Left wings of two small planes touched before fatal crash: investigators

A transport official says a mid-air collision that killed five people in Saskatchewan occurred when the left wings of the two small planes came into contact. Wreckage from the Piper PA-28 and Lake Buccaneer amphibious plane includes marks that show the wings of the single-engine aircraft touched before the planes plummeted almost straight down, Peter Hildebrand of the Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.

WINNIPEG — A transport official says a mid-air collision that killed five people in Saskatchewan occurred when the left wings of the two small planes came into contact.

Wreckage from the Piper PA-28 and Lake Buccaneer amphibious plane includes marks that show the wings of the single-engine aircraft touched before the planes plummeted almost straight down, Peter Hildebrand of the Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.

“The wreckage came down almost vertically in its final trajectory,” said Hildebrand, who added that there was no way anyone could have survived the impact.

The crash occurred Saturday near St. Brieux northeast of Saskatoon. The Piper’s three occupants — two men and an 11-year-old boy — were from rural Alberta. A Regina couple were in the Buccaneer.

Despite good weather, it may have been difficult for the pilots to judge each other’s speed and distance, because they were likely at 90-degree angles to each other, Hildebrand said. Flight plans suggest the Piper would have been heading east while the Lake Buccaneer was heading north toward La Ronge.

“It may be difficult to see other aircraft, depending on your angle, depending on the structure of aircraft components and other background visual information the pilots might be seeing,” Hildebrand said.

“If aircraft approach head-on, for example, then there’s no relative movement that’s apparent to you in the windshield if you’re looking out as a pilot. If aircraft approach at a 90-degree angle, that’s another scenario where it’s difficult to see because … the angle stays the same and you don’t have relative movement across the windshield.”

Hildebrand cautioned that the investigation is in its early stages and is facing challenges. The wreckage is scattered over a wide area and some of it is submerged in a marsh.

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

Just Posted

Security for empty nursing home is pricier than it would have been to knock it down

Provincial taxpayers have now paid more to mothball a former nursing home… Continue reading

Birds move into new wildlife hospital

Medicine River Wildlife Centre to host grand opening this spring

Man accused in Lacombe fatal shooting in court

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Stolen catalytic converters recovered

Innisfail RCMP arrest two suspects

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

OTTAWA — A sixth presumptive case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed in… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Gary Harris’s generosity helped shape our college, and our city, writes Joel Ward

I was deeply saddened to learn of Gary Harris’s passing. I first… Continue reading

A teen’s perspective: Ordinary Canadians are paying a price for railway blockades

The following is a letter by Alberta teenager Liam Smith to his… Continue reading

Diamond Princess evacuees arrive for quarantine in Canada

OTTAWA — A plane carrying 129 Canadians and their families who have… Continue reading

U.S., Taliban truce takes effect, setting stage for peace deal

ISLAMABAD — A temporary truce between the United States and the Taliban… Continue reading

China, Iran challenges top foreign-policy priorities for Canada, says Champagne

OTTAWA — No one should construe the co-operation between Canada and China… Continue reading

Alice Munro among Nobel prizewinners urging Trudeau to deny oilsands project

Canadian author Alice Munro is among dozens of Nobel prizewinners urging Prime… Continue reading

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

While Vancouver celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic and… Continue reading

Most Read