A T28-B Trojan aircraft which crashed at the Cold Lake Air Show. Mechanical issues and weather were not factors in the fatal crash of a private single-engine plane in front of horrified spectators at an air show in Alberta. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Cause of fatal crash at Alberta air show will remain a mystery: investigator

EDMONTON — No one will ever know what caused the fatal crash of a private single-engine vintage plane in front of horrified spectators at an air show in Alberta.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says weather was not a factor and a review of the wreckage determined that the engine and flight controls were operating normally on the T-28B Trojan aircraft.

Pilot Bruce Evans of Calgary was performing acrobatic manoeuvres at the Cold Lake Air Show in July 2016 when something went wrong.

The plane hit the ground at high velocity in a near-vertical position.

No air show personnel or spectators were injured.

TSB investigator Fred Burow says the cause of the crash couldn’t be determined.

“Being an older aircraft, it doesn’t have any monitoring systems on board … and with the pilot having tragically died, we have no way of knowing what occurred in the cockpit, so we have to go with the evidence that we could find,” Burow said Friday.

A TSB report said Evans appeared to have modified the order of his manoeuvres about halfway through his performance, but added that is not unusual for an aerobatic performer.

“The pilot flew from show right to left at about 500 feet above ground level, within the defined airspace for the routine, then entered a roll just before show centre,” said the report.

“As the aircraft reached the inverted position, the roll stopped and the nose began to pitch toward the ground … the aircraft continued toward the ground in an arc until its collision with terrain.”

The report said Evans, who was 59, had performed the routine without incident the previous day.

Weather observations shortly after the crash reported light winds and a few clouds at higher elevations.

Although it was the pilot’s first show of the season, he had participated in several events in 2015 without any problems, the report said.

Evans had years of experience. The TSB said he earned a private pilot’s licence in 1993, a commercial licence in 1995 and an airline transport licence in 2015. He also had a valid medical certificate.

He had accumulated just over 4,043 flying hours. About 460 of those were on the T-28B Trojan.

“We did look into (all) the aspects: the aircraft, the pilot, the approval of the pilot, the approval of the air show … along with the evidence of the medical examiner and Transport Canada,” said Burow.

“In some cases it’s not always possible to pinpoint an exact cause.”

Evans grew up in a Canadian Air Force family. His biography on the Cold Lake Air Show’s website at the time said his father was an aircraft maintenance engineer.

It also said Evans ran his own aerial geophysical survey company, Firefly Airborne Surveys, which combined his training as a professional geologist and passion for aviation.

He purchased the Trojan in 2007. It was manufactured in 1954 and served in the U.S. Navy.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read