Investigators release new details of Carp Airport mid-air plane crash
Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) say it may be a year before we know how and why two small planes collided over the Carp Airport on Sunday, November 4, 2018.
TSB Senior Investigator, Beverley Harvey, says mid-air collisions are “complex” investigations, “unlike most investigations they involve more than one aircraft and at times more than one deployment site.”
The job of the TSB, an independent agency, is to determine what happened, why it happened and what can be done to make the transportation system safer.
“What was the sun angle? Where there any colours or lighting conditions that somehow blended the aircraft with the background making it less noticeable?” Harvey told a news conference on Tuesday “Was there anything that could have prevented one pilot from seeing the other?”
The two-seater Cessna-150, with one pilot on board, and the Piper PA-42 Cheyenne III, with a pilot and his young son on board, collided at 10:10am on Sunday. Investigators say at the time the Piper was preparing to land.
“One of the wings of the Cessna was partially severed and control of the aircraft was lost,” Harvey said, “the aircraft impacted the ground shortly after and a post-crash fire ensued”. The pilot, an 82 year old Kanata man, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Harvey says the Piper also suffered “significant damage” but was still able to make an emergency landing at the Ottawa International Airport. “Post-landing inspection of the Piper showed damage to the aft fuselage, rudder, wings and main landing gear. Fortunately, the two occupants of the Piper were not injured during the occurrence.”
Harvey says initial review of the weather determined that visibility was 20 statute miles (sm) at the time of the accident, and there were few clouds in the area.
Neither one of the aircraft were equipped, or required to carry, a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder. That makes this more of a challenge for investigators.
“Without voice recorders we don’t’ know what was happening inside the cockpit, we don’t know anything,” says Harvey, “there is one person we would like to talk to but that person is deceased, so without data recorders of any kind its’ very difficult. However in this situation because there is such a great detail of radar data and we have both aircraft we should have a very precise picture as to what happened.”
Harvey says the Cessna has been moved to the TSB lab in Ottawa, “with the aircraft being in the lab and analyzing the scratch marks, plus the radar data because it happened where there was a lot of coverage we will get a lot of data that way.”
Investigators say it may be a year before they determine what happened. This is the tenth mid-air crash in Canada in the last ten years.
Transportation Safety Board Investigation Update:
On 4 November 2018, at about 1010 EST, two aircraft collided near the Carp Airport located west of Ottawa, Ontario. The first aircraft was a Cessna 150 with one person on board who was fatally injured. The second aircraft, a Piper PA-42 (Cheyenne III) with two occupants on board, was able to fly to the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, where it landed at about 1030 EST. The TSB is investigating.
What we know
- A privately registered Piper PA-42 Cheyenne III, a twin-engine turboprop aircraft, was approaching the Carp Airport under visual flight rules. On board were two persons: the pilot and a family member.
- Also operating in the vicinity of Carp was a Cessna 150, a light two-person aircraft, with only the pilot on board.
- At approximately 1010 EST, both aircraft collided while they were in the airspace within the Carp Airport’s traffic pattern.
- One of the wings of the Cessna was partially severed, and control of the aircraft was lost. The aircraft impacted the ground shortly after, and a post-crash fire ensued. The pilot was fatally injured.
- The Piper also suffered significant damage but was able to continue flying. The pilot advised air traffic control of the collision, and diverted to the Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, where he landed successfully on Runway 32 at approximately 1030 EST.
- Post-landing inspection of the Piper showed damage to the aft fuselage, rudder, wings and main landing gear. Fortunately, the two occupants of the Piper were not injured during the occurrence.
- Initial review of the weather determined that visibility was 20 statute miles (sm) at the time of the accident, and there were few clouds in the area.
- The aircraft were not equipped with, nor were they required to carry, a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) or a flight data recorder (FDR).
Progress to date
The investigation team has conducted the following information-gathering work:
- Investigators have obtained initial eyewitness statements with the assistance of the police.
- They are conducting follow-up interviews with selected witnesses.
- They have taken photographs of both aircraft and the site where the Cessna impacted the ground.
- The Cessna has been brought to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa to help determine how the two aircraft came into contact. By analyzing scratch marks and impact damage, investigators are hoping to get a more precise picture of the exact position of each aircraft at the time of impact, and what the impact geometry was.
Work at the site is completed, but the field phase of the investigation continues. In the coming days and weeks, investigators will do the following:
- Thoroughly review audio and radar data from NAV CANADA, which will assist in determining the exact nature of the collision
- Review the aircraft maintenance records, pilot training, qualifications and proficiency records
- Review policies, procedures and regulatory requirements
- Conduct interviews with family, witnesses, air traffic control, and airport personnel who may provide additional information useful to the investigation
- Examine Carp Airport operations, procedures, airspace design and designation