Unnecessary cockpit talk considered factor in fatal Alberta plane crash

Equipment failure and unnecessary chatter between the pilot and co-pilot are being cited as contributing factors in an Alberta plane crash last fall that killed one of the air crew.

EDMONTON — Equipment failure and unnecessary chatter between the pilot and co-pilot are being cited as contributing factors in an Alberta plane crash last fall that killed one of the air crew.

Andrew Donald Fielding, a 31-year-old pilot from Lethbridge, Alta., died when a Kenn Borek Air flight out of Edmonton went down near Kirby Lake, about 400 kilometres northeast of the city.

Nine other people aboard the Beechcraft plane survived when it crashed near the small community’s airport last October.

A Transportation Safety Board report into the tragedy says a stall warning horn did not sound before the plane went out of control, but investigators could not say why it didn’t work.

The report also says there was non-essential conversation between the pilot and co-pilot as they tried to visually find the Kirby Lake runway in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

The board says the crew could not effectively monitor the plane’s performance as its speed reduced to the point where it stalled before plummeting to the ground.