the importance of being familiar with regulatory requirements and the fact that vintage aircraft may be more difficult to control than modern planes.

It adds: “Appropriate equipment during an emergency response needs to be available to prevent further injury and property loss after a crash. In addition, not having an accurate passenger manifest can make it difficult for first responders to confirm the identity of passengers.”

The TSB is an independent agency tasked with investigating incidents and making recommendations to address safety problems.

The report won’t result in any immediate recriminations, although Transport Canada will also have access to the report, a TSB spokesperson said.

Transport Canada said in an email Thusday that its review of the incident is “ongoing.”

Mah said “experiences with vintage aircraft are an important part of the storytelling component at the Abbotsford Airshow and we will be working together with the museum operators and vintage aircraft owners in the future to see how we can continue to keep vintage aircraft as a very important component of what we do.”

She said it is important to acknowledge that such aircraft “are museum pieces” that “don’t have the same modern components that modern aircraft do.”

RELATED: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Province announces $2.5-million boost to increase tourism in B.C.’s resort towns

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Sam Weber set to play Bacchus Books April 29

Sam Weber is rolling back through Golden, and it is time to… Continue reading

Parents and caregivers in Golden can become an ‘askable adult’ for sexual health

When you were young, did you feel comfortable asking the big questions… Continue reading

Some of Golden’s top stories in a Mountain Minute

Your Mountain Minute for April 18

TSB makes two safety advisories in probe of fatal train derailment near Field

The train derailment killed three crew members on board

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

B.C. woman pleads for people to stop stealing daffodils meant to honour cancer victims

Cynthia Bentley honours memory of those lost to cancer by planting 100 daffodils each year

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

Canfor temporarily shutting down lumber mills across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment, according to the company

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Most Read