More details on fatal crash

The Transportation Safety Board has released more facts about the plane crash earlier this year that killed two Yukoners.

The Transportation Safety Board has released more facts about the plane crash earlier this year that killed two Yukoners.

Father and son Chuck, 63, and Shane, 40, Buchanan died in June after their float-plane crashed at the airport in North Battleford, Sask.

The plane, a Piper PA-14 flown by Shane, had just been purchased and was being taken to Whitehorse.

The pilot had about 900 flight hours and 800 of those were on float equipment, said the safety board’s regional manager, Peter Hildebrand.

He also received 1.5 hours of instruction on his newly-bought plane the day before the crash.

“What happened was the airplane departed, it climbed to about 150 feet above ground, it started what was described as a steep left turn and then it pitched nose down and struck the ground,” Hildebrand said.

There was a fire after impact.

The board does not do lengthy investigations on crashes involving small private aircraft and does not release an official cause.

But Hildebrand said a steep turn at low altitude can lead to problems.

“What happens is that it increases the aerodynamic load on the wings, it can lead to stalled wing conditions – not the engine but the wings,” he said.

“An aerodynamic stall means that the wings are no longer capable of producing as much lift as is being required and then the airplane starts to descend.”

When that happens it is possible for a pilot to recover, Hildebrand said, but only if they have enough altitude.

“Unfortunately this aircraft was at low altitude and there wasn’t time to recover.”

The aircraft was about 20 kilograms over its maximum certified weight.

The weight would have also hindered the plane’s performance, Hildebrand said.

He also said windy weather may have played a role.

At the time, southeast winds gusted from 13 to 19 knots.

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