Aviation In Canada

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ultralight Crash in NB in July

The report was recently released about the crash of an ultralight aircraft near Fredericton, NB, on July 20th of this year. The impact site suggested a high angle of impact, while the metallurgical analysis suggested no signs of pre-impact failure. The pilot was flying from CYTN, Trenton, NS, to Ontario. The weather was good at point of departure, and past Moncton, as well, though both Fredericton and Saint John weather at the time were IMC. CFB Gagetown, the closest weather report to the crash site, was also IMC, reporting a 300 foot overcast condition. The "Wag-A-Bond" aircraft was not equipped for IFR flight, and it appears the pilot attempted to descend with the clouds as he encountered them travelling westward, resulting in low altitude, low level flight. This eventually led to the loss of control of the aircraft, as all systems and the airframe appeared to be serviceable prior to the crash.

I find it hard to believe that with all the publicity around such bad weather flying that this could occur these days. There are many well documented accidents, most of them fatal, of what flying into IMC can do to a VFR pilot, or even to a pilot who is IFR trained but not supported by appropriate instrumentation. It's a shame that yet another had to add itself to the pile.