Investigators eye oil trouble in deadly B.C. crash

Investigators eye oil trouble in deadly B.C. crash

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Vancouver plane crash, YVR

Firefighters attend the scene of a plane crash in Richmond, B.C. on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. A small plane broke into pieces as it crashed on approach to Vancouver’s airport. (Steve Smith / THE CANADIAN PRESS)


Vancouver plane crash, YVR

The landing gear sits in the foreground, bottom right, as investigators look over the wreckage of a passenger plane that crashed on a road while on approach to Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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Vancouver plane crash, YVR

Investigators look over the wreckage of a passenger plane that crashed on a road while on approach to Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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Fire officials are shown at the scene of a plane crash on No. 2 Road in Richmond near Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 27, 2011.

Fire officials are shown at the scene of a plane crash on No. 2 Road in Richmond near Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 27, 2011.

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Fire officials are shown at the scene of a plane crash on No. 2 Road in Richmond near Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 27, 2011.

Fire officials are shown at the scene of a plane crash on No. 2 Road in Richmond near Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 27, 2011.

Updated: Fri Oct. 28 2011 13:21:21

CTVNews.ca Staff

Investigators have recovered the flight recorder from yesterday’s fatal plane crash in Vancouver, and are optimistic that it and other data from the control tower will shed some light on the accident that left one dead and two critically injured.

The voice recorder “appears to be in good shape” and has been sent to a lab in Ottawa for further study said lead investigator Bill Yearwood, of the Transportation Safety Board, speaking to reporters Friday in Vancouver.
Investigators are taking a close look at an oil indicator that prompted the Beechcraft King Air 100 to turn around shortly after take-off, he added, and whether it is linked to the cause of the crash.

The charter flight took off with two crew and seven passengers, bound for Kelowna, B.C., at about 3:40 p.m. local time.
At about 4:12 p.m., somewhere over Maple Ridge, B.C., it turned around and headed back to the airport.
“Any caution light or indicator would trigger them to return, that’s the normal procedure and the safe thing to do,” said Yearwood, though the pilot and co-pilot were calm and seemed not to have thought the situation critical because they did not request emergency services. Five TSB investigators have been on the scene since late Thursday.

Yearwood said the plane was about 900 meters short of the runway when it banked sharply and clipped a light pole, crashing and burning in a nearby intersection amid afternoon rush hour traffic.
Frantic passersby rescued the passengers and crew from the plane, operated by Northern Thunderbird Air, based in Prince George, B.C. All nine were taken to hospital.
The pilot, 44-year old Luc Fortin of North Vancouver, died Thursday night of fire-related injuries, said the B.C. Coroners Service.
The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority said two passengers are in intensive care and four people are in serious but stable condition. Two others were released from hospital overnight

The crash also injured a pedestrian who was struck by a flying object. One car was also struck in the crash and its occupants were taken to hospital. Their condition is not known though Yearwood noted that the car was not badly damaged.
Malcolm Brodie, the mayor of Richmond, B.C., where the crash occurred, said he’s sad to hear someone has died in the incident.
“That is tragic and obviously our hearts go out to that person and their family and loved ones and also the other victims of this crash. It’s just a horrific event.”
Brodie said he’s asked the federal government several times to consider moving smaller planes to other regional airports.
“It just seems to me that if you have these huge airliners that are using YVR, once you get to a certain point you should start channelling the other planes to other locales,” he said.

Thursday’s crash was the third such incident involving a small plane in recent years.
In October 2007, the pilot of a Piper Seneca twin-engine plane died after his aircraft plowed into a highrise apartment building in Richmond.
With files from Canadian Press

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