'Kit plane' crash kills Ottawa-area man in Madoc
An unidentified man from just outside of Ottawa died in a plane crash just north of Madoc on Saturday afternoon, piloting a two-seater craft assembled from a kit provided by an Oregon-based company.
The man was in a group of three civilian airplanes journeying about 200 km from Lindsay to Smiths Falls, just west of Ottawa, when he went missing at the midway point of their journey on Saturday, according to CFB Trenton Capt. Paul Spaleta.
Around 3:20 p.m., the base -- through the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, a Canadian entity responsible for search and rescue -- dispatched a C-130 Hercules and Griffon helicopter to search for him.
They eventually found his Van's Aircraft RV 7A two-seater in a heavily forested area near Bannockburn, a small community about 200 km southwest of Ottawa.
OPP, Transport Canada continue investigation
Crew on board the helicopter dropped to the ground to check the single-engine aircraft, and discovered the man's body amid the wreckage around 10:30 p.m.
"Unfortunately, the man was deceased, and that's basically where it stands right now," said Capt. Spaleta. The identity of the 43-year-old from Carp has not been released yet.
Ontario Provincial Police secured the crash scene overnight, and investigators from the Transport Safety Board arrived via snowmobile on Sunday morning.
Transport Canada and the board will investigate the cause of the crash, which is expected to take at least several weeks.
Spaleta noted that weather was fairly clear on Saturday, and expected it wouldn't be a factor in the crash.
Assembling RV aircraft said to require no 'special skill'
According to the Van's Aircraft website, RVs are typically built of aluminum, a common material used in aircraft because it's so lightweight.
"An RV builder is assembling an airplane, not building one from scratch," the website said, noting that alignments, measurements and spots to insert fastenings are all preset in the factory before the kit is shipped out.
The company said it typically takes about 2,000 hours (or 250 days of work at eight hours a day) to assemble an RV aircraft from their kits, and that it only requires facilities equivalent to a two-car garage.
"Most RVs are built by people who have never built an airplane before," the website stated.
"Many have been built by people who have never built anything before. Building an RV does not require any special skill, but it does demand attention, commitment and perseverance."
In July 2008, another unnamed Ottawa-area man died near at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport near Barrie while piloting an RV aircraft from the same company, Van's.
He was performing a touch-and-go -- an aviation term meant to refer to an aircraft that lands, and then takes off again with stopping -- when witnesses reported it stalled and crashed.