TSB releases details of plane crash that killed MRU aviation instructors
An investigation into a plane crash that killed two instructors with Mount Royal University’s Aviation Program last year is complete and TSB officials say they could not determine exactly what caused the crash.
Jeff Bird and Reyn Johnson took off from the Springbank Airport in a twin-engine Tecnam P2006T aircraft on a training exercise on February 13, 2017 and their plane was reported missing just after 5:00 p.m.
The plane went down in the Waiparous area, about 45 km northwest of Cochrane, killing both men.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was called in to investigate and officials say the aircraft inexplicably went into a spin from a stall exercise and that there was not enough altitude for the plane to recover from the dive.
Both engines were examined and experts found rotational damage and distortion, which is an indication that the engines were producing power when the plane impacted the terrain.
Officials say records showed that both men were certified and qualified for the flight.
The TSB says MRU’s flight training material includes information on two types of stalls; one when the plane approaches a stall and the other when it has already stalled.
Transport Canada and the United States Federal Aviation Administration recommend that a ‘reduction in the angle of attack’ should be the only recovery technique for both types of stalls and officials say an advisory was issued by TC to emphasize the point.
The TSB says the information was not included in Transport Canada’s instructor guide for the ‘multi-engine class rating’ and that training units should emphasize the importance of a reduction in the angle of attack in the event of a stall.
Officials say MRU has increased the minimum altitude for stall recovery since the crash and that the institution also issued a memo to instructors to clarify their roles during training flights.
MRU has also revised its operating procedures and has acquired a different aircraft for its multi-engine training program.
The university says the investigation was unable to determine what caused the crash but that it will review the report to determine if additional safety measures are needed.
“Unfortunately, today's Transportation Safety Board report makes clear that they could not determine what caused the accident,” said Dr. Elizabeth Evans, Dean of MRU's Faculty of Business and Communication Studie, in a statement issued to the media on Thursday.“Nevertheless, we will carefully review the report to see where we can further underline and embolden our safety procedures, erring on the side of supreme caution as we continue to focus on being one of the leading aviation schools in Canada.”
Mount Royal's Aviation Program has graduated about 1500 pilots since it was started in 1970.
To view the results of the investigation, click HERE.