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ONTARIO: TSB amends statement about pilot's actions in fatal Thunder Bay plane crash (updated)

The Transportation Safety Board has released new information about the crash.

Update: The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has revised a statement it made earlier Tuesday about the circumstances of a fatal plane crash at Thunder Bay Airport.

A TSB spokesperson initially told news media that the pilot of the aircraft had requested permission to return to the airport shortly after takeoff on Monday evening.

The twin-engine plane took off from runway 12, and just moments later crashed on runway 07 just after 9:00 p.m.

However the TSB's Chris Krepski says he has now learned that the communications between the pilot and the air traffic control tower were different from how they were described earlier.

More details here.

Original story:

THUNDER BAY —  The pilot who died in a plane crash at Thunder Bay Airport on Monday evening requested permission to return to the airport just after takeoff from runway 12.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says that, while attempting to land on a different runway, the twin-engine aircraft went out of control and struck the tarmac, where it burst into flames.

The new details about the incident were provided Tuesday morning by TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski.

"Shortly after takeoff the pilot, who was the sole person aboard, requested a return to the airport. While returning to land on runway 07...the aircraft lost control and struck the runway surface," Krepski  told reporters in a Zoom meeting.

The board has deployed a team of investigators from Winnipeg to determine what led up to the crash.

The identity and hometown of the pilot have not been released as yet.

Krepski said the Rockwell Aero Commander 690B was owned by Mag Aerospace Canada.

The company's website states that it provides services such as aerial fire surveillance including detection and mapping, and "bird dog" aircraft to help direct waterbombing operations.

Mag Aerospace has its operations headquarters in Dryden, as well as bases in Kenora and Sudbury, and administrative offices in Waterloo.

A company spokesperson could not immediately be reached Tuesday for comment.

Ontario's Aviation, Forest Fires and Emergency Services agency has not indicated yet whether or not the crashed aircraft was involved in its firefighting  operations.

Krepski said the TSB team will examine the plane's maintenance records and interview any witnesses to the crash.

They will also look into the communications between the pilot and Air Traffic Control, and review weather conditions at the time.

He said if there are any aircraft components that need closer inspection, they will be taken to the TSB's engineering lab in Ottawa.


Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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