Pi­lot dies in ul­tra­light plane crash

Sec­ond man air­lifted to hos­pi­tal in Hal­i­fax

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAURA JEAN GRANT

A Mid­dle River man is dead af­ter the ul­tra­light plane he was pi­lot­ing crashed into a barn early Satur­day evening in this ru­ral Vic­to­ria County com­mu­nity.

At ap­prox­i­mately 6: 50 p. m. on Satur­day, Vic­to­ria County RCMP, Emer­gency Health Ser­vices and the Mid­dle River Fire Depart­ment re­sponded to a call that an ul­tra­light plane had crashed near the West Side Mid­dle River Road.

The small air­craft had two male oc­cu­pants — the 54year- old man pi­lot­ing the air­craft was pro­nounced dead at the scene, while a 26- year- old pas­sen­ger was trans­ported to hos­pi­tal in Hal­i­fax by Life-Flight.

On Sun­day, RCMP Cpl. An­gela Corscadden said they had no up­date on the con­di­tion of the 26- year- old man, who is be­lieved to be from the lo­cal area.

The name of the man killed in the crash has not been re­leased, with Corscadden not­ing that the RCMP has adopted a pol­icy of not re­leas­ing the names of vic­tims in col­li­sion in­ci­dents.

The po­lice say their pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­di­cates the ul­tra­light crashed into a barn shortly af­ter take­off from a neigh­bour­ing field.

The Trans­porta­tion Safety Board has been no­ti­fied and will con­duct an eval­u­a­tion to­day.

By early Sun­day morn­ing, just over 12 hours af­ter the crash, there were few vis­i­ble signs of the ac­ci­dent.

“The scene has been cleared,” said Corscadden. “Once the ( Trans­porta­tion Safety Board) and RCMP re­leased it, I’m not cer­tain if it was fam­ily, or friends, but they re­moved the air­craft.”

How­ever, an RCMP in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.

“When there’s a fatality in­volved there’s still an RCMP in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said Corscadden. “There’s no sus­pi­cion of al­co­hol be­ing in­volved, how­ever we do need to fol­low that up with au­topsy. At this point it’s still an ac­tive RCMP in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Corscadden didn’t know ex­actly when the au­topsy would take place.

Mid­dle River Fire Depart­ment Chief David MacKen­zie said Sun­day that when they ar­rived at the scene of the crash the ul­tra­light plane was wedged into the garage.

Fire­fight­ers quickly gained ac­cess to the garage through a side door in or­der to reach the two oc­cu­pants of the air­craft.

MacKen­zie said it was a dif­fi­cult scene for mem­bers of the depart­ment as many knew the vic­tim, who resided in the com­mu­nity.

“It’s al­ways up­set­ting to peo­ple when some­body knows some­body in the com­mu­nity and they are in­jured or die,” he said.

With­out iden­ti­fy­ing the de- ceased man, MacKen­zie said he and his fam­ily have strong roots in the area. “He’s been in the com­mu­nity for sev­eral years,”

he said.

LAURA JEAN GRANT/CAPE BRE­TON POST

On Sun­day morn­ing a boarded up barn door seen from West Side Mid­dle River Road was one of the only signs of an ul­tra­light plane crash the evening be­fore. One man was killed in the crash, and another was air­lifted to hos­pi­tal in Hal­i­fax. The plane has been re­moved and the scene has been cleared. The RCMP and the Trans­porta­tion Safety Board are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

LAURA JEAN GRANT/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Mid­dle River Fire Depart­ment Chief David MacKen­zie spoke to the media Sun­day morn­ing fol­low­ing the crash of an ul­tra­light plane in the com­mu­nity Satur­day evening.

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