2019 Gabriola Island crash

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2019 Gabriola Island crash
File:2019 Gabriola Piper PA-60-602P crash scene and wreckage.jpg
The 2019 Gabriola Island crash site, as taken by Paolo Gastaldello of The Canadian Press on December 11, 2019.
Incident
Date10 December 2019 (2019-12-10)
SummaryCrashed on approach; under investigation[1]
SiteGabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada
Aircraft
Aircraft typePiper PA-60-602P[1]
OperatorUnknown
Flight originCabo San Lucas, Mexico[2][3]
StopoverEastern Sierra Regional Airport (KBIH), Bishop, California[4]
DestinationNanaimo Airport[5]
Occupants3
Passengers2
Crew1[3]
Fatalities3[1][6]
Survivors0

On the evening of December 10, 2019 a small airplane on instrument approach to Runway 16 of Nanaimo Airport (YCD),[7][8][4] with three people on-board,[2][1] crashed into Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, in dense fog.[9][10][11][12] After experiencing a "system/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant],"[1] the plane crashed into the northwest corner of the island between Decourcy Drive and the shoreline.[7][13] According to witnesses, a large explosion accompanied the crash and shook homes in the area.[9][10][14][15] In addition to the island's local fire department and two ambulances being dispatched,[16] an additional 6 ambulances - including advanced life support units[9] - were sent on the next available ferry from Nanaimo, and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria was activated.[14] The Canadian Coast Guard was also dispatched and arrived near the scene in a hovercraft,[13][15] along with two boats from the Nanaimo Port Authority.[13][17]

The Gabriola Royal Canadian Mounted Police assumed control of the scene upon arrival.[10] Shortly after the crash occurred, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a statement that there were no survivors.[15][14][18] The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was notified around 7pm PDT[9][10] and announced that three investigators will be on-scene December 11.[10][18][19] The BC Coroners Service is now in the "preliminary" stages of investigation.[10] In a joint statement by the RCMP and BC Coroners Service it was announced that the RCMP will maintain control of the site until TSB investigators arrive on scene.[20][21] They will not be releasing any more information at this time.[6][22] New information is expected to be released once the TSB has arrived and had time to review the wreckage.[8]

Information discovered by the Vancouver Sun indicated initially that it was potentially a twin-engine Piper Aerostar heading north from the United States.[14][23] The TSB confirmed the following morning that it was a "twin-engine propeller aircraft."[24][25] The following Saturday it was confirmed by TSB that the plane was a Piper PA-60-602P that crashed after experiencing a "system/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant]."[1] The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has since concluded the "field phase" of the investigation and has removed the wreckage. Further investigation is underway and will conclude with a formal report.[1]

Casualties[edit]

While no official word has yet been released regarding the number of casualties, the Gabriola RCMP and the BC Coroners Service have stated that all aboard the plane were deceased.[18] Friends of the pilot have identified him as 61-year-old Alex Bahlsen, an ex-flight test examiner for Transport Canada, owner of a flight school, and grandson of Hermann Bahlsen.[3] Bahlsen volunteered with the registered charity, Pilots N Paws Canada Animal Rescue, to fly rescue animals across the country.[26]

It was confirmed on the following weekend that three people were on board the plane at the time of the crash: Alex Bahlsen and two unnamed passengers - a man and a woman.[1][27][28]

Aftermath and Investigation[edit]

A trauma support session for the residents affected in the wake of the crash was hosted two days later by the Regional District of Nanaimo.[29] The Transportation Safety Board investigation is ongoing and few details surrounding the crash have been announced.[24] The TSB has since moved to the analysis phase of its investigation, which will conclude in the release of a formal report on the accident.[1]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Holliday, Ian (2019-12-14). "Gabriola crash: TSB concludes work at site where plane went down". British Columbia. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Little, Simon (2019-12-12). "3 people were aboard plane that crashed on Gabriola Island, B.C., leaving no survivors". Global News. Retrieved 2019-12-13. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Brend, Yvette (2019-12-11). "'An amazing pilot and flight instructor': Friends remember aviator who died in Gabriola Island crash". CBC News. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Little, Simon (2019-12-11). "TSB say plane that crashed on Gabriola Island was flying from California to Nanaimo". Global News. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  5. "'A very highly-skilled pilot': Victim identified in Gabriola Island, B.C. plane crash". CHEK News. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Multiple fatalities after plane crashes on Gabriola Island off B.C. coast". National Post. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Watts, Richard (11 December 2019). "Plane crashes at Gabriola Island; multiple fatalities". Times Colonist. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 International, Radio Canada (2019-12-11). "Multiple fatalities confirmed in British Columbia plane crash". RCI | English. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Plane crashes on Gabriola Island, explosions cause houses to shake". CHEK. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 "'Almost shaking my house': Plane crashes on northern Gabriola Island, B.C., injuries unclear". Global News. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  11. Weichel, Andrew (2019-12-10). "Emergency crews responding to plane crash on Gabriola Island". British Columbia. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  12. Ghoussoub, Michelle (Dec 10, 2019). "'My house shook, and I shook': Multiple fatalities confirmed in plane crash on Gabriola Island". CBC News. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Kilbourn, Derek (10 December 2019). "Plane crash on Decourcy Drive on Gabriola". Gabriola Sounder. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Carrigg, David (2019-12-11). "Plane crashes on Gabriola Island: report of no survivors". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2019-12-11. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 News (2019-12-10). "UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP". Abbotsford News. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  16. Harnett, Cindy (2019-12-11). "Plane crashes at Gabriola Island". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  17. News (2019-12-10). "UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP". Nanaimo News Bulletin. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Coyne, Todd (2019-12-10). "Multiple fatalities confirmed after plane crash on Gabriola Island". CTV News Vancouver Island. Retrieved 2019-12-11. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  19. Reuters (2019-12-11). "Multiple Fatalities After Small Plane Crashes in British Columbia". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  20. "Several people dead after plane crashes on Gabriola Island". CHEK. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  21. "Multiple Deaths Confirmed After Small Plane Crashes Near Vancouver Island". HuffPost Canada. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  22. "Multiple fatalities after plane crashes on Gabriola Island off B.C. coast". CP24. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  23. "Paramedics arrive after plane crashes on Gabriola Island off B.C. coast | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Holliday, Kristen (2019-12-11). "Witness says explosion from small plane crash on Gabriola Island was 'immense'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  25. Canada, P. M. N. (2019-12-11). "Witness describes explosion from B.C. plane crash, multiple fatalities confirmed | National Post". Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  26. "'Worth his weight in gold': Pilot killed in Gabriola crash remembered for animal rescue work". Global News. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  27. "Cowichan Valley couple identified as final 2 victims of Gabriola crash". Global News. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  28. "'Absolutely devastated': Couple killed in Gabriola Island plane crash identified". CTV News. 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2019-12-17. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  29. "Support session planned for Gabriola Island residents in wake of plane crash". Vancouver Island. 2019-12-12. Retrieved 2019-12-13.


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