The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released its report on the crash of a Cessna 172 at the Duncan Airport last year. (Citizen file)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released its report on the crash of a Cessna 172 at the Duncan Airport last year. (Citizen file)

Report points to pilot error as cause of Duncan plane crash

Two injured in crash of Cessna 172 at Duncan Airport

Pilot error appears to be the cause of the crash of a Cessna 172 at Duncan Airport last year.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its report last week on the accident that injured two people, one seriously, and knocked out power to thousands of people in the area on Jan. 19, 2017.

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The small plane, owned by the Victoria Flying Club, had only a woman flight instructor and a male student on board at the time of the incident.

The plane was on a training exercise practising landings and take offs before it struck a number of trees and power lines and crashed upside down in a field near the airport.

The student flyer evacuated from the aircraft, but the instructor was trapped in the plane for up to two hours before she was successfully extracted by rescue crews and was flown by helicopter to Victoria General Hospital.

The TSB report states that the aircraft was functioning normally before it struck the trees and power lines so the investigation focused on operational factors, including pilot decision-making.

The report concluded that the small plane was high on final approach, and the approach was steeper than commonly used and faster than was prescribed.

It said the landing attempt was continued even after the aircraft touched down well beyond the intended touchdown point, and the attempt to stop the plane was made at a point where insufficient runway remained to bring it to a stop.

“The takeoff (which was then attempted) took place with insufficient airspeed and insufficient remaining runway,” the report continued.

“The aircraft left the runway below a safe flying speed and, once out of ground effect, sank below runway elevation, resulting in its collision with several trees and power lines.”

The TSB stated in the report that it investigated the accident solely for the purpose of advancing transportation safety.

“It is not the function of the TSB to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability,” the report concluded.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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