Plane involved in fatal crash landing moved to Saskatoon airport

Plane involved in fatal crash landing moved to Saskatoon airport

By Sean Trembath, Rory MacLean and Lana Haight, The StarPhoenixApril 3, 2011

The clean-up continued Saturday after one person was pronounced dead at the scene and two others were taken to hospital following a twin engine plane crash landing Friday night on Wanuskewin Drive north of 51st Street

Photograph by: Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix

Saskatoon police closed off northbound traffic on Wanuskewin Road for several hours on Saturday to remove the twin engine airplane involved in a fatal crash landing less than 24 hours earlier.

The wreckage was to be taken to airport property for further investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, according to city police.
The plane crashed into a sound barrier along the busy street in Saskatoon’s north end Friday evening, killing one person on-board.
“I looked up and the plane was right above us and I saw the faces of the pilots. I remember seeing their faces. They looked terrified,” said eyewitness Jayden Ernst.

Just before 6:30 p.m., the airplane plunged from the sky, skimmed condominium buildings to the southeast of the intersection of Wanuskewin Road and 51st Street and smashed into the sound wall on the east side of Wanuskewin.
“It looked like they were going to hit the houses. They were trying to land on the road, but there were cars everywhere, so he went for the wall,” added Ernst, who was in the Extra Foods parking lot across the street when the crash happened.
Traffic was steady in both directions along Wanuskewin with those in vehicles heading north apparently unaware of the approaching plane.
“The drivers hadn’t even noticed because it was right behind them. The wing was right over the cars and then (the drivers) slammed on the brakes.”
Matthew and Rachel Hrycuik were heading south on Wanuskewin when they saw the plane coming toward them.
“It was dropping really fast,” said Matthew.

The light twin engine plane was on approach to Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker International Airport, but one of its engines had failed, Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services said. Five kilometres from the airport, the plane lost power.
Immediately after the crash, instincts kicked in for the Hrycuiks. He is a member of the Canadian Forces and his wife works as an EMT. They stopped, checked for downed power lines concerned about a possible fire, and went to work.
“We thought if there’s people moving inside there, obviously something has to be done,” said Matthew.
“The pilot was fine. When I first came up and sort of banged on the window, he acknowledged me.”
Hrycuik removed the debris from the back of the cockpit, which had been torn wide open on impact, and pulled the pilot and co-pilot to safety.
“I grabbed the co-pilot out first because he was in worse condition. He thought he had broken both his legs, they were all twisted up.”
Ernst also ran to help. By the time he reached the plane, the two men were being helped out of the aircraft.

“The older man, he had blood running all down his face and he was shaking. He got carried out of the cockpit and he was shaking violently,” said Ernst.
The 42-year-old pilot and the 57-year-old co-pilot were taken to Royal University Hospital in stable condition, according to MD Ambulance.
Iaroslav Gorokhovski, a 47-year-old man from Embrum, Ont., died at the scene. His next of kin was notified Friday night.
The aircraft, white with reddish-orange wing tips, is owned by Fugro Companies, which has divisions that conduct aerial surveys and is known for its work involving surveys over resource properties in Saskatchewan.
Fire trucks from Saskatoon Fire & Protective Services and the Saskatoon airport responded to the scene and were on standby at the airport. Initial reports indicated the airplane had 1,000 pounds on fuel onboard.

Police and fire crews continued to be at the crash site into the night Friday, cleaning up debris strewn along the roadway. The body of the airplane was perched on the sound wall with one broken wing resting on the pavement and the other wing hanging over the wall, just a few feet from the backyards of homes along Nordstrum Road.
“I heard a big bang and I was sure it was the gas pumps exploding across the street (at Extra Foods). It shook the house and all I saw was a big cloud of dust,” said Bohdan Machula, who immediately went out to his backyard.
“The police said to go inside. It might explode.”
Hours after the crash and in the safety of their home, the Machulas were relieved and thankful.
“I always complain about that wall, but it saved a lot of people,” said Vera Machula.

“Just imagine. It could have hit and burned our houses down,” added Bohdan, gesturing to their neighbours’ homes.
It was the explosive sound that got the attention of the employees of the Extra Foods. Jason Phillips had just finished filling a propane tank and was headed into the store.
“It was just a big boom and I thought it was the propane going off,” said Phillips, an evening supervisor at Extra Foods.
But there was no fire and no explosion, just crumpled metal and the underside of the plane torn open. One section of the sound barrier is gone while the top half of another section is also demolished.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

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The clean-up continued Saturday after one person was pronounced dead at the scene and two others were taken to hospital following a twin engine plane crash landing Friday night on Wanuskewin Drive north of 51st Street

Photograph by: Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix

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