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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Rossland’s Sourdough Alley a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read